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Archive for January, 2008

Bear Stearns just upgraded banks.  Seriously.   They need to unload some shares, and would really like the price to go up so it’s less painful for them.

There was a SNL skit that presaged this:

Peter Burke: [ acknowledging a raised hand ] Yes?

Investor #1: We’re entering the fourth year of a down stock market. Is it time to sell yet?

Investor #2: Have we hit bottom yet?

Investor #3: What can you tell small investors who are really starting to worry?

[ cut to Peter Burke ]

[ SUPER: “Peter Burke, CEO Global Century Investments” ]

Peter Burke: Just this: Relax. The market goes up, the market goes down. But, over the long haul, the market goes up. [ a hand is raised ] Yes?

Investor #4: Is there any chance the stocks might rebound this year?

Peter Burke: I’m really the wrong guy to ask. I got completely out of stocks in late ’99, and I haven’t followed the market since.

Investor #5: You got out of the market three years ago?

Peter Burke: Yes. You see.. around that time, we at Global Century became convinced that stocks were headed for a crash, and that bonds were the safer bet. And, we were right. My own bond portfolio is up nearly 30%.

Investor #5: But, if you were moving out of stocks and into bonds three years ago, why were your brokers telling people like me to do the exact opposite.

Peter Burke: Well, obviously, if you think, as we did, that stocks are heading down, and you want to unload them before a crash, you have to convince somebody out there to buy them. That’s just common sense. [ a hand is raised ] Yes?

Investor #6: Back in the summer of 2001, I wanted to move money into some defense-related and home security stocks, but your brokers talked me out of it. Is that because you and your friends were buying those stocks and wanted to keep the price down?

Peter Burke: Exactly! We felt that, with the 9/11 terror attacks coming up later in the summer, that sector of the market would probabyl triple in value. And, once again, we were right.

Investor #7: [ amazed ] You knew in advance about 9/11?

Peter Burke: Basically. [ a hand is raised ] Yes?

Investor #8: So, earlier, when you said you don’t own any stocks, that was a lie, right?

Peter Burke: Correct. That was a lie. [ a hand is raised ] Yes?

Investor #9: Hi. Like a lot of us here, I followed your broker’s advice, and, over the last few years, I lost 80% of my life savings.

Peter Burke: That does not surprise me at all.

Investor #9: I’d just like to say, that even though I think you’re an evil person, and even though I came here intending to kill you, I’ve been really impressed with your honesty.

[ everyone claps ]

You’re kind of straight talk is rare in today’s business world.

Peter Burke: Thank you. At Global Century, we like to be completely upfront with our clients. That’s why, in our prospectus, we clearly state that our investment advice is often self-interested or deceitful, and may work to our client’s disadvantage. We think.. you deserve to know that.

[ everyone claps ]

Voiceover: For straight answers to your investment questions, stop by our offices for a free consultation.

Peter Burke: Yes?

Investor #10: It doesn’t say that in your prospectus.

Peter Burke: Sure it does.

Investor #10: No, it doesn’t.

Peter Burke: Yes. It’s in there. You have to read it.

Investor #10: I read it. It’s not in there.

Peter Burke: You’re right. It’s not in there. I just assumed you hadn’t read it.

Investor #10: I appreciate your honesty.

Peter Burke: You bet.

Voiceover: Global Century Investments. Hard questions, straight answers.

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Stock Markets Plunge Worldwide: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance
“A gloomy U.S. climate has affected the global markets. Even if those markets recover, it will take sometime for the recovery to reach India because today’s fall has been so drastic,” said Jayant Pai, of the Mumbai investment company IL&FS Ltd.

US markets closed today for MLK day.  Foreign markets worldwide drop 4.5% – 6%.  Dow futures are down 540 points.

Japan opens up again in a couple hours.  Will the slide continue?  I fear it will, though it won’t (can’t be!) be as severe as today’s losses.

If Europe and Asia are down on Tuesday, I fully expect the Dow to open 500 points lower on Tuesday morning.

If you have any cash, hold on to it.

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The Emporer Has No Clothes
Thursday the Chairman of the Federal Reserve expressed his support for a significant fiscal and monetary stimulus as a preemptive strike against a U.S. recession. The market answered by dropping over 300 points. Today the President of the U.S. broadly outlined a non-specific plan for economic stimulation. After the Administration’s plan for $150 billion of economic stimulation was made public, the DOW closed almost 60 points lower. The result of the Bernanke/Adminstration fiscal and monetary stimulus is a total Dow decline of 479 points.

Jim Sinclair does not see good times ahead for global equity markets.  Dow down thousands of points, Gold at $1650, the Dollar craters.

All of this in the next two weeks.

I don’t know if I see this kind of velocity in the impending crash, but I’m convinced that it’s coming.  I’m prepared for massive devaluation in the dollar, DOW at 8000, Gold at $1500 by the time summer rolls around.  Jim’s advice is to get your assets together and dig in.  Banks are not going to be your friend.  I’m prepared to weather the storm, or at best profit from it, but I’m not looking forward to it one bit.

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