Given the widespread distrust of financial institutions and the extremely depressed valuations of most publicly traded depositories, one modestly helpful action would be for bank directors to purchase stock in their own institutions for the foreseeable future with the monthly board fees they receive.

Such buying would not constitute anything close to a meaningful amount of trading activity (except for the smallest of microcap institutions), but it would send an unmistakable signal of confidence to both the general public and market participants. After all, there are many reasons for officers and directors to sell stock, but there is only one reason they buy stock: They think the price is going up.

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