We All Stare Blankly at Wall Street
July 24, 2002
by Dennis Lombard
"Is this what the end of civilization looks like?" William Bennett once cried plaintively almost 10 years ago, long before Enron and WorldCom and Wall Street meltdown. As I write this early in the morning, the vaulted Dow Jones Industrial Average has suffered its seventh double-digit drop in ten market days.
We all stare blankly at The Street, blink occasionally, and maybe our hands shake as we reach for the phone to call our broker for the third time today. My question is, didnít we see it all coming long ago?
The former Secretary of Education was commenting way back in 1993 after a closed-door session with officials of Time Warner, challenging them to stop marketing music that promoted violence, rape and murder. But their "bottom line" prevailed; our kids be damned. It reminds me of a closed-door session we had with some 7-11 officials over 30 years ago in the village hall of Sauk Village, Illinois. They told us point-blank, "Those magazines are 17% of our storeís gross. We wonít stop selling them." They has been accused of selling Playboy to underage kids. It all seems almost "innocent" by todayís standards.
But I digress back to Wall Street, if you can stand talking about it any more. The biggest corporate frauds in history, the biggest bankruptcy in history filed just yesterday, the DJI now resides below 8,000 for the first time in several years. In our Home Times newspaper you read over a year ago how John Templeton warned that the tech sector was grossly overpriced. In a taped interview from NewsCom two months ago, Templeton told of the coming meltdown. How can this one man see these things when thousands of Americaís stock analysts can not?
Templeton sees the world through moral lenses. To use a Biblical phrase, he "seeks the kingdom of God first" and his wealth comes as a natural result. There is, to be crass, money to be made in good morals. Good morals outlast accounting trickery and products and services that harm and do not do good for our fellow man (and child). In Home Times we have started two new columns called "American Hero Companies" and "Good Money" that instruct us in what is now quietly rumored on The Street to be the next big wave in the investing world.
Whatís that, you eagerly ask? Itís Value & Values Investing picking stocks of companies that do good for their fellow man, customers, employees, and investors, while their Price-Earnings (PE) Ratios are good and reasonable, like under 10. My financial advisor, Carter LeCraw of American Values Investments, author of that American Hero Companies column, confirms what I have already sensed. The market is grossly oversold now, having shaken out much if not all of the cheating, lust, and greed. There are scores of good stocks ripe for the picking. You just have to know how to look:
Seek God in our lives first, says John Templeton. Honor the God Who carved out the Grand Canyon, pushed up the Rockies and Smokies, watered the Mississippi and our beautiful Suwanee River here in South Florida. Honor the God on Whom our nation was founded, Who led us to these shores and gave great wisdom to our Founding Fathers. Are you ready for this? George Bush is right, the economy is basically in good shape because we live in a bountiful land.
Invest in companies that do good to our fellow man, that treat their workers fairly, do not run sweat shops in Third World Countries or sell products that cater to lust or greed.
Find stocks that are fairly priced with good growth prospects: PEís under 10. Yes, Virginia, under 10. Rest assured that their goodness will win out over immorality on the long term. Go for mutual funds that do this kind of investing for you. Search the Internet for "morally responsible investing."
Recently I was checking out the "new look" of the Wall Street Journal, with added color and feature stories. I still found it to be, for me, somewhat boring. Plain vanilla economic information without reference to the God Who made the sunrise over the East River is devoid of true wisdom. Itís time to wise up, Wall Street!
© 2002 Home Times Family Newspaper
Dennis Lombard has been a community newspaper editor since 1972, and is currently editor and publisher of Home Times Family Newspaper, a traditional conservative monthly which he founded in 1990. He resides in Lake Worth, Florida with his wife, Mary, and they have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Home Times, soon going weekly, serves Palm Beach and Martin Counties in Florida and the nation by mail subscription, covering world, national, and local people and issues, home and family, arts and entertainment, and religion, all with a traditional conservative worldview. For a free copy call toll-free: 888-439-3509 or go to http://www.hometimes.org.
Send the author an E mail at Lombard@ConservativeTruth.org.
For more of Dennis' articles, visit his archives.