Monday, May 30, 2011

William Paul Youngclaus III -- Yale '61

Posted in reverse order of pages.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cramer's New List -- Before the Market Will Rally

#1 Suggestion

First, I wish Greece would just default already. It's so inevitable. If this happened, think about it, we could rethink this whole process. Let some of these European banks that own too much of this bad government debt go out of business. They never raised the capital that our banks did anyway. It's time for Europe to take the medicine, and get with the program. We all will survive this default. But this finger-in-the-dike nonsense must end once and for all. A failure of imagination. Come up with a two-tier currency. I don't care. Let's move on.

#2 Suggestion

Second, I wish the federal government would force the exchanges here to raise the margin rates on oil. All the President has to do is suggest... and believe me, the exchanges would cave. You could send oil prices down to $85 in a nanosecond. I wish I could guarantee something, but I'll tell you something, this would happen... And then what would happen? Gasoline, down to $3.25. An immediate spending impetus for the whole country. Recharge the nation.

#3 Suggestion

Third, I wish China would recognize that the inflation side of things isn't as important right now. They just had a bad industrial number that came out last night. The slowdown... they're engineering a slowdown... Maybe enough is enough, central bank. The whole commodity complex is collapsing. The Chinese seem a little oblivious. Love those guys, but come one. The world needs your help.

#4 Suggestion

Fourth, I wish the US government would take advantage of these incredibly low long-term interest rates and refinance its debt, so that we don't have to worry about the IMF someday coming here, because we can't roll over our short-term paper. That is the current Grecian problem. The Treasury Secretary could be a hero for this. He seems to be willing to sacrifice long-term considerations for short-term borrowing costs. I know. I've heard him say it. $200 billion. You know what? A small price to pay, versus having the IMF here. Come on, Tim, you're better than that. I know you are. You're one of the good guys.

#5 Suggestion

Fifth, I wish that we could recognize the opportunity that the glut of natural gas in this country represents... an opportunity to choke off OPEC by forcing trucks to switch from diesel fuel to liquefied natural gas.

#6 Suggestion

Sixth, I wish stocks would just get where they have to go... to levels where the values are so obvious that they would have to be taken. That would require them to become accidental high yielders, giving people a chance to earn some income while they own stocks. Hey, you know something? It's already starting to happen. Have you seen where Nucor, the great steel company, is? It now yields 3.5%. Most stocks have further to fall, and endless bidding up of the staples... it's now beyond reason. I mean, come on.

#7 Suggestion

Seventh... oh here's a tough one... I wish the underwriters who started a social media bubble last week, with their ridiculous under pricing of LinkedIn, would be castigated by the SEC. The SEC always takes a handoff approach to this stuff. It was so obvious that this moronic deal would cause another bubble, that I know it made me feel much more negative about stocks than I like. Believe me, there's nothing inevitable about the social media bubble. We are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of the dot-com era. It can be stopped. Come on, government. Get your hands dirty. Get involved. You're involved with the bank and mortgages. Get involved with underwriting before it's too late, and the whole dot-bomb process begins again, ruining the asset class that is stocks, even more than it already is.

#8 Suggestion

Eighth, I wish people would stop trashing Ben Bernanke. He is single-handedly keeping the financial system afloat, against an onslaught of foreclosed properties that are crushing the banks' balance sheets. Bernanke's been the best Fed Chairman of our lifetime. Give the guy a break.

#9 Suggestion

Ninth, I wish that a bunch of these stocks that trade in triple digits would just split already. Look, I know splits are totally cosmetic... that they create no real value. But I have to tell you, these stocks are being viewed as targets of opportunity for short sellers, and they are also the easiest ways for managers to raise money. A simple split would make their stocks more stable, and accessible to homegamers before they're driven out of the game entirely.

#10 Suggestion

Finally, I wish the President would come home and say to congress, no recess until you raise the debt ceiling and agree to some big spending cuts. We have a chance, right now as a nation, to assert ourselves as the world's most financially stable place. If we could only reach some sort of major debt agreement, the world is ours to win.

The bottom line...

▼ ▼ ▼ ▼

How outrageous is my wish list... as outrageous as it is common sensical... Everybody in this market knows that every one of these open-ended issues, and the problems they are causing for stocks. And until they are resolved, we can't rally. It's too bad, because we could easily take out the highs, if we got all 10 of these points. Then again though, this asset class has no supporters in Washington these days. So don't hold your breath. I say let the market come down until we get some of these points resolved. And then find yourself in a great situation, and great shape, to take advantage of the aftermath.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tech Tip -- Don't Pay For Antivirus Program Again

¶ You don’t have to pay for antivirus and anti-spyware software, year after year. Microsoft offers a perfectly good free security program.

Jim Cramer Hits an All-Time High

(c) 2011 F. Bruce Abel

This article on Jim Cramer is just "ok," providing a modicum of new information, such as that he divorced The Trading Goddess, which I had deduced by his repeated references of life of "Friday night drinking drinking cheap scotch on the dirty linoleum floor" and other comments about his weekends and life.

The article does not give Cramer the praise that his portfolio deserves, as its performance is sensational.  But there are "flaws" in his nightly presentation theory -- a little slippery about whether he called this correction or that one, etc.  Such problems are inherent in what he is doing.  I have never really made money "following" him, due to psychological factors that I think everybody feels.

