A Look at Markets Two Years After Lehman Brothers' Bankruptcy Filing

by: Scott Rothbort

It was exactly 2 years ago today that Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy when it could not find a buyer and the US Government would not bail out the company.

Here is a look at the markets then and now:

The S&P 500 (SPX) closed at 1,192.70 on 9/15/08. It is now about 5.9% lower

The NASDAQ Composite (IXIC) closed at 2,179.91 on 9/15/08. It is now about 5.5% higher

The NASDAQ 100 (NDX) closed at 1,705.46 on 9/15/08. It is now about 13.4% higher.

The Dow Jones Industrials (DJIA) closed at 10,917.51 on 9/15/08. It is now about 3.3% lower. Of course, many DJIA stocks have since been tossed out such as General Motors.

The Russell 2000 (RUT) closed at 689.76 on 9/15/08. It is now about 5.6% lower.

Some thoughts and conclusions:

1. Who said tech was dead? If you were indexed to the either of the NASDAQ indexes, you would have been better off now.

2. We had plenty of panics, mini panics and a flash crash between then and now. It just goes to show you how panicking is not an investment strategy worth following.

3. If you add back in the dividends for the SPX and DJIA over the past two years, you are about even. That says plenty for the power of dividends.

4. In the future, we will likely look at the past two years as we have other periods of market dislocations, as abhorrent yet necessary parts of the economic and market cycle from which we will have learned many lessons.

5. Corporations have used the last two years to continue to generate profits, build up cash, reduce debt and adapt to new government enacted anti-business laws and regulations. Imagine what will happen once the economy does gain traction?

Disclosure: At the time of this Blog entry Scott Rothbort, his family and or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC owned shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Class B (NYSE:BRK.B) --- although positions can change at any time.