The Past Decade in 50 Headlines

It all started with a panic …

Y2K Ripple Effect Could Spell Doom for Many Businesses
Business Wire, Dec. 28, 1999

That never happened …  

First Business Day of Y2K Uneventful
The Associated Press, Jan. 3, 2000

So the party continued …  

Analysts Agree Market Has Only Witnessed Start of Internet fever; No End in Sight for Tech Craze
Morning Post, March 26, 2000

The crazies showed up …  

Dow 36,000? Why Stop There? Some Wall Street Pundits Say There's No Limit to How High it Can Go
National Post, Oct. 2, 1999

Lured by riches …

Bill Gates Net Worth Draws Close to $100 Billion
USA TODAY, Jan. 21, 1999

Drowning in denial …

The Stock Market Bubble That Is Likely To Go On Floating
Scotland on Sunday, March 26, 2000

Until sanity prevailed …

Bubble Bound to Burst When the Cash Fails to Materialize
Guardian, March 24, 2000

And the fun ended …

Bubble Bursts: Iron Laws of the Market Bring a Sharp Dose of Reality
Guardian, Dec. 30, 2000 (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) . Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) . Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) shares crash. Hangover ensues.  

But just when we thought it was over …  

Two Planes Crash into World Trade Center in Apparent Terrorist Attack; Tower Collapses to the Ground
AP Newswire, Sept. 11, 2001

Markets panicked …  

Wall Street to Remain Closed in Wake of Terrorist Strikes
The Times, Sept. 13, 2001

Adding insult to injury …

  • Enron Admits to Overstating Profits by About $600 Million 
    New York Times, Nov. 9, 2001
  • WorldCom Says Nearly $3.8 Billion Hidden in its Books  
    The Associated Press, June, 2002
  • Adelphia Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection After Scandal
    The Associated Press, June 25, 2002

How'd that all happen?

Enron Was Standard for Deregulation
Copley News Service, Nov. 29, 2001

Oh, that's right.

By now, investors are disillusioned with stock market shenanigans. But no need to worry …  

Cure for a Burst Bubble: Another Bubble
National Post, Dec. 20, 2001

O ... K. Where?

New Home Buyers, Don't Fret!; Economy Slows, But Home Sales Are Hot
Toronto Sun, Nov. 2, 2001

Hmm. Tell me more …

Weathering Recession, Housing Market Continues to Roar
The Associated Press, March, 2002

I'm listening …

Fannie Mae Sees No End to Housing Boom
United Press International, Jan. 22, 2002

Sold! And it kept going …

Housing Market Surges to Record Levels
World Markets Analysis, Aug. 27, 2002

and going …

More People are Looking to Remortgage Their Property
Money Management, July 1, 2003

and going  …

Home Construction Soars to 17-Year High; October Figures Defy Predictions of Decline
Washington Post, Nov. 20, 2003

And it can't be stopped …  

Median Home Price Up 9.1%
USA TODAY, Aug. 27, 2004

Creating all sorts of wealth …

Buyers Turn Rising Equity into Major Spending Tool
Washington Times, Sept. 27, 2005

Fueling all sorts of fun …

'Tis the Season to go Shopping: 5% Surge Expected
FP Investing, Dec. 7, 2005

Until people got nervous …

Steep Rise in Prices for Homes Adds to Worry About a Bubble
New York Times, May 25, 2005

Even this guy spoke up:  

Greenspan Is Concerned About 'Froth' In Housing
New York Times, May 21, 2005

(He's extremely observant.)

Home Sales Drop 3rd Month in Row; Market Cooling Off Faster Than Expected
USA TODAY, Jan. 26, 2006

The dam breaks …

Desperation Sets In While Homes Sit for Months With No Offers
USA TODAY, Oct. 26, 2006

And some people asked …  

When Does A Housing Slump Become A Bust?
New York Times, June 17, 2007

Maybe when this happens:

Rising Defaults Shut Down Two Hedge Funds; Bernanke Says Subprime Fallout Will Hurt Economy
Washington Times, July 19, 2007

Yeah, that's when you panic …  

Mortgage-Backed Securities Spread U.S. Subprime Woes Abroad
USA TODAY, Aug. 14, 2007

And panic we did …

1907 Panic: Subprime Fallout Draws Comparisons
The Gazette, Aug. 10, 2007

Until Ben Bernanke flew in …

Fed Cuts Interest Rate Half Point, Stock Markets Soar
New York Times, Sept. 19, 2007

And before long …  

Dow Soars Past 14,000 To Register New All-Time High
The Frontrunner, Oct. 2, 2007

Sweet! Crisis averted.

