Life is a Paradox

The epic paradox, the statement by Pinocchio, “My nose will Grow now”, has always captured my attention.

By always, I mean ever since this morning when I tried to find an illustration for the”paradox” theme of today’s blog. I was actually considering using a mathemetical paradox that illustrates how 5 = 4, but I thought that would require far too much thinking for everyone involved.

That one really blows my mind and calls into question the very validity of certain mathematical operational theories.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less about Pinocchio, for all I know, he doesn’t even exist.

Why we spend so much time of that which doesn’t exist is beyond me.

But that is the essence of a paradox. It’s existence is outside of the universe of reality, yet somehow exists within that reality.

Spending so much time in the unreal reality can be very profitable, though. Just look at the trade in non-existent securities.

Welcome to the world of the short seller.

In many societies selling what you don’t own is a crime. There may even be a Commandment against that sort of thing.

While not a paradox, per se, philosphers and theologians have long asked why it seems that the wicked prosper while in this life.

Take the example of those selling sliver short. They own no silver, sell what they don’t own and are dancing all the way to the back.

ParadoxTaking that to one further step of lunacy are the holders of the levearged short silver ETF. Now, admittedly, I’ve been one of those for about a week and am not complaining about being part of the paradox. Those shares are up 70% in 5 trading days.

Not only selling what you don’t own, the people selling the security may not even own the silver and then, just for kicks, let’s double the ante.

Instead of 2 times zero, the result is 2 times whatever.

I’m not saying that  this is wicked behavior, for I certainly like to think that I lead a reasonably virtuous life. Albeit a bit more wealthy than 5 days ago.

Short sellers have long been reviled. If the general population knew what a short seller  actually was, they would be right up there with lawyers for the top spot in the derogatory joke category.

Something’s missing, though.

Oh, yeah. The silver.

Also missing is the common sense that would realize that the raising of margin requirements would at the very least have a short term adverse effect on the commodity’s price. Especially in market fundamentals were already taking the price in a downward direction.

Also missing are all of the silver touters who were profiled on TV insisting the the price was still poised to move forward. They’ve been replaced by those that have insisted that they were well prepared for the inevitable bursting bubble.

Prepared, perhaps, but out of sight. These people seem to be very good at deconstructing prophecies. Simply evaluate present circumstances and work backward to see what position would have predicted the now known outcome and profess to have held the position.

Paradox, stupidity, blinded by greed. Take your pick, but it’s amazing how quickly the Bin Laden story has been displaced by another bursting bubble.

And no one is clamoring to see photos of the holes being blasted through silver or the pieces of paper that puport to have a right to silver, and then some.

  

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Why I Love the Modern World

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Today is a perfect example of everything that’s right with the modern world.


Normally, I’m pretty much of a stay at home schlub. I’m not even sure if that’s really a Yiddish word or not, but I can’t describe myself as a stay at home dad, now that my kids are out of the house.


Fortunately, they haven’t figured out that a locksmith could help them get back in.


But that’s not the point.


Today is one of those days that I will be out of the house most all day. No, not because it’s Cinco de Mayo. I have no idea what that celebrates, except I know that it’s not something that I celebrate.


Although I may be a schlub, I do make most of our family income by trading, while I sit and stare at the computer and the TV screen. At least I’m not a worthless schlub and I have taken on more of the cooking chores, because I feel my Sugar Momma deserves some culinary delights.


But ever since we got Caller ID on the TV screen, I don’t even have to turn my head anymore. If only La-Z-Boy would finally put a chamode in their recliners, then I’d be really poised to suspend most voluntary body functions. At least until the closing bell.


Green AcresJust to be clear, there are some things about the modern world that I don’t like. The very idea that there will never be another new episode of Green Acres starring the original cast is just inexcusable.


Yet somehow, we manage to go on.


I also miss some of my childhood candies, such as Bonomo Bars, that have had 50 years to make their return, but have not.


Although my teeth are probably grateful for that, the rest of me remembers the joys of trying to devour the razor sharp pieces.


But there’s no reason to dwell in the past, reliving such things as having Green Mountain Coffee shares exercised from me $25 ago.


