Wednesday, November 5
Abnormal Characters, end of day, Wednesday, November 5
Michiko Kakutani hated Martin Amis' new book,
Yellow Dog. "Silly, mindless wordplay ... lazy craftsmanship ... a messy, improvised story that is neither provocative nor compelling ...
a clumsy, mechanical job ... inane, pointless wordplay."
More on Britishisms: I had a drink the other night with my friend Sarah and noticed that she says "reckon" and "fancy" (as in "fancy a drink?")
a lot. Of course she has a very lovely voice which makes everything she says very appealing.
Along with "cheers," I also refuse to say "mate" or "bloody." There's
nothing worse than hearing an American use "bloody." It sounds bloody pretentious, mate.
There must be some Turkish national holiday going on today because the 'hood has been thundering all evening with fireworks. We
feel like we're living in the middle of Baghdad. Maybe it has something to do with Ramadhan, God willing.
UPDATE: I've just learned that today is the 398th anniversary of Guy Fawkes' attempt to blow up Parliament.
Some nutter has put up a website explaining all this.
The Chairman talks about a short trade in today's Trading for Dummies lesson.
Greater China Fund finally pierces the high it reached in 1993. Its recent run is eerily similar to the move it made in 1993 when
the China stocks were last caught up in a speculative buying craze. You can see by the volume at the bottom of the chart that
people are rushing in, anxious to pay top dollar I guess. Should it be called the Greater China Fund or the Greater Fool Fund?
Bill Gross continues to worry
(excessively I think) about our "too levered finance based economy" in this month's Investment Outlook.
"While our economy is undoubtedly not levered to a 42-year duration, it is levered. The banks are levered 10 parts assets to
one part capital to begin with. The hedgies the same. Agencies even more. As their asset durations move higher, the more
susceptible we become as an economy to going kaput as well should interest rates rise. All the levered players mentioned
above are making hay while the short borrowing rate is at 1%. Change that borrowing rate by much Alan Greenspan and you
risk another bubble popping -- this time the U.S. economy"
I'm always amused when I look at total return and net asset numbers for mutual funds. When are folks going to learn that you gotta
buy 'em when they ain't?
Bits gleaned from a Buffett talk at UNLV in 2001:
On investing: "First of all, I like to think I can understand the business. I can understand Wrigley's chewing gum, I can
understand Coca-Cola, I can even understand Wal-Mart. Then I figure out whether the company has a durable competitive advantage,
the kind of competitive advantage Coca-Cola has, because my intention is to hold it forever. Then I look for management
that is willing and able."
On the value of getting an exclusive brand-name education: "I don't put much emphasis on it. I look for people with fire in their
belly, people with passion, not what their grades are or where their degree is from. I look for intellect, energy and integrity."
On going to business school: "If you haven't done it by the time you're 32, you probably already know more than you need to."
On marriage: "You look for someone who'll endure, and you look for someone with low expectations."
On the future of America: "This country will do better per capita in 10 years, in 20 years, in 30 years because it's an
incredible economic machine. It's amazing what this machine has turned out. There's been no decade in which our living
conditions haven't improved."
An interesting case study on economy.com's effort to make dismal.com a subscription-only site.
"Dismal.com has grown into an estimated $1.3M per year business,
according to ContentBiz calculations, with over 4000 subscribers.
And while Economy.com won't reveal its costs for Dismal.com, with
no dedicated staff members, Dismal.com is almost certainly a
highly profitable venture."
-- via PaidContent --
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