On Wall Street, "The Pigs Get Slaughtered"

Wall Street sign with generic graph, on texture with 14,000 lettering, finished graphic 2007/7/16 14,000 AP / CBS

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
"Greed is good," said Gordon Gecko, the evil corporate raider played by Michael Douglas in the movie "Wall Street."

There's an old saying in the markets though, that often goes un-heeded: "Bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered." The pigs have been making a bloody mess of the economy lately.

The culprit? The whole subprime loan mess and its cousins; the loony instruments and bundles that made fools believe there was no risk when -- in less avaricious times -- the loans wouldn't have been made on a bet.

So we see today that the Federal Reserve, along with J.P. Morgan, is bailing out Bear Stearns. A year ago, Bear Stearns Stock cost $159 a share. Today, it's trading at about one-fifth of that.

Heads will no doubt roll, but the CEO and other officers will walk away with millions, and the stockholders -- and the lousy loan recipients -- will have nothing to show but scars and regret.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith
  • CBSNews

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