Common Sense

Cut and Run Investors

Imagine for a moment if our soldiers acted like our investors.

If, at the first sign of trouble, they bolted. If under fire, they ran. If, when everything was hitting the fan, they hit the road.

I sometimes wonder what these men and women who risk so much would think of hotshot investors who get paid so much. Hotshots who run, when heroes stay. Hotshots who get out of Dodge, when the heroes stay to protect Dodge.

I know that Wall Street is about making money. But it's also about making a statement. And for many, it's a sorry statement: when things get rough, they get out.

Imagine — just imagine — if our soldiers behaved that way. If under the heat of fire, they just up and left the fire?

Then, I suspect, we wouldn't have to worry about a Wall Street. There'd be none — or capitalism or maybe even America itself.

Look, I know people have to make money, but I know a lot of people have to look in the mirror too. There are good companies and there are bad companies. But I wonder sometimes when we throw out the good "with" the bad companies for the sake of a buck, and keeping it, forsaking patience and losing it.

I wonder what that says about us and what that makes terrorists think about us.

That we can be rattled, I suspect. And, for the beauty of a buck, happily lose a backbone.

Backbones aren't stocks, after all. I think it's a good thing. If they were, not a one of us could afford a single U.S. soldier.

On Wall Street, I suspect, not a one would even try.

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