You talk about "stocks tanking so badly." I wish I had a copy of this chart I saw the other day, which showed the price-to-earnings ratio of all 4500+ stocks on NASDAQ from 1986 to mid-February 2000. Christ, it would make your hair stand on end to see that graph. From 1986 through about 1992 or so, the bumpy line was centered on about 25 or so. Then it started to slowly creep upward. But three years ago it became detached from reality like a hot air balloon that has slipped its guys, and began shooting moon-ward, to where it had reached over 220 by this year.
The internet-stock bubble can't stay inflated forever, and guys whose "fortunes" mainly consist of stock options in this-n-that.com may have seen their paper fortunes come to resemble cigarette papers, but there were all those high salaries to be got, and there were suppliers - advertising agencies, SF real estate businesses, vendors of computer hardware, UPS and FedEx - who already got paid in full, and don't forget the stockbrokers! If the stock market is a gambling hell, then they are the house, guaranteed to win in every single transaction.
There was no way that the U.S. savings and loans of the 1980s could make a profit, as a whole, either. But there were splendid opportunities for certain clever individuals to extract a really large haul and run for overseas, and also there were a lot more considerably easier and less arrest-worthy jobs with big fat salaries and lots of luxurious perks, at least until the bubble burst. Similarly I believe that today's NASDAQ tulipmania was the result of a deliberate con-job by the brokers and big operators to shake loose a bunch of money from Joe Lunchpail's 401K - note how the timing coincided perfectly with that wholly fictional "crisis" is Social Security publicists like the Wall Street Journal made such a fuss over, as though those f*ckers actually give a damn about anytrhing that is projected to happen thirty years in the future - and to completely clean out all those dumb wannabes foolish enough to day-trade.
Pretty soon now everybody who was selling at a loss, including amazon.com, will either jack their prices so they at least break even, or else they will be out of business. By "pretty soon," they way things are going right now, I could mean next Monday afternoon, by the way. At least those internet marketers have their state sales tax scam still in place, right? Again, for a while, anyway.
Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net
...waiting for my email back, so I can post as "anonymous cowerd" rather than "Anonymous Hero"...
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