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Financial Planning Lessons from Bear Stearns for You

21 March 2008 - Markets - Editor

The editor does not allow too many words. So let us cut to the chase.

  • Credit is about more than the interest rate.
  • Underlying securities can change values.
  • Never trade in a derivative without appraising the primary transaction.
  • Corporate image is just that.
  • Network with people who can bail you out.
  • Invest 24*7, especially on Sunday mornings if you crave fire sales.
  • There is no shame in being unable to meet your commitments.
  • Ask rich uncles and friends to support fire sales with public funds.
  • Show no quarter to a competitor in distress – unless it is Iraqi.
  • The Fed will bat for you if the stadium is full of suckers.

Bernanke has divided the stock market community. About half praise his negotiations to save Bear Stearns on our behalf. Others are never satisfied. They claim that the bank should have been treated like any family facing foreclosure. What is the point of this controversy? Are you McCain to decide whether Bernanke stays or becomes a Wall Street consultant?

Business schools charge fortunes for the case method of study. You read a dramatized version of a real management situation, and debate endlessly on what should be done. Grades depend on how much you talk. The real learning is in remembering cases when actual patients show up in the clinic.

Bernanke and crew have done a public service through the Bear Stearns saga. You are welcome to disagree with any or all of our 10 deductions. Benefit in your stock investing Avatar, no matter to which side of the Fed fence you may belong.

 


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