Boom and Bust

From around the year 1996 to the year 1999 there was a huge rise is stock market prices. The S&P 500 rose about 20% each of these years, and NASDAQ rose a whopping 500%. These ludicrous rises in prices were due to “dot coms,” or companies that conducted business through the Internet. Americans were getting very excited over the hype of these companies and poured billions into the stock market. However, to everybody’s dismay, the stock market crashed in 2000. The bubble burst on April 14, and stocks plummeted. The market had the greatest one day drop in history! NASDAQ alone fell 80% from its 2000 prices. It wouldn’t be until 2006 that the stock market retuned to its 2000 levels. By 2001 the American economy fell into a recession, not too different from the one we recently had.

What also helped fuel this recession was the greed of corporate America. Many companies lied, cheated, and stole, from their shareholders in order to make huge profits. When these companies were proven to be a scam the companies crashed, pulling down their stockholders with them. The most famous example of this was a Houston based energy company named Enron. Enron was supposed to be showing billions of dollars in profit. It was the hottest company, and took up many magazine covers. Everybody was talking about Enron. However, one day somebody discovered Enron had been lying, and that it had really been operating at a loss. The insiders knew this, and sold the stocks high. Once the company fell most shareholders lost their shirts. Enron wasn’t the only companies pulling scams. Tyco International and GE were also among companies found to be crooked in one way or another. Even respectable companies such as Chase and Citigroup had to pay back investors for selling them worthless stocks.


The Impeachment of Clinton

Bill Clinton’s impeachment stemmed from an investigation by Kenneth Starr, a special counsel who was originally supposed to investigate the Whitewater scandal but shifted his focus to several allegations against Clinton. These allegations included a sexual harassment suit by Paula Jones, an affair with a white house intern Monica Lewinsky, and several recorded tapes of conversations engaging in sexual activity between Clinton and Lewinsky. President Clinton had his origins of sexual harassment back when he was a Governor of Arkansas. On May 1994, an Arkansas state employee name Paula Jones brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton. However the lawsuit was dismissed.

On July 1995, Monica Lewinsky had begun working at the White House as an unpaid intern. In November 1995, Clinton began his affair with Lewinsky, over the course of a year and a half; they had a dozen sexual encounters. Lewinsky told Linda Tripp, a worker at the Pentagon about her affair with the president. Tripp then began secretly recording conversations with Lewinsky about the details of the affair. As soon as this scandal made news, Clinton publicly denied the affair with Lewinsky. When Lewinsky turned in her dress with Clinton’s DNA, he was forced to admit that he had an affair with Lewinsky. On December 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached under the ruling of obstruction of justice and perjury. Clinton became the second president in U.S history to be impeached after Andrew Johnson in 1868.


Assignment due May 11

1) Read Foner, Chapter 27
2) Write a post containing 2-3 paragraphs describing one important aspect of the chapter that you think deserves further elaboration, and which has not been covered on the blog.  Include at least one image or video.