YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

'Outta the Market, Man' Until Greed's Under Control

November 12, 1989

I'm outta here, man!

In reporting the aftermath of the stock market debacle of Oct. 13, The Times ran a picture with the caption, "Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange huddle around a computer to monitor rapidly changing prices as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 200 points."

Traders play a key role in maintaining market fragility, but here they were helpless. The market was in the control of computers, and human management and intelligence was on the sidelines--watching.

I am in the crowd of small investors just regaining confidence in the market. I was on the verge of new light after two years of painful agony resulting from the 1987 crash.

Early on Monday, in advance of the market's opening, I heard a broker say the stock market is the place to finance America's businesses, not the place for opportunists. Ha! Another broker said the stock market is a casino, and there are winners and losers. But fear not, he picks winners. Following lunch on Monday, with the market up to stay, another broker said the media had bagged everyone over the weekend. But she was mostly bearish and said the market was heading south for sure. She admitted that she was wrong in the past, but her advice was to be "outta the market."

That laughable set of commentaries reminded me of my computer as it signs off. It says, "I'm outta here, man." I'm going to take its advice. I'm "outta the market" until the greedy element, amply portrayed in the movie "Wall Street" is purged. I'm waiting until my computer says, "back in again, man." Does anyone believe that can happen--after twice stung!!


Thousand Oaks

Los Angeles Times Articles