For the past few months, all anybody in the market could talk about was the Goldilocks economy, everything's been just right. Low inflation, low interest rates, strong earnings and high stock prices. Investors' paradise.

Thursday's heart-stopping 160-point skid, though, has milquetoasts beginning to mutter of an imminent Fall. Investors' Paradise Lost. It's more than just the more moderated tones of


commentators or their usually more adamant guests. These days, cyber-investors post their doom-and-gloom scenarios portending the advent of a Chicken Little cycle.

Take, for example,

The Coming Collapse

. That title -- and the titles of sub-pages (

The Final Peak


1997 Crash Alert


An Inefficient Market Hypothesis

) -- leave little to the imagination. The authors believe the stock market is going to crash. And they've believed this for a long time. The site originally called for the equities to tank on Sept. 22, 1995. We can't count how many records the Dow has set since then, but it would certainly require the removal of shoes.

The poor forecasting record could be a function of the site's less-than-conventional methodology, an odd mix of technical analysis and that old Wall Street stand-by -- astrology. "The DJIA appears to have topped-out around the psychologically important 7000 mark in connection with a total solar eclipse, key Spiral Calendar anniversaries and the 'Aquarian Convergence,'" the site says. These were the most significant astroharmonic events "since the 'Harmonic Convergence' in August of 1987 when the stock market peaked just before that year's '29-style crash."

Houston, we have a problem.

The site is primarily text-based; downloading should eat up little time. It links to a multitude of stories, articles, theses, treatises and rants as supporting evidence. It is sprinkled with amusing quotes. ("Stocks are now at what looks like a permanently high plateau ..." economist Irving Fischer a few days before the October 1929 stock market crash.) And some of the discussion of economics, including explanations of the Kondratieff Wave and the business cycle, are succinct. If only they hadn't been written by E.T.

More pessimism can be found at

Famous Bear Markets

. The page is part of the

Mutual Fund Market Timing Signals

page. The site provides definitions of what a bear market is -- there are different ideas out there. It also offers, "for your viewing pleasure," charts of famous bear markets. Among those featured: the '87 crash, the spectacular Nikkei burnout and the grand daddy of all bear markets, the 1929 crash.

Pass the Prozac.

By Andrew Morse