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I have been watching the unravelling of the Bear Stearns common stock and the possible death of their business. I have to admit that I am not crying for them or their investors. It seems to me that they are caught in their own derivatives trap. Their common stock is down more than 75%, and looks to go down even more.

 This is a huge blow to 401K-s, mutual funds, pension funds, and a whole bunch of speculators that bet on their soundness.  -The loss is largely written in at this moment, because of their previous losses, but the latest problems cause all of the financials to suffer. -This causes funds that hold a proportionate amount of financials (which is most of them), to get hammered.

The new accounting that went on around structured investment vehicles amounted to fraud and the losses are magnified for the small investors and companies: The individual investor jumps out of the market and takes significant losses, and the large investors creep into the market as the bottom seems near. They then watch as it recovers and they slowly sell into the rise in valuation, taking more money from the timid and nervous. -Small businesses go under for lack of capital or are bought off of the bargain rack. They then are repackaged or stripped of value and then sold or allowed to fail.

Every time we think that we have seen the last Enron, somebody comes up with a new twist. The current problems may be squarely lain at the feet of the blind and greedy, and those who pander to them.  I am so very angry to see us in this shape and to realize that these people have already stolen our money and we aren't likely to ever know their names.

We don't have a bad economy. We just got robbed.

 There really ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I have never had one that didn't cost me twice what it was worth. So, keep your eyes open and you can make money.

-Or, hide under a rock, lose money, and be a victim.

I think I will stay at the plate and keep on taking my cuts.

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