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Friday, January 08, 2016

Crisis? What crisis?

As Dave Barry said in 2002:

Q. But with the market down, isn't this a smart time to buy stocks?

A: Definitely. There has never been a better time!

Q. Which ones do you recommend?

A: I will sell you mine.

For a contrary opinion, please read James Altucher's latest: "Financial Fridays: The Stockmarket Is Bullshit."

In these paradoxical times, the opposite of the truth is also the truth. As Altucher often says, nobody knows anything. Including him, and he says that, too. Bullshit and chutzpah rule: he started a personal advice service when he was broke and friendless. Like many successful people, he has been - is - on a rollercoaster ride.

Problem, is, not everyone wants that.

Other problem is, we were fooled into expecting a steady alternative.

Out of the wreckage of the postwar world we climbed, and there were jobs and businesses aplenty. You could make money and save money. One client I had in the '90s explained: "I overcharged you, you overcharged me, we all did well. Now I undercut you and you undercut me."

Big business helped the developing world develop and made insane amounts of cash selling its products to Western lunkheads who had come to think the party was forever.

Then the party was extended by getting us into debt so we could carry on overspending. Then again, by getting the government to bail out the banks and to continue to issue bonds to support the unemployed, the underemployed and the low paid. Then the Left was happy to import poor people to teach us a cultural lesson, and the Right agreed because it helped businesses with their bottom line - continuing to externalise present and future costs of the operation to the State's account.

It'll go on, until it can't. Look up the Martingale system of betting. Meanwhile, enjoy the complimentary drinks.


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