(Originally posted Sunday, October 05, 2008 ) --*Your mom and pop will likely have to liquidate all their short positions and sell equities at a less than optimal value and move into a trailer with aluminum siding and compressed fiberboard floors.
--*Your aunt Maybelle's futures contracts may cause her to lose money if her contango curve changes to backwardation and she will have to burn her house for the insurance money.
--*It's very probable that your Uncle Ernie is going to have to short the S&P 500 by selling futures, but will likely be roaming the streets naked like a homeless veteran addled by lithium if the market becomes discontinuous and sees a wild swing upward.
--*Your aunt Clara will more than likely see money from her merger arbitrage strategies erased by a ban on short selling and she will have to cut open and eat her dog Jessiepoo.
--*Your uncle Ralph will likely find that his portfolio has been laden with risk from toxic credit default swaps and he will have to suckle a homeless, infantless mother in the streets like the guy in that John Steinbeck novel.
--*Your grandfather will likely have had his brokerage accounts permanently frozen by Lehman Brothers and he will have to eat himself, starting with his feet and working his way up, hopefully being able to stop by the time he reaches his own head.
--*Your grandmother's ill-fated turn into junk bonds will likely turn out to be a catastrophe as she was too early to reach that important thousand-point spread over Treasurys, which means she will likely have to take up an opium habit she had left behind in the 1940s.
--*Your sister will likely have to unwind her leverage by paying $3 million to Wachovia bank by tomorrow for outstanding margin lending she was doing to fund a highly sophisticated asset-backed securities scheme, and then she will have to fight with a homeless man named Stewie over the property rights to an abandoned Frigidaire refrigerator packing box.
--*Your brother will likely have to pull the plug on his computer program that does automatic pairs trading for him, and he'll probably go crazy and start shooting people while wearing the proud aegis of the U.S. Postal Service.
--*Your cousin will have to pull his naked shorts bets--a practice in which you sell shares you haven't even bought--which will leave him millions of dollars in debt and force him to sell his internal organs without the luxury of having even died yet.