A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Below are some thoughts from my tech guru,

I would say he'd be characterized as a overt capitalist, so he's not repudiating the system just the practices employed by aggresive unscrupulous practicioners.
I'll post somerthing more personal later

In my view, 1982 through 2007 was the golden age of capitalism. No one announced its beginning, and very few people realized its end, but as measured by the pendulum of social and economic change, I believe the generational timespan of that quarter-century embodies the resurgence, and then self-immolation, of American capitalism.

Off the top of my head, those years, we had:

The great bull markets of 1982-1987 and 1991-2000;
Lower taxes;
A more docile IRS;
A resurgence in Republican strength (think Newt Gingrinch);
A strong America capable of winning major wars in 72 hours;
Historic IPOs like Netscape and Google;
The rise of Silicon Valley from obscurity to the center of the world;
Economic globalization (think BRIC);
The collapse of the USSR;
Hero-worship of the rich (including hedge fund managers);
Widespread popularity of books about money and assets;
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

The pendulum has just started to swing the other way, and I don't think it's a little bobble before we return to the above. I seriously think we are in for just as long as period - - and just as deep a change - - as the era above. We'll be stumbling our way back to where things were in the late 1970s..........malaise, weakness, and Billy Beer.

What would people think if, just six months ago, you speculated that Citigroup would be a nationalized institution? Would they laugh at you? Look at you as if you were insane? Cart you off to a rubber room?

That, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. When Obama speaks of a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to change the government, he isn't talking about remodeling the oval office. The "opportunity" is the most dramatic expansion of the government and its instrusions than any of us have seen in our lifetimes.

All I'm saying is that the market's 50%+ plunge is signaling the changes to come, and then the market finally bottoms (and my best guess is that this is going to be in the 4000 area on the Dow), we will have been witness to exploited "opportunities" that we can scarcely imagine today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The recently announced rally has been indefinitely

postponed. At least it didn't happen today. Which is fine. My Canadian railroad was down 16 cents. The important thing is that Darden fell $1.75 today and is now below (slightly) its 50 day moving average, and the 38.6 retracement level. That's a 6% decline for the day and brings the stock back where I "sold" it. The stock was down early when the Dow was up 100, so I don't think it was just following the market down. Maybe someone got a peak at the numbers for the quarter just ended, and didn't like what they saw.

I really don't want a rally to lift Darden. As you may have noticed, I've become emotionally involved. But Louie's rationale, while not convincing, is compelling. One thing I didn't mention last night, but the afficiandos among you realize, is that 7100 on the Dow is one half the high of 72 weeks ago. There is a rally lurking out there.

Maybe going from a 100 point gain this morning to an 88 point loss this evening will delay the rally for anther day or two, and we could see another 80 point loss with Darden leading the way down.

Tim Knight posted a list of 30 stocks with bullish possibilities today. While he's
not ready to go long just yet, I think the little hairs on the back of his neck are standing up too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Louie says...

its rally time in the stock market. Last week he was projecting a low of 7100 on the Dow based on what appeared (to me) to be a technically obscure 7100 high twelve years ago. Now having reached that projected low and seeing a double bottom on the Dow, and being 72 weeks out from the top he says its rally time. Hmmmm, 12 years is 144 months and 72 is half of 144. I don't know why these kind of numbers are significant, but I do believe wizard technicians look at the market having at least 2dimensions. Price movement being the vertical, time being the horizontal, with volume a possible candidate for the third dimension of depth. When we used to enjoy more time at the bar Louie would spend hours explaining Gann theories to me, and lapse into numeralogical phenomenology. When he introduced astrological observations, I'd know we were late for the door. Anyway, he's not saying that the market won't eventually go lower, but he's projecting at least a rally to the post election high of around 8,600.

Since he went to the trouble of phoning me with this prognosis, I'll swallow my pride and go look for an attractive call to buy.

It's later now and I entered an order to buy CNI (Canadian National Railway)
Things in Canada are pretty OK, Eh? My call is for April at $30 and cost me $4.20.
Well, $420, actually. That means I'm buying the right to purchase the stock in April for $30 The stock is now at $32.66. First, I went to Tim Knight's site to see if he was reccomending any specific calls. Nope, none, not a one. He's very bearish. OK, Louie we're on our own on this one. PS I didn't close out my DRI.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Did I tell you abouy my cell phone? I left it at the office on my last day of work. I knew I was leaving without it, but I'd looked everywhere. I hoped I'd left it at home, though I was pretty sure I hadn't. Well, it turned up there last week and I ran over there and picked it up today. I mention that because it may be a contributing cause of my current sense of isolation; perhaps solitude is a better word.

