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Dial M for ManipulationBy Howard Simons
10:00 a.m. EDT All of these calls for the scalps of as-yet unnamed market manipulators reminds me of something I wrote back in 1998: "The word speculation and its derivatives have acquired a negative connotation over the years; the terms were linked to such paragons of virtue as Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung and their very pockmarked walls. Admittedly, speculators throughout the ages have served the vital economic role of restoring free markets at times and places when and where governments have disrupted them, and no one likes the operator of a black market even as he lines up to purchase from the only source of supply available. The assumption was made, therefore, that speculators were economic parasites on par with ticket brokers, rock-concert promoters and other manifestations of the all-purpose enemies of the people." In my Brave New World, the first person to be lined up and shot will be that annoying kid who pointed out the Emperor was not wearing any clothes. A pest just like the short-sellers who pointed out all those financial firms didn't know what they were doing; we'll all be better off without him.