Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

I think I am going to have a short post tonight (not counting the fun stuff!). I am a bit burnt out this week. I have had a full plate at work all week plus I think I may have used up all my good ideas this week on the posts I did. I really think all 3 so far were pretty solid write ups and I hope you the reader were informed and entertained.

Friday Market Action
After the dismal earnings reports out lat night from the big boys like Microsoft and Amazon, I saw quite a few headline jumpers proclaiming a drop in the indices were at hand for Friday. I had warned last night:
There are some thinking the MSFT and AMZN after hours release will hurt the market tomorrow. It will indeed, for about an hour. I fully expect another 1% day to the upside tomorrow, momentum is a strange thing.

So what happened?
S&P Daily Chart for July 24 2009:

From the above chart we can see that I was wrong as can be. The S&P was lower for FOUR hours as opposed to my estimate of one hour. The final walk higher was also a clear top line miss as the S&P only posted a measly 0.30% gain instead of the 1% expected.

Clearly I was wrong here. This goes to show you the dangers of playing a market like this one. Be careful out there all!
Note: This should be dripping sarcasm.

When Two Tribes go to War, Money is All You Can Score
Section title provided by the song "Two Tribes," by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
I just came across this Yahoo Finance headline 1 minute ago that had me laughing out loud:
Geithner, Bernanke at odds on consumer protection
You can read the article if you like, but the first thing I had in mind for the opening paragraph was a little different from the Yahoo article (My version):
"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke staked out opposing sides on the debate over consumer protection. Geithner feels that protecting the consumer could cause a systemic risk to banking profits and Bernanke feels strongly that ineffectual protection would at least give the consumer a feeling of hope. Geithner rejected this as too risky given that any possibility that banks would feel their ability to rip off the consumer was at risk could curtail lending."


Reason Number 4,098,234 Why the Banks Should Have Been Allowed to Fail
I think that we can debate the merits of using home equity as a source of funding for various things (college tuition, repairs, renovation) because there are valid reasons for using that money if done correctly. I understand what was done with it was way out of control, but I do think home equity is a resource that can be used by the responsible.

There can be no debate about a cash out refinance program based on your car! Taking out more debt on a rapidly depreciating asset is about as insane as you can get. There is no reason for this to be done, and no such loan program should even exist. Of course it does however:
Wells Fargo Offering Customers A Car-Equity Loan (WFC)
Acquiring extra cash is tough these days. Trying to find a job probably won't help. Your credit card line's been cut and the idea of a home equity line is a joke.
How about that jalopy in the driveway?
No, we're not talking about cash for clunkers, we're talking about an auto equity loan.
Just head on over to Wells Fargo, which proudly advertises that it's one of the few banks still doing Cash Out Refinance Loans.
In other words, you can refi your car and get cash, just like they used to do with houses. And don't worry that you have no equity in your car... who does?

Read the whole piece for the full page ad that has soured me on writing any more market commentary tonight. Wells Fargo should be ashamed.

Friday Night Entertainment
I need a change of thought process, so lets dig in!

Another Book Read
I could not help myself after "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" so I went with the Robert Heinlein novel "The Door into Summer" on Tuesday and Wednesday night. I can say this book rocked! I loved it. Heinlein is a true talent and a special treat was the saving of the day by my beloved metal gold which figures into the story in a big way. Highly recommended.

Strange Picture
After the drubbing the bears have taken, many have been feeling a bit of self pity. perhaps this mildly disturbing, yet fascinating picture can summarize the dejection (titled "pity party"):


Must Have
I have to get a six pack or ten of this beer:

From Geekologie:
Okhotsk Blue Draft stands out for its cool color and interesting (yet not off-putting) ingredients. The brew is made using water melted from icebergs that float each year onto Hokkaido beaches from the chilly Sea of Okhotsk, an arm of the North Pacific ocean bordered by Japan and Russia.
Then Abashiri went one step further and used seaweed to give their brew and icy blue tint. Perhaps not the greatest selling point but it does make Okhotsk Blue look, well, different. As for the taste... reports state that Ryuho isn't at all bad as beers go, and if you didn't know there was seaweed in it, you likely wouldn't guess there was.

Nice!

Film Clips
The following film clip will take some explanation. The clip is from the film "Judge Dredd" which was terrible beyond belief. What I would lie to show is how you have to protect bad actors from being shown up by good ones. In a heated exchange between Sylvester Stallone (whom I think is a fine actor in many fims, not this one!) and Armand Assante, we see how Assante's great acting really overwhelms Stallone in the scene:


Rock Blogging
With all the music requests, i hope I can fill them all! Oh wait, nobody requested anything! You all should know better than to leave this section all to me.

