David W. Maurer wrote a book in 1940 called The Big Con in which he laid out the 10 steps of the big con game (I love the language):
1. Locating and investigating a well-to-do victim.
(Putting the mark up.)
2. Gaining the victim's confidence.
(Playing the con for him.)
3. Steering him to meet the insideman.
(Roping the mark.)
4. Permitting the insideman to show him how he can make a large amount of money dishonestly.
(Telling him the tale.)
5. Allowing the victim to make a substantial profit.
(Giving him the convincer.)
6. Determining exactly how much he will invest.
(Giving him the breakdown.)
7. Sending him home for this amount of money.
(Putting him on the send.)
8. Playing him against a big store and fleecing him.
(Taking off the touch.)
9. Getting him out of the way as quietly as possible.
(Blowing him off.)
10. Forestalling action by the law.
(Putting in the fix.)
Posted at 5:13 PM, GMT
As promised, a double bill of Trading for
Dummies lessons. Only twelve lessons to go before I quit at #100.
Posted at 12:48 PM, GMT
An interesting article in Wired on autistic savants,
jazz, neuroplasticity, creativity, and the advantages of growing up speaking a tonal language (like Chinese).
"This oddly adhesive memory is what binds together every domain of savant skill. In the brains of savants ... associative memory
systems located in the higher regions of the cortex fail, and older parts of the brain - the ancient pathways in the basal ganglia
known as habit memory - take over ... It's not just that savants remember everything ... it's that they are unable to forget anything...."
Posted at 11:44 AM, GMT
Back in January I wrote about Byron Wien's prediction that the housing boom wouldn't bust, but grow larger instead. He recommended
Lennar (LEN) and Centex (CTX), both excellent picks. They were showing great relative strength at the time... throwing
a dart at a list of the homebuilders also would have worked well.
The best performers year over year have been Hovnanian (HOV), Ryland Group (RYL), Toll Brothers (TOL), and DR Horton (DHI), all of them
up over 140%. The chartists
out there will be happy to learn that Hovnanian formed a classic cup-and-handle pattern before beginning its big run.
Hovnanian Enterprises, Monthly Chart (click to enlarge)
Posted at 10:47 AM, GMT
An excerpt from the Copyright Act of 1976:
"... the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means
specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for
classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
Posted at 8:58 AM, GMT
Jim Griffin writes about the difficulty of discounting anarchy.
"The much celebrated boom in productivity, that best of all possible economic news, is importantly, perhaps even primarily, a
function of global integration, of fusing many countries into a single economy. Protectionism, like anarchy, is another antithesis
of this integrating process."
Posted at 8:33 AM, GMT
Amazon and the British Library make a deal.
"The deal gives Amazon the right to use the British Library's bibliographic catalogue, which contains 2.55 million books.
Crucially it includes 1.7 million produced before the introduction in 1970 of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN),
a 10-character code that uniquely identifies any modern book."
Posted at 8:16 AM, GMT
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