Friday, September 19, 2008

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) It's been a long time coming, but the Bush SEC finally did something that makes sense.

2) Here's an investment tip, gratis: All bull markets in recent memory, since we came off the gold standard, have ended after a bout of what Alan Greenspan understated as "irrational exuberance." All bear markets end with a significant redistribution of wealth to the poor and middle classes, usually in the form of government grants and unemployment and welfare checks. So the advice is really simple: when you're making a lot of money in the market, and you can't understand precisely why, it's a good time to think about getting out. You have about one to two years, unless you've realized this at the back end of the trend, in which case you ought to freeze your money immediately.

And when people are hurting badly, and the government is forced to intervene directly, that means the markets will shortly show a turnaround. Shortly, again, being up to one year.

4) One more thing. In order to effectively utilize this advice, you have to do one more thing: pay attention. For the bull market advice, that usually means when the mainstream, not business, media pick up on a trend that directly affects the financial markets, like the dotcom bubble or the easy mortgage money, you start edging towards the exit. When the news reports that Congress is extending unemployment benefits, for example, you start pooling money together.

5) One codicil: not all bull markets and bear markets are bull or bear. Sometimes, they are merely violent corrections, like the crash of 1987 (two days later, stocks posted their single best day ever and recaptured many of the losses). When you're surprised by a market move, if you've been paying attention, that's likely a market correction. It happens. This is why you always try to play with house money, or at the very least disposable income.

6) Sorry for spending so much time this week on this, but I suspect we're heading into the teeth of a storm. It's important.

7) Joe Biden, populist? I happen to agree with him: if you've made a bundle off the bounty this nation has given you the opportunity to make, you owe it to the nation to pay it forward.

8) Thank GOD we won't have Gates-Seinfeld to kick around anymore!

9) Hm. It turns out I was right all along: conservatives are more scared than liberals!

10) This is your VP Candidate:

11) This is your VP Candidate reading hate mongering material:

12) This is the hate mongering she supports: American Opinion Magazine, published by the John Birch Society. Any questions?

13) They should have built this school. They could have cut the sex education budget down to a dollar a student and sent them next door!

14) The last baseball game ever at Yankee Stadium will be played this Sunday. You can watch it on ESPN. As a Mets fan, part of me is thinking good riddance to bad rubbish, but as a baseball fan, one has to tip one's hat to a stadium with the history that Yankee Stadium has. I've been to a couple of games (and required hospital stays twice to recover from the shame!) and while it's not unique in any way in and of itself, you can't help but feel the history flow through you.

15) Which reminds me: Shea Stadium closes next weekend, and I will attend. I'll post my thoughts about this rattletrap in the next couple of days.