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Bears, Own Up to It

Tickers in this article: AIG C GS JPM MS

NEW YORK (Real Money) -- It's not that the market won't go down. It will. It's not that the market isn't treacherous. It can be. It's the lack of recognition that something different is happening -- something different and better than what's been before -- at least when it comes to Europe.

Look, I have no doubt that, when the banks open in Cyprus, it's going to be ugly. I am sure some people will pull money out of Spanish or Italian banks. But what bothered me Monday was that, of the people I heard or read, no one who had feared a big collapse off the Cyprus news was "impressed" by the action. It was almost as if people were disappointed by the lack of panic -- as if, somehow, they hadn't learned their lesson about how bad things can be.

The problem is, maybe they have learned. As has been written most eloquently by friend Peggy Noonan, the Wall Street Journal columnist, we are all tired of being scared. She was referring to President Obama as scaremonger-in-chief, which he most certainly has been about all things Congress and the budget.

This article originally appeared on March 19, 2013, on RealMoney. To read more content like this + see inside Jim Cramer's $3 Million portfolio for FREE Click Here NOW.

By the way, the liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman agrees with Noonan about this -- the scaring, albeit not anything else that I can tell.

I think that, as investors, we aren't just tired of being scared by U.S. politicians here. We are tired of being scared by the ministers overseas, particularly given that our companies have done much to break the linkages by which they used to be hamstrung.

U.S. banks have pulled back dramatically from their European exposure. Sure, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase maintain a presence, and Goldman Sachs is active in the capital markets. But none of these firms can swing around the capital they used to be able to do, courtesy of Dodd-Frank.

JPMorgan is chastised by the "London whale" and has cut back exposure. Michael Corbatt, the new CEO of Citigroup, has said point-blank he's backing away from unprofitable markets, which no doubt includes some of these obscure places that are nonetheless potential trouble spots. Yes, Morgan Stanley has some exposure, but the new Morgan Stanley is largely a brokerage house.