Investing in a Bare Market

As Sarah Palin would say, all you critics of the ongoing confused efforts to rescue the economy are such HATERS!!! Forgetting the probability that there is great justification for that, we still need to look on the bright side. We have to. Contemplating the dark side of our future is too scary, like trying to understand what it's like after we've been sucked into a black hole.

So let's all be perky Pollyannas and consider the positives out there. Like some promising investment possibilities, for those whose money hasn't been entirely squandered by the people who are still running things.

• An absolute must in your portfolio is any company that manufactures shovels. What with the emphasis on all the "shovel-ready" projects supposedly in this stimulus legislation, we need to be ready with the shovels. And if the government is buying them, you know that they are going to cost way more than they would at the hardware store. Profits will be sky high.

For those who might have a more skeptical view of this process, we'll also need shovels to get rid of that normal byproduct of politics.

• Find out who owns the rights to the "Keystone Cops" and get some of that action. It's probably the best film for anyone who wants to understand the level of coordination as our leaders deal with the financial crisis.

"Network" is another one. That's the 1976 movie featuring people standing on their balconies screaming, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!” It was ahead of its time. As a parody of TV news it would also be prescient, had it not fallen so far short of predicting the absurdity we witness today in hi-def.

• Headhunting is certainly a growth industry these days. Searching for new white-collar jobs is keeping these specialized firms busy and prosperous. They have a constant flow of mid- and upper managers, the token executives who were let go to justify a company's layoff of thousands of union and non-union workers — the ones who actually do something ... or did.

Surely lurking in their clientele are potential appointments to President Obama's Cabinet. A headhunting company could certainly have a better track record than the administration thus far. Look for one that keeps some tax accountants on its staff.

• Cone of Silence Inc. is definitely a lucrative investment. If no such company exists, someone should invent one to sell devices that allow bankers and all the others in the world of finance to continue keeping their activities totally secret. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his fellow finance ministers around the world will enthusiastically provide subsidies to make sure everyone else in their club avoids any scrutiny.

An excellent subsidiary will be the one that creates strategies for top executives who are hell-bent on getting around the compensation limitations.

Similarly, The Hackers Group is a loosely organized federation of enterprises that will prove invaluable to all of us who would like to expose where and how all our money disappears.

• At all costs, avoid financial involvement with anyone who knowingly ignores obvious warnings and unleashes toxic products on an unwitting public. That would include not only the Peanut Corp. of America, but most of our major banks and brokerages.

• Conversely, a corporation that make torches and pitchforks is probably a best buy. When millions march in disgust, they are going to need protest symbols. Surely there's been a merger somewhere between manufacturers of both products, or at the very least, a farm-implement company run by pyromaniac. Look for one that also can fill the need for all those shovels we discussed earlier.

• Last, consider what would have the appearance of obsolete advice: Invest in stocks. This, however, is a different kind of stocks. Look for a huge demand for stocks and pillories — the kind that can be used to punish all those from the financial world who got us into this mess.

Instead of the town square, they can be placed on Wall Street, convenient for rounding up so many of those who should be locked in them, so all their many haters can exact a small amount of payback for their squandered futures.


Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.

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