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Take THAT, bears!

2009年11月02日


    By Stanley Bing

    For more than a year — almost two, if you count the gloomy prognostications of my friend Fred, which began in August of 2007 — we’ve had to listen to people telling us that the world was ending. For a while, it sure looked like it was. “You think THIS is bad,” they would say, “just wait until the Barfinger number explodes on the downside of the augmented credit facility situation!” At which point, you know, we would be treated to a horrific scenario in which nobody in the world would have a home anymore, or could get a loan ever again, or go to an office that was not in receivership.

    A fair amount of this “wisdom” was promulgated by people who profit on the downfall of others. They were doing well, because they had bet on the collapse of all the hopes and dreams the others had worked for, and were excited that things might get even worse, making them even richer.

    Other fustian was provided by the enormous cadre of Glass Half Emptys that populate our financial and corporate cosmos. They’re the guys with the lean and hungry look you see at budget time, and they’re simply constitutionally and emotionally wired to see the worst, always, to anticipate it and sort of enjoy it, in their own way, when it comes. When times are good, they still see the grim reaper lurking around every corner. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. So their innate pessimism is validated every now and then, which makes them think it’s a rational, not spiritual posture.

    And then there was the reality, which was bad enough to scare even the most positive among us. Like, when you read that banks — all banks — are no longer safe repositories of money, what’s a little investor to think? When big bald pufferfish are on cable 24/7/365 scaring the bejeesus out of you with their words as well as their faces, who are we to demur? Even when the economy began showing signs of life, as of course anyone who believes in this nation and its businesses knew it would, there were plenty of people who harshed our glow with talk of dead cats bouncing and false sunrises.

    So yeah, we just went through a horrible spasm of End of Worlditis, like Europe did during the plague years, when being a professional bummer was a growth industry. But now, I think, we can tell these harbingers of doom to get lost. In fact, let’s do it right now. I want you to go to the window and lean out and yell as loud as you can: “Get lost, harbingers of doom! Particularly on CNBC!”

    The numbers are there. You read it in the morning papers. Gross Domestic Product expanded in the third quarter by 3.5%. Housing and consumer spending have hit bottom. We have a government prepared to offer creative incentives and stimuli to keep the ball in the air. Other metrics are in line with a generally upbeat weather report. So let’s start remembering what a growing operating environment feels like again, and stop cringing and trembling and whining and moaning and reacting to every rustle in the bushes. Let’s start thinking, not emoting. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

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