A little Billy Idol goes a long way, so start off the night with "Catch My Fall":


The song that showed just how great Guns N Roses could be, enjoy "Sweet Child O Mine":


Needed a Stevie Nicks fix, so try out "Stand Back":


Last call!

Closing the week, the show, and the night with Boston's classic "More Than a Feeling":


Have a good night.

28 comments:

watchtower said...

This could possibly be one of my top 5 best Friday Night Rock blogging selections as of yet.
Love Idol
Love GNR's Sweet Child of Mine
Love Stevie Nicks...in more ways than one : )
Love this Boston tune, reminds me of my high school days.

But that picture of the moon crying over that bunny with the rotgut is disturbing to say the least.

getyourselfconnected said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
getyourselfconnected said...

Watchtower,
I am so glad you liked the music! I too have "other" feelings for Stevie Nicks, but this is a family blog!

That picture of the bunny both weirds me out, but still makes me look at it all the time. Very strange!

I was out at a party this evening so I am late to the comments.

Anonymous said...

GYSC

I see your up late with the first comment on TAE, I'm the second.
Stevie is a very awesome Woman I must agree.
I find this performace by Jewel pretty overpowering also.
Jewel - Down So Long (Live '99)
http://tinyurl.com/klnp84

Kevin

getyourselfconnected said...

Kevin,
I am way past time for bed, but Jewel has 2 songs:
"You were meant for me"
and
"foolish games"
that are classics. So glad you stopped by.

The said...

Wells Fargo is the scum of the earth. You know it invented the interest only loan back in the early 1900s and was one of the primary contributors to the debt accumulation that ultimately led to the Great Depression. Small wonder then that it revived the toxic mortgage in the late 1900s and is one of the primary contributors to the debt accumulation that ultimately led to the current crisis, as yet officially unnamed but affectionately known as the Great Recession.

Couple of years ago I delivered a foreclosure notice to this house in a nice neighborhood. I taped it to the front door and as I was walking away the guy came out. So I talked to him and explained the situation. He was stunned, said he had gotten behind on his payments, made an arrangement with the bank and had sent in money to bring his account current. He then went inside and came back out with a copy of the check. The bank had taken his money and foreclosed on him anyway. The name of the bank? Wells Fargo.

I told him it was probably a wrongful foreclosure and that he should contact an attorney, because there was a very good chance he could keep the home. But he just shrugged and agreed to move out by the end of the week, which he did. It was actually a nice house, well maintained, no repairs necessary, fine landscaping, sold in less than a month.

I'd have sued the living hell out of them, but that's me. He just walked away.

Another time I had to do an open house in an exclusive subdivision. Now this house was a mansion. 2-story, 3000+ sf, 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, master suite with garden tub with jets and separate shower, formals, built-ins, lots of wood, large fenced back yard with a pool, it even had a custom built-in barbeque pit on the patio. Very nice.

So I was there, and these two girls from Wells Fargo came in. They work in pairs, you know. They brought me this bag of goodies and some snacks, bottled water, then proceeded to try to convince me to send prospective buyers to them for financing. (Bribery will get you nowhere.) They talked about how great their loans were, no documentation, interest only, adjustable rate mortgages. If I had a buyer, they had a loan.

I thought, girls, this is a $500,000 home. No one who can afford this house is going to be so stupid as to take out that kind of toxic financing. Looking back, I should have, probably could have, boinked them both in the garden tub before I sent them on their way. Wells Fargo girls are easy, but I don't deal with sluts.

Anyway, as to the rock blogging, nice selection. Love Stevie Nicks. I never really cared much for Guns N Roses, although I will say that Sweet Child of Mine is a very good song. But they're like Boston, a one maybe two album band. Neither could sustain their inspiration to aspire to greatness, like the Stones, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss, Queen, the truly great bands.

I remember back in the early 90s when GNR got to open for the Stones on a sold out stadium tour. In LA, the singer used the opportunity to complain to the audience about all the negative publicity he'd been getting. This in front of 90,000 people. I lost all respect for him at that point.

I also remember the time at a party in Hollywood when Slash made some derogatory comment about Cheap Trick, and Ricky Nelson punched him out. I had to laugh when I heard that. Cheap Trick, which really is a very good band, is still touring. Guns N Roses is not. Go figure.

GawainsGhost said...

I've come to the conclusion that whenever I sign onto my gmail account, Google switches my username. It's very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

GawainsGhost,

One thing about it the regulars here know it's you no matter which name Goggle decides to give you:-)

Kevin

Lisa said...

Probably the best Friday Night blog ever :) Great job. Your version of the Yahoo article is GREAT! LOL (and sadly, probably true). Great comments last night, too. Yes, it's morning for me, conked out early last night :)

getyourselfconnected said...

