Market variations sign of capitalism's pulse

The Dow Jones closed down 234 points, dropping it to the lowest level in four years.

Monday's numbers bounced up and down like a rubber ball, first dropping more than 300 points and then leaping into positive territory only to be dragged back down again.

Anyone who has checked their 401K knows how close Wall Street and Main Street are these days.

Gone are the days when people suggested investing in the stock market as an alternative to social security.

A glance at the stocks of local interest from last year tells the tale.

Sierra Pacific was trading at $16.85 last year. As of Friday, it traded at $6.92. Giant America Online/Time Warner was trading at $43 a share last year. Now it trades at $13.11. AT&T was trading at $20.05 on Aug. 24, 2001. As of Aug. 19, 2002, it closed at $10.45.

Stockholders for Sierra Pacific met on Monday to protest the power company's stock drop.

But there is some good news.

People have short memories.

That is why our nation's present difficulties on Wall Street will evaporate into the mists of time.

The Dow's present slide will continue, until people feel better about investing their money in the market again and all will be right with the world.

Congress will pass some laws that just miss addressing the problem. The laws will sit on the books for several decades until no one remembers what they were there for in the first place.

It is all part of capitalism's heartbeat, the natural tide of finance.

How could we ever properly appreciate the flow of capitalism's benefits if we didn't occasionally have to experience its ebb?


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