Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wall Street's Recovery Is Unlikely to Make Its Way to Main Street

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wall Street's Recovery Is Unlikely to Make Its Way to Main Street

Article excerpt

Memorial Day is upon us once again. For many it will simply be a day off from work and a time to drag out the barbecue grill. However, as I point out each year at this time, the day should be a somber reminder of those who sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedom.

Unfortunately, the devastating impact of armed conflict has a way of fading from memory. Few are left who can recount the untold horrors of the Holocaust. A younger but graying generation pushes remembrances of the sickening sweet smell of Napalm and burning flesh ever deeper into the recesses of their minds.

Nonetheless, the jarring impact of seeing young soldiers with missing limbs should not only unleash a gushing torrent of emotion, but hopefully will act as a constant reminder of the seemingly never- ending violence that takes place across the globe in the name of peace ... oh and, yes, religion.

You are probably wondering how those comments relate to investing on Wall Street. They do not, except to point out that Memorial Day is an excellent time to once again reflect on the phrase, "Not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."

Meanwhile, Wall Street's supercilious attitude stands as a monument to unvarnished self-indulgence. As such, the recovery that now floats freely within the Temples of Wall Street is unlikely to ever make its way to Main Street.

Consider the recent initial public offering by Facebook. Last week I wrote that Facebook might well evolve into an excellent investment opportunity. However, I also pointed out that trying to compete with the Street's heavy hitters who purchased the shares early and will try to marshal some fast profits at the expense of latecomers, could be an expensive mistake. And therefore you would be better off to wait and let the speculative fever die down before making your move.

And you know what happened, Facebook closed two days after the IPO at $31 or 18 percent below the offering price. Furthermore, many investors were shocked to learn that an analyst at Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter, had cut his Facebook revenue forecasts shortly before the IPO was released -- information that apparently was not made fully public. …

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