Nothing demonstrates where the world stood in 2008 as well as this image of Hank Paulson – then Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs boss – kneeling before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, literally begging her not to break up the proposed deal that would bailout the nation’s financial system.

Too big to fail Hank Paulson
This image isn’t exactly real. It’s from HBO’s adaptation of the excellent Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

ALSO READ: How The Saved By The Bell Cast Would Have Invested In The Stock Market


But did it really? The thought of the ultimate Master of the Universe bowing to the Prada-wearing arch-enemy of Dubya, Paulson’s boss, is the most telling example of the insanity that was the few weeks in September 2008 when the world changed.

And change it did

America’s unemployment rate has shrunk from its peak of 19% in 2009 (thanks, Bureau of Labor Statistics), but millions still remain out of work. An untold amount of people are underemployed, working part-time at jobs beneath their skill level. Home foreclosures have slowed, but many communities remain ravaged by the vacant properties now owned by banks that just sit, empty, waiting for squatters and vandals to trash. No city better symbolizes all that was changed, for the worst, than Detroit – the home of the American auto industry and Motown that recently declared bankruptcy and appears like it will never come close to its former glory.

But for some, not much has changed. The CEOs and others that placed their huge bets on complex derivatives? They may have left their posts (although not all did), but they still managed to exercise golden parachutes raking in millions upon millions of dollars. They still get to enjoy the Hamptons estates and the Vail winter paradises. The 1% remains just that, and they’re even more ahead of the curve than they were before.


INVESTING TIP #27-- HOW TO GET FREE STOCK!

Get Up To $1,000 in Free Stock with Robinhood--the Commission-Free Brokerage!

Open a new account and receive one free stock valued at up to $500! Then, once your account is open, get more free stocks (value from $5 to $500) for each friend, family, person you refer! USE THIS LINK to get started with Robinhood!

And the proposed legislative changes to prevent a meltdown like this from ever happening again? Well, good luck with that. The pride and joy of the Dodd-Frank reforms was the Volcker Rule. Named after former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, this policy would prevent banks from making investment bets from their own money – the same type of bets that caused them to lose trillions of dollars and need bailouts in the first place.

Too big to fail Volcker Rule

But the Volcker Rule is far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far away from being finalized, five years after The Great Recession came into our lives. Five separate government agencies are charged with the task of creating the final language of the Volcker Rule. These agencies (the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) all have their own agendas.

On top of that, they’re also mandated to incorporate public comment into their discussions. That public includes the investment banks they’re charged with regulating. Those banks and their associations and lawyers have flooded the agencies with their (many times legitimate) concerns.

It’s taken forever and we’re nowhere near done.

But on the bright side, the stock market has returned to glorious heights, with the Dow recently eclipsing 15,600 and other indexes also surging. But at the same time, Main Street – the street you and I most likely walk on – still struggles.

So, what can we learn from this?

Well, it’s up to us to get and stay educated on investing our money. Investing is and will forever be a great, great thing. But it’s hard and scary and intimidating. Too many people jump into the fray, randomly picking a few stocks without knowing a thing about fundamental analysis or technical trading factors. Too many people don’t know the difference between actively managed mutual funds and index funds and how that affects the bottom line. Too many people trust the hot stock picks of whatever analyst wormed his or her way into getting face time on CNBC as opposed to really sitting down to do the research or finding trustworthy, smart people who have already done the work.

Just today, a reputable economist who had predicted the financial crisis, Manuel Hinds, took measures that signified his concerns for the short-term economic future. If we are to face another “2008”, we better get ourselves protected. And the best form of protection is knowledge.



WALL STREET SURVIVOR'S BEST OF THE BEST LIST

MARCH 23, 2020: URGENT UPDATES TO HELP YOU MAKE MONEY WHEN THE MARKET IS DOWN!

The markets have dropped over 30% since their highs just a few weeks ago because of the Coronavirus, but we are starting to see more signs that this might be a PERFECT BUYING OPPORTUNITY:

#1. HOT Fool Picks in Spite of Crash. Here is why we love the Motley Fool--On Thursday, March 19, 2020 they recommended Zoom Video (Ticker ZM) when it was at $124. Today, March 23 it closed at $160, that's up 29% in 3 days! But that's not all, they also recommended it October 3, 2019 when it was at $77 so that is up 108% since they picked it back in October, in spite of the market crashing 30%. Other recent picks are TSLA, NFLX and TTD which are all UP since they were picked!

#2. Stock Prices Are Down 30%.  This is a good thing! If you are thinking of buying stocks, now's your chance to get quality companies at much more affordable prices. This offers a very attractive entry point, because stocks are ON SALE and you can now buy quality stocks for 30% less than you would have paid for them in February.

#3. More Articles Are Starting To Recommend Buying. As we are nearing the bottom of this drop, we are starting to see more articles like this: BlackRock is suggesting we may be at a "once in a lifetime opportunity", Morgan Stanley says to start buying, and Warren Buffet has a stock pile of cash and rumors are he is starting to buy.

#4. Dollar Cost Averaging Works! Since nobody knows where the bottom will be exactly, smart investors continue to invest a fixed dollar amount in the market each month. This is called Dollar Cost Averaging. That way, when the markets are down you are buying more shares of your favorite stocks at cheaper prices. This helps drive down your average cost and increase your profits when the stock market moves back up.

If you need recommendations for stocks to buy now, keep in mind that the Motley Fool Stock Advisor beat the market by over 30% the last 4 years, and they are currently recommending that NOW IS THE TIME to start buying some of those quality stocks that should make up the foundation of your portfolio. The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service is recommending at least 15 stocks that you should plan on holding for the next 3 to 5 years. So, if you need investing ideas, it is a PERFECT time to consider the best stock newsletter over the last 4 years--The Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Normally it is priced at $199 per year but they are currently offering it for just $99/year if you click this link


P.S. this offer is still backed by their 30-day money back guarantee.
P.S.S. Still skeptical? Read this complete Motley Fool Review.

LEAVE A REPLY