On January 5th, the NASDAQ OMX Group (NDAQ) created the Government Relief Index (symbol: QGRI) to track any stocks that have received more than $1 billion in government bailouts. We covered this announcement in Oh Good GRIef. This development was an inevitability as so many taxpayers are interested in getting some statistics on the performance of their money.
Well, so far the results have been less than spectacular. The equally-weighted index started at 1000 pts, and as of Tuesday’s close it had fallen to 551.27. Despite the gains of more than 14% just today the “TARP index” is down almost 45% since inception. The bailout firms are down nearly three times worse than the S&P 500 over the same time period. Obviously, the bailout index is heavily weighted towards financial firms, and any non-financials were struggling very much to begin with so the results should not come as a major surprise. However, this is an interesting way to see how the hundreds of billions of dollars that the government has put to work are faring. Of course, it is far to early to pass judgement on the bailout’s results, so we will continue to keep our readers up to date as often as we think is necessary.