Instead, let’s focus on what’s great about the modern world.



The fact that I could write this blog while stuck in traffic is one of the pretty cool things. Although when you enter into my state, you are greeted with traffic signs warning drivers aginst texting, it says nothing about blogging.


But better yet, during the day, even going from meeting to meeting, I’ll be able to make trades just by going to that wonderful Droid my sons convinced me to get.


I may, however, cut down on my superfluous Tweets tomorrow.  Luckily, they also convinced me that the unlimited data plan was worth it, because it has been.


One thing about the modern world, before I go on, that I don’t like, is the propensity to change the meanings of words. One prime example is “unlimited”, as in “unlimited data”. Putting a limit on  unlimited seems wrong. Although I do understand the concept of throttling. That’s just like continually getting smaller and smaller portions when you go to the “All you Can Eat” deals at Applebees.


Who knows what kind of mammal has ribs that small?


But still, the good outweighs the bad, especially since I don’t eat ribs.


Someday, this modern world will figure out a way to impant a cable TV receiving chip in my eyes so that I can always be connected, as I disconnect from the reality of the world that is trying to intrude on my preferred reality.


Not being glued to the screen robs the chance to get up to the second worthless news.


I also must admit, that in the 10 days or so that I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve grown to like the postings of a number of people, some of whom are really pretty funny. I will miss the constant real time updates, although I’ve pruned my “Following List” down by 50%.


Since I make it a strong rule to never use public restrooms, I’ll have some difficulty keeping up with the Tweets.


One thing that I really like about the modern world is how fast everything moves. Specifically, I love how fast the stock markets moved.


Without dealing in percentages, imagine how many years it would have taken to double the Dow Jones in the 1950’s. Imagine how long it used to take to recover from any kind of drop in prices. A generation is the answer, as that wa not a rhetorical question.


These days, you blink your eyes twice and your favorite stock has run through a couple of up and down cycles and then some.


I own shares in Mosaic, Rio Tinto and Freeport MacMoRan. Despite that heavy load, my portfolios are still well diversifed. But those stocks gyrate like wild, yet still manage to stay in a range.


Never would have happened that way when Arthur Burns was Chairman of the Federal Reserve.


Man that guy had great hair, but most will admit that things really picked up after a bald Volcker took the reins.


Since then, baldness has been the modern day version of hair.


My full headed mane speaks poorly of my keeping up with the times. I’ve been trying as hard as possible to increase my stress levels, thinking that may cause some exfoliation, but now that Bin Laden has started on his journey to meet his 72 virgins, I have less to worry about.


And it’s a good thing, because I’ve been spending too much time worrying about these past few down days.


I know that it will soon change course, but what if the new modern world end up just like the old times?


At least Green Acres would be back.





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Looking for Inspiration

Most mornings I’m up at 6:30 or so.

That gives me plenty of time to have coffee, read the New York Times and check on the pre-opening bell news.

For some inexplicable reason, I slept in this morning. But not only did I sleep in, I missed the opening bell for the first time in a couple of years.

As I’m hurriedly trying to make up for the time that can never be recovered, I’m not getting much inspiration. I haven’t, though, checked the Obituaries yet.

tortureSo far, the predominant coverage in the Times is the role and value of torture. I prefer, “harsh interrogation” methods.

Although I’ve been searching, I haven’t been able to find any derivitive trades off of torture. Those must all be privately held companies.

Torture, I suppose, comes in many forms.

The picture to the left is entitled “Chinese Torture”. That kind of torture may also come in the form of their IPO offerings. I believe that the ingenue pictured was a RenRen friend.

That’s why I’m so proud that I have no friends in my Facebook account.

But I have had my share of tortuous trades in the past.

Some of them were in companies that had the dubious distinction of being the largest percentage loser for its year.

I once owned L.F. Rothschild, a scion of investment banking.

Look that one up. It’s too painful to relive.

It is also painful to not have time to accept the fact that the market will be opening way down. That’s the problem with sleeping in. It was a little bit of  a shock to see that the market was down 100 points before I even had a chance to fire up the computer.

