Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

By Francis Frangipane

Consumer Confidence Sinks to 16-year-plus Low, so warned the headline of a recent Associated Press article. The article continued, "U.S. consumers are the gloomiest they've been since the tail end of the last prolonged recession. Inflation, sinking home values and soaring gas prices have pushed confidence to the lowest level since 1992."

You can feel the gloom seeping into our culture right now. Look at the stock market. the market is a barometer of the confidence investors have for the future. Nine months ago the stock market had climbed to 14,198. Today, it is down almost 3,000 points to 11,570. Two things control the mood of Wall Street: fear and greed. When times are good, the market climbs, but when people are fearful, their spending becomes conservative causing the market to drop.