I'm not often in agreement with Alan Greenspan, but one thing he said today made perfect sense: Look at history.
All right, he didn't say so in so many words, but he said in many more what we all should know. His message? Calm down! Markets go up and go down. Economies do well, then not so well. But as he pointed out, we have been there, we have done that, and we're doing it again.
Sometimes, we get so hot and bothered about a hot day in the markets, or a hot week, or month, or year, or years… and think, "It's different this time."
My theory is… different crisis, same theme. The markets survived much in the past. They will survive much again in the future. Think back to the banking scandals of the 1920s, the portfolio insurance of the 1980s, the heady excesses of the 1990s.
It isn't easy going through stuff like this, but it doesn't mean we can't overcome it. I've said it before, I'll say it again: we are stronger than the sum of our fears.
Leave it to a usually dour, often unemotional fed chairman to remind us that we're better than we think we are, and much more than the markets might say we are.
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