A Break Today...

“Occasionally, humans get the disease,” he said, “but not very often. My cousin just took some strong antibiotics and got over it.”

“Why the panic about it?” I asked.

“It is an economic issue. If the disease gets in a herd, it’s so contagious that all the animals get it. Then you have to destroy them. Otherwise, you give them a lot of antibiotics… but even so, the milk production drops in half. And you can’t sell anything… everyone’s afraid that their livestock will pick up the disease.

*** My apologies for today’s abbreviated report. More tomorrow… as always… Bill Bonner London, England March 7, 2001

*** A special treat for you today: thanks to a technical breakdown and a morning meeting in London, I am unable to write very much.

*** In fact, my only source of misinformation this morning is the CNBC Europe channel in my hotel room, from which I learn that the Dow and the Nasdaq both rose yesterday, the former by 28 points, the latter by 61.

*** Television is perhaps the world’s number one disseminator of “group feel” sentiments. Watching TV is a dangerous substitute for actually thinking. You risk beginning to think the way everyone else thinks… and take your cues from TV about what is important and what is not.

*** The talk on TV is of the Big Bottom… the squawking heads seem to think that the worst is over. A Wall Street Journal article made the point yesterday. “Wipe those bear market worries away,” said the WSJ. “Yes, we are in a bear market. But the worst is probably over.”

*** The Big Techs came back a little yesterday. Amazon, though, gave back some of its recent gains. It closed down 75 cents. *** You never know. Maybe CNBC zombies really have seen the Big Bottom. Or maybe they’ve just seen wily Mr. Bear’s big derriere.

*** If you were Mr. Bear, what would you do? You’ve already stolen $4 trillion worth of stock value out of the market. The media has finally issued a warning about you. At the end of last week, investors were beginning to feel nervous and gloomy. Some were even striking their tents and packing up their camping gear. Wouldn’t you want to lay low for a while? Let investors regain their confidence… relax… and get careless with their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again?

*** Last night I attended the first meeting of our U.K. venture capital group — the London Supper Club — at the National Liberal Club. I sat next to a dairy farmer whose cousin had gotten foot-and-mouth disease.