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There have been a lot of notes on this board and elsewhere promoting a grassroots movement to "not sell" - "buy one share" - "just buy" with a patriotic motive and a goal of trying to prop the market on Monday. This effort could benefit from some critical thinking and debate. I'll open with my view on two questions: Should it be done? Could it be done?

Should?
Bin Laden is a master of using our strengths to his advantage. We trained and armed his guerrillas during the Soviet occupation. We provided the training for his suicide pilots. Our passenger planes become his weapons. Our love of personal freedom and mobility is his passport for placing agents in our country. Our love of privacy and free-speech gives him the tools to encrypt and undetectably communicate with his minions. So, would he use our free and open markets to enrich himself with a horrifying and unprecedented market manipulation? Of course. It is exactly how he thinks. There can be no doubt that significant puts and shorts are in place to enrich Bin Laden, his supporters, and his allies. If the market falls dramatically, he will have new resources to fund future terror. So, if we could really counter-manipulate the market to move against his grotesque manipulation - should we? Easy. Yes.

Could?
The case for: We know that emotion can move a market. The usual suspects are Fear and Greed. When either dominate, the market achieves levels that cannot be explained by any rational analysis of underlying value. Most of us participated in the recent greed cycle creating preposterous valuations for many companies. So, is it possible? Could fervent emotional patriotism really move a market independent of the underlying valuation? On a hypothetical basis, you have to conclude: Yes - it is possible.

The problems:
1) This is a global market, not an American market. Does the necessary fervent patriotism extend beyond out borders? Doubtful.

2) There are competing strong emotions - Patriotism and Fear. Fear has a track record. Fear has KO'ed many markets while Patriotism is a green untested rookie. Patriotism is frontal lobe while Fear is reptilian. Fear is the odds-on favorite in this bout. [NOTE: This is only in the context of market movement - Patriotism has always overcome fear in the context of the US successfully prosecuting a war.]

3) Can we trust the motivation of the promoters of this movement? I am sure most who post these messages are sincere. I suspect some are not. I appear to be getting the same number of spam e-mails promoting "just buy" as I got last week pumping penny stock scams.

Conclusion:
I'd like to believe it, but I think we will have to rely on other weapons in this battle. I fear that good-hearted and well-intentioned people will get hurt and disillusioned by tilting at this particular windmill. Do what is right for your financial situation and your family. If you feel compelled to participate in this "just buy" effort, do so with money you will not need for a while. Good luck.
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