Much less have any coffee.

I did get one trade off so far. I bought back some Textron $26 call options. That’s the second time for that particular trade for the May 2011 cycle.

But as I watch those shares of ZSL, the leveraged silver short shares, I kick myself for having covered those shares, as well.

Missed opportunities can be tortuous as well, but still, I’m not likely to give up any valuable information.

My real concern this morning is that I’ve noticed a very substantial decrease in the number of new Osama Bin Laden jokes hitting the internet.

I’m not much of a historian, but I think that the last time he died, that marked a market top and sudden reversal in fortunes.

I may be wrong on that count, but I’m willing to stand by it, as I watch my own fortunes fall this morning.

At this point, as we approach noontime, and man, it’s great to not have to work, I’m still not getting the inspiration I need. There really doesn’t seem to be anything special about today. No unique character, no defining theme.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a moment of boredom intrude on the rapid fire lives we live.

I’ve decided that for today, I’m just going to sit back, continue sipping away at the lukewarm coffee and wonder what happened to that piece of Cheesecake Factory dessert that was in the refrigerator.

That’ll keep me occupied for the rest of the day, at least until my wife gets home.

That’s when the harsh interrogations begin.

 

 

 

 

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A Day Here, a Day There

I won’t quibble over a day here or there.

International dateline, questionable reporting, time differences, you can take your pick.

I was born on at 3:30 AM on April 7th in Hungary, but in a logical world, now that I live in the U.S., I should be celebrating my birthday on April 6th.

I don’t. That would be stupid, albeit, logical.

Yesteday, May 1st, we learned of Osama bin Laden’s death. One of my kids joined the OBLthrong at the White House, the other donned his National Guard uniform and sent me a photo.

I already have the days’ newspaper wrapped in plastic.

Was the glorious day on May 1st, was it April 30th? Who knows and who cares?

But it may by no means be coincidence that Adolph Hitler’s date of death was reportedly April 30th and officially reported May 1st.

Sure, as a child I remember all of those wierd Lincoln and Kennedy similarities.

This is different.

As Americans, we have often been immune from the sense of relief and pure joy when evil dies.Fortunately, 3000 miles of ocean, a strong military and an abiding sense of justice has kept us safe for most of our history.

We haven’t had to endure the daily evils of the likes of Idi Amin or the long list of others.

Even though it’s been almost 10 years since the World Trade Center attacks, we’ve taken some solace that the evils guys probably never were able to close both eyes at night.

Even though it appears that Bin Laden’s final home was more luxurious than the caves we had been hoping that he had been living in, I don’t think you ever really get used to the unexpected sound of overhead explosions.

To some, it may be inappropriate to compare Bin Laden to Hitler. Since I never met the vast majority of my family because they perished during the Holocaust, I feel like I can take a pass on any complaints.

It’s akin to why some people can get away with Gangsta rap lyrics while others can’t.

The only difference between Bin Laden and Hitler is that Bin Laden was deprived the opportunity to carry out his master plan.

If not for the United States and its dogged effort to find Bin Laden, the  “spiritual” leader of al Qaeda (talk about an oxymoron), they would have been far more devestation.

In their tortuous logic, these terrorist zombies will claim that if it were not for the United States there would be no al Qaeda.

No on knew better how useful it was to them to have the United States and Israel be considered the enemy than the leaders of the Arab world.

The longer they could divert attention to the great “Satans” the less likely they would be to suffer the wrath of their own people.

That world is changing.

Democrarcies never go to war with one another.

The Middle East is on a precipice. Just a tip in the right direction and true democracy may overwhelm the region.

The outcome? Once the people see the lies fed to them by their own governments for generations, they are likely to be even more angered by all of the lost opportunities to be part of the civilized world.

In fact, they are likely to discover that neither the United States nor Israel are evil. Only their previous ruling regimes could rightfully take that honor.

Even the “beloved” Saudi regime knew all too well that the more it fomented chaos elsewhere, the less likely its own legitamacy would be questioned.

They realized that 50 years ago.

