George Graham

This, Too, Shall Pass


If you have stocks or invest in a pension fund, you’re probably worrying about the precipitous decline in the DOW. But don’t panic. We’ve been there before and we’ll be there again. What goes up must come down, and what comes down usually goes up again.

You might have known this crash was coming. Stock prices were inflated. And much of the “wealth” they represented was just hot air.

What is Google really worth, if anything? Facebook? Netflix?

There’s a lot of sizzle there, but where’s the beef?

I suspect there’s more to the market’s fluctuation than that, though. Forgive me if I sound like one of those wild-eyed conspiracy theorists, but I believe there’s some skullduggery afoot.

Most of the securities belong to a handful of people – something like 5 percent of the US population. More than half of the country don’t own any stocks or bonds at all.

What about those pension plans? Doesn’t everyone have a 401 (k) or something like that?

Sorry. Only 10 percent of Americans have pensions. And their investment is in mutual funds, which aren’t the ones moving the market. It’s the big hedge funds, with their massive trading volume, that are triggering the volatility.

With that kind of concentration in so few hands, I wonder if sinister forces are at work.

I’m sure the big investors include some bad actors. And they make money when the market fluctuates, not when it rolls along at a steady pace.

You know what the experts say, buy low and sell high. And the lower the market, the bigger the bargains. So if you own a huge portfolio, why not sell a chunk of stock to push prices down? One or two traders wouldn’t have the clout to do that, but what if there was a conspiracy involving a bunch of the big guys?

Of course, they wouldn’t make any money if the market didn’t go up again, so you can bet they’ll be working the levers soon to make that happen.

You probably think I’m crazy. After all, what do I know? If I were so smart, wouldn’t I be rich?

But I’ve lived a long time and I’ve seen the DOW fall too many times to remember. And, this I can tell you,  the market always comes back up.

So if you own a few shares of Wal-Mart or GE, don’t let them scare you out of the market. Hang on, Sloopy, hang on.

How the DOW is doing

How the market is manipulated

A case in point

Listen to Sloopy

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for