I am glad everyone seems to have had a great time with the music! I am off to do errands for today, but thanks to all for the great comments.

GawainsGhost said...

Well, I wanted to spend the day working on my new post on Reality Football, but I had to go to an open house for four hours in the blistering heat. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with that, because you know that's what they pay me the big bucks for. But get this. The house is in a gated community, and since I cannot give out the gate code to the public, nobody showed up! How stupid is that? I mean, really.

You want me to go sit in an open house for four hours, but you won't allow me to give out the gate code so that anyone who might possibly want to look at and/or buy the house can't get to it? That's the way these corporations work. It's a bureaucracy! I had to tape my card to the gate so that just in case anyone showed up they could call me and I could drive back down there and open the gate for them. Sheesh, what a day.

Anyway, as I was driving home I couldn't stop thinking about this video I watched this morning on Clusterstock.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-california-got-so-screwed-up-video-2009-7

This is not democracy. This is idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Gawain's,

This is not democracy. This is idiocy.

LOL

Just wait it's going to get even more idiotic and not just in CA but in this whole country. I don't know how long it will be before the whole thing collapses but it's coming like a freight train.

Kevin

watchtower said...

"...are we rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell? ..."
Merle Haggard

getyourselfconnected said...

Checking in late!
Did anyone check out the shout out Economic Disconnect got from The Automatic Earth!?? Quite the honor and if music inspired the last masterpiece writing, I would love to think I had something to do with that! I really love writing and I appreciate everything that has come from it.

terry said...

"With a Rebel Yell Barack yelled ME! ME ME!!" Poker anyone?

getyourselfconnected said...

Where to play!!??

GawainsGhost said...

I just watched the clips of On the Edge with Max Keiser over at Zero Hedge. This guy is on the Goldman Sachs scandal like no one else, and he's actually very funny. "They're the ebola virus of money!" Ha ha ha.

Seriously though it would be amusing if it weren't so tragic. We are talking about generational theft here. Keiser wants Goldman Sachs brought before the Hague and prosecuted for financial terrorism and human rights abuses. Like that's going to happen.

Anyone who has ever read the Orestia, the Greek tragedy by Aeschylus about the first jury trial, knows the system is rigged. Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, simply bribed the jury to let Orestes walk. Oh, and his crime? Matricide.

This guy killed his mother, because she had murdered his father, because he had sacrificed her daughter to win the favor of the gods before leaving to fight the Trojan War. Greek tragedies are so involved. The Furies went berserk, because you know matricide is considered the most heinous of crimes. Then the gods got involved, intervened and set up the first trial. There was no question as to the guilt of Orestes, so Athena, in her infinite wisdom and because she was fond of him, paid off the jury.

Thus, there is no justice in the world. Matricide, generational theft, what's the difference?

Even if Goldman Sachs were brought before the Hague, or any other court for that matter, does anyone here really believe there is even the remotest chance of getting a conviction? Of course not. When you've absconded trillions, not only can you afford the best lawyers in the world, you can afford to bribe any jury.

So nothing's going to happen to these guys.

Anonymous said...

Gawain's,

Did you watch that video series called The Great Reset over at Zero Hedge. That exactly where we are headed IMHOP, how it ends is unknown but the reset will occur.

Kevin

GawainsGhost said...

Kevin, I missed that series because I usually link Zero Hedge through Naked Captalism, which goes to the old blogspot site. I had to click on the new .com site to find the videos. So I just watched them.

The guy raises some interesting points, many of which I agree with but some I do not. I do think the social contract has been broken, I believe the system is corrupt and has failed, and I know that globalization has rendered the US vulnerable to extreme shock by some outside event. However, I don't think this country will ever move to anything like the Canadian or Russian or French or Chinese model. Americans just aren't wired that way.

Yeah, I can see an unforeseen event causing severe dislocation in the US. Our leaders have fundamentally betrayed the people by outsourcing not only our manufacturing and labor but our food supply. All just so some banks could make a buck. I consider it seditious and treasonous, which is why as a general rule I vote against every incumbent in every election.

But, unlike the rest of the world, we still have a Declaration and a Constitution. The solution to the problem is simply returning to our founding principles. This is what Mark Levin discusses in his book, Liberty and Tyranny, which really is a very good read.

And, believe it or not, there are a few elected officials who actually do adhere to our founding documents. They may be few and far between, but they're out there. Down here in Texas, Gov. Perry has taken the stance that the state will reject Obama's nationalized health care plan by its rights under the 10th amendment.

http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1504240.html

I suspect we will see a lot more states take the same stance should the federal government continue to pass unfunded mandates and pass the expense onto their citizens.

I'm not one of those secessionist nuts which are all too common in Texas. I prefer Perry's strategy, which is simply to force the federal government to abide by the Constitution. And I believe that ultimately that will happen.

