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Gutless financial dweebs :-)

Greed can really wreck your life. :-)

Especially if you live your whole life in your wallet….

(BTW, dweeb = “slang: an unattractive, insignificant, or inept person”)

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) fell 348 points today (after a slight recovery from a 391-point drop earlier in the day). Investors were AFRAID that the U.S. House of Representatives would not pass the $700 billion (USD) “bank rescue” plan (AKA, the “Bozo Bailout Bill,” my phrase). Earlier, investors were AFRAID that the Senate would not pass the bill.

Tomorrow, if the bill does not pass, investors will be AFRAID of a coming depression. If the bill DOES pass, investors will be AFRAID that it won’t work.

(Note added October 3, 2008: Well, that was easy. The Dow Jones industrial average ended up over 157 points lower today AFTER the bailout bill was passed. I did not really need to be a financial guru to predict this result (Good thing! I’m not! :-) ), just a student of human behavior. Fear is an interesting thing. The Dow had the worst weekly performance since the 9/11 attack in 2001, and, to my knowledge, nobody of interest to the financial community died this week.)

In some ways, I am glad that my father is no longer alive to see this behavior. His generation survived the Great Depression. His generation defeated the Nazis and Fascists in World War II, some of the greatest threats to freedom and individual liberties in modern history. I am certain that he would marvel at the cowardice of my fellow “Baby Boomers” and the “Gen Xers” engaged in the current “Chicken Little” impersonations. I wonder what the outcome of World War II would have been with today’s cast of players.

(Note added October 3, 2008: Of course, there were American and British bankers who collaborated with the Nazis at the time, according to the film, ” The Corporation,” and also to these Technorati references (1, 2). Who knows? Some of today’s financial folks may have “fit right in.”)

I have worked for enough folks who have an internal “insecurity blanket” wrapped around their inner core of fear to understand the behavior. Not that I condone it, but I understand it.

On the other hand, some of my managers were very “reality-based.” As one of my former directors, who was a Green Beret with three tours of Vietnam, sometimes said, in response to someone’s overreaction, “Nobody has died here.”

I realize that we taxpayers REALLY DO need to bail out the incompetent business people whose repeated wrong decisions and bad judgment (and face it, just GREED) have driven the United States to this point. We need to do it in a way that is effective and that will save a lot of taxpayers from personal ruin. We have empowered members of government to resolve such problems. Now, we will hold them accountable.

Meanwhile, out in the “real world” (you know, the objective reality that exists outside of our intellectual, financial, and business constructs), there ARE people and other species dying. The seemingly daily dose of suicide bombing, searches for 300 folks still missing in Hurricane Ike’s aftermath, the accelerated deforestation of the greatest repository of genetic diversity on the planet, the Amazon forest, and other significant processes (Global Warming comes to mind) are all proceeding merrily along. The rate of Amazon destruction in August was 228% greater than a year ago. Some 756 square kilometers (292 square miles) of Amazon were destroyed in August 2008. If you don’t understand the importance of genetic diversity, please learn a bit about it. It is that important. (Note added October 7, 2008: Hint, genetic diversity is the “reason” that sex exists! NOW you understand the importance…. :-) )

I look at folks whose focus is “short-term gain” and their own “net worth” (very little, actually! :-) ), and ask them how they manage to face their kids, who will have to resolve the important, long-term problems ahead.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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