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My Brain Made Me Do It

This is probably quite topical given the developments of the past few days.

BRADLEY ALFORD, a money manager in Atlanta, just hit the panic button.

No, really. Mr. Alford just hit the key on his computer that initiates the Wall Street equivalent of the nuclear option: Sell everything.

He was acting on orders from two wealthy clients who became so alarmed by the troubled outlook that they simply wanted out. Over the last 10 days or so, they asked him to sell all of their stocks and invest in a mutual fund he oversees that is somewhat insulated against a potential market collapse.

“I have never, ever done it before,” says Mr. Alford, who is the chairman of Alpha Capital Management and has been managing money for 22 years. “This was unprecedented.”

Pressing All the Buttons for a Panic Attack

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