I've been interacting with folks positively, family, friends, associates. Is my sense of aloneness a phenomena that afflicts people who try to start a little business? Thank goodness I don't have to worry about meeting a payroll.

Or is DRI making me crazy? The market was down big on Friday and Darden was up nearly a dollar. Down 84 cents today. An investment blog today described them as being practically a dead man walking, with a current ratio of .4 and an acid test ratio of .1. These are very bad numbers, but still the stock refuses to crack.

I'm not worried about a couple hundred bucks, and I never claim infallibility. I just don't like the market telling me I'm wrong when I think I'm right.

On a homier note, we called the pizza place this evening an asked them to deliver a couple sandwiches. Italian sausage for me. Rick's Special for Janett. That's an Italian beef with green peppers and red sauce and cheese. Oh, and she ordered onion rings with it. She only ate half, but I think that kind of appetite is probably a good sign. She's still weak and hasn't felt well. I take my encouragement where I can get it these days.

Love to all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

the market

What with all that's been happening, I haven't mentioned my last trade. As I've said before I try not to do anything in the market when Janett's unwell because my judgement and focus may be impaired. I entered an order to buy a Darden put the Saturday night before Janett and I went to the hospital.
The stock price was around 26.25 so I bought a put at 25. In the following weeks the stock price rose to 29.60 - whoops! But that was the same price at which a recent high was reached and the stock fell away from that high before my purchase, so I hoped it would be a price the stock would not surpass. Sure enough the price declined in the last several days back to 27.20 The issue is still in doubt.
I didn't have a good technical reason for going short at that point, except that the stock price had doubled in the last couple months, and that I hoped the 29.60 price would resist penetration and protect me on the upside.
My reason for "shorting" the stock was that in the bad economy sales volume would fall and the company has borrowed a LOT of money short term to finance expansion. I was motivated by the prospect that the stock could give back much of it's gains from the $14 low on November 20. Second guessing myself, I think institutional investors feel the company's restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze) have "brand identity" that will maintain their customer base even in tough times. Also, I think the company has a good PR team promoting this attitude. On the contrary, I think the restaurants will start to cut corners with smaller portions, less attrsctive specials, and that staff morale will decline with lower patronage and gratuities. eroding their popularity. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I suppose from the sign of the scales one can

imagine it to be a characteristic of Libras to be always seeking equilibrium and some kind of metaphysical harmony. One might also suppose Libras don't respond very well too tumultuous episodes. Superficially, we might maintain the same disposition, but in fact we're being stretched in uncomfortable ways.

This recent medical crisis for Janett coincided with the much anticipated completion of my temp assignment and the begining of my bookkeeping venture. I'm probably not handling either of these situations as well as I'd like to, but I think we're getting through.

I'll post more later.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Her's a link to an article by WSJ writer, Peggy Noonan. Not too ambitious a piece of writing, but pretty sound, which refers to peoples' faith as they consider their futures.

Things are much better

Janett is well.

She left the hospital yesterday for a little more recuperation time to be spent at the home of Kim and Ross in Lombard. Steffie brought Mark and Owen here yesterday and gave our place a thorough tidying, so when Janett's a couple days stronger she'll be able to be comfortable here.

I'm going to be busy today, so this is just a short note, but I want to express my respect and appreciation for Kim, Ross, Steffie, Mark, Noah, Lauren, Jason and Dee for their loving devotion to Janett in a difficult time. Also, I want to say that Janett demonstrated qualities of courage, dignity, and gratitude that we might have observed in my mother, but in few others over the years.

I'll leave it to Steffie to thank Crystal and Sarah, but I should mention our appreciation of the kindnesses of Carrie and Bill, and Louie, and Jose and Mel.
And a shout out to daughter Val, our brothers, John, and Sally Miller, Si's wife for their concern and prayers.

Ooops, that reminds me. I have some calls to make.


PS. I should also express our gratitude to Dr Wallace, Janett's surgeon and to the many devoted caregivers at St Alexius. They were all extremely competent, thoughtful, and kind. We recognize how special they all were and know that reflects on the administative staff as well.