Click Here North Star Writers Group
Syndicated Content.
Eric Baerren
Lucia de Vernai
Herman Cain
Dan Calabrese
Alan Hurwitz
Paul Ibrahim
David Karki
Llewellyn King
Nathaniel Shockey
Stephen Silver
Candace Talmadge
Jessica Vozel
Feature Page
David J. Pollay - The Happiness Answer
Cindy Droog - The Working Mom
The Laughing Chef
Mike Ball - What I've Learned So Far
Bob Batz - Senior Moments
D.F. Krause - Business Ridiculous
D.F. Krause
  D.F.'s Column Archive

March 5, 2007

Jittery Investors? Sell to Me!


Oh no! The Dow has declined again! It’s almost down to 12,000!


Oh sure. It’s never been above 12,000 until recently, and no one knows the answer to the question: “12,000 what?”

But still. Everyone became skittish when the market tanked last week. And the market tanked because everyone was skittish. It’s circular logic at its finest. And before we relegate it to circular file where it belongs, let’s take a comical trip down the Dow’s path to its worst week in four years.


It started on Monday, when our old friend Alan Greenspan, who has no job, no position and nothing to do but stand around talking to people, gave a speech in which he said that economic expansion cannot last forever, and someday we’re bound to have a recession.


Cue the Associated Press, which writes an accurate enough story about the opinions expressed by the man with no job, but then headlines it: “Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession.”


That’s provocative! Fortunately, no one reads AP business headlines. But everyone reads Drudge, and the following day, Muckracking Matt decided to link to the AP’s story using the exact same headline.


Panic! People falling from windows! God help us all! A man with no job predicted mass economic carnage!


This, of course, came just days after Vice President Dick Cheney survived an assassination attempt in Afghanistan, and that gave traders their legendary “jitters” because, as we are always told, investors don’t like uncertainty.


Well, there is the fact that any mutual fund’s likely performance over the next two years is eminently more difficult to predict than the likelihood that Dick Cheney will still be alive, but never mind that. We’re told that stuff like assassination attempts and grumpy speeches by unemployed guys bother the market because they portend instability in the government and the economy.


That’s why the market took a nosedive? Geez. I can calm everyone’s fears. Gather close. Five years from now, a Republican or a Democrat will be president and Congress will be for or against him or her and very little will be getting done. Social Security won’t be fixed and spending will still be on the rise.


Oh, and Osama will still be on the loose. Unless he’s dead.


That’s pretty much it. Spare yourself five years of newscasts and hit those prospectuses! You need to know what those fund managers are working with before you put your hard-earned money into the market!


And yet somehow, somewhere, in the darkest corners of the Stock Exchange, someone apparently decided to unload his portfolio because Drudge linked to Greenspan’s rantings, and/or because the Taliban is hunting Cheney when they obviously should be taking hunting lessons from Cheney.


Consider the logic of this. Say your mutual fund has investments in 20 technology companies. One makes software that simplifies small business accounting. Another makes design software. Another makes components for digital cameras. It’s all stuff like that.


Now, Alan Greenspan makes a cranky speech. A hunting expedition involving Dick Cheney oddly results in no one being shot. Software? Cameras? Dang! No one’s going to need that stuff anymore! Not now! Sell! Sell! Sell!


I think I know how to finally get rich. I simply need to sit around on Wall Street, wait for jitter-inducing news to happen, and then when panicky investors decide to sell all the investments that did nothing wrong, I’ll buy them.


I don’t care if someone tries to shoot Dick Cheney. Well, I do. But my personal financial statement doesn’t. I don’t care what Alan Greenspan has to say about anything. (Come to think of it, why do you?) So the next time you feel like unloading your stocks because the news is making you nervous, sell to me! If taking your valuable investments off your hands comforts you in times of turmoil, I am here for you.




To offer feedback on this column, click here.


© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


Click here to talk to our writers and editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.


To e-mail feedback about this column, click here. If you enjoy this writer's work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry it.

This is Column # DFK70.  Request permission to publish here.