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The Bear Book:
A recent New Yorker cartoon shows a corporate CEO type addressing his lieutenants with the words, "And, while there's no reason to panic, I think it only prudent that we make preparations to panic." That man might be John Rothchild. One of America's most elegant and witty writers on money, Rothchild offers prudent advice on preparing to panic in The Bear Book. It is an amusing disquisition on the history and psychology of the U.S. stock market, offering useful suggestions on how to survive and even thrive when the stock market enters a free fall.
Note that's not "if," but "when." Rothchild makes clear that steep and prolonged market drops have long been a regular occurrence, except in the '90s so far. History shows that when optimism reigns as it seems to now, the carnage is likely to be all the worse. Not a happy message, but maybe an important one. Looking back on past bear markets, Rothchild suggests where to find safe harbor, pointing readers toward certain stock sectors, some foreign markets, and bonds. Perhaps surprisingly, gold does not make the list, and Rothchild explains why. Even the most bullish will enjoy Rothchild's acerbic observations on market psychology and his good-humored tweaking of various famous market commentators and other Wall Street emperors whose nudity, when it comes to foreseeing the future, Rothchild is happy to point out. --Barry Mitzman [via]