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So how will we know when a bottom is in and the economy will recover? I've postulated a few signs (some humorous, others not so pleasant). Bear in mind, much of this in tongue in cheek. But like all sarcasm, there's a grain of truth.
We will bottom WHEN:
CNBC and Bloomberg start firing anchors and cutting their coverage time by hours, not minutes.
Maria Bartiromo and Jim Cramer start telling investors to short the market with all they've got.
Questions like "do you think we're heading for a recovery" result in the questioner getting punched in the face or ignored like a loony tune.
People HATE stocks and stock ownership has plummeted back to one in ten Americans (the pre-401(k) levels).
Investing is no longer a hobby and people fight tooth and nail to retain their nest egg (honestly what the hell is "play" or "speculative" money?)
The number of mutual funds has fallen by at least half (why are we paying fees for people who can't beat the market?).
People no longer want to get an MBA to become a broker or a financial advisor.
Our economy is based on "making something," not "offering advice."
Books about Warren Buffett no longer comprise an entire publishing industry (seriously, Amazon lists 5,000+ books on him).
The Richest 500 people in the world are no longer all billionaires (never happened before in history… how's that for concentration of wealth?)
Guys like me are no longer writing about finance or investing but instead take up a respectable profession.