Binghamton Shootings Show Immunity Fading

The public shock, disbelief and outpouring of sadness following the Virginia Tech killings and Columbine were undeniable. These stories dominated the news for weeks and the months.

But within days after the mass shootings in Binghamton, news services stopped carrying stories and the grief and sadness were relegated to the families and the immediate area. 

As a society, are we becoming immune to anything bad? And what, you might ask, does this have to do with the stock market? 

Well, last fall when Lehman Brothers failed and AIG was taken over by the government, people got angry and frustrated and pulled trillions of dollars out of the stock market.  It has been described as one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression.

Six months later, we still have bad economic news, rising unemployment, the possibility of GM going bankrupt and, according to Oppenheimer & Co., Bank of America needs to raise $36.6 billion in equity -- yet the stock market has rallied by more than 25 percent over the last month.

Even if the talking heads on TV knew if the rally would continue and become the start of a recovery, they wouldn’t be telling us! They would be on their own private island schmoozing with Warren Buffett and other billionaires.

So just like the recent shootings, the government is hoping that everyone has built up a good dose of immunity toward the recent bad economic news and that most will start to feel a little better and turn this rally into a recovery. 

As I wrote last week, unemployment is still on the rise, and unlike the shootings that received declining media attention, most Americans were visibly shaken and angry over the greed and mismanagement by Wall Street and the government during this economic crisis.

Until the Democrats stop blaming the Republicans for this mess -- and -- the Republicans stop criticizing every economic proposal by the Democrats, and until the two sides start working together to come up with bipartisan policies, Americans won’t build up a strong immunity to the current economic crisis. They’ll just get more ticked off and this “recession” will last a lot longer than Washington hopes.

Brian P. Beck is a partner at Wealth Management Group of North America, LLC (WMGNA), a state Registered Investment Advisory firm – Farmington, CT and is not employed by  He is registered with Securities America, Inc (SAI) member FINRA/SIPC – Omaha, NE.  WMGNA and SAI are not affiliated. For more information please visit his website

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