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November 9, 1989

01/30/2011

I remember watching television that night with my daughter as the Berlin Wall fell. It was truly a momentous event, ending the Cold War. The events now happening in Egypt are gravely important but not momentous. Unless it spreads . . .

Of course, nobody expected it would ever get this big. It started with a petty bureaucrat who slapped a minor street vendor in Tunisia who was humiliated enough to pour gasoline on himself and ignite the streets of that country. The government promptly fell, and the riots moved to the next despotic Islamic country, Egypt. President Mubarek cannot survive this (although we don’t know what will replace him.) If the demonstrations now spread to other Islamic nations, this may turn out to be truly momentous, like the fall of the Berlin Wall.

For the markets, this promises to be a volatile week. The market was primed for a fall anyway. We have the Egyptian crises. And, by the way, the all-important Jobs Report is this Friday. We can expect another volatile Friday this week.

If you are an investor, you know this will pass and may even find some good long-time bargains to buy over the next few weeks. If you are a trader, you will be a nervous wreck for awhile, I promise!

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