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Brother can you spare another $2.3 Trillion?

By Tim Cerantola

IN the beginning, there were no banks. Then man said, “Let there be the three piece suit.”

And man saw that this was good (especially Armani). Then man said, “Let there be the brief case, the two martini lunch and the bank charge.”

And when man saw what he had created, he believed that this too was good - although he decided to raise the bank charges just a bit more.

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Man then asked himself, “What else can I do to complicate my life?”

And so, man invented the stock market. And before you could say ‘my broker is a complete incompetent idiot,’ the value of Dow Jones Industrials became mired in a bull market; bank profits dropped and the rest of us were in debt up to our pie holes. And if you don’t believe me, just ask God. He was there and He’ll confirm everything.

True. Prior to the invention of money and the stock market, mankind had a wonderfully efficient system called the barter system; e.g. you give me a bear fur and I’ll give you a couple brontosaurus steaks. I’ll tell you the secret of fire; you give me one of your wheel inventions. You give me that bag of ‘Cheesits,’ I won’t bash your skull in with this rock.

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You know, we traded stuff.

Of course, trading is still done today. Only now, it’s done on worthless paper at the stock exchange. But as any child of three with a diverse stock portfolio (and a large rock) can plainly see, today’s stock market still parallels the old barter system in many ways - although actual living breathing livestock (other than the stock brokers) are no longer present on the trading floor.

Now, I think I prefer the simplicity of the old system. Though, as many of you have probably noticed, these days Home Depot or Sears will not accept a goat as payment - although the going rate for a four slice toaster among Mongolian yak herders is still two sheep, a bottle of moonshine, a deck of cards and a jar of peanut butter (which in Mongolia is the makings of one heck of a party).

Many people find the stock market a very confusing place. And so, in an effort to clarify your and my confusion, I asked world-renowned investment counselor, Mr. Diddley P. Squat for some market tips to pass along to you. You know what they say in the market circles: if you don’t know Diddley, you don’t know Squat!

The first thing anyone must learn when it comes to understanding the stock market is the difference between the two market terms “bearish” and “bullshi… er bullish.”

When the stock market is “bearish” it is a very depressing time and you will often hear people say, “jump you bastards, jump.” It is a sad time and often, wealthy people can be seen weeping openly in their Mercedes limos and sedans.

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However, when the stock market is “bullish” it is a very happy time (of lies and deceit) among wealthy people - who will still insist that business is bad.

As for market volatility, the best that I can figure is that the stock market seems to decline because someone starts a rumor that the market is about to decline - and so it declines. And then, (usually the next working day) someone else will start a rumor that the market is about to go through the roof, and it does.

Of course in these days of bailouts and wealthcare, if the market doesn’t rebound, political leaders want their governments to inject billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars into the system, because no one wants to see rich people lose their money.

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Tim Cerantola's humour and political satire has been published in over 25 magazines and newspapers. When he is not pretending to be a writer, he works at a real job working with autistic and special needs children.

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