Monitor: The US press comments on the dangers of `day trading' in shares on the Internet

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THE TRAGEDY of Mark Barton in no way proves that day trading, in which he lost a lot of money quite rapidly, is evil. But it is a reminder that technological advances have made it easier to treat stock trading as something like casino gambling. Mr Barton is believed to have started his killing spree in Georgia on the day that his account at one day trading firm, Momentum Securities, ran out of money with losses of more than $105,000.

The SEC and state regulators need to make sure that day trading companies disclose the risks, do not make exaggerated profit claims and do not violate the margin rules that limit how much money can be lent for stock trading. But the regulators cannot stop foolish customers from gambling their money away.

The New York Times

MARK O. Barton's strangely even-tempered suicide note offered a chilling hint about what may have set him off: he pledged to kill "people that greedily sought my destruction". As of today, it looks as if he meant people at two day trading firms where he lost money. Traders always are talking about killings - as in "making a killing" - and other forms of violence. Once plugged in, day traders work in a constant state of peak adrenaline, alternating between elation and egomania when they're up, and dejection and rage when they're down. Put someone with a tendency toward violence in that mix, and violence ceases to be a metaphor. (Ted C. Fishman)

USA Today

Here's one large trend in America: the popularity of e-trading, the rise of the day trader, the ubiquity of business news, the excitement over new.com stock issues, the relentless pressure to get rich.

Here's the other trend: across ideological lines, there is a quiet revolt against materialism embodied in the question, "Is this all there is?" It's not a revolt against capitalism or ambition. It reflects a concern that the marketplace, for all its splendors, may produce value but not values. (E J Dionne Jr)

The Washington Post

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