“It was the best of times, its was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us . . .” Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two CitiesThe best of times seems like a distant memory in so many ways, particularly as we focus on all the bad news out there and ignore the good that peeks through occasionally. There’s plenty of ‘darkness’ adding to our confusion, but there are hints of light too. On Tuesday, Cisco’s Chairman John Chambers spoke of improving business. His comments and his company’s results sent the markets soaring, as short-sellers covered their bets against optimism and buyers bet that the pessimism might be waning. If only for a day, optimism was openly discussed and celebrated and the negative took a brief respite.