When President Barack Obama was elected in November 2008, the U.S. economy was shrinking at a rate unmatched since World War II. In the seven years between then and his final State of the Union address Tuesday night, global investors have enjoyed stellar results from the rapidly expanding Obama economy.
Market prosperity has been built on a solid economic foundation. The unemployment rate has declined the most in any five-year period since 1989, from its 10-percent peak in October 2009 to 5 percent last December. The budget deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product has plummeted 7.7 percentage points from a high of 10.1 percent in 2010, the biggest favorable reversal in at least 50 years.
That’s helped propel the value of U.S. companies to half the world’s publicly-traded equity for the first time since 2001. The 10 companies with the highest market capitalization are American — the first time that’s happened since Ronald Reagan was president.
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Matthew Winkler is the founding editor and editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News. He writes about markets.