There will be a Great Reset, to be sure. In fact, it's already occuring. It may be painful, it certainly will be disruptive, but in the end it will not be catastrophic. The American people have more guns and ammunition than any other people in the world. And, after the intitial carnage, we'll get back to what's real.

As Churchill once said, "America will always do the right thing, after it's exhausted all other possibilities."

Anonymous said...

Gawain's,

I have no idea how the change will occur whether is a collapse similar to the soviet union, violently or threw a peacefully political process as the states and people stand up and reassert their rights and take back the freedoms that have been stolen from them threw their own complacency. I have my views on what will occur but that is speculation on my part and is what I'm preparing for although I could be wrong. Change will occur one way or another but it must change.

Here is an article you may find interesting as well, I added this site to my favorites.

The Blue-State Meltdown and the Collapse of the Chicago Model
http://tinyurl.com/n4y4y4

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Nebraska Legislators seek to assert state sovereignty
http://omaha.com/article/20090727/NEWS01/707279958

Better late then never and about damn time too.

Kevin

GawainsGhost said...

That was an interesting article, and it's true. Socialism: build it and they will leave.

Yeah, the public employee pension plans are a disaster waiting to happen. Underfunded, overly generous, run by managers who collect enormous fees while making risky investments and losing money, all with retiree payments mandated by state law. Leo Kolivakis, over at Pension Pulse, writes a lot about the impending pension fund implosion. There will certainly come a time when workers in the private sector become incensed about paying taxes for public sector retirement plans which are more lucrative than theirs are.

This is the problem as I see it, and it goes to the heart of the Blue State Meltdown. Back in the Middle Ages, only aristocrats were able to go to college. Having a degree was a sign of nobility. So there was this educated elite ruling over the illiterate masses. It was a remarkably stable structure for several centuries, but it began to collapse with the rise of the mercantile or middle class toward the end of the 14th century.

Chaucer writes about this in the Merchant's Tale, in which this rich earl, a member of the peerage or landed gentry, blows his wealth on fancy clothes and parties, then has to borrow money (with interest) from the manager of his estate, a common man, to continue to fund his lavish lifestyle. Its one of the most deeply profound stories of the corruption of the aristocracy and the competence of the middle class ever written.

America was blessed in its founding that it did not establish an aristocracy but rather a vibrant middle class, which built the greatest country the world has ever seen. But something happened in the late 20th century. It was an attitude shift more than anything else. Call them what you will--liberals, progressives, socialists, statists, narcissists, idiots--but these people began to believe that because they went to college they were aristocrats! They think they're better than the common man.

So what they did was set up this system to perpetuate their priveleged status and fund their lavish lifestyles on the backs of the taxpayers. In other words, they tried to transform America into a medieval class system with an educated elite ruling over the illiterate masses. Why do you think they promptly outsourced our manufacturing base and labor supply, then insourced third world workers to do the "jobs Americans won't do"? It wouldn't be to destroy the upward mobility of the middle class, would it?

Howbeit, the whole thing is unsustainable. All aristocracies are incompetent and corrupt and eventually collapse under the weight of their own conceit. And then the middle class will rise again. That will be the Great Reset.

We just need to return to our founding principles, rebuild our manufacturing base, re-employ the American people, and re-establish upward mobility. That surely shouldn't take centuries, merely a decade or two.

GawainsGhost said...

By the way, GYC, here is what SI's Peter King had to say about your hero in his column this morning.

"Alexis Arguello dies of gunshot wound.'' I covered boxing for a couple years at The Cincinnati Enquirer in the early 80s, and spent a day with Arguello at his home in Miami before his first big junior-welterweight title fight with Aaron Pryor in 1982. Great guy. Gentleman. Seemed bright and more interesting than your run-of-the-mill pug. We'll never know what was in that secret bottle that Panama Lewis kept in the Pryor corner that night, but to Arguello's credit, he never complained about it or, to the best of my recollection, never questioned Pryor's incredible staying power in that brawl. I mean, this was a Balboa-Creed night. Years later, I still can't believe how each man survived the incredible pummeling each took.

watchtower said...

June new home sales rise 11 percent

"WASHINGTON – New U.S. home sales rose by the largest amount in more than eight years last month, in another sign the housing market is finally bouncing back from the worst downturn in decades."

http://tinyurl.com/nobufu


"...happy days are here again..."

Anonymous said...

"...happy days are here again..."

Bill Bonner: Son Of Stimulus
http://tinyurl.com/mlbyc2

Kevin

watchtower said...

Kevin

Bill doesn't seem happy at all at our outlook, maybe he just needs a hug...from an NAR rep perhaps? : )

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