Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Picking Up the Pieces

The cleanup crews are at work on Wall Street, President Bush cancels a fund-raising trip to cheer on his mop-up gang in Washington and, barely within camera range, the presidential candidates and Congress are blathering about who's to blame for the financial storm.

Unlike the hurricane damage in Texas, there is profit lurking somewhere in the Wall Street wreckage and, if the past is any guide, the would-be Warren Buffets should soon be emerging from their storm cellars and bidding for the best bits and pieces.

The stock markets are starting to stabilize as profit potential wrestles with fear for the free-lunch crowd trying to measure when the worst is over and the aftermath has begun. Vultures know by instinct when to swoop in.

As always, most of us will be examining our financial wounds and reaching for band-aids while the greed-is-good gang move in to do what they do best, but they too serve a social function by sopping some of the panic out of the system so we can stop agonizing and start believing that everything is going to be all right.

Bush defended government bailouts today, saying. "These actions are necessary and important, and the markets are adjusting to them." It's hard to argue with that, but maybe the next Administration and Congress will do a better job of reading the storm signals and getting taxpayers to higher ground.

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