I'll make it easy for you.
If you haven't seen any of them lately, check out one of them - any one.
It doesn't matter which one, because - really frighteningly - they all look remarkably alike.
Talk about dangerous liaisons!
Fitch Ratings warned Wednesday that contagion from Europe's debt hangover could seriously impact U.S. banks. That's amazing. How did they ever figure that out? And so quickly!
Of course, that's not new "news." So why did U.S. equity markets, which were enjoying a reasonably positive day, turn tail and sell off hard into the close?
Because the truth is, regardless of incipient talk of some U.S. decoupling from global equity markets (yeah... good luck with that), we are all in this dirty, messed-up bed together.
The bottom dirty sheet is the Eurozone (okay, it's really all of Europe). The top dirty sheet is the United States. And the contaminated "comforter" that's been keeping us all somewhat cozy since the markets hit their Great Recession lows back in March 2009 is, collectively, the emerging markets. (As an aside, I hate calling them "emerging." They have arrived.)
Let me explain.
I call Europe the bottom sheet because it's like a fitted sheet. You know, the kind where the corners come together and hug the mattress so it doesn't fall off. That's Europe. Its debt problems are intractable. The only way the European Union can get its dirty sheet to the laundry is by pulling the corners of the Union apart.
That can be done only one of two ways.