Cayne Out As Bear Stearns CEO
The Associated Press, Jan. 9, 2008

What … the … heck is going on here?

Bear Stearns Responds to Rumors, Says Balance Sheet, Liquidity, Capital Remain Strong
The Associated Press, March 10, 2008

Phew. Had me worried there.

Shares of Bear Stearns Plummet on Fears Bank is in Danger of Insolvency 
The Associated Press, March 13, 2008

Uh … oh …

Bear Stearns Bailed Out by Fed, JPMorgan
The Associated Press, March 14, 2008

Thank you, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) . Now carry on like nothing happened.

U.S. Stock Rally Fuels Dow Close Above 13,000
MarketWatch, May 1, 2008 

See how easy that is?

Taxpayers Take on Trillions in Risk; Fannie, Freddie Placed Under Conservatorship
USA TODAY, Sept. 8, 2008

Crap. Time to stock up on toilet paper …

  • Wall Street Chaos: Lehman Bankrupt, Bank of America Buys Merrill
    AP Newswire, Sept 15, 2008 
  • Government Bails Out AIG with $85 Billion Loan
    The Associated Press, Sept. 17, 2008

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS  ) prepare to get flushed, when …

Bush Asks Congress for $700 Billion for Bailout
The Associated Press, Sept. 20, 2008

Panic ensues …  

U.S. Stocks Slide, Dow Plunges 777 Points
MarketWatch, Sept. 29, 2008

Neurosis ensues …

Dow Ends Up Almost 900 points
The Associated Press, Oct. 29, 2008

We all give up …  

Investors Throw In the Towel
Slate Magazine, March 3, 2009

Before long, hope returns …   

Stocks Move Higher as Industrial Production Rises
The Associated Press, Sept. 16, 2009 

Barriers are reclaimed …  

Dow Crosses 10,000
MarketWatch, Oct. 14, 2009

And we end this story …

Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dec. 23, 2009: 10,466

About where we started …  

Dow crosses 10,000
Associated Press Worldstream, March 16, 1999

Here's to a more prosperous decade. Happy Holidays, Fools.

Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended diagonal calls on Microsoft. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (38) | Recommend This Article (137)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 1:02 PM, AbleRich wrote:

    MISSED the Headline on OIL Prices to $150/barrel

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 1:16 PM, TMFRhino wrote:

    Fantastic stuff Morgan!

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 1:24 PM, plange01 wrote:

    berkshire layed off 21,000 in 2009 as the depression in the US comes up on its 1 year anniversary...

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 1:26 PM, cmfhousel wrote:

    Plange, you need a nap.

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 2:36 PM, comorgan wrote:

    I wonder which of today's headlines will make a similar list in the future?

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 4:53 PM, 1sweet1 wrote:

    Finally, a Fool article that is true to its title.

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 5:22 PM, stonebusted wrote:

    I have to hurry up if I am going to get on the ground floor of the new rise.

    One problem though, I lost my $$ on the last ride. Need a new stake. Uh any ideas?

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 10:05 PM, thisislabor wrote:

    so both the housing market and stock market were elevated because of cheap money being lent out at the fed? or am I just coming to that conclusion irrationaly? thanks.

  • Report this Comment On December 24, 2009, at 10:52 PM, GreenPhotog wrote:

    Stonebusted- I'm putting my money on China stocks. IBD's top-rated stocks include many Chinese stocks; more in the top 10 (I think) than U.S. stocks.

  • Report this Comment On December 25, 2009, at 1:43 AM, ET69 wrote:

    Lets face it Capitalism sucks. Time to think about Centralized planning again! Happy Pagan Holidays!

