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How the American Dream Is Turning Into the American Nightmare.
Michael Levy

They say life is but a dream, however, the American dream is fast turning into the American nightmare. With more than eighty-five million people invested in the stock market today, people are beginning to crack under the constant bombardment of negative news.
In many cases a lifetimes work and struggle, to gain financial freedom, has disappeared over the past year.
The financial health of the stock market can be related to the physical health of each person invested in it. This pertains to more people running to the doctor for medication, because of their sick portfolios.
A whole concoction of negative sentiment is being sensationalized by a media who continues to hype every story into a major catastrophe. The media hype of negative news feeds upon itself and is a mirror image of March 2000, when the media projected a new paradigm where Dow 20,000 was viewed on the distant horizon. A collapse in the markets was unthinkable at that time and anyone who questioned the wisdom of Dow 12,000 was called a fool and dismissed from sight.

We now have a situation where hedge funds are using all kinds of derivatives to leverage their positions. When the media machine strikes up its band of tittle-tattle, fed by rumors or half-truths, the hedge funds jump in feed from the flesh of innocent investors.
Many of these investors are still holding on to their stocks because they have been told they are, "Long Term Investors." Many of these folks have retired and most of their savings are being evaporated away by the fear mongers with no heart and a ruthless desire to make money at all costs. A true modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.......... Sod the investor, who will be gone tomorrah.

Many stocks have been mercilessly beaten into the ground. Many of these companies are still viable businesses that have good sound prospects for future growth. As an intravenous drip of unfavorable sentiment is being injected into newsrooms throughout the media, valuations are being eroded away from the realms of exorbitant pessimism.

It does not seem to matter if the rumors are true or false, for the most urgent thing is to be the first with the "scoop." When the scoop turns out to be poop, it is quickly brushed aside and a new sensationalized story is hunted down. The rumor mill is turning and the investors stomach is churning. 400 points down one day......500points up three days later. An asylum with MEDIA stamped on the front door and the in-mates are being cruelly punished by reporters and editors insane reporting.

Just how did we become so entrenched in negative sentiment and how do we regain our positive focus.
It is true there are a handful of corporations who have indulged in illegal and unethical practices. In fact they did not practices them, they perfected the villainy and corruption. On top of this we have the fear of a possible terrorist attack, plus the weakening value of dollar, which adds oil to the flames of negativity. So there are some "real" concerns. However the way the facts are reported demands an adjustment, so that the markets can find their own level without all the hysteria and hype. There are many positive stand-outs in the recently released, economic statistics. Considerable more companies are forecasting positive earnings, than those forecasting poor earnings, but the hearsay's and tittle-tattle hold court over truths.

In just one instance the media machine reported a news flash that was months old and it was re-released as new news on a leading bank stock on Thursday 24 July. The market went from 60 points up, to 240 points down before the truth was found. It then recovered to finish flat on the day and many people finished flat on their backs. Who said... Oh what a tangled web we weave once we set out to deceive? The media is now causing more damage that any terrorists can inflict.

In the fullness of time, when all the pessimism has dissipated, we will return to an age reminiscent of the mythological Phoenix, who was a bird of glorious plumage. It inhabited the Arabian Desert for a span of around six hundred years. This is a far longer period than any bull market history. It must have been feeling very depressed by all the negativity on which it was feeding, for it burnt itself into ashes on a funeral pile of aromatic twigs, which were ignited by the sun and fanned by its own wings. It can be likened to the gloomy news on which the media focuses on, then fans its own flames of bleak and dismal reporting until stocks lie smoldering in their own ashes.

Miraculously the Phoenix materialized itself from its own ashes, with revitalized vigor and vitality. It continued to prosper over another cycle of existence. The character of the phoenix can become the emblem for a resurrection of a stock market, whose principles and accuracies need to be supplied by company earnings and morality of actions. This in turn will inject potency and power to propel the markets higher.

Just as water finds its own level, so should the markets be left to find their true level of valuation. Distortions and deceits within the media need to be replaced with authentic reporting that tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them God.

Once the stock market regains the confidence of the public by removing the mask of greed and fear, we can all go back to living the American dream. That may not be for many years, so in-between times we need to find the fortitude and resolve to take us through turbulent times. There can be no substitute for living a truthful life. To be able to live the truth necessitates discerning who we really are. If we only have our own minds knowledge to guide us, we may have hired the wrong accountant to cook our books. A valid recipe for disaster.
© Michael Levy 2002

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