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Monday Morning Quarterback: Is the Worst of the 2008 Spook Behind Us?


Despite an 11% rally, October was a brutal month for investors.


While at our Minyanville offsite management meld last week, I made a conscious effort to return home on Friday. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and revelry is rare in our Age of Austerity.

I put black and blue make-up on my face and dripped fake blood from my nose, ear and cheeks. I took an old, tattered suit, shirt and tie and ripped them to shreds before putting them on. Disheveled and dirty, my costume wasn't incredibly creative but it was relatively straightforward-I was the U.S. economy.

My friends and I took the subway downtown in an attempt to circumvent the insane traffic that congested Manhattan. The train was packed with people from all walks of life, from high-end partiers to those heading home from (or to) work.

As the subway lurched forward, someone asked about my costume. "I'm the economy," I offered, "it's been a tough year." They smiled and told the person next to them who, in turn, passed the information along. In a few short minutes, the entire car was laughing as we approached into the next station.

It was nice to see the shift in social mood, if only for a day.

"Recession stop, Recession!" I yelled, taking the opportunity to work the crowd. "Next stop, Depression. All aboard for the Depression!"

A woman got up and offered me her seat. "We need you to rest up and rebound," she said with just a trace of humor.

"How long will you be in this condition?" asked a middle aged, well-dressed man with glasses.

An older gentleman (laid off from his job last week) pat me on the back and said "My brother, get well soon-we all need you!"

The collective reaction resonated for a few reasons. First, the socioeconomic malaise has spread throughout the societal spectrum as everyone on that train could identify with the economic condition.

Second, hope springs eternal that this too shall pass although my haunting sense is that by the time we arrive at the end of this cycle, my costume won't seem at all funny.

Finally, despite the sorry state of the union, the soul and spirit was nothing short of impressive. We've been through worse and it wouldn't be wise to underestimate the resolve of the citizens of New York City .

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