Thursday, March 20, 2008


Just when I thought I had learned my lesson from all those painful failed past relationships –here I am again – depressed, despondent, and wondering, for the thousandth time, if this new failure has anything to do with me. I’m experiencing all the normal signs of a relationship on the brink of self-destruction: sleepless nights, lack of appetite, anger, frustration, longing for the past. But there’s no point in commiserating – we all know when it’s over.

The stock market and I had a good run. Years ago, in our honeymoon stage, every day was good; I felt confident and self assured, foolishly tricking myself (as I always do) into thinking that the good times would last, only to learn once again that love is blind.

My mother once told me that relationships aren’t easy. You have to work at them, she said. You need to weather through the good times and bad times. And I listened; I poured more money in; I supported defensive stocks; I diversified. Perhaps I’ve been a love-sick fool. Seven months ago when things started to get sour, I should have cut my losses and sold. But then I got nostalgic, thinking of all the good times, - the days of rallying into the green, when financials were high and commodities were low. So, being the good girlfriend that I am, I buckled down and prepared to weather the storm.

And so begins the proverbial relationship Catch-22. I’ve already committed for this long, I have to assume that things will get better, right? Please note: this break up is not my fault. I’ve always been an honest and faithful partner. I wasn’t tricked into taking out a sub-prime mortgage. I didn’t invest in collateralized debt. And I most certainly have not leveraged myself with complex insurance policies on mortgage debt. I’m just a stocks and bonds girl – I don’t even short sell.

And so subprime lending has destroyed my perfectly stable, healthy relationship. I’ve become the typical ex-girlfriend – waiting restlessly for the closing bell, basing my own mood on the dangerous and unpredictable swings of the market, and praying and pleading for things to get better. We sought help – but even the fed couldn’t offer any realistic solutions to mend our tanking relationship. President Bush offered us $600 but we can’t be bribed into fixing things.

This emotional rollercoaster needs to stop. There comes a point in a relationship where you need to finally admit that the pain is too much to bear. I have a lot to offer and I’m tired of this foul treatment. I’ve never had a zeal for foreigners, but the European Central Bank has asked me over for dinner. And I might just accept the offer.

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