The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
) --It's chaos out there. Market volatility has investors rushing in and out of stocks frantically trying to scoop up profits any way they can. It's a dangerous Wild West, and the mob is running the show.
I have to say, I understand investors' frustrations and reason for panic. The economic picture is hazy at best; jobs aren't picking up; we've lost faith that our elected officials can come to the table with real solutions (not to mention pass them into law) and there's the ongoing saga in Europe.
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If you invest according to your emotions, you're going to be caught in the same trap as everyone else: buying high and selling low as you're always one step behind. Now, it's not easy going against the crowd of investors rushing for the exits, but the fact of the matter is that frankly, investors are not rational. They're emotional. And right now they're heading for a world of hurt as they follow their emotions into "bargain" financial stocks.
There are only a few things that we have very clear insight into, and one of those things is that banking stocks are the worst choice investors can make right now.
I'm a former banking analyst. I worked for the
; I examined these banks and what I know would shock you. But I can tell you that banks always have manipulated their books. It's not unusual for a bank to have a performing loan that's underwater, and it is going to be years before the current mess is completely worked out.
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I can tell you that when a U.S. bank tries to "fix" a delinquent mortgage with a 2% workout loan, it just causes more problems. When a home is underwater, a 2% mortgage isn't going to do a darned thing except kick the problem down the road. The fact of the matter is the 2% workout loans are causing more homeowners to default because when they default they have more leverage to (1) restructure a better deal with their bank or (2) to get out from under their negative-equity home.