They, nor anyone else, had love for the Palestinians, but as long as they could stoke the fires against the Israelis, the longer they could delay that fire encroaching on their own turf.

But the winds have changed.

April 30th, May 1st?  Doesn’t really matter.

Today, I feel more safe and more optomistic than in a very long time.

I haven’t even checked my portfolio even once, now an hour into the open. Talk about a shift in winds.

As my brain is aging, there’s only room for a limited number of “where were you when…” kind of memories. I’ll have to displace something to make room for where I was when news of Bin Laden’s death was announced.

It happened to come on the birthdate of my uncle who died as a relatively young man, having  physically survived Aushcwitz, but not otherwise.

For me, yesterday was a little bit of a birthday present to him from Adolph and Osama.

For the rest of the world, it also meant a pre-emption of the closing 30 minutes of Trump’s Celebrity apprentice.

As the Passover Seder song says, if all that would have been done for us was to deliver us from The Donald, “Dayenu”. It would have been sufficient.

But the gifts kept coming.

Sorry, Mark McGwire, I no longer remember whgere I was when you hit your 62nd.

And so it goes.

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What would Cash Do?





Whenever I’m at a point in my life that I feel that I need direction I find myself often looking at the bracelet on my wrist. It’s a simple, very unassuming bracelet with just four simple letters: WWCD?

What would Cash Do?

 I know that this is supposed to be a financial blog but sometimes it’s not.

Yesterday was one of those days and it’s spilled over to today. I’m not thinking about the kind of cash that you need to do everything in life. The kind of cash it takes to buy things, like stocks or food.

Johnny CashThe cash that I’m talking about is Johnny Cash.

As much as I admire Johnny Cash as a modern day Saint with a voice from the heavens, I must admit that I’ve always been a little squeamish about the lyrics to one of his songs:

“But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die”

Just how sick and demented is that?

But then my idle mind wondered that if I had the ability to bring someone back to life,who would it be?

By the way, once that person is returned to life, you would also be required to watch him die again.

Now who would you choose?

There was a lot of discussion yesterday about the ethics or morality of revenge.

Obviously, the framing of the question is underlied by the wording. Is it revenge or is it justice?

By the same token is it morality or ethics that are at issue when discussing whether it is appropriate to be happy about the death of another human being.

Admittedly, there is some shame to being happy about the death of anyone, but that shame probably pales in comparison to the shame that should be felt by the people saddened to see the evil die.

You know that there are plenty of those people and they are certainly not thinking about the dilemmas attendant to those thoughts.

Most of us have differences with them. For example, I have a hard time referring to Osama bin Laden as having been “martyred”, especially since he tried using his wife’s body to intercept bullets meant for him.

Or perhaps he just wanted to share his martyrdom.

Oh, that’s nice.

Yesterday, was obviously a very unique day for most everyone within reach of civilization.

Think about the wonderful events in your life. I’m not suggesting that this was one of them, but it’s only natural to want to replay or relive those wonderful moments.

So in a pretense that there’s actually something related to the markets in today’s blog, I played  a trade of Mosaic that I had entered into just this past Friday. I bought back the call options that I had sold then and am now ready to re-sell those same options for the third time in 2 weeks.

Mosaic

In this 2 week chart, Mosaic is unhanged, but in that period it had plenty of2% moves, each of which gave nice opportunity to cash in on sales and repurchases of call options.

That’s the kind of replay that brings happiness to me. I would never get tired of that trade and that’s why I love Mosaic. Did I mention the profit involved?

But yesterday’s events muted any of my attention to the markets. The rest of the world seemed to be distracted in precisely the same way. There was no relief rally, just a quiet day in the trading pits.

In a world where evil behavior can be so easily rationalized, the behavior of the market was quite healthy today. The fact is that the market didn’t need a relief rally. It just needed a breater.

And we needed that breather, too. We needed the opportunity to revel in the good news of the day.

There’s nothing like unmitigated joy to to help you forget about everything else.

Both of my kids made it to the White House last night for the impromptu celebration.

