Black Friday & pepper spray

I’ve always loved Black Friday. Back in my broker days it was the best day of the year to go to work. An old depression era rule decrees the stock market cannot be closed more than three days in a row, the only time it’s been broken was in the darkest days right after 9-11. So the NYSE and NASDAQ dutifully open for three or four hours, junior floor specialists and a handful of market-makers man the exchanges. In hundreds of broker-dealer offices around the country, like the one I worked in for years, a few sales assistants and maybe a standing compliance officer come to work, the sweet odor of margaritas and egg nog have been known to waft delicately through the empty hallways and offices.
But Black Friday for retail is a whole different story. It’s hustle and bustle, the official start of the Christmas shopping season. Later last night at a Walmart in California one neurotic shopper took that way, way too far. And where do you suppose she got this crowd control idea?

(LAtimes) — Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.” Lopez described a chaotic scene in the San Fernando Valley store among shoppers looking for video games soon after the sale began.