Friday, December 07, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
So here it goes. The federal reserve, supposedly in a move to be more transparent, released and internal study forecasting that the economy would slow to as slow as a 1.6% GDP. However, this federal reserve is well known for always focusing on so called "core" inflation which excludes energy and housing costs among other thing. But obviously energy and housing prices affect the consumer's standard of living heavily. So essentially if the difference between "core" inflation and say an inflation figure including energy and housing is more than 1.6% than a fair measure of the GDP during the forecasted time would actually be zero or less ( i.e. a recession).
So I hereby coin the term the "stealth recession." To me its a recession wherein a true GDP is negative while the nominal ones, and the so called real ones which utilize "core" inflation show a positive gain. If the fed's real GDP ( nominal GDP - core inflation) forecast is 1.6% but say the so called non-core inflation is closer to 6% than a true of fair measure of real GDP would be closer to -4.5%.
I theorize that we have had stealth recessions before. That is why the economic figures are always touted as being okay or good and then anecdotally through the media we hear stories of how consumers still seem to be suffering or not feeling as though things are improving on their end.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Okay so what am I talking about? I am talking about Money Market funds, which are funds that typically pay better than FDIC insured savings accounts. Money Market funds are allowed to invest in and have invested in all sorts of so called toxic debt instruments (CDO's, Asset backed securities, etc. ). They are also not insured by either the FDIC or the SPIC. According to the article money market funds only pay a 1% premium over similar funds which limit their holdings to Treasuries. A 1% risk premium seems pretty stingy for something that might only give you back 95% of your money.
I also remember vividly having a conversation with someone managing money for high net worth individuals at a party about a year and a half ago who cued me in that the Broker/Dealer/Investment Bank had recently amended their disclosure statements within the prospecti of their money funds. Clearly the risk that these funds might lose money was understood by the big investment banks. So some smart people foresaw these risks. I mean how else did Goldman make a profit in Quarter 3?
The article is tame and trying too hard to be objective. But I have to ask you in this market what kind of idiot would leave money in a money market fund? I mean in the future when the capital markets regain some stability sure, but for now with all this volatility and the uncertain nature of how far the write downs will go why risk it? For the record I am very bearish on the financial stocks for the time being. I will not even think about changing my mind until 4th quarter results come out in January. I expect that FASB rule 157, effective November 15, 2007, will require these financials to mark even more worthless securitized products to market forcing more write offs and mark downs.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This sort of talk by Bernake is most likely a bluff. Why would Mr. Bernake signal a shift in fed focus? Why bluff? Well perhaps its to help shore up confidence in the plummeting dollar and try to put a lid on oil and other commodity futures prices. However on December 11, the next fed open market committee market we shall see whether Mr. Bernake and the Wall Street friendly Fed stick to its new focus of fighting non-core inflation. I view core inflation as a sort of a joke, an academic notion which has little basis in reality.
If the credit crunch of which I have warned for a while, continues to worsen (new accounting standards make more write offs all but certain) Bernake and the rest of the Fed will not have the balls to defy the Wallstreet MSNBC pundit machine and hold rates steady. Of course, as soon as another fed funds rate cut is announced it will send gold and silver prices soaring again.
Personally I am watching the correction in gold and silver prices to try and increase my positions in ETF's between now and December 11.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
BTW did you see that Fred Thompson is now officially running for the Republican Party's Presidential Nomination? I predict Thompson will actually do really well in that he is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations according to Wikipedia. Apparently so is Mitt Romney former governor of Massachusetts. These are the power elites choices for the Republican nomination.
But geez we already had an actor president and I don't think the popsicle index improved during his tenure. The popsicle index is the invention of Catherine Austin Fitts, which is the likelihood that a parent in West Philadelphia could send a child to the store safely by themselves to buy a popsicle. She notes that as the Dow Jones soared the Popsicle Index has tanked.
Also Thompson was an off again on again lobbyist? I mean we have the idiot CEO president do we want to move down the loose morals food chain and hire a lobbyist/ actor for president? I mean we need a non corporate whore president and well actor and lobbyist is high on my whore corporate whore index. BTW am I the only one who notices that Thompson obviously doesn't even attempt to show a care for any actual issues choosing instead to skip a debate and announce his candidacy on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
And in case you get the idea that the president doesn't really matter to your daily life think again. The president while not directly controlling as much domestic policy as congress ostensibly, in actuality he/she has a huge impact by his/her nomination of Federal Judges, FCC commission members, National Labor Relations Board commissioners.
Notably Federal Judges have done away with any regulation of commercial speech allowing huge multinational corporations freedom of speech rights to be equivalent to your individual speech rights. How can your voice compete with the massive media distribution networks of a huge multinational? This Bush FCC has repeatedly loosened ownership restrictions allowing for even greater consolidation of our so called main stream media. Democracy does not work without a healthy and independent media! Now as for the NLRB they have a huge role in whether or not they help or hurt organized labor. Yes thats right despite what my father says unions are very important to protect the rights of the ordinary working guy. Without the unions what special interest group will look out for the little guy in Washington?