So instead of spending the day trading or looking for opportunities, I thought how in a world where everything seems to be caught on video these days, it seems eerily empty to not have video of the Special Ops attack on bin Laden’s compound.

How we all would have loved to replay that video.

Instead, I have to be left with the fantasy of choosing someone to bring back to life, just to watch him die.

I tried to think about that before going to bed last night, but all I could really envision was the sight and image of bin Laden cowering behind his wife.

That’s a sight that the entire world should see.

My guess is that the Arab world might agree that the only virgins bin Laden should be entitled to are the ones who played Dungeons and Dragons for 200 or more consecutive hours. And to top it off, he would get twice the normal allotment.

Is it justice or revenge?

I’ll have a helping of both, thank you.

But as I think about it, it is with great humility that I have to disagree with Johnny Cash.

I think I would rather see that image of the coward bin Laden using his wife, the human shield, in a pathetic attempt to avoid justice.

That sight would be so much sweeter than going the Cash route.

Much more moral, too, as if anyone cared.

 

 




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William and Kate’s Big Day

Seems like only yesterday that I was attending the Royal Bris of Prince William, the future King of England.

Royal WerddingLots has happened since then, most of which explains why I didn’t receive an invitation to the Royal Nuptials.

My comment at the time that the Royal Moyle should have snipped a bit of Prince Charles’ ears was not taken in the humorous vein that I had intended.

Heh, heh. Royal Moyle. Sometimes I amuse myself.

And I swear that it wasn’t me that requested a courtesy flush from the Queen, although it’s a fact that she has digestive issues.

My backdoor plan to be the Syrian Ambassador’s “plus one” was foiled, when the House of Windsor withdrew the invitation due to sensitivity over events in Syria.

At least that was the official story.

Nonetheless, today, I am still very excited.

Sure, sure, it’s the wedding thing, but I’m just an onlooker there. But even moreso it’s that E*Trade has finally unveiled its weekly options trading platform.

I can’t wait to get going with that since the original Option to Profit newsletter and its recommendations were all based on final week options cycle trading.

Now, I can do it every week.

More commissions for E*Trade too, as if my $10,000+ in commissions last year wasn’t enough, but it’s all well spent and reciprocated with good service and execution.

That’s why I had to economize a bit on William and Kate’s wedding gift. Although I’m certain when “Famous Dave’s” opens up its first location in England, they will delight in using their gift card and chowing down on the frozen Cornwall on the Cob.

The weekly options are perfect for me to deal with the holdings for which I haven’t quite found the right regular options opportunity. I do get frustrated when I’m sitting on shares that aren’t generating some kind of return. This month, and fortunately it’s a 5 week options cycle, I still have about 5 holdings that are not bringing home the fish and chips.

After a couple of unemotionally charged up days that seemed to have little to no conviction, I’m expecting a lower close for the week, despite thepre-open futures numbers.

What post-press conference Bernanke Bounce there may have been should soon be dissipated.

For my sake, I hope so, as my ROI so far this month is lower than the S&P. That doesn’t happen very often, but is the risk you take when you sell call options ahead of an upward moving market.

Still, there’s 3 weeks still left in this cycle and if all goes to script there’ll be a market drop before then.

Listen, if the Divine Creator can allow a Prince to find a commoner from among a sea of non-royals, he/she sjhould be capable of a little market gyration.

Speaking of which, Queen Elizabeth does a mean hula once she’s had a couple of Boilermakers.

  

 

 

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I Don’t Understand Currencies

Since no one else will say so, I will.


I’m a pretty smart guy.


Two degrees from Harvard, living a pretty good life, only working if I want to and having a Sugar Momma go off to work 4 days a week.


Not bad. Kids are out of the house, dog is low maintenance and the coffee is fresh.


But as hard as I’ve tried, I really don’t understand currencies. And let me throw in bonds, too.


All of this talk about the dollar, interest rates, currency exchanges just leave me dazed.


Forget about concepts like the Japanese Yen Carry Trade.


And yet, all sorts of morons are extolling their insights into the FOREX and willing to sell you a piece of their underdeveloped cortical lobes.


But at least I do know that the sanctity of the value of the US Dollar is a heated area of discussion.


