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Category: finance

09/15/08 11:04 - 58ºF - ID#45694

market action

Look we all have benefited from the massive party that has been going on in this country for the last generation. The expansion of credit had most everyone participating. You can say that it could have been traced to the lowering of rates during Reagan's first term that started the whole insane run. Yea, cutting rates from 21% to 5% unleashed the wonderful world that most of us only know. That allowed all of us to buy all the stuff we have enjoyed in our childhood and early adult hood, ON CREDIT for the majority of Americans. If you look back at a chart when we still saved for something we wanted and paid cash for it there wasn't too much wealth being created other than people receiving good wages.

The Dow was 616.59 on 1/4/1960 and only increased to 758.75 on 1/2/1980 Not too much of a boom for the long term investor. Then again there wasn't the rapid inflation until the late 70's that would have complicated life. Look to 2,707.21 on 1/2/1990 to the run we had at the high of 14,164.53 at the all time high of 10/8/2007 and see the parabolic run that we have had. Think of all the desginer clothes, multi room TV's, SUV's, McMansions, foreign luxury cars, designer handbags that everyone had to have during that time. We all benefited, especially if you had money in the market. It was all LEVERAGED with DEBT on DEBT. Yea many companies have have cooked the books and such but if you owned any NASDAQ stock in the 90's you made a killing if you cashed out before March of 2000.

The problem is that now we have had the ultimate margin call. It's kind of what happened to the oil speculators that everyone was decrying a few months ago. They raised the margin on Oil, well the market/world debt holders raised the margin on the American Lifestyle. An example of leverage is controlling an asset with only a fraction of the money down. I could get the benefit of the movement of $100,000 Canadian dollars for only $2,020. The Canadian $ moved up a cent, I make $1,000, It drops 1/2 of a cent I have to pay the exchange $500 at the end of the day or my position is liquidated and I am returned $2,020-500=1,520.

The trouble is that Wall St has played this game for 27 years by paying their margin losses with more debt. The game has finally stopped, mostly from the consumer not paying back their own debt, ironically to Wall St by defaulted mortgages and credit cards.

They kind of brought it on themselves by passing the 2005 Bankruptcy reform act. Banks though that they had people by the balls & that they could never default since Sen Joe Biden brought back the Victorian "Debtor's Prision" through the MBNA/Capitol One version of the bill. Basically when I'm saying is it was a bipartisan effort to screw the average Joe, ironically. Well they just felt that they could bury you up to your eyeballs in debt & even if you could never pay it back, they owned you. So that may have been the whole reasoning why most lenders showed no mercy to anyone that was behind on on a mortgage or bill for the last 3 years. That's why all these firms with these really smart people that went to the best schools were all wrong. They thought that they could own the average person through debt. Somehow the plan backfired.


Am I scared? Actually No, I have been screaming this for quite a while. Just check out some of my favorite links over on the right. Never fear, this shit is all a zero sum game. Someone is making $ out there on all this stuff blowing up. Unfortunately it's at the expense of the people's 401k plans but some hedge fund trader needs another mansion on the coast or a bigger one in country with a nice tax shelter. I just say go short as well. The market may give off a sucker bounce like we had at the end of July/August but this has to even it self out. There was just too many people playing with credit that they never should have had in the first place. Buy a Put option for an index or buy an ETF that makes money as the market goes down. I bought the SDS (Ultrashort S&P 500 Index) this morning before I went to work, I'll most likely cover or place a close stop just in case the Fed cuts rates again.

What I'm basically saying is this, we are all going to get a hard check of reality as a country for many years to come. The market most likey won't do jack for years, maybe decades. Just look at the long term charts. Either now try to make some money on the downside (because for every dollar lost, someone gains one) or just park it in a good safe bank that isn't going to be taken over by the FDIC...
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Permalink: market_action.html
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Location: Youngstown, NY


Category: tv

09/04/08 07:54 - 79ºF - ID#45574

Knight Rider Episode

I'm watching a Knight Rider Episode featuring a race of cars powered by alternative fuels. With, Surprise surprise a group of guys trying to sabotage the participants. I guess that that's how it played out in Real Life since it seems that no one did anything with alternative fuels since the time the episode was made...in 1983!


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Permalink: Knight_Rider_Episode.html
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Location: Youngstown, NY


08/29/08 12:19 - 63ºF - ID#45493

219 & casino comment/post

The 219's long term vision when it grows up is to be a connecting route linking Buffalo to Greater D.C. Area and also part of a big NAFTA Superhighway connecting Buffalo to Miami called Continental 1 . As your choices now are to wind down through Erie and Pittsburgh to catch the Penn Turnpike to take you to the Northern Burbs as an "Interstate Route" or drive through Pennsylvania's Coal Country by taking Route 17 which at times is a similar road like Niagara Falls Blvd.