BTW am I the only one who thinks that the whole ERISA thing is a disaster waiting to happen? DO you realize that a healthy proportion of the baby boomers will be required to start selling portions of their stock portfolios at 70.5 years of age. I mean this is a structural problem for the stock market because essentially ever year more and more people will be required to take money out of the stock market. So it turns out the people who at 60 have nothing but a house may be in as good if not a better position than those who have hundreds of thousands or millions socked away in the securities markets.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Now I am faced with bad anxiety attacks as I am scared sh&tless about how to rebuild a life for myself be it here in Sun Valley, New Zealand, or back in Los Angeles. I don't know why anyone would want to hire me or be my friend.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Well Wednesday I felt so bad that I stayed lying down all day. Am feeling better today. I actually left the condo today and have packed quite a bit. I was contemplating leaving this afternoon but now its 2:00 p.m. here and well I am not ready to go. So for now the plan is to leave early tomorrow in the A.M. If I do a good job and leave early enough I suppose I might just camp around Bishop, CA or something.
I guess LA is experiencing an uncomfortable heat wave. Sweet I guess I will be hanging at the Bizzeach for a while. I wanted to learn how to surf anyway.
Watching Red Dawn right now about to go to the pool/ hot tub to read. Jeez how bored does one have to be to watch a movie with C Thomas Howell as an action hero?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Still in Sun Valley, ID, playground of the rich and spoiled. Its amazing this 41,000 acre fire burning near the ski mountain and threatening scores of multi-million dollar homes is getting lots of news coverage. To date it is just 31% contained with now over 1600 firefighters fighting it. Since several A listers own second, third, fourth.... homes here its no surprise that a huge effort is being put in. I wonder if as much effort would go to save poor areas of New Orleans?
Last night the fire was a lead story on Fox New's show with that ahole Sheppard Smith.
Yesterday it was in the LATIMES and today there is a story in the NYTIMES.
As for me I think that I am headed back to L.A. tomorrow assuming that I continue to feel better. I still might move back here assuming it doesn't burn down, but need to go home and get out of the smoke and at least get my stuff. Otherwise New Zealand is tempting.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I have been stuck inside for several days now as the Castlerock Fire and the preventative burning that is being done is making it very smoky around here.
Now I have an intestinal parasite of some sort so am not well enough to travel back to LA. I am hoping to be able to travel by Thursday.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I am in Vancouver and having fun. Its a really cool city. Also jealous of the Canadians and their arrangement with the Aussies. Both have holiday visas which allow you to stay in the country for a year and work and travel and you don't need a job to get your visa.
P.S. will post more pictures when I get a chance.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Made it finally after waiting for a few ferries to Vancouver Island and our hostel in Victoria. I have a tiny room with no windows and not much floor space but its fine. The hostel was recommended by a friend in Montana and he was right. THe vibe is totally cool. I am above a bar with live music. Hipster music is playing in the background and everyone is really chill. A great sounding canadian chick is playing her acoustic and singing along.
Dahm need to get my camera out and post a picture of the two Aussies. They are a blast!
Its way cooler than that stuffy ass B&B and much more centrally located and affordable.
Well managed a bed in a hostel coed dorm for last night. Unfortunately they are booked tighter than (insert colorful phrase here).
Met a couple of Aussie chicks( Hayley and Sophie) who just arrived in Canada and are going to stay and work for a year. They will also likely visit the United States at some point so I will put them in touch with any of you who don't mind a couple of spunky Aussie girls. We found rooms together in a hostel in Victoria, Vancouver Island, B.C. I was just in Victoria last year in August. This time I get to stay in a hostel above a bar instead of a B&B.
Will post pictures when I get a chance. Also should return to Vancouver Sunday.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Hey All this is what I did yesterday. Adam Forrester said I had to do this and he was right! Took a tour on the Athabasca Glacier in Columbia Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper in Alberta, Canada. If you check out my youtube page you can see all the other videos I have of these giant Glacier tour trucks. I also added photos of yesterday to my Picasa page.
I am currently in Jasper, Alberta but am contemplating going to Vancouver today because the weather here is lousy. Last night I stayed at a rustic hostel with lots of Spainards, Germans, and Canadians. It was Called Beauty Creek HI hostel.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Per Billtron's request I will attempt to explain the photos without being able to look at them again. The photos of the house looking thing are of the Hostel in Polebridge, MT just outside Glacier National Park. I stumbled upon the charming little town of polebridge on the way to Kintla Lake. The inner North Fork Road is closed to protect a critical wolf habitat and I was forced to detour outside the park. The photos of the mercantile are of the store/ bakery. This is truly one of the best bakeries in the world. Best I can figure its at least partly because of the good well water there. The place is devoid of scotts or irish people lest they would be distilling there I am certain. The Northern Lights Cafe is also excellent and you can get a great meal there along with an organic Pale ale.
The hostel is old worldly, with no real electricity, propane mantle lamps. It does have refrigerators and stove and oven running on propane as well as hot showers. However the toilet is in the form of a dual outhouse. There are old tools, lanterns and cast iron hung all over the walls and the place oozes a rustic mountain charm of which many a mountain town has foolishly rid itself.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
GOt a bed in a hostel with a lot of smelly foreigners. Also Canada is boring.
