The Great Depression Online

Great Depression Online Archive Issue:

The Gentleman Swindler

Great Depression Online
Long Beach, CA
June 18, 2010

Inside This Issue You Will Discover…

*** The Worst is Yet to Come
*** There’s A Lot to Enjoy
*** The Gentleman Swindler
*** And More

The Worst is Yet to Come

What gives with the stock market?

It has been trading sideways all year.  What’s more, it has been trading sideways for the last 10-years.  If you hadn’t noticed, on June 16, 2000, the DOW closed at 10,449…and on Wednesday, 10-years later, the DOW closed at 10,409 – just 40 points off, if you can believe it.

Analyst David Rosenberg says the DOW could fall to 5,000.  CNBC’s Jim Cramer called Tuesday’s stock market a “bad rally.”

Here at the GDO, if the stock market’s going to crash, we’d rather it just get on with it.  We’d prefer to get the crash over and done with so we can buy an index fund and watch it go up 10-percent year after year.

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But it’s not that easy.  For it’s a bear market.  And bear markets take time.  They grind on for 15 or 20 years – sometimes longer – until everyone thinks it will never end.  Alas, we’re just 10-years into it.  Chances are the worst is yet to come.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the world around us…

There’s A Lot to Enjoy

Summers here.  The days are long, the circus just came to town, and the corner stands are stocked with plump juicy strawberries.  What’s more, the Lakers just repeated as NBA Champs – against the Celtics to boot – and the locals somehow kept themselves from burning the city down.  On top of that, Mexico beat up on France at the World Cup.

There’s a lot to enjoy out there, not doubt.  Don’t forget, it’s a mid-term election season.  And for the first time in years Senator Barbara Boxer has a formidable opponent.  Barbara Boxer, if you didn’t know, is a total moron.  But not only is she a total moron, she’s a complete idiot too.

But what she lacks in brains she makes up with bark.  And what she lacks in physical height, standing at almost five feet, she makes up with bite.  If she were a dog she would be a Chihuahua – a yapping ankle biter with a big heart.

Yet it is this combination of bark and bite with a big heart that has carried her to many re-election victories.  Pounding her fist and stomping her feet she can channel sentiment better than most others.  Putting her big heart behind big ideas Senator Boxer can stir the passions of the electorate up to a frothing throng – zealous to do her will.

Her opponent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, kicked off the carnival, following her primary election victory, by making fun of Boxer’s hair cut.

See what we mean?  This should be good for some great laughs.

Plus, it’s good to know someone in Washington’s looking out for the tax payer…

The Gentleman Swindler

Ben Bernanke’s a swindler of the better sort, perhaps, for he goes about his business in a gentlemanly way.  But nonetheless he’s a true swindler.  When Lehman Brothers vanished from the face of the earth and the stock market crashed in late 2008, he put into practice ideas, that just the thought of, would have made Alan Greenspan blush…

He doubled the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in a year and a half…accomplishing what it took numerous other Fed Chairman and 95 years to achieve.  He rinsed toxic asset backed securities from the balance sheets of the big banks and reliquefied the credit markets with the phony money of quantitative easing.  Yet, through it all, he went about his business with the unimpassioned composure of professional heister.

“In a speech on regulatory reform,” reported, “Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that regulators should have a broader perspective of the financial system, and ensure that tax payers are sheltered from risky behavior on Wall Street.”

Here Bernanke’s trying to divert attention away from those who deserve it the most…namely himself and his cohorts.

Wall Street may be full of scoundrels and scallywags, but it’s the risky behavior of Washington that tax payers must be sheltered from.  For Wall Street can bankrupt shareholders, but only big government – with a big central bank – can boom and bust an entire economy.

Don’t believe us?  Just watch as they do it again and again – even if it kills us.


M.N. Gordon
Great Depression Online

P.S.  Generally, widespread brutalities and wars do not follow the first phase of a bear market.  Extreme violence, when it does occur, often follows the worst part of the market’s downturn -- like the end of the Great Depression, a negative social mood period that ultimately ushered in World War II. 

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