In fact, yesterday, Art Cashin, while on CNBC, referred to Tim Geithner’s statement regarding his defense of the value of the dollar as being a “Pinocchio statement”.


Then there’s the perennial Ron Paul crusade. Gold, dollar, consipracy. Whatever. Today he used the word “collusion”.


SantelliBut this morning, just as I thought that I was at least beginning to understand the sides, comes RIck Santelli to upend my tenuous comfort zone.


As he was very patiently and uncharacteristically listening to the question set-up, he started his response by calling Chairman Bernanke an “honorable man”.


The cynical me would have interpreted that somewhat akin to starting a response with the preface “With all due respect…”


But the rant never came off.


He actually did not diss Bernanke.He did not come to bury him.In fact, hestated that he believed that Bernake was a good American and had the interest’s of the country heart.


I ascribe this to the fallout from Obama’s full birth certificate being released.


Who knew that so much venom could be controlled by a single piece of paper?


Maybe the next thing to occur will be Trump changing his hair style.


But getting back to my ignorance, and mind you, I’ve always been very good with numbers and math theory, even having read Irving Adler’s book on mathematical theory in 9th grade, yet still the currency thing escapes me.


Yes, I understand the inverse nature of all things interest rate related. I know to think backwards when it’s called for. I even know not to end a sentence with a preposition.


I understand that as the Euro strengthens, the dollar may weaken (leaving out the further complication of the Swiss Franc).


But I like the idea of being able to pare down our deficit by taking advantage of a weak dollar. Isn’t that also good for our exports? Or is that something that needs to be considered as the inverse of the inverse?


But again, Santelli honoring Bernanke?


That really throws things into a tailspin.


I’ve checked my Harvard degrees. They are irrevocable, not like those honorary pieces on faux parchment.


My best explanation, until proven otherwise, is that this was just another dream.


The idea of Santelli being respectful of Ben Bernanke is more ludicrous than KrispyKreme sending Herb Greenberg a box of free doughnuts daily, in thanks for his thoughtful and insightful analyses of their business practices and accounting.


It could happen.


 


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Too Much?

I’m at that age that I don’t dream that much anymore.


Maybe I still do, but if so, then I don’t remember much.


Ear hairAs you do get older, I think that it’s just a natural tendency to ascribe everything to the aging process. I recently covered the phenomenon of “ear hair”, but there’s really no shortage of changes, that one can only assume are age related.


But last night I did have a dream, a very vivid one at that. With the exception of the dog slobber, though, the bedding remained dry.


 


Interestingly, the dream was about Bed, Bath and Beyond.


 



Okay, maybe not so interesting.


I’ve never even been a shareholder, although admittedly, I do enjoy trying to maneuver a shopping cart through its narrow and maze like aisles, while following my wife as she hunts for “tchotchkes”.


Amazing how that word is making the auto-spell go berserk. I tyhink the CPU is starting to smoke, as well.


Anyway, the essence of the dream is that I was, indeed, a shareholder and extraordiarily disappointing quarterely earnings were released, resulting in a stampede to sell.


My reaction while in slumberland?


“Bed, Bath and Beyond?. I don’t think so. More like Bloodbath and Beyond”.


And that was it.


The whole dream turned out to be nothing more than a soundbite or a pun that no one, including me, would appreciate. The greatest likelihood is that it’s not even original.


And besides, what kind of normal person dreams about earnings reports for a stock that he’s never owned?


Too much?


Too much!


I suppose I coujld be doing things that advance society wity all of my spare time, rather than sitting, sipping coffee, watching CNBC and looking for trading opportunities.


Yeah, and then this blog and those damn addicting Tweets.


But then I hear things like Boone Pickens saying “An economist is just a CPA without a personality”. Well, it’s those little throwaway snippets that make it all worthwhile, never mind that my youngest son just declared Economics as his major and my nephew is graduating next month as an Economics major.


No offense taken.


Of course, then my mind was equally entertained when a photo of Ron Pauil was shown, announcing that he was the on-deck CNBC guest and in the background they were playing the refrain “Tramps like us…” from Springsteen’s “Born to Run”.


