Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wall Street Collapses on News that "Past Performance does not Guarantee Future Returns"

New York City (AP) - The Dow Industrial Average plunged a record 9,221 points today upon a startling revelation from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Mr. Bernanke had been called to testify in front of the Senate Finance Committee on the subject of the ongoing home lending crisis. When asked pointedly by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) as to what caused the current problems, Bernanke dropped a bombshell.

"You see Mr Chairman... uh... the thing you have to realize is that markets are subject to.. uh... volitility, if you will. Things change. Circumstances change. The Market changes. Just because the market does well doesn't mean it's going to continue to do well. Past performance does not guarantee future returns."

That last phrase sent the DJIA, the NASDAQ, and the S&P 500 into a tail spin. Within minutes the three funds had lost over 40% of their value. Trading was suspended for four hours.

Several of the larger banks including Citigroup and Bank of America arranged to invest up to $50 billion in cash in faltering funds. When they resumed trading, however, the plunge continued until trading was halted for the day at 2:34 PM. At the end, the DJIA stood at 3,640.53, a number not seen since the darkest days of the Great Depression.

Senior Analysts at Merrill Lynch and other financial management companies could not be reached for comment. Reports of thousands of sky diving accidents across the country are said to be unrelated according to the Department of Justice.

Howard Martin a senior economist with Global Capital Markets Inc., was distraught at the news. "If only the Fed Chairman had told us back in '86 that the market may fluctuate, I wouldn't have lost so much money today, or when the Dot-Com bubble burst in 2000... or when the commercial Real Estate bubble burst in '87. What next? Are we supposed to live within our means like animals? I have seven mortgages and three cars to pay off!"

There was some limited good news. Among the advancing stocks included Tin Cup, Inc.(up 5 3/4), Hobo Unlimited Ltd. (up 10 1/8), and Agglomerated Noose Companies (up 105 1/2).

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. was last seen crying in the corner of his office.

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