Investors? Sell to Me!
Oh no! The
Dow has declined again! It’s almost down to 12,000!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
People falling from windows! God help us all! A man with no job
predicted mass economic carnage!
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
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 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.
Osama will still be on the loose. Unless he’s dead.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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