Cramer says he is a Democrat but when he was on CNBC with Kudlow (pre Mad Money) he was pretty Wall Street/Republican-line, I thought. 

First "Hot Air" Entry For Awhile

Imagine your breakfast and lose ten pounds! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Random Notes

Randum notes of May 11, 2011 copied or spiked:

Loan Limits Effect on Counties

Modern Life on Tobacco Road

Foremost Ins. Co. v. Rudolph

In May of 2010, Cynthia lived in a 1996 Fleetwood mobile home located in Lowndes County, Alabama near Highway 80. Cynthia lived with four of her eight children: Emily (age 19), Karmen Rudolph (age 18), Jacora Brown (16), and Fantavia Brown (14). Emily's two daughters, Alivia (age 4 months) and Alkera (age 2), also lived in the mobile home.

Cynthia earned some income from gambling either with her own money or with other people's money.1 [*6] She earned about $10,000 from gambling in the year before preceding May of 2010. She also sold food such as hamburgers and chicken strips from an unlicensed concession stand near the mobile home. She earned about $400 a month doing so. Cynthia's friends Rick Graham ("Graham") and Roosevelt Williams ("Williams") financially assisted Cynthia and her family. In fact, Graham gave Cynthia and her daughters the mobile home in which they lived.2 As of May of 2010, Cynthia had outstanding federal tax liens against her for $18,213 for 2004; $29,496 for 2003; and $2,120 for 1998.

1 In 2007, Cynthia hit a $1,000,000 jackpot while gambling. She purchased cars, a boat, an excavator, her concession, new televisions and appliances and her concession stand before a man with whom she had been romantically involved disappeared with $800,000 of the money. Cynthia did not file an income tax return for 2007, nor did she pay income taxes on the jackpot. The IRS is pursuing her for taxes she should have paid on her winnings in 2007.

2 There is some conflict in the testimony about legal title to the mobile home. Emily testified that the title for the mobile home was in her name jointly with Graham. Cynthia seemed [*7] to indicate that it was in the name of Emily alone Emily and her sisters, but that Graham intended the mobile home to be used by Cynthia and her daughters. There is also some conflicting information in the record about the ownership of the land on which the mobile home was located. Emily claims Graham gave it to her along with the mobile home. Graham indicates that he continues to own the land but did not charge Cynthia and her children to reside in the mobile home on his land.

Emily has never been employed. She received only $358 a month in food stamps. In 2010, she had several outstanding debts which were in the collection process. The total sum owed on these debts exceeded $14,000.

For several months, Emily did not have insurance on the mobile home. When Emily's younger sister Karmen started a job as a Census Worker, Emily decided to obtain insurance on the mobile home. On April 12, 2010, Emily called Foremost to obtain insurance on the mobile home. Foremost took her application and payment over the phone. Emily asked when the policy would be effective. The Foremost representative told her that it could be effective that day if the payment was made over the phone. Emily and Karmen [*8] arranged for the initial payment to be taken out of Karmen's bank account.

Foremost issued a policy providing insurance of $80,000 on the mobile home, $43,000 for personal property within the home, and $15,000 for other structures. Foremost has identified several policy provisions that are key to the resolution of this motion. Those provisions are as follows:

SECTION 1 - Insured Perils

We insure risk of direct, sudden and accidental physical loss to the property described in Coverage A - Dwelling, Coverage B - Other Structures and Coverage C - Personal Property unless the loss is excluded elsewhere in this policy.

* * * *

Doc. 18 at Ex. A- 1.

On the afternoon of May 11, 2010, the mobile home burned. At the time of the fire, the mobile home was unoccupied. Cynthia was nearby at the concession stand. Two of Emily's younger sisters had come home from school and taken Emily's children on a walk to a nearby store. Emily put a load of clothes into the dryer. Rather than going to her mother's nearby concession stand, Emily decided to drive to the White Hall Triple Spot Restaurant, which was located five or ten miles away, to pick up a cheese hamburger. When Emily left, she made sure she locked the mobile home.

A relative of hers, Tracy Smith ("Smith") was working on the brakes of his car nearby, and she told him she was going to get some food. After Emily left the mobile home, Smith did not see anyone enter or leave the mobile. Smith heard a smoke alarm sounding inside the mobile home. He looked [*10] into the mobile home and saw fire. He tried to extinguish the fire by breaking out a window and spraying water from a hose. He also called 911. A man who was passing by stopped to help Smith try to stop the fire. The fire department arrived and extinguished the flames. The mobile home was rendered a total loss.

When Emily returned from picking up her cheese burger, she saw the fire department, ambulance, and many cars near her mobile home. She realized her mobile home was on fire. It is not clear who contacted Foremost to report the fire and make a claim, but it is clear that someone informed Foremost about the fire and that both Cynthia and Emily had dealings with Foremost relating to the insurance claim for the loss of the mobile home and its contents. Both Emily and Cynthia indicated that they did not know how the fire had started.

Foremost issued a number of checks to Emily to pay the family's emergency living expenses after the fire. Foremost also began to investigate the cause and origin of the fire. It hired Troy Ammons ("Ammons"), a Certified

Etc., etc., etc.

[they -- Cynthia and Emily -- lost]

Foremost Ins. Co. v. Rudolph, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49551 (D. Ala. 2011)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011