Some of you may have noticed that Wall Street seems to be marching to a different drummer. While the country's economic forecasts have been gloomy, the stock market has been soaring.
The question most people are asking is, "What does Wall Street know that we don't?"I sought out Florio who has a seat on the Stock Exchange. He was waving his hands and nodding his head. I tugged on his shirt.
"Florio, what is with the market?"
"We're touting AT&T and shorting chardonnay grapes."
"All I'm trying to find out is why the economy is drowning and you people are driving stocks up."
"We have to do what we have to do."
"The bulls are in charge, and if we don't follow them, we could wind up in the pits with the bears."
"Florio, don't you read the papers? General Motors dropped over a billion dollars, Ford lost its shirt and Sears Roebuck is laying off its labor force. It has to affect what you invest in."
"We don't pay any attention to the business news. It's too depressing. The only way for us to survive on Wall Street is to talk to each other."
"Who do you talk to?"
"Rembrecht. I roomed with him at Princeton. He knows a lot about the market because his grandmother was the first person in Trenton to buy IBM. I can learn more from Rembrecht than I can from The Wall Street Journal."
"What is Rembrecht doing now?"
"He's looking for a job after being furloughed by Drexel Burnham."
"So most of your investing is being recommended by a friend who is out of work."
"At least he is upbeat. A lot of the guys down here would rather sit on their money than invest it in stocks that are bound to go through the roof."
Two men grabbed Florio's legs and pummelled him in the stomach.
"What's going on?" I asked him.
"They want me to buy Eastern Airlines."
"If the airline ever comes back you'll be a hero."
"That's exactly what I was thinking." Florio took hold of each of their noses and twisted them, which closed the a deal.
Florio told me, "The person to watch is Tenterhooks. He's been leading this market and it will keep going up until he decides it's going to go down."
"I didn't know one man had that kind of power."
"People pay attention to Tenterhooks."
"Why is that?"
"He speaks in a very low voice and it's difficult to hear him."
A woman broker rushed up to Florio. "I have 100,000 shares of Federated Department Stores. Yes or no?"
"Why not? Whoever heard of anyone buying a bad junk bond from Bloomingdale's?"