I don’t quite get the connection, but it gives me something to think about.


And then, did I hear it wrong, or did Art Cashin call Geithner a liar when he referred to his recent defense of the dollar as a “Pinocchio comment”.


Whoa, let’s see Geithner’s birth certificate. Althoiugh given his less than dynamic personality, I think they may even have difficulty in dredging up a Certificate of Live Birth.


Meanwhile, the first real thing I did this morning, this second week of earnings season, was to check when BBBY was scheduled to report earnings.


They’re still 2 months away from their next report. So then I looked at their 1 year price chart and that was followed by the May 2011 options tables.


That’s a bad sign when I start letting dreams direct my investing activities.


Luckily, it’s still an hour away from the opening bell and there’s plenty of time for rational thought to take hold and prevent me from doing something irrational.


Besides, if you’ve bought the OTP book, you know that I keep a list of about 50 “Old Reliables”, stocks that I trade in and out of as appropriate. I rarely vary from that list.


BBBY isn’t on the list.


Not quite the same entrance criteria as used to be used at Studio 54, but at least I’m still standing and I’m very grateful that Puff Daddy didn’t turn state’s evidence on me.


I’m afraid that today’s market actions will be muted and not because of the uncertainty of my dreams.


I think that absent any great earth shaking news, literally and figuratively, the world is waiting to see what Bernanke will say at the much heralded press conference.


I’m betting that he’ll admit to a series of unsolved murders in the Southwest.


Maybe he’ll announce that he’s a finalist on “The Voice”.


Sure, I know, some of you are probably replacing “The Voice” with “The Biggest Loser”, but I’m not in that category. Besides, I’ve seen the Chairman’s birth certificate.


I happen to use my own Bernanke indicator.


I look at the thickness of his “Talis Bag”.


For some of my readers, you may as well Google that, along with “Tschotchkes”.


I used to use the velocity of the graying of his beard to assess our economic status, but these days there’s no longer any velocity.


As always, the talking heads are taking all sides on the reasons for this unprecedented press conference, as well as the outcomes on the day’s trading.


My guess is that somehow he will affirm the seriousness of S&P’s warning last week, while balancing that with statements pointing to an improving economic picture.


He’ll mention the balancing of increased revenues with spending cuts as being first steps toward a resolution of the debt crisis.


Or he may just talk about the NFL lockout.


Watching Ron Paul, I’m certain that Bernanke won’t admit that he’s finally converted to Paul’s gold position and the currency. and the role of the Federal Reserve.


Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist, but it was interesting that Ron Paul’s satellite feed seemed to go out just as soon as he started his rant.


Besides, Ron Paul’s Talis Bag is might thin.


So who are you going to trust?


 

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Life is a Zero Sum Game






I really do believe that.


It starts from the very beginning. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.


Yin and Yang.


From what I can see, based on my lost earnings opportunities since my recent addiction to Twitter, they must really be worth a fortune.


I assume that many people that post regularly on Twitter are giving up some income opportunities. Well, in a zero sum game, those have to go somewhere and it looks like that series of tubes in sucking it all in.


Rainn WilsonAs much as I’ve been amazed at the reach of Twitter and how it really does level a playing field, after all, I can “talk” to Rainn Wilson, it has also bought distress into my life.


For, you see, today I lost my first follower.


Although, it would probably be more appropriate to say “followers”, since I lost the wannabe French twins, whose names I forget, although they did rhyme.



I’m not quite certain why they would have been following my stock related posts, but I admired their exclusivity, in that you could not follow them if your were below the age of 18.


I hope they check more carefully than the liquor stores near my son’s campus.


Granted, maybe I should have reciprocated and sought to follow the twins, but if I’m going to get caught up in some internet based pornography thing, I think I’d rather do it at the local library, where it’s legal and I can see my tax dollars at work and gyrating.


Rainn Wilson, on the other hand, can be followed regardless of age and tax bracket, but may be inappropriate for all ages.


