Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Falling Back

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I'm not sure how many "old timers" are still on Slope. By "old Timers" I mean those reading me two or more years ago (I started writing this thing four years ago, incredibly; you can see my first post from March 29, 2005 here). But for newcomers, let me explain how different things used to be before the bear market took the world by storm.

Mine was a very lonely position. I would come here, day in and day out, thumping the Bible and saying how the end was near. And, man, did I get it. An entire array of nasty folks would show up to chastise me and tell me how wrong I was. There were others who were civil – like Gary Savage – but would still gently try to turn me from the error of my ways. I only had a handful of supporters (like Leisa, whom I haven't seen around here in ages, and 2sweeties, in his pre-RL days).

The reason I was so nostalgic this morning was because, in small ways, I'm starting to feel like the "outsider" again, as I'm starting to offer up bullish ideas. I'm certainly not encountering the same kind of bile I got in the "before-time", but I'm definitely starting to feel like the misguided contarian again. Perhaps this is my comfort zone.

So I decided to reflect on the "false breaks" in the market. The first false break was in late February 2007, when the Chinese market briefly fell. I remember how excited I was that the bears' time had finally come. I hadn't, in turns out. The next break was in July 2007. I remember very clearly how, yet again, I was thrilled the bullish nightmare was over. That joy lasted a month, and then ended. So by the time October 11, 2007 rolled around, it was getting very hard to say the top was finally in.

During the July break, I sheepishly wondered if there was "any gas left". In it I mentioned several short ideas, including:

AKAM @ 51 (now 16)
ALB @ 42 (now 16)
CROX @ 46 (now 1)
DST @ 82 (now 26)
JCP @ 74 (now 14)

I find the CROX one particularly funny since I had puts on it and it went on to lose 98% of its value.

The post I was most interested in digging up was this one, which was written on what we now know what the ultimate top in the market (and, in my opinion, is a level that wont' be reached again for at least ten years, barring a hyperinflationary spiral). I had been battered and tricked so many times by the bulls, you could sense how I was just seething. I think I'm a lot more creative when I'm hateful and bitter……….

Today started off miserably, as so many days have recently. The gullible, naive Chinese investors bid their markets up again to impossibly high levels. The sheep in the U.S. were prepared to follow suit. The crooks (Paulson, Bernanke, and a certain cable network I shan't name) were ready to win again. And the Dow pushed up another sickening triple digits to another lifetime high.

Then it snapped.

I am delighted at the snap, but two down days does not a bear market make. This crooked bull market is still intact, and even the pleasures of late July/early August couldn't put an end to the charade. It's still going on. But a day like today is a nice change of pace.

Sometimes you can tell a top is in place by the snarkiness level of the bulls reaching new highs. One turd named SuperBull (now banned from here) wrote, "I really appreciate your updates of shorts. Now I know which stocks to buy now. Hehehe…" His IP address is if any hacker types want to have some fun with it.

dowoper8tr wrote, "Face it, you perma-bears are fighting the Treasury, the Fed, every brokerage, every investment bank, every PE firm, every pension fund, the White House, CNBC, Cramer, recycling petro dollars, recycling commodity dollars, cash rich Euro's and Asians with an eye towards U.S. companies and any other entity that has a VESTED interest in seeing the market continue up. Can you possible be more tone deaf to the market??"

And some anonymous person (IP wrote, "It seems you BEARS haven't learned anything." I don't think it's the bears who can't learn. I'm telling you, this is like 1999 all over again. I'm in this Valley. I see what's going on. And it's a carbon copy. Absolutely a 100% duplicate.

I try to be polite. But don't believe it. Bulls, you are frauds, sheep, and charlatans. I hate you. And you will eventually be destroyed. The day of reckoning has been painfully elusive. But it will come to you as suddenly as today's whipsaw. Stay right where you are.

That last paragraph is probably the all-time favorite thing I've ever written. And it was right.

Around the same time I had written that, I got a voicemail from some twerp with an Australian accent who had actually taken the time to call me at work and leave a long voicemail about how stupid I was, how wrong I was, and how Abby Joseph Cohen actually wasn't that bad-looking compared to me (this in itself speaks volumes).

The bottom line is that a very small handful of people – – me, Atilla, molecool, 2sweeties – – were right, and it was agonizing dealing with the 99.9% of the population that thought we were wrong. Being "different" during sea-changes is profoundly difficult. Now that everyone is a bear, more and more charts are looking like great buys to me (and I also have the cash on hand to buy them).

Of course, this isn't the part I'm excited about. What I pray for, night and day, is that climb back to nearly 1,000 on the S&P, and a nationwide feeling of relief. Most people – – and even those of you here that think they'll still be bears, but you won't – – will believe it's all going to be better. Then the rug's going to get pulled out from everyone again.

In any case, it was like stepping into an entirely different world reading those old posts (and take some time to read the comments!) I seriously think I did a better job back then, and it was probably because I felt the entire world was against me. Those were strange days. And……….wouldn't you know it?……… one in the government was interested in bailing out us poor bears and our losses. We kind are always left to fend for ourselves and pick up the tabs for the Cohen-followers of the world. As it has been, as it always shall be.