Switching from Wall Street time to Washington time

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Everything’s just so much calmer this morning. Last week it was which investment bank would go under tomorrow, now it’s what’s in the Senate draft of the bailout bill that maybe they’ll pass by the end of the week (the WSJ just broke the story that it calls for the government to get shares of financial firms participating in the program).

In normal times, the fact that financial markets move so much faster than governments is seen as a strength. In September 2008, not so much. Last week huge decisions were being made purely on the basis of sleeplessness and panic. Now other factors are coming into play–such as an election campaign. That drags things out. It makes them more complicated and, well, political. And you know, I don’t really have a problem with that. Do you?

Update: So calm isn’t quite the same as bullish (the S&P 500 ended the day down 3.82%). And if you look at commodities markets–oil prices jumped $25 a barrel–things weren’t even calm. Oh well, at least I was pretty calm today.