Upon arising this morning I did my daily read of the papers and when I got to the N.Y.Times and the article on the big-sell off yesterday I was ready for the worst. Indeed, the Times article depicts a U.S. economy on the brink of disaster. Any reasonable person should sell (or try to) all assets, and then desposit the discounted proceeds in the mattress. There are no longer any safe monetary based assets. If you own gold you are very fortunate. If you own a home you may have a big problem. The long anticipated correction in the housing sector is having a ripple effect that is causing havoc in the financial markets. The principle source of wealth for the average American is melting away and not surprisingly consumers are cutting back. At the same time inflation is back in the form of higher food and gas prices. For me, one of the highlights of this awful week is when George Bush confessed ignorance (not hard for him) to the possibility of gas hitting $4 a gallon by the spring. The man is totally out of touch and that’s scary and the markets know it. Yes, it was a horrible week and reading the Times story can really put you over the edge. I have seen and lived through these periods before and it’s not easy. Timing the bottom is always very hard and precarious. However, I’m getting the feeling we are getting near. My mother, a hopeless pessimist by nature, had one saying that rings in my ear right now – it’s always darkest before the dawn. I hope so.