Guarded optimism prevailed in the Orange County opinion market Monday, even as the stock market experienced its most devastating decline. Despite the plunging prices, local pundits seemed to share the view that what has come down will one day go up again:
Joel Slutzky, chief executive officer of Odetics, an Anaheim-based robotics firm: "There isn't any precedent to go on, since this fall was the largest that we've ever experienced. Hindsight is always easier than foresight, but I would see some reaction in the next day or two. I think the reaction up will be just as violent as the reaction down. The one thing we do know from history is that these things always get overdone. They have their own correction mechanism. I'm not predicting it's going to get on up to 2,700 again in the near term, but it will have its bounce, its correction. It will probably be as dynamic."
Robert L. Citron, Orange County treasurer-tax collector: "My overall opinion of this situation is the market was overextended. The stock market reacts psychologically. . . . I think because of the reaction in the Japanese and European community tonight . . . we're going to have large pressures tomorrow. I think the market will go down more tomorrow and Wednesday, and then possibly on Thursday, Friday and into next week you'll see the market rally. Then you'll see what I call a saw-tooth action, up and down. When it starts rallying, people start selling to get out, forcing the market down. Then more buyers buy back in and force the market up."
Judy B. Rosener, who teaches business and public policy courses at UC Irvine: "I'm not an expert on business, but I've got a lot of female intuition. I find myself saying, 'Whatever goes down will go up.' I've felt for years that it's a house of cards. I think a lowering of expectations in this society may be a good thing. I think it may be a blessing in disguise. I think it'll hurt in the short run, but it'll help in the long run. . . . All these little yuppies, people who feel making money is the only end, an attitude pervasive in the Reagan administration, have to take a look at what's important in our lives. This may make us do that."
Tom Bogdan, assistant administrator of the Orange County Employees Retirement System, which has $300 million invested in the stock market: "We anticipate the market coming back. I don't know if it will all come back, but I expect at least half of it within a few months. . . . You have to look at it this way: A lot of people try to measure one day's movement in the market. Retirement is a long-term play in the market. We don't take out profits every day. We invest because of fundamentals. We have staying power. We don't have to automatically recognize our losses. . . . The value of those stocks will come back. We feel the fundamentals have not changed."
Milan Panic, chairman and president of Costa Mesa-based ICN Pharmaceuticals: "Market responses on a daily basis are absolutely meaningless. The only way to view the stock market is from a long-term perspective. Whichever way the market goes over the near term, basic economic growth aspects are sound."
John D. Lusk, chairman and chief executive of the Lusk Co., an Irvine-based home-building firm: "I don't own stocks."