Category Archives: Anecdotes

Drenched

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I grew up in Louisiana, where it rains eighty inches a year fairly consistently. We have real seasons down there, so I’ve always been amused at the attitude of those in the Bay Area who get all worked up about tiny temperature fluctuations or the occasional bolt of lightning.

Over the past few years, there’s been less rain than normal, and of course purveyor-of-all-things-gloomy ZeroHedge was having a field day with stories about how this wasn’t just a normal drought, but the end of California. Article after article appeared stating that the “new normal” for California was the desert-like condition that, according to some, was the norm for the state. (more…)

The Trouble with Tesla

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I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Tesla (TSLA), having lost over a fifth of its market cap from its high, is vulnerable in two important ways: one, it can’t seem to get its act together with the Model X (which was initially shown years ago, and to this day still isn’t an officially-launched product) and two, it’s not like the rest of the world is idly sitting by while Tesla owns the entire high-end electric car market. Audi, for one, has a Model S killer coming out in a couple of years. I think one can expect this stock to be beneath $200 by the first quarter of next year.

1202-tsla

The True Welfare Queens

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(Note from Tim: this is written by a Sloper who stays in touch with me from time to time; someone made a remark about “corporate welfare queens” on the blog recently, which inspired this reader to send me the email below; I have been given permission to make this email into a post:)

Who are the true welfare queens of this country? Suburban elderly or inner city folks?

My position: Inner city folks

Why:

It may well be that the money spent on Social Security and Medicare is much higher than money spent on Food Stamps and Aid to Dependent Children. But what about the money spent on subsidized housing (currently assisting more than 3 million households in the US), much of it in the inner cities? Aid to pay for utilities? Emergency rental assistance/homeless prevention programs? Disability benefits obtained from having ailments due to poor lifestyle choices? Free lunches and winter jackets for their needy kids? Free cell phones with minutes (yes, they get that, too)? And what about all those inner city folks who get all of the above, including Social Security and Medicare? There are a plenty of them. I know. I have seen them with my own two sad little eyes. (more…)

The Increasing Cracks In The Silicon Valley Mirror

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There’s probably no other place more enthralled with its own state of being today than Silicon Valley. Now probably more than ever the tech capital just might be believing their own hype more now, than in the “glory days” of the 90’s.

Today the belief is so strong, so internalized that the coding kingdom is where the new rulers of the universe reside, that it would make the Kadashians think about trying to keep up with the “Coders.” (does anyone need anymore proof than the new Kim Kadashian app?)

The problem with mirrors is just that – they’re mirrors. And unless you take your gaze away from it and look around once in a while, what happens more times than not is you miss all that’s happening around you. Till one day you either walked smack dab into a wall, or worse – never left the couch as the city around you fell into chaos.

This is where I believe a great many in the “disruptive” world are going to find themselves. No, not them disrupting – but the world they now inhabit is about to be – disrupted. i.e., The valuations, the deals, the whatever that were once taken for granted as a “never-ending story” is seemingly not only coming to an end. That end – might already have taken place. (more…)

Junk Call Killer

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Over the past year or so, the number of “junk” phone calls that are coming has gone sky-high. It’s worse during political season, of course, but even besides that, the number of air duct cleaners, carpet cleaners, home remodelers, and all manner of other service organization seems to have my number and just loves to call it.

A few months ago, I got a Digitone Call Blocker Plus to quell this nuisance. I wanted to mention this because a few minutes ago I got my third sales call of the day, and I bet plenty of Slopers have to deal with this as much as I do. It’s a wonderful feeling to press the “Block” button and know that a given caller can’t get through again. It’s like whack-a-mole, but it’s way better than just putting up with it!

Where Have the Stock Markets Gone?

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The following is a definition of “STOCK MARKET” as provided by Investopedia.com:

     “The market in which shares of publicly-held companies are issued and traded either through exchanges or over-the-counter markets. Also known as the equity market, the stock market is one of the most vital components of a free-market economy, as it provides companies with access to capital in exchange for giving investors a slice of ownership in the company. The stock market makes it possible to grow small initial sums of money into large ones, and to become wealthy without taking the risk of starting a business or making the sacrifices that often accompany a high-paying career.”

I would suggest that, since various world Central Banks (A.K.A. financial policy-makers) have been busy buying into a variety of world markets since the bottom of the 2008/09 financial crisis, these former stock markets are no longer a “component of a free-market economy.” The Bank of Japan is but one example of this practice, as evidenced in their most recent policy statement issued on October 31st. Therefore, the markets that you have been (and are still) trading do not fall under the definition of a STOCK MARKET. Rather, they are entities totally under the control of Central Banks and no longer exist as stock markets.

Zachary

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A handwritten letter arrived in my mailbox last week from a reader. In it was a note from whom I would guess is an elderly gentleman, thanking me for my work both on Slope and on Tastytrade, but politely asking me to use the phrase “God damn it” less frequently, since he found it upsetting.

The handwriting on the paper trembled like leaves in an autumn breeze, and it was obvious it took time and effort to send me this two-page missive. It meant something to him.

It never occurred to me that I ever used this phrase in a video, let alone often enough to cause concern. All the same, the letter, as with the many other letters I have received over the years, made an impression. For one thing, it made me wonder how angry I must be in order for this kind of sentiment to seep through, since I wasn’t even aware I was saying it.

Which leads me to the topic at hand. Specifically, a man. A terribly deformed man whom I think about almost daily. For now, I’ll call him Sup. (more…)