The Dow tanks again today to lowest level in five years.

The folks at CBS News didn’t pull any punches saying Dow Falls Off A Cliff:

(CBS/AP) The Dow Jones industrials plunged 679 points on Thursday, driving the blue chip index below the 9,000 mark for the first time since 2003. A steep decline in General Motors stock helped to fuel the decline.

The blue chip index extended its selling to a seventh straight day as investors grapple with worries about the credit markets and the economy.

[…] “The story is getting to be like that movie Groundhog Day,” said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. He pointed to the still-frozen credit markets, and Libor, the bank-to-bank lending rate that remains stubbornly high despite the Fed’s recent rate cut.

“Until that starts coming down, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone getting excited about stocks,” Hogan said. “Everything we’re seeing his historic. The problem is historic, the solutions are historic, and unfortunately, the sell-off is historic. It’s not the kind of history you want to be making.”

At close the Dow was at 8,579 which puts it within striking distance of the last record low of 8,235.81 which occurred just after 9/11. The recent rate cut by the Feds and the $700 billion in taxpayer money that’s been promised have done nothing to stop the bloodshed. Hold onto your butts. Things are likely to get worse before they get better.

But always remember that John McCain thinks the fundamentals of our economy are still strong!

Past 15 months have resulted in a $2 trillion loss on retirement savings.

The one upside to the fact that I still don’t have any retirement plan in place is the fact that I didn’t lose any money from it over the past year:

The stock market’s prolonged tumble has wiped out about $2 trillion in Americans’ retirement savings in the past 15 months, a blow that could force workers to stay on the job longer than planned, rein in spending and possibly further stall an economy reliant on consumer dollars, Congress’s top budget analyst said yesterday.

For many Americans, pensions and 401(k) plans are their only form of savings. The dwindling of these assets—about a 20 percent decline overall—is another setback just as many people are grappling with higher gas and food prices, more credit card debt, declining home values and less access to loans.

“Unlike Wall Street executives, American families don’t have a golden parachute to fall back on,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. “It’s clear that Americans’ retirement security may be one of the greatest casualties of this financial crisis.”

This is one of the ways that the meltdown is going to affect the average American taxpayer and it’s all thanks to the deregulation policies of the Bush Administration.

As for myself, I keep meaning to start a 401K “real soon now” but never get around to it. Perhaps this downturn in the market is a good time to start thinking about it again. Once it appears things are on an upswing might be a good time to get one rolling in hopes it’ll make the 401K grow faster. That’s probably simplistic thinking on my part though as I’ve never had a good head for investment.