Tomorrow will do some hiking gondola etc.
Thinking tomorrow might be nicer camping not sure.
Need to make arrangements for Jasper and perhaps Vancounver this weekend.
Upset that all internet seems to be pay for here. Wish my laptop worked. Oh well.
Sorry no photos or video but there is no USB drive here.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Yeah you heard right. There was a bear in the campsite next to mine yesterday afternoon. I managed to get one shot of it attempting to drink a beer. I think I might send this to the Fat Tire people and see if I can get some free schwag if I license it to them.
Just a cellphone capture from 7/29/07 upon my entry into Grand Teton National Park. If my laptop only still worked there would be amazing youtube videos and more photos than you can shake a stick at.
Animals seen so far:
Hundreds of chipmunks, slightly less squirels, Black Bear ( photo to come), Gardner Snake, and a big fat Moose ( photo and videos to come eventually).
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
My sister, Brian and I went mountain biking on Bald Mtn today. Basically we rented mountain bikes from Sturtevant's in Ketchum. But these weren't just any mountain bikes. They had full suspension, front and rear and we were glad to have it. Then we got a lift ticket to ride up to the top of the mountain from the river run side (the only side open in the summer). It was amazing and so much fun. Now I can see what the lady at Helen's in Santa Monica was talking about. Its so much fun to scream down a trail with a bike with full suspension. My sister fell a couple of times and got a big bruise on her ass but she isn't complaining much. I fell twice but only got a couple of really minor scratches. So much fun, I will have to do that again later.
Anyway enjoy this video of me going down a cat path, sorry no videos of me on the actual trail. Maybe my sister will be more patient next time.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Just got done with a tremendous success of a dinner party.
1 - 3 bottles of white wine.
2 - crudites with a homemade Spinach Dip
3 -delicious spinach, beats and goat cheese salad
4 - Chicken Picata
5 - Parmessan Risotto
6 - Asparagus with a Ginger lime vinagrette sauce
7 - Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Bourbon Whipped Cream Sauce
In attendance: My sister, Brian (sis's b-friend), Brooke, Alysia, Marina, and Yours truly.
2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are from the book The New Best Recipes , from the editors of America's Test Kitchen, a great show on PBS!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Hey All, Greetings from beautiful downtown Stanley, ID Population 100.:
Shout out to my bro Stone,: kick ass and take names on the California Bar Exam!
Have spent the last two nights camping. Well technically last night I stayed in someone's trailer. Man I am so jealous of having a shower and kitchen and all... Someday I think I might have to get one of those and live out of it for the summer.
Some Pics from First night at Sunny Gulch Campground:
Some Pics from Highway 75 near Stanley, ID and Redfish Lake, ID:
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Yesterday, Tuesday July 17, 2007 I went up to the SNRA to check out some lakes. I went to Alturas Lake, Petit Lake and Redfish Lake.
Here is a picture from Highway 75 on the way up to Galena Summit:
This is a picture of me in front of Alturas Lake:
This is a picture of me and the car near Alturas Lake:
Here are pictures of Petit, by far my favorite lake:
The first picture is of the dirt road up to Petit Lake:
Two of yours truly in front of Petit Lake, Truly a gorgeous site:
I woke up real early cause I was roaring to go.
100 Miles later:
100 Miles later, Outside Wells, NV I think possibly outside Jackpot, NV:
For Mile 800 in Twin Falls, ID, I decided to take a different perspective, wow look I am actually happy with a smile on my face. :
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Anyway today I got up early ( i HAVE BEEN GETTING UP REAL LATE) and made breakfast. Then I biked to lunch at Perry's my favorite deli in the world. Had a sandwich but then wanted to bike out to the Hot springs I drove to the other day. Other than a bunch of family people and a total scizophrenic who interrupted my serene moment at the spring it was a good day. But a long ass bike ride. At least 20 miles I figure.
Here is a picture of the hot springs:
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Just wanted to let you all know that I made it to Sun Valley, ID safely. No real problems on the trip whatsoever.
Last night I met up with Brooke, Aimee's Junior Year Roommate at Princeton, and her two girlfriends. We had good Tai food at a place in Hailey I have been once before and then saw Ratatouile. We ended the night going to a club/bar called the Mint, owned by none other than Bruce Willis, which I have heard about for over a decade and never been in before.
So needless to say I was really tired so I slept till noon today. Now I am here in my favorite deli in the whole world, Perry's, in Ketchum, ID. I am also having my favorite ham sandwich in the world and a great cup of coffee to wake me up.
Spreading my good vibes to you all.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Miles driven today: 552.8. Approximate Miles to go to Ketchum, ID: 329.
Approximate Average Gas Mileage today: 35.7
Mile Zero this morning in my garage in Los Angeles, CA.
Mile 100, about 10 miles outside Mojave, CA.
Mile 200, somewhere before Bishop, CA I think.
Mile 300, Benton, CA.
Mile 400, about 10 Miles beyond Tonapah, NV.
Mile 500, about 50 miles before Ely, NV.