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Bad-News B​ears: League of Their Own

October 8, 2008 By:
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Remember the "Seinfeld" where Jerry's bubba went to make a deposit in her bank and only found a deserted alley in its place, with a tough guy waiting to give her directions?

Maybe he was just a former financial officer down on his luck.

This skittish market doesn't have anyone laughing, but a perusal of current money magazines, financial publications and fiscal outlooks -- long-term -- suggest, that the sun will come out tomorrow.

Okay, probably not tomorrow. And distilling all the info that is out there won't make you giddy, as if it were an actual distillery. Yet, somehow, somewhere, this recent money monkey business has just got to turn into moonshine.

Past reads on history show that recessions, well, happen. And that the Bull eventually is going to see red after years of being in the black. (Red not being a sign for customers to charge; the national debt is already way over what it should be.)

But with so many headlines blaring Titanic all over again, it's worth it to note that the cruise industry survived even that and has gone full steam ahead in the past decade.

But that's for the travel section to ponder; businessmen and women are hitting a wall just trying to find the day-to-day direction of Wall Street.

They Saw It Coming
The bad-news bears are in a league of their own: The experts of the past often try to cover their 'hinds with a 20/20 hindsight for which nobody's yet invented glasses. Everyone seemingly saw it coming -- but, for some reason, no one wanted to talk about it.

(An exception being Philly's Jim Cramer, of CNBC fame, who warned, when Bear Stearns' market lived up to its name, that it was just the beginning for the downturn -- which may explain why people turn to him and his "Mad Money.")

More maddening is when the government leaders get it wrong; on a recent "O'Reilly Factor," when host Bill O'Reilly attempted to corner U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Financial Services Committee chair of the House of Representatives, on his failed oversight of Freddie and Fannie, viewers could be forgiven if it seemed that Frank was anything but, considering the two F words as wayward children at whom he once wagged his finger. The wag was caught, however, when it was pointed out that Frank not that long ago said Freddie and Fannie were on the right path to solvency.

Instead, they had a bad case of Mac attack.

What does it all mean? It means that experts can be wrong, gloom is doom, but maybe not forever, which is a kindly reminder for those who consider putting their money in their mattress.

If they're going to do that, a warning: Make sure the mattress is flame-retardant, because when it comes to the money game, as headlines and home sales show, it's always easy to get burned. 

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