The Seduction of a Bear Market

Bill Tatro
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Posted: Sep 29, 2011 12:01 AM

Hallelujah, it’s over. 

We can emerge from the storm cellars and lead a decent life again. 

Housing prices have stopped falling and housing sales are starting to escalate. 

Pretty soon, you’ll be able to place a “for sale” sign on your front lawn, and have twenty buyers waiting to be given a tour of your home. 

Unemployment will reverse dramatically and nobody will have to worry about losing a job ever again.  All those college students living at home can now throw away those Starbucks aprons and get on with their careers in Philosophy, Art History, or Medieval Studies. 

All the worries about Europe imploding or Greece defaulting have been put aside as the German people agree to support the retiring Greeks, Italians, Portuguese, Spanish, and Irish. 

Rumor has it that Tim Geithner will follow in the footsteps of Ben Bernanke, and be named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year for his deft and skillful handling of the European crisis while he recently visited in Poland. 

Finally, the most recent accord reached by Republican and Democratic legislators on the “keeping the government operating” issue will prove to be the first in a long line of bipartisan kumbaya moments. 

Hallelujah, it’s really over! 

How do I know, you ask?  It’s very simple. 

The stock market is going up. 

For the past few days, big quantum leaps have been made, obviously signaling that all is well. 

Why would the stock market go up if things hadn’t turned around? 

I know you’ll throw some confusing ideas at me, like short-squeeze, extra bearishness, or oversold. 

However, I’d like to believe the actions of the President backed up by former President Jimmy Carter’s philosophy “can’t we all just all get along,” (or was that President Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks!) has finally taken hold. 

I’d also like to believe that things have changed fundamentally and we can emerge from the long day’s journey into night. 

Yes, I’d like to believe it, but I can’t. 

Ben Bernanke tried to convince us if the stock market went up, all is well. 

The past two days have seen a quick uptake, so what else am I to believe? 

Unfortunately, others will believe it also, and wade back into the financial markets believing all of the above was actually true. 

Bear markets have a way of seducing people, and that seduction is happening right now.

It’s not hallelujah, it’s not over, and all will not be well, as much as I’d like to believe it, markets going up, or not.


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