January 21, 2009

S&P, eight years later: The Bush Years

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 37 percent during the eight years George W. Bush was president, a research group said.

Investments in telecommunication suppliers JDS Uniphase and Ciena were nearly wiped out during Bush's presidency, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Bush, sadly, allowed a weak dollar that really hurt, editor Steve Forbes said. No one on Wall Street thought that we'd have investment houses disappear on Wall Street under a Republican president, he said.

Capital IQ, which tracks S&P data, said roughly half of the companies listed in the index from through the Bush years -- 226 out of 442 -- made some money for shareholders during the Bush years.

During Bush's tenure, Southwest Energy was the runaway winner, the newspaper said.

Southwest's compounded annual return was 48 percent during the past eight years, largely because it discovered large gas deposits in Arkansas when nobody else in the world figured it out, Chief Executive Officer Harold Korell said.

Korell said a potential Bush veto of a windfall tax that kept Congress from pushing the issue did not hurt.

If Congress puts more additional taxes on us, we will have a more difficult time funding expansion, he said.