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The Blame Season

Traders Magazine, June 2001

Harold Bradley

The endless drone of economists is not required to identify the comings and goings of "the bear." Traders need look only to the business pages and to Congress for such evidence. The blame season shines a bright light on Street practices and identifies possible culprits who "duped" an unsuspecting public into paying ridiculous prices for business start-ups.

This theatre is as old as the traditional business cycle - the same cycle declared dead by many of the new economy mavens. When excesses give way to corrections, human behavior dictates that we look for someone to blame. As long as IPO "flips" generated overnight double-digit institutional returns and new issue participants profited directly from biased hawking of stocks in a circus-like atmosphere, then old ideas like Chinese walls just got in the way.

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