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This is a re-print of a blog posting that appeared in the original Szelhamos Rules blog that ran for precisely 1 year from 2007-8 and was dedicated to the memory of my father, who was a Holocaust survivor. The original title was "Aren't Rumors Great?" and appeared on October 24, 2007. It is reprinted this evening following Jim Cramer's mention of the "7 Deadly Sins" during the broadcast of his 7th Anniversary celebration of Mad Money.
Many more, Jim. Let's make it to at least 14 deadly sins.
I don’t really remember what the seven deadly sins are. I think that rumor mongering is among them, but I’m really not sure. That ugly looking person over there, the one that I saw sneaking out of the crack house told me that it was one of the seven deadlies. But would you really trust someone who strangles kittens? Maybe you might elect them president. You know who I’m talking about, but you wouldn’t want to trust them.
Maybe rumor mongering doesn’t rank up there with gluttony, lust, avarice, Sleepy, Dopey and Doc, but it should.
Today, though, it was a rumor that turned everything around.
Maybe, in hindsight, rumor mongering should be counted among the seven holy virtues. Because, really, is humility that great of a virtue? Couldn’t we just lose humility? There should be some kind of a rotation of both virtues and sins. There just has to be a way to make room for a good rumor.
But I do like rumor mongering. It can easily go both ways. You have to love that kind of versatility. The last time we had that kind of versatility, football players were still wearing leather helmets.
But today, it was obvious that rumor mongering must be a virtue. How else would you categorize something that turns the market around from a 200 point loss? It has to be a virtue. There’s certainly nothing virtuous about a 200 point loss.
The day really started off badly. Merrill Lynch, which just 2 weeks ago announced that it would take $5 billion in sub-prime and bad loan losses came out with their earnings this morning. Funny thing, that in the past 2 weeks they were able to find another $3 billion in losses.
They just didn’t see it coming, I guess.