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"This Time It Is Different"

It’s the counterintuitive indicator: many worries, buy; few worries, sell.

After a carefully coordinated effort by SEC chairman Chris “New Rules” Cox, Fed chief “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke and Treasury Secretary “Bazooka” Hank Paulson saved us from a catastrophic equity capitulation, stocks settled into a wait-and-see mode. The Wall loses three worries, but rising concerns about war in the oil-rich areas of the former (and perhaps future) Soviet Union and a global recession are worth keeping an eye on. Although the U.S. stock markets seem to be breathing a collective sigh of relief that the massive global financial problems facing the world will be remedied with a short-lived, manageable economic downturn, now is a good time to recall the late Sir John Templeton’s warning about the five most dangerous words in investing: “This time it is different.”