  • Report this Comment On December 25, 2009, at 10:13 AM, ftp61 wrote:

    how about a headline stating the fool independence fund would enroll more members if they didn't penalize depositors of less than 10 grand

  • Report this Comment On December 25, 2009, at 12:47 PM, plange01 wrote:

    the US stock market has been doing great and making new highs since march.on the other hand the country is just about a year into a depression with real unemployment over 20% of the workforce,6,000,000 forclosures for the year,rising inflation,energy prices and bankruptcys.the two are going in opposite almost like wall st feels things a ok because it was saved by the government and it can go back to its old ways.the country is moving very close to a major collapse in 2010 what will wall st do then?

  • Report this Comment On December 25, 2009, at 8:28 PM, Gardnermiles wrote:

    How can all those financial crooks; filthy money recipients even sleep at night? I guess they grew up without a conscience. It was predicted that at the time of the removal of prayer from the schools that many would grow up without a conscience and I truly believe that is a large portion of this financial recession. Some got so darned rich at the expense of the majority that those who buy from the rich could no longer do so. So you fat boys better start spreading jobs and money back to the majority or at some point you also will fail. If we could classify you as a financial pirate the above words are just for you.

  • Report this Comment On December 25, 2009, at 8:39 PM, BlueSilver72 wrote:

    December 25, 2009 at 7:58 PM BlueSilver72,

    The American people should dump every company

    who was bailed out with (government) funds, which

    we as tax payers and our great great grandchildern

    will have to deal with for the next Onehundred years!

    It would have been cheaper to give every American

    over the age of thirtyfive One Million dollars to stimulate the economy.

    The attitude of Big Business right now is to keep

    business as usual, big pay day's for top excutives

    at tax payers expences, so they don't leave their


    Pratt Whitney wants to move out of Connecticut,

    and move to Georgia, Japan, or China, even after

    Connecticut has offered them Onehundred Eighty

    Million dollars. And this top company turned the

    offer down.

    It's all about money, and the worst part is the

    younger American people don't get it!!! This is

    why we have lost industry to foriegn country's,

    cheap labor. Americans have become lazy, and

    want the government to take care of them, Welfare, &

    food stamps. So much for Self Pride....

  • Report this Comment On December 26, 2009, at 3:19 PM, TMFJoeInvestor wrote:

    This was fantastic, Morgan.

  • Report this Comment On December 27, 2009, at 12:19 AM, DarylDad wrote:

    I agree that this is a great rerun of the roller coaster we've been on as a country for the last decade. I don't think it will end well for the average person such as me. Things have only gotten worse each yr. since 2005. Great article, thanks.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2009, at 7:39 AM, MrsCathyGF wrote:

    Excellent. Please do it again, maybe next year, or when it's apropo. It's just like the timeline at the Newsium in DC. I really enjoyed that, too. It's just what puts living into proper perspective.

    How about that nifty Antenna from the World Trade Center ? Go free speech !! I'd like to see much more journalism from the right's persepctive, for example.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2009, at 11:44 AM, NotJesseL wrote:

    GardnerMiles, I agree with your comments, but remember that Stalin reportedly slept like a baby. Its not that they don't have a conscience, its that it has been seered to the point of uselessness, by worshipping (and not necessarily realizing it) at the altar of religions like that of Ayn Rand.

    It doesn't stop them from being guilty but I know it could have been me in those expensive shoes with just a few things going different.

    Happy New Year, and I really hope the rich and powerful people in this decade are more concerned about the rest of us.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2009, at 2:43 PM, ozzie wrote:

    I'll add my name to the "Kudos" list - great summary of major market movers in the last 10 years!

  • Report this Comment On December 30, 2009, at 3:04 PM, xjp83x wrote:

    The best article (headlines) I've ever read until now at Motley Fool.

    Great Job!

