February 2009

"As on a Darkling Plain."

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If ever we needed a respite from being pummeled by bad news, it is now. Scarcely a day goes by without a headline about an investment firm failing, a newspaper declaring bankruptcy, or a car company down to its last few billion dollars.

The Dow continues to swing unpredictably like the needle of a magnet exposed to lodestone; nearly 40% of its value has evaporated. And the U.S. market rates a winner compared to that of most European and Asian stock markets, some of which have losses in the 80% range. Even the weather seems to be colder, wetter, and darker than usual.