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No One Around? Still Money to Be Made

OK, so Wall Street is back to work, and of course everyone is saying nobody's going to be around! Light volume.

Well, maybe. Many will undoubtedly take off. But don't kid yourself: If there's money to be made, there's always going to be people around.

Look at the markets today: Asia up. Bank mergers in Greece (Eurobank and Alpha Bank); Qatar investing there. Greek stock market up 15 percent. London closed for a bank holiday.

European banks are stronger today. Remember the rule: On days when European banks are up or stable, U.S. markets usually follow at the open.

Bottom line: There's always people around if someone smells they can make money. And if prices go up and there is no one to sell, they'll go up more.

At Jackson Hole, Wyo., International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagard caused a small stir by arguing that European banks are in urgent need of recapitalization. Flummoxed European officials were quoted as saying she misunderstood the crisis; there is no capital problem, there is a liquidity problem. Banks are simply having trouble with short-term funding issues. They want her to clarify. Hrumpf. I don't think so. I think Lagarde knows exactly what she was saying.

On insurers: losses are smaller than worst case estimates. One indication: there has been some talk that the event losses are not large enough to trigger reinsurance for those with the most significant exposure: Allstate, , Travelers.

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