OK, so US stocks had their biggest one-day gains in more than five years. Go ahead and celebrate it, for reality will soon return to haunt you. The higher stock index didn't ease the downward pressure on the dollar, and, as Patrick Hosking of The London Times warns, "The crisis is far from over. There will be more financial casualties. There is still a great chill coming to Wall Street and Main Street."
There are those who see this coming. Drew Hasselback of Canada's Financial Post notes that the Wall Street Journal published an open letter from Dallas billionaire Andy Beal to Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke begging him not to "put garbage in the Federal Reserve."
Now I don't know about you, but if he's really a billionaire, then by the popular definition he's smarter than all of my regular commentators combined. One would then think that he would be someone to listen to.
But if a banker, poker player, rocket booster entrepreneur, and amateur mathematician doesn't inspire you to pay attention, maybe the experience of another billionaire - UK tycoon Joe Lewis - might teach you something. He lost an estimated $800 million in the collapse of the American investment bank Bear Stearns.
Buddy, can you spare him a dime?
You might also dig deep and pull up something besides pocket lint for those poor senior executives of Bear Sterns who will not receive their bonuses. In addition, the Chairman and CEO of Switzerland's UBS - who are taking the blame for the poor performance of their institution - will only be paid their base salaries.
That applause you hear in the background isn't the closing of an episode of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, but is instead emanating from working stiff Ryan McGreal of Hamilton, Ontario. Ryan, the editor of Raise the Hammer, who observes that the truth about executive compensation is now out in the open. "So much for executive bonuses being tied to company performance," he exclaims.