Bear market

Leave it to beavers

October 29, 2008: 12:16 PM ET

Everybody hurts. The Hindenburg is imploding. We're up, we're down, we're up, we're down. And nobody knows what's going on. Oh, the humanity!

As the machine creaks to earth spewing hot gas, those who rigged it up to blow continue to do their jobs to help it do so. When things looked good, they honked their horns and smashed their drums and marched down the Street like hopped-up tweakers at a perpetual Mardi Gras. The Dow at 36,000! There's no downside in YOUR COMPANY HERE.

The street musicians, drunks and satyrs have awakened to the smell of a dark and rainy morning. So now they perform as required. The Dow at 5000! There's no upside in YOUR COMPANY/SECTOR/ENTIRE ECONOMY HERE. 

The analysts do their part. They come to work every morning and have to do something between breakfast, lunch and drinks. So they write their reports on every company in their sectors. YOUR COMPANY HERE is down! Revenues are flat! Boy, do they stink! Of course, yes, they're part of the larger market, and the economy is sort of in free fall and the bears are running through the street eating all life forms in their path... but YOUR COMPANY HERE must be singled out. Why? Because it's their job to single out YOUR COMPANY HERE. If they didn't, what would they do all day?

The business reporters fall in line as well. They come to work every morning and have to do something between muffins, burgers and beers. So they cover the analysts who write the reports on YOUR COMPANY HERE, and the graphics guys work up their charts, which all look like a snowboarder's dream, and yes, they put in a paragraph somewhere in there about how YOUR COMPANY HERE is part of the larger market, part of its segment, part of the meltdown of global capitalism, but they wouldn't be doing their jobs unless they took apart YOUR COMPANY HERE when it was time to do so. And don't forget the headline writers. In an atmosphere where it's too depressing to read the stories, this is their time to shine.

Finally there are, of course, the guys who finance the deals. They're taking the bailout money and working working working to count it, stack it, sock it away for an even rainier day. So no credit from them, nohow. No credit, no deals. No deals? What's there to talk about? YOUR COMPANY HERE.

So wherever you go, there you are. Nobody can say we're not all working as hard as little beavers.  At this point, however, maybe we should ask ourselves a question: wouldn't we all be a lot better off if a whole strata of the infrastructure of investment capital simply knocked it off for a couple of months and let the fumes clear? Chewing away at our jobs as usual doesn't seem to be doing anybody any good.

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