Unprecedented Times

These are unprecedented times, at least for my lifetime. From where I sit at work, I can hear the hedge fund guys speak with our clients/investors and with other hedge funds. Things are bad across the board out there. Sure, the DJIA falls quite a bit each day, but there are so many other gauges of how we’re doing than that, and all of them are scary. I don’t pretend to understand everything going on in the markets, but I know enough to know that there could be a lot more pain to come. If the credit default swap market comes undone, watch out. It will make the drops of the last few weeks look small in comparison. The scary thing is that I personally know people whose jobs are on the line. They fully expect to be laid off each Friday and rejoice if they’re spared another week. The sad thing is that they have no idea where else they would look for work. It’s not like other banks, funds or financial services companies are hiring. The way things are going, further consolidation will be coming, probably leading to even more job cuts. Bonuses will be smaller, if at all, additionally hurting the consumer spending and real estate markets. In my lifetime I have not seen anything like this. Yes I was around in 1987, 1998 and 2002, but maybe I just notice or care about business and finance more than I did before. But the reality is that we are in unprecedented times and no one knows what is around the corner.

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