Although Szelhamos taught me to never talk about sex, politics, religion or money, immediately before viollating his own principles, usually in the form of a joke, I found Wilson’s picture on a Baha’i faith site, as he is a follower.


I like their principles.


But I must be losing some of my own irreverence, as last night, I didn’t find too much humor in Bill Maher’s “Mormon Underwear” stuff on Letterman, last night.


Mind you, I’ve been intrigued in the past and have done my own bit of Googling (as in searching, not as in the other thoughts going through your wretched minds)


Dave bit his tongue. I, perhaps out of reflex, scratched my crotch.


I’ll be seeing the new Parker – Stone play in about a month and am somewhat saddened that it is purported to be a somewhat sweet look at Mormonism, a religion that they have admittedly been fascinated by, but I really wanted asthma inducing laughter and Mullah inspired Fatwas to be promulgated from Provo.


Now, back to business.


Patience paid off for Textron. I was able to re-sell the May $26 call options, netting a nice extra bit of income. Interestingly, the trading in the call options was really light, as I noticed that most of the open interest was actually my own positions.


Also the bid-ask spread was pretty high, but we ended up splitting the difference and both buyer and seller eschewed greed, which is a good way to do business.


Now, I remain patient for JPM, GS, HPQ, GE and BP.


But let’s face it. All of my thoughts are on how I can get the twins back and to understand “Rainn”?







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I’m a Rock Star

Ben Bernanke is, undoubtedly, a rock star in the financial world.


If I had the inclination, I would actually check to see if he was ever Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”, but Ben Bernankethat’s really not all that important. It takes alot for me to make an extra click or two.


Usually rock stars made public speeches when they’re giving their version of legal events or as part of a court ordered community service program.


Although I haven’t checked the newswires this morning, I think Bernanke is misdemeanor free.


Fortunately, the felony charges were dropped when the nany proved to be an unwilling witness.


What is important as the whole world is talking about the first ever press conference held by a sitting Chairman of the Federal Reserve is that he not act like a rock star.


It’s hard to believe that it was nearly 50 years ago that John Lennon let out with his infamous words.


Given Bernanke’s lineage, it would be newsworthy if he were to proclaim himself to be “Bigger than Jesus”.


I don’t think that he’s likely to do that, but you never know what happens once you get on stage. Strange things do happen, but don’t count on it.


In the meantime, we have two days before the big event. In my eyes, that’s a much bigger event than the upcoming royal nuptials.


I still remember being at work and making my rounds watching ceiling mounted televisions with everyone transfixed to the screen when the previous generation’s royal couple made it legal.


How’d that one work out? Better than Arthur Burns.


Although the New York Times seems to believe that American’s think this one will be a yawner, I’m not quite as certain.


My own wife, who will be in the very early stages of jet-lag will be in California and she is planning to watch the festivities, although she is by no means a royal watcher.


I’ve tried to get her to be a stock watcher for years and even that hasn’t really interested her, but it’s good to know that while she is awake at some ungodly hour in California, I too will be sitting in front of the television, albeit watching the market’s pre-open news.


Somehow that will unite us through the cable ether.


Come Friday morning, I’m hoping that the market won’t still be abuzz from some Bernanke slip. That would really be a Black Swan event and would take some of the wedding’s mojo.


Since I’m nearly fully hedged at this point, although still waiting on Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum and some other opportunities, I’m hoping for a nice market drop.


It’s fairly likely that he’ll face more germane and probing questions than typically posed by the grandstanding morons front and center at periodic congressional hearings.


Maybe when faced with real questions Bernanke may borrow from the obtuse phrasebook of his predecessor.


Instead of being bigger than Jesus, he may utter something alluding to the fact that he may be of a proportion that is at once on scale, but clearly larger than any deity put forth by civilizations old and new, while accepting the human nature of the duopoly between the Federal Reserve and the Treasury.


I hope that Bernanke lets slip that he’s been embezzling trillions from the Treasury and invested the money into the Libyan movie industry, just as long as the markets recover within 2-3 weeks.


Again, not likely, but these rock stars do wierd things.


Have you seen the tabloid pictures of Bernanke’s trashed hotel suite?


 

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