The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a bone-wrenching 6763.29 points yesterday amid news of failing Eastern Europe, faltering U.S. GDP, flinching Citigroup, flailing AIG, and lots more fun that you're no doubt aware of. So what was happening in the world the last time the stock market hit this point? It was April 25, 1997.
Some of the highlights from the 6763 days:
- Then-U.S. President Bill Clinton warned Japan that its economic reform and deregulation was happening far too slow -- and the resulting trade surplus with the U.S. was growing much too large. (These days, I have a feeling Japan would gladly return to a trade surplus without hesitation!) Contrary to the looks of the image above, this did not result in a cane-fought brawl between the two leaders... Clinton just enjoyed using his crutches...
- For the first time since the 1960s, Chrysler announced it would open assembly plants outside the United States (in Argentina and Brazil) -- with the ambitious goal to sell 20 percent of its market share internationally. (Not a bad move -- these days, overseas markets are the kindest to the carmaker.)
- Researcher Jonathan B. Tucker, who just weeks earlier was dismissed from a White House panel, said that he believed chemical weapons had been used against U.S. forces in Iraq during the Gulf War. (The passage of time says: correct!)
- In defiance of U.S. policy, the French signed an accord solidifying their economic ties with Cuba. (Sorry, Clinton! C'est le travail!)
- It was all about Mary Kate and Ashley. (So hey, not everything has changed!)