Charles Payne

It was that fatal and perfidious bark
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine


John Milton's 'Lycidas' spends time looking for those that looked the other way, or did not sound the alarm as 'Lycidas' drowned. Calling, and maybe even accusing nymphs and muses, there was still no answer. Phoebus (Apollo) enters the conversation asking all to focus on the positives of the afterlife, which indeed is where the poem turns, but not before making clear that the source of its ire is the Church of England, which has led its flock astray.

When it comes to the investing flock, several events and parties have played a role in its retreat from the stock market.

People have long memories, and the Internet Bubble continues to haunt them more than anything else does.

That difficult period coupled with the crash of 2008, created an everlasting fatal and perfidious bark.

Consequently, the percentage of America who think investing $1,000 in the stock market is a good idea remains well below the peak of 2000, although up significantly from that March 2009, low point. How could this co-exist with a five-year rally where the Dow is up almost 10,000 points? The fear mongers have a great perch to block out the sunshine of hope, or even opportunity; and at the same time line their own pockets.

Enter Michael Lewis.

Not the New Thing

The famous author was on 60 Minutes this past weekend, and unleashed the most amazing blanket statements about the entire market, and the role of high-frequency trading (HFT). His comments were beyond reckless and self-serving. I understand the need to be sensational when selling a book, but for a guy with so many bestsellers and movies, his indictment of the entire stock market is inexcusable. What is nuts is this is not even news...not even close to being news. Check out these headlines:

"High-Frequency Trading Jumps Ahead in Line" WSJ, September 19, 2012

"Who's Afraid of High-Frequency Trading"? Reuters, December 2, 2009

Charles Payne

Charles V. Payne is a regular contributor to the Fox Business and Fox News Networks. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI), founded in 1991 which provides subscription analytical services to both individual and institutional investors.