I had a flashback this morning.
It had been nearly 50 years since I’s been on the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey, the road that hugs the Jersey side of the Hudson River.
Obviously, we didn’t get to that side very often and with the exception of an enduring admiration for Bruce Springsteen and his endless stories about his home state, I’ve never had reason to return.
I’ve made it a point to avoid all New Jersey public restrooms along the way as I’ve made the journey from Washington, DC to New York
The last time that I can recall being on that road was part of a family outing that took us to the old Palisades Amusement Park. Like Freedomland, an amusement park in the Bronx, Palisades Amusement Park has long met the wrecker’s ball and real esate speculator’s grasp.
Unlike Freedom Land, at least Palisades Park has found immortal fame by being the title of a rock song from the late 50’s by the Coasters.
For all I know, it may have been the Platters and it may have been in the 60’s, but you don’t pay good money to read this blog for certified details.
As a child, I also remember going through what turns out to be a series of universal beliefs among children, up until reaching a specific developmental milestone.
My Sugar Momma, with whom I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary today, will gladly volunteer the opinion that I’ve never reached certain developmental milestones.
Nonetheless, I believed that the person appearing on the television screen could see what I was doing, because all kids believed that.
Captain Kangaroo must have thought that I was a sick f**k.
And like all kids, I also believed that everything that occured in life happened because of something that I had done.
Sort of like Laszlo the Dog believing that the FedEx guy left his turf because he barked loudly and ferociously in his direction, each and every time he comes.
That’s the same reason why kids always believe that they were the cause of their parents’ divorce.
I continue to grieve over the Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher divorce, even though there little rational basis for feeling that way.
But here I was today, a very exciting day for me, but now one tinged in shame and a feeling of personal responsibility once the market decided to have a seizure.
Thanks to the entirely accidental efforts of my publicity agent I found myself appearing on Bloomberg Rewind, hosted by Matt Miller.
As a strong believer in mathematical modeling, I can state with great certainty that every time I appear on Bloomberg Rewind, the market goes into a tailspin.
The facts bear me out on this one and I understand that it can only be my fault.
There I was to promote myself, my book and my fervent belief that the GOP debate should have included Joe Paterno and should have not been influenced by the sad reports and allegations.
Anyway, the past couple of days I had moaned about just how boring the past two days had been, but I’ll still take the 200 point gains, thank you.
Driving along the Palisades Parkway and following the market’s dreadful action, I couldn’t help but believe that I was responsible. The images of childhood came back, but along with them were those developmental traits that had been long buried.
What had I done to cause a 400 drop? Was there anything that I could do to make things better? Could I have been a better investor and not such a disappointment to the market’s overlords?
How did this child bleed them?
Surely things would get better when cooler heads prevailed. Of course, that’s what most believed 2,000 years ago, as well.
When the market opens on Thursday, that may well be the case. But as far as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, things aren’t likely to work out that way.
After delaying its earnings release by about two weeks and being in the crosshairs of David Einhorn, today was a bad day to announce disappointing earnings.
In general, you know that it hasn’t been a good day when the best news was that Groupon’s share price didn’t fall as much as the overall market.
“Yes, Mrs. Lincoln, but his tophat is untouched'”
It was also a bad day to own Green Mountain shares, although Thursday will be worse as the institutional sellers begin to bail. Now might be a good time to scrap that strategic deal with Starbucks and instead infuse those soon to be non-proprietary K-Cups with some Diageo offerings or maybe some brown heroin.
But still, the thoughts haunt me.
Was there anything I could have done about that? Was that my fault?
Surely I could drink more coffee. Increased risk for prostate cancer may be a small price to pay for a couple of dollars rebound.
Besides, I already have the mustache and already donate to my namesake, the American Cancer Society.
Or I could not have gotten myself so enthralled with the $5 weekly options premiums over the past 3 weeks that it would have wiped out all feelings of guilt and responsibility.
Granted that those premiums bought the cost basis down, but still, I have to take responsibilty. I mean, why else would this company with questionable accounting and a questionable story ahead of it, just drop off the cliff?
As I deal with today’s plummet, I also dealt with that childhood belief that the TV characters were seeing me and watching everything that I did.
Still, if that’s what it took to be on good behavior, maybe that’s a childhood trait that we should retain forever, maybe helping our weakened super-egos deal with all of the temptations out there.
And do, today I was on good behavior.
I even wore a sport jacket and tie as I learned that the people on the TV screen were actually three dimensional characters. Not only in their appearance, but in personality, as well.
Knowing that my segment would be up against yet another GOP candidates debate, I tried to fight off the guilt that I was responsible for the sorry state of the candidates.
Who shall lead them?
No one seems to really want it.
It just amazes me that people are beginning to talk up the Newt Gingrich surge in the polls.
What I’d really like to see, now that I’m in New York for a couple of days is a Rupert Murdoch New York Post inspired front page shouting out that “The Troll Rises in The Poll.”
Granted, the extremists that seem to prop up the most unlikely of candidates have already backed away from that ocularly crazed Minnesotan, although that could just as easily describe Jesse Ventura.
Watching a replay of the debate after arriving back at the hotel following Bloomberg Rewind, it was clear that the candidates were there own worst enemies.
Especially Rick Perry.
There’s no plausible reason for anyone else to take blame for his belief that he could lead.
With a market selling off 400 points lots of people are ready to fall into the “follower mode” and persue their need to panic.
As long as everything remains on paper, and paper only, why not pay attention to what technicians are always telling ius?
Not only do stock prices revert to their means, but so too should our emotions.
Whether feeling giddy about a couple of hundred points climb or in panic over losses like today, common sense should tell us that even those emotions should seek to revert to a mean, especially before doing anything stupid.
Like dumping shares wholesale.
Or you could just pop Zoloft.
Ultimately, I don’t know if another “child shall lead them.”
That would be sacrileous to think so. It’s bad enough that I was in Cirque in NYC laughing at what appeared to be a statue of a Hindu God.
I disown those moments. I feel guilty about them.
But the child in each of us, the child that reacts based on an undeveloped system of cognition will definitely bleed us, if we allow it to happen.
Take today’s 400 point loss on paper and only feel guilt if you choose to join in on the fear. Instead prey on the greed and the fear that others exhibit.
Lead yourselves out and everything else will follow.