This questionable bull market

Jan. 29 found the stock market rising to giddy heights, and by Jan. 31, the Jan 29 record close had been surpassed. Who rings the opening bell at the stock exchange? King Midas? I look at my ungolden hands, and though my retirement funds seem secure, I do not see there my own embarrassment of riches. What am I missing?

I have reasons for being wary - for keeping 40 percent of my money in cash and bonds at a time when, week after week, stocks surge seemingly untethered to reality. I understand the optimism generated by Trump's policies and the new tax law. But beyond that, a meteoric spurt of 8,000 points in the Dow in 14 months strikes me as, like a meteor, dangerously fleeting and ominous.

It took Adam and Eve, what? A few months into their fledgling merger, they lost the store and were evicted.

The Titanic used bad rivets in its hull; the Hindenburg was full of flammable gas; the Challenger had a faulty O-ring seal; lead paint contains lead.

An assassin's bullet, in conjunction with a dozen witless alliances, led inexorably to World War I, which concluded in a peace treaty that, some 20 years later, served as kindling for World War II.

Now nine nations have a finger on a nuclear button, one of them ruled by a demented dictator not named Donald. And America itself? Not so sharp, as evidenced by the false alarm in Hawaii warning of a missile attack.

Bitcoin is the new bead money.

All that glistens is not gold - it might be a bubble.

Between the nuts and frauds and terrorists among us, I'm betting on a downturn, or a karmic correction.

I could be wrong.

Maybe human nature and history are malleable. Maybe we're too big to fail. Maybe the serpent was right.

Alexander Lee

West Chicago

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