Another hopeful sign
Just checked out a brokerage stock, AMTD, on http://www.stockcharts.com, a site I'm fond of because it allows you to individualize charts much more than most sites, the Fool included, do. Long story short, the technical indicators seem to indicate that this brokerage at least has entered into a medium-term uptrend. Which means that this bear market might actually be over now. Let's not forget that the stock market is a LEADING indicator, not a lagging one.
It is, of course, possible that other brokerages are better buys than AMTD, but I'm not in the mood to speculate about which ones are and which aren't at the moment. But covering any shorts you might have in the industry seems advisable now.