Stock Market Game Week in Review

The StockMarket Game is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allowsstudents to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio tolearn about long-term saving and investing.

There's an old saying on Wall Street: "As goes January, so goes theyear." Well, if there's any truth to that saying, Friday's Dow closeof 8,000 is forecasting a bad year for stocks. (Don't miss" January's Slide Could Buck Trend in '09.") We also saw that the "bad bank" strategy rumored to be Treasury's preferred fix for the banking crisis has run into a snag and may not be pursued at all. And if that wasn't enough, the Commerce Department announced the worst Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers since 1982, reporting that the total output of goods and services in the U.S. fell 3.8% in the final quarter of 2008. The doom and gloom continues.

President Obama's stimulus package made it through the U.S. House ofRepresentatives with no Republican support, causing some in the chattering classes to conclude that his wooing of house Republicans was all for naught. Others maintain that the real action on this bill will take place in the Senate and that some House Republicans will vote for it after the bill is modified by the upper chamber. Criticsof the economic stimulus package say much of the spending is not stimulative and therefore won't create jobs. We'll all have to wait and see what emerges.

A large part of President Obama's stimulus package will be aimed at creating green energy. Concerns about global warming, our dependence on Middle East oil, the shock in oil prices last year and a general public sense that we should be better stewards of our environment has made this aspect of Obama's stimulus package very popular. Of course, there's always disagreement. Many believe that we don't need to change the way we produce our energy; we just need to produce more of it,particularly here in America. There seems to be an ever-present tension between economic needs and actions we can or should take to preserve our environment.

So what does all this mean? This week, as it is early in the session, we are recommending overarching projects. A great SMG project to use with elementary and middle school students is one called "Going Green." It uses Dr. Suess' Lorax story to examine how to balance the needs of business with the needs of the environment. To access it, log in to the Teacher Support Center and click on the "Projects" link, which is in the purple section of the home page. You'll be brought to a page with four dropdown menus. In the first one, select "Overarching Projects" (it's the last choice), ignore the other dropdowns and click on the "Next" button.

Another hot topic in the news today is financial regulation. We have an overarching project entitled "Ethics in the Stock Market," which examines how markets are regulated and the agencies that regulate them. To access the lesson, login to the Teacher Support Center and click on the "Projects" link, which is in the purple section of thehome page. You'll be brought to a page with four dropdown menus. In the first one, select "Overarching Projects" (it's the last choice), then in the dropdown labeled "Grade" choose "High School," ignore the other dropdowns and click on the "Next" button.

To learn more about The Stock Market Game, visit www.stockmarketgame.org.

This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.

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