Hard times are interesting.  A market that loses steam and carries apathy often follows periods of excess where even the totally gluttonous begin to gag.   Who cares if the thing tanks, the run was so long that it got boring.  Speculative timing expertise turns out to be just due to overdoses of adrenalin in the winners.  It’s time then for many to pursue less commercial pursuits.  And you can see the next gang of youth steaming through college as they get ready to knock off yesterday’s kings while they are in their thirties.
Reflections like these must mean that the industrials got whacked, housing just gets less affordable daily while the consumer is overwhelmed by energy, healthcare, education and food, sub-prime, alt-a and now conforming loans are junk and the debt market fails sticking the banks with a portfolio of loans financing the gargantuan deals that can’t be unloaded in the secondary market.  The whole mess has been approaching so long that its arrival is a yawner.  When you know you’re cooked from way out and the day of reckoning finally arrives, a reasonable man just turns the other cheek until it’s played out sometime hence.  Pretenses must be upheld so history can write about the long struggle and the hard fight before the end, but you knew that bet you made in the interest of excess profits long into the bull market was a bear the moment it closed.  Once you closed that final excessive bet, it was over for you, you were done. 
That’s the way we do things in America.  We make a big pile smaller at the end of the market just like we made a small pile bigger when we entered just before or after the bottom.  But those of us who are charged with building an organization to operate or build assets purchased at scratch can never stop the creep that puts the organization into ever larger investments as the terminus nears.  Inevitably all the assets go back into distress at the top and the cycle starts all over again led by those who are not experienced in the history of past cycles.  Granted there are winners who retreated along the way, but the advertised heroes are the ones who stay in power until the bitter end.
So tough day today, huh?         

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