S&P 500 Slow-Motion Crash by Adam Hamilton For as long as humans have enjoyed huddling around a warm campfire and enjoying fellowship with their friends, people have always craved a good story. From the epic poetry of legendary Greek storyteller Homer of almost three millennia ago to modern sagas like George Lucas' Star Wars series, there is nothing like a good story to lift our spirits! While epic stories have taken many different forms through the ages, one could argue that among today's most popular heroic storytelling formats is that all-American staple, the action movie. Being a guy, I have to admit I love action movies. While television generally annoys the heck out of me, it is such a wonderful diversion to go catch a movie on the giant silver screen and be transported to a different world for a couple exciting hours. Although a good heroic story is crucially important to make a stellar action flick, the real star is truly the actual action sequences themselves. One of my all-time favorite action movies is 1999's amazing "The Matrix." If you are one of the few people left in the First World who haven't seen it yet, it is a surprisingly deep tale about a dark future where humanity is trying to escape from a virtual-reality simulation created by artificial intelligence to enslave them. I liked the movie so much I saw it multiple times in the theaters! While "The Matrix" was graced with several phenomenal action scenes, the now famous over-the-top lobby scene takes the cake. Our hero Neo and his gorgeous sidekick Trinity embark upon a daring mission to infiltrate a building where the bad guys are holding the good guys' leader, Morpheus, hostage. Neo and Trinity calmly walk into the lobby of the bad guys' skyscraper, security stops them, and some resulting magnificent movie mayhem explodes onto the screen. Neo and Trinity proceed to whip out more firepower than the Canadian Army could deploy and an amazing symphony of destruction ensues. Legions of bad guys swarm into the lobby to try to stop our heroes, but they deftly dodge bullets and shoot back with inhuman precision to cap the bad guys. One of the coolest parts about the whole lobby scene is the breathtaking slow motion! Time dilated, a relentless hail of bullets spews forth from various weapons, staccato muzzle flashes like strobe lights, carving explosive holes all over the granite walls. Spent brass cascades out of the breeches of automatic weapons and bounces on the hard shiny marble floor. Our heroes nimbly avoid the blizzards of lead from return fire with acrobatic flair and don't even break a sweat. The signature Matrix lobby scene, in glorious slow motion, is truly an awesome masterpiece of adrenaline and testosterone, dramatically raising the bar by which all future action movies will be judged. The phenomenal slow-motion effects in "The Matrix" remind me a lot of the S&P 500 over the last couple years, which appears to be struggling through a slow-motion crash. I fully realize that "crash" is a very strong word full of all kinds of very definite connotations, but I really can't think of any other way to articulate what is happening in the mighty flagship US equity index other than calling it a "slow-motion crash." The S&P 500 reached its all-time closing high of 1576 in 2007. As of December 31st, the mighty S&P 500 had plunged a gut-wrenching 39.7%, a wicked decline for such a prominent broad blue-chip index.