A brief scare about runaway growth jolted the stock market this morning, though the Dow never approached the 100-point debacle being predicted on CNBC before the open by Bob Pisani. Maria B., where are you?

While the jobs data showed strong growth, and wages bumped up a stronger-than-expected six cents an hour, economists believe that growth still looks steady, stable and non-threatening. Also helping to soothe investor moods: positive fund notices reaching investor homes. Another strong year, another fat return, and individuals look more likely than ever to pour money into their funds, which should help the liquidity equation.

With stock prices settling down, and Wall Street worrywarts grumbling less about inflation, chatter in the pits has turned to different things. Primarily things of the anonymous nature.

For instance, how did two expansion teams reach the NFC and AFC championships? And isn't it interesting how "Robert Blake" checked into Cedar-Sinai Medial Center yesterday morning after reportedly suffering a heart attack in his Beverly Hills home. But no cockatoo was found--because "Robert Blake" was really

Frank Sinatra.

As for real anonymous esoterica:


recently released its annual list of fake names given when ordering pizza--

Dennis Rodman


Richard Jewell, Jenny Jones, Kerri Strug


Bob Dole.

False identities are all the rage, even on Wall Street.

Forty-seven stock brokers--who also weren't Robert Blake--had posers take their Series 7 brokers exam. Manhattan District Attorney

Robert Morgenthau

wasn't able to track down all the ringers, but he did bust

Igor Shekhtmen,

36, of Encino, Calif--accused of taking at least 28 tests--and

Robert Idzi,

27, of Pleasantville, NY., who supposedly took 22 tests. Shekhtmen and Idzi were allegedly flown to various National Association of Securities Dealers testing locations like Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and Philadelphia at the behest of a dozen brokers. "The impostors were paid between $2,000 and $5,000," Morgenthau said at a news conference. "Or they were promised future legitimate business and share of commissions, in addition to having their expenses paid."

So here's my question, how stupid were these brokers that--not only couldn't they pass the Series 7--they hired two


to take the test 50 times to pass it 12 times? And then those same schlubs managed to get them busted!

It's no wonder the discount (as in broker-less) brokerage business is taking over.

by Cory Johnson