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 4:44 AM, jaketen2001 wrote:

    That, sir, is hilarious.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 1:13 PM, Fool wrote:





  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 1:50 PM, sweetsuzee wrote:

    For starters, there's one more year to the decade. Second, capitalism is great !!! It is only when they try to GIVE away too much money to the "give me" people that the system fails. Third, as far as the TARP money is concerned, it is not costing any of us one damn red cent. It has been paid back, possibly even in full already, with plenty of interest on top just as when we lent the money to Lee Iacocca. The only risk in TARP was whether or not we would get it back. Thank God we did. Perhaps some of you should take a course in economics and understand why capitalism is necessary for our way of life. What has killed this nation, amont other things, is teaching your children they don't need to do anything to receive something such as designer jeans, iPods, etc. They are in for a big shock in the real world and you have no one to blame but yourselves.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 2:10 PM, Phil3955 wrote:

    I don't think you can blame Ayn Rand and Objectivism for the greed and fraud - Objectivism doesn't promote fraud. Wall Street doesn't represent true capitalism any more than Bin Laden represents true Islam. Our economy and Washington has been hijacked by these people and I don't think there's a whole lot we can do about it.

    I use the Motley Fool to help me navigate this reality with my investing.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 2:16 PM, steveballmer wrote:

    A study of these headlines is extremely educational!

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 2:26 PM, geowill4486 wrote:

    where does the dow end 12/31/2010. My bet 11,500, NASDAQ 2275, S&P500 1250

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 2:28 PM, geowill4486 wrote:

    bets on 2010? DOW? NASDAQ? S&P500?

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 3:13 PM, ballc wrote:

    Looks like a very good decade coming up!

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 4:05 PM, TTexas wrote:

    You have got to be kidding! The dow at 11,500--no way. I will take that bet plus give you odds.............

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 4:21 PM, geowill4486 wrote:

    Ttexas- Thats a little over 9% increase for 2010

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 4:25 PM, wegon wrote:

    I hope 2010 will be a good year but I don't see how it can be when you have more taking from the gov than are paying into it.I mean it has to catch up sometime.When you reward failure and tax success what do you think is going to happen.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 5:05 PM, peters46 wrote:

    wegon - they aren't taxing success, they are taxing the average joe. They are letting inflation devalue the deficit. No inflation?? According to the gov't the 200% increase in the price of staples and vegetables in the past 18 months doesn't count as inflation. Neither does the 50-120% increase in energy costs. In effect, taxes everyone is paying, except the average joe is paying a much higher percentage of income than the rich.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 5:11 PM, goalie37 wrote:

    Great article.

  • Report this Comment On January 01, 2010, at 4:09 PM, derfberger wrote:

    removal of prayer from the schools that many would grow up without a conscience

    Give me a break.

    There is no connection.

    If you were a student of history you'd know more people have been killed in the name of Christ than for any other reason

  • Report this Comment On January 01, 2010, at 5:49 PM, dharbu wrote:

    Sorry but prayer in schools had little bearing on the many robber barons throughout US economic history. We humans love to play the system. Some do , get caught & go to jail. Others do & never get caught. Others do & get the government ( read taxpayers ) to bail them out. Lets hope that karma really works. Happy New Year to all!!

  • Report this Comment On January 01, 2010, at 8:33 PM, cmfhousel wrote:


    "For starters, there's one more year to the decade."

    I'll refer to the Wall Street Journal for a response:

    "Few decades have been as resolutely and relentlessly dismal as this past one, which is thankfully all over but the shouting (a note to calendaric purists who insist that the decade really runs from 2001 to 2010: You're part of the problem)."

  • Report this Comment On January 02, 2010, at 4:08 PM, Sytsr wrote:

    The whole decade left me with a terrible taste in my mouth, tho my personal life was okay. I am SO happy to be into 2010. Your very convenient headline summary makes the reason clear. Thanks for taking time to put it together.

    I have the greatest disrespect for the lions of wall street for their utter indifference to the cry of the general public for fairer CEO,etc., pay and bonuses and a more sensitive ratio between top and bottom salaries at companies. It is enormously symbolic of the imbalance that brought the country to its knees.

    But I hear the comment that capitalism will move forward into any place that money invites it. Therefore the current administration must get more backbone regarding separatioin of traditional investing from the gambling that has been exploding via hedges, derivatives, swaps, etc.and establish regulations to calm the excesses.

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2010, at 3:52 AM, NavarroOne wrote:

    Great summary. I missed a reference to Bernie Madoff's $50 Billion Ponzi Scheme but then again there were probably many other significant events that could have been mentioned and it would then have been "The Past Decade in 500 Headlines", a bit of an overkill! You summed up the overall situation quite nicely.

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