As for the Seneca's I can see them pulling the plug on the project for Economic Reasons. In Vegas although there is just Freakin' Insane building going on there, many projects did get "delayed." These are the projects at the Old Stardust, The former New Frontier and the airport expansion. No matter what the people pumping and dumping on Wall St tell you there is a credit crunch still going on, the funding may just not be there to finance any more projects. What makes it believable is that they stopped the project down on their own territory in the Southern Tier. That land has no controversy since it is part of their actual "Territory."

Plus the market forces have changed. The "tourists" that they want to draw from Ohio and Pennsylvania have slot machines in PA and easy access to table games in West Virginia. Heck on the drive up to Buffalo they could stop off on the 90 at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania and save plenty of gas. If they want to play table games they could go the the Mountaineer in Chester, WV or Wheeling Island in Wheeling, WV. Why burn all that gas and waste the time?

In the end they just have the locals the the tourists that come for 4 month out of the year. In my estimation they have pretty broke the compulsive locals, so the return on investment would not be there at this time to expand.
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Location: Youngstown, NY


Category: vegas

08/25/08 12:06 - 67ºF - ID#45445

My last Vegas Trip

Since I'm getting a dose of the "Vegas Drop," the phenomena that is when you return to reality from that town and reading (e:paul) 's posts I felt that it I should post on my little experience out there.

I went out there last Saturday to Thursday and I have to say that it was not the typical Vegas experience that I had for the place is just plain more nuts that I had remembered it. For half my life I 've been going out to Vegas. Now it just has become a behemoth of a city with all of the massive overbuilding. Getting around is now on par with NYC it seems, or at least when I tried to get around town on the bus.

I went to Rehab on Sunday @ the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and it turned out to be an insane time for myself. Yea everything that you ever heard about the Sunday Pool Party is True. The place is just stacked with people that are 9's and 10's strutting their stuff. I just took it in by paying a $50 cover and had my share of more than enough $19 dollar drinks! There isn't a glamorous ending to the whole time other than I hope that what happened in Vegas stays in Vegas.

For the rest of the trip I ended up hanging with my friend Bill that came into town on Monday. Basically we just went up to the top of Mandalay Bay and had a good time @ the H.O.B. Foundation Room which has a pretty spectacular view of the Strip. Other than that we just hit every major casino on the strip and stopped by the old casinos Downtown in the Freemont St Experience. I still love the shady downtown area. The highlight of that experience was not a the lightshow, but a guy trying to sell up a laptop!

The gambling was OK as I did hold my own betting baseball. Really the bulk of the trip's funds were spent partying with my friend Bill attempting to "score." That didn't happen at all, but we did take some good pics of the Strip from Ghostbar @ The Palms.


My Room @ Paris looking towards the "Death Star" City Center
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My Room @ Paris Nightime looking at the same Spot
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Rehab
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I Say "No, No, No!"
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Tower of Wine @ Mandalay
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Top of the Foundation Room
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Bellagio
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A Very Neat Idea
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Rio & Strip From Ghostbar
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City Center from Ghostbar
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Moonlit Center Strip Ceasars, Flamingo
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Palms from Playboy Tower
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Fake France
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Steve Wynn's 18th Hole
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Permalink: My_last_Vegas_Trip.html
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Location: Youngstown, NY


Category: olympics

08/14/08 02:16 - 62ºF - ID#45326

Olympic Rant

I have to say I freaking hate Coke for that Olympic Sponsorship commercial that they play that uses this song When I am watching the Olympics, and being getting a flashback of the finale of Six Feet Under is not a place that I want to be taken for the next 2 weeks. I'm not seeing the Olympians of year gone by, I get Claire driving off into the desert and then getting visions of everyone dying!!!!! Yea, I still break out in tears ever time I watch it...


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Location: Youngstown, NY


Category: the fair

08/11/08 12:04 - 58ºF - ID#45298

McCain & Obama....as Butter

I must have been insane to go to the fair today. Somehow we managed to surf our way through Route 5 and Lake Ave with some wicked hydro plaining. The upside, not as many people as not once did my ankles get attacked by a stroller. It was really my only day to go as I have other stuff going on this week.

So here is a pic that is a pretty impressive sculpture of our future President, made out of a dairy product.


image
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Location: Youngstown, NY


Category: working out

08/09/08 06:54 - 69ºF - ID#45291

POV getting my skate on


I was just bored when I decided to go and burn some calories today. Back in the day my GF at the time would videotape herself doing tricks on her blades. Well I haven't seen her in 10 years so there is no one edging me on to do tricks, so I just spontaneously decided to whip out my phone and record this little thing. It's the one thing about the summer I love doing and the path is always a nice time. This stayed on the Isle View side of things.

it does have quite a bit of wind, but you do hear my wheels grinding away.



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Category: contemplating

08/07/08 11:55 - 60ºF - ID#45270

I think I'm staying

It has been something that I have been giving serious thought for quite some time. Over the past few months I have applied for other jobs in other cities and when the acceptance and interest has been there for me I had to do some serious analyzing on what my next move would be. At some point it became a, "be careful of what you wish for, since you just might get it" type of thing. So I sit here with opportunities to move on elsewhere, but for some reason I just can't really pull the trigger.

I think it just may come down to money. Yea I have some saved up and do have most of it working in some way, but to be honest I am able to be in that position due to the way I live here in keeping my expenses low. If I picked up and moved to Richmond, VA that wouldn't be as cost effective as where I am currently.

What's the reason why I'm driving myself to push all in and make a move if I'm really torn and feeling the urge? It really comes down to the fact that I have the spent the last 10 years looking for someone and I have come to the fact that either, I am totally Fucked up in the head (which may be a possibility given my lack of confidence/game) or such a woman does not live in the Western New York area that fits to my standards and has the potential to mesh in some kind of chemistry.

Although I have plenty of faults I think that's it's the later. Especially given the last couple of dates I have been out on I have just realized that in some ways I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel around this area. Crap I had to move to Canada to find my ex-wife. I don't want to choose between looks and chemistry, in the end you are just unhappy eventually because you want at least some of one that you are not getting or have.

SO, I may be totally screwing myself for not packing up and leaving town in search of a dream, mainly finding a suitable mate. It's just that I'm being a bit partial to something that will just scorch a marriage if it's not looked after, money. With how things are going economically these days, how could you not?

Those "suitable" wife material women elsewhere that have scores I can only dream of on these dating sites that have those fancy smanchy algorithms and match percentages that are non-existent for me her in Western NY are just going to have to wait I suppose...


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Category: beer

08/03/08 08:43 - 74ºF - ID#45235

Schlitz is back





I remember drinking a 6 pack over Christmas this year when I was down in Sarasota. I guess the positive trial markets indicated that they could make a go of it. With the revitalization of Pabst Blue Ribbon I don't see why they wouldn't parlay that success into another emotionally nostalgic brand. Plus as I remember it was actually pretty good. I did buy some of the "new" formula over the spring when I went down to Virginia and although it's great to complement a picnic, it just wasn't as good as the original stuff I had in Sarasota.


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It's not entirely about the beer. For older people it's about nostalgia, for people like me or younger it's about communion with older long passed on relatives or better simpler times. Then again it could just be that people won't be able to afford beer brewed by microbreweries with no bargaining power for key ingredients due to their diminished economies of scale or beer imported from a country with a stronger currency. I think that's why the foreign brewers bought out the domestic macro breweries, so we can be the "cheap foreign labor" for their brands as we do for our children's toys and clothes from southeast Asia.


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Permalink: Schlitz_is_back.html
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Category: tradition

07/27/08 03:09 - 68ºF - ID#45159

Leveled Regatta

I ended up stopping by the only bar in Youngstown tonight for the festivities of the Saturday night party of the 2008 version of this big yacht race that has been going strong for 30+ years. For me growing up it was really just something to see. What stood out was the crazy drunken Canadians that would come down and just go nuts. As that article in the Buffalo News said; At one point it was one of the top 10 parties in North America.

Now the energy just isn't there as it was in years past. But for some odd reason I decided to go to the "Jug" instead of the Transmission Dance Party tonight. Mainly it was just to run into people I knew that haven't been around here for a while. For that purpose it did hit it's mark, but for a night out it really was kind of sad. Since I'm not a yachtsman this will most likely be the last time I stop by. Yea, it was interesting to see some strange people in town driving their BMW's and Infiniti's but really it is just a shadow of it's former self and I know it's by design.

It's just sad that 3 years ago that one particular age group of people I knew kind of f'd it all up. The funny part is my buddy that now lives in the ATL was a part of it. As we were working together @ the time it was funny to have him tell me, "You better take it easy & leave early, because I called in!" Yea, looking back I think I should have done the same to, but there's this guilt association with work that I have for some reason.




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