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.

Commiseration vs Collaboration (by Biffermas)

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Much has been made about the perma-bear nature of the Slope of Hope, which always grinds my nerves.  The point is generally brought up by occasional visitors who make blanket statements that everybody here is shorting their inheritance into each successive rally.  I’m not mentioning anybody in particular…


Longtime Sloper and blogger, Leisa, posted some great trading gems last week.  The article is called, 2009 Reflections, and mentioned something that resonated with me. 

Commiseration v. Collaboration: The blogosphere offers unlimited availability of opinions. You'll have no trouble finding opinions uttered by very smart and erudite folks that perfectly align with yours. Best to seek out people that disagree with you and try to understand their arguments so that you can find potential holes in your thinking. I've never seen any business venue where commiseration led to good outcomes. Commiseration and collaboration are not the same. Commiserate less; collaborate more.


Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people work together toward an intersection of common goals.  An intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature, done by sharing knowledge, learning, and building consensus.

The Slope is among the most collaborative message boards already.  People freely share ideas and accept feedback graciously, provided it’s given respectfully.  To stimulate the collaborative process I'd like to solicit trading ideas for this coming week, and anybody who wants to contribute is welcome.  Simply post a chart on the forum, and I'll compile and follow them throughout the week.  Winner gets the everlasting admiration of your friends here and 50 points clicked by me.  I'll post the winner's chart, name, and immortal victory speech (if desired) next weekend.


A few simple rules for fairness:  We'll mark the purchase price by Monday's opening, and the selling price on Friday's close.  Either long or short is welcome.  Stocks, 1x ETF's, and non-leveraged instruments only (no options or futures).  I’ll simply measure on a strict % gain.  Entries accepted all weekend, but ensure you submit on this post thread. 

The Pool Hall I Loved as a Kid is Now a 7-11

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In Simon Jonson’s excellent Powerpoint presentation “Economic Recovery and the Coming Financial Crