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Category: finance

09/18/08 10:29 - 56ºF - ID#45728

bloodbath? What bloodbath?

Well this is going to be my last post on this topic for a while. This bear is going to hibernate for about a month or so until the end of the election. I figure that I'll come out in 2 months just like the bear on Wall st did after the rally in mid-July and some of August. So after the excitement ends we are just going to stagger sideways for a while just like we did in the summer.

The kicker is that the government is going to ban short selling outright. Is it going to work for the short term? Yes, it sure will. I'm just counting on it making it worse when the real stuff happens a month or two from now. I have my small bets and my plan all set. All I can lose is the amount of money that I placed in the pot when I bought my options. All I can do now is just sit and wait until the hoopla ends, most likely after the election in November.

The only could have would have should have thing that is knawing at me is not being in gold. I had always owned a gold stock for the last 9 years or so and when the gold and silver market tanked in July and I took my profits and ran I never got back in. The whole "catching a falling knife" adage was just something that I wanted to avoid. Now what do I do? Do I get back in and chase a parabolic move up and run the risk of losing money when things come crashing back down to earth?

I have enough money working in a contarian kind of way. It is going to be touch to watch the market with my "downside" play for the next month or so. It's just that all I can lose is what I put down and nothing more. The key is not over leveraging yourself like a Wall St firm. Because I know that the taxpayer is not going to bail me out ;-)

Anyways this should be very interesting to say the least! I'll have to remember where this post is at the end of the year...
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Permalink: bloodbath_What_bloodbath_.html
Words: 372
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: finance

09/18/08 12:07 - 68ºF - ID#45716

The bloodbath continues

OK I re-entered my short position or actually doubled it this morning as I walked out the door to work. I saw that the S&P was below a key support/resistance level of 1200 & decided to take a shot. Yea I was surprised to see that at the end of the day the whole thing still tanking hard. I guess it's due to the margin calls & people dumping their mutual funds/401k's as they usually book the transaction @ the close of business.

So the Treasury is going to ban naked short selling across the board. I must admit it is kind of shady practice, but was legal until today. It does violate the principle of a buyer/seller as the actual transaction was never fully consummated as the shares were never actually delivered since they never were actually sold. All I can say is in the case of a P.O.S. company like Lehman or Indymac it wasn't too evil since the actual underlying company was worth 0 in the end. If the companies were actually worth something, wouldn't there be a bidder???

All I can say is that the govenrment or whoever is going to have to really pull the stops soon to keep people from making runs on the bank if this crap continues to hemorrhage. Gold shot up $90 bucks in a day, an all time record! The Yield on a 90 day U.S. Government Treasury Bill is 0.04% !!!! That's right the lowest level since WW2

What really scares me is that those "safe" money market funds losing money when they were designed to never drop under the initial $1 investment.

Seriously if you are getting less than a penny for T-Bills & the MONEY MARKET FUND IS LOSING MONEY, the mattress isn't looking that bad to be honest. What's the point of having your money in the bank if you earn negligible interest? Plus who knows if there is enough money in the FDIC to cover many banks going under at the same time? I know Indymac took a big chunk out of the FDIC reserve fund. Just think how many trillions of dollars that are in bank accounts across this country?

It's just too bad that we don't have a respectable casino in Western New York that that could be trusted with a Front Money Deposit. To be honest if shit really hit the fan I would actually do that over a bank. It wouldn't mean that I would go there and gamble it, but all I would be doing is putting it in the casino cage for safekeeping, just like a bank account/safety deposit box. Believe me when I worked there there were people that would actually do this. They would deposit say $10,000 to the casino cage and leave it there until they would stop by to make a withdrawal and possible gamble. The funny part half of the time they wouldn't gamble. It's safer than your mattress or your floorboards and they are legally responsible for it. Maybe I should look into making a deposit @ that racino down in Erie, PA?

BTW if anyone is interested my favorite Radiohead Cover Band, The Karma Police are playing Mr. Goodbar Friday night @ 11PM
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Permalink: The_bloodbath_continues.html
Words: 552
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: finance

09/16/08 11:13 - 58ºF - ID#45702

Response to e:drew from my last post

Another too long for a comment post :-D

I understand where you are coming from and why you follow and stick to your plan. We really don't know long term if being socially responsible vs the regular sin stocks is better or worse for returns. I do remember at the time when those funds had to dump Starbucks due to them entering the liquor market, they most likey saved themselves some money about 2-3 years ago as the stock has been on a constant slide since then.

As I had my position closed out today when the market rallied on the AIG Bailout by (each and every one of us) today I just though that I wasn't cheering for the overall economy to go in the tank, I was just taking advantage over information of a prior fact about Lehman Brothers.

For me it is a case of it being neither good or bad, but thinking making it so. I can't stop the greed that put those wall st firms in that position in the first place. I can't save those people walking out on the street with their cardboard boxes, (Heck they most likely live a better more exciting life than I do in the City.) As Mark Twain said once, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." It's just a case of me not wanting to jump over Niagara Falls because everyone else is going so, and doing something against the crowd.

People that sell short or buy ETF's that do can lose money. If I sell a stock short like Apple @ 100 and it goes up to $153 I am out $53. It's a market, a buyer and a seller. Does anyone feel sorry for the guy that sold the stock at $100 and kick himself for selling too early as it went up to $153???

In the markets for every $ that is made, one is lost. That used to be how Capitalism worked until we became a collective and nationalized everything like AIG being the latest example.

I'm not a fan of AM Radio but I did hear a guy mention this article today. Basically it states that there is no free lunch, life is a zero sum game and eventually this country will be out of money due to the promises that are being made with no one to pay for them. I don't agree with it all, but it does make some interesting points.

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Permalink: Response_to_e_drew_from_my_last_post.html
Words: 415
Location: Youngstown, NY

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
Words: 846
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 1983!

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Permalink: Knight_Rider_Episode.html
Words: 63
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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Permalink: 219_amp_casino_comment_post.html
Words: 344
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

My Room @ Paris Nightime looking at the same Spot


I Say "No, No, No!"

Tower of Wine @ Mandalay

Top of the Foundation Room


A Very Neat Idea

Rio & Strip From Ghostbar

City Center from Ghostbar

Moonlit Center Strip Ceasars, Flamingo

Palms from Playboy Tower

Fake France

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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Permalink: Olympic_Rant.html
Words: 91
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: the fair

08/11/08 12:04 - 58ºF - ID#45298

McCain & 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.

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Permalink: McCain_amp_Obama_as_Butter.html
Words: 84
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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Permalink: POV_getting_my_skate_on.html
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Location: Youngstown, NY



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paul said to mike
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i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...

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i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...