Don’t let this week’s soothing rise in US stocks lull you into a false sense of security. There are still plenty of nasty surprises lurking. For more than a year, we’ve suffered bone-chilling writedowns and their sequels, ran screaming from Wall Street chainsaw massacres and growing number of weirdo government-funded body-snatching and scared stiff by pseudo-economic experiments to create ghastly bailouts and Bankenstein monsters. But it ain’t over yet.
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This week is the US presidential election— who knows what brain-eating plans the winner may put in motion. Detroit’s own walking dead, Ford and General Motors, look set to announce another set of blood-curdling losses. Bank earnings in Europe will pile on the terror. But there’s more: 14 November is the witching hour for banks to sign up for Troubled Asset Relief Program cash; those who don’t might disappear in a puff of smoke. Investors fed up with months of poor performance and mounting losses could start pulling the plug on hedge funds by the end of the month. And by December the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley might have to report losing a limb or two in September and October’s battle against the forces of market hell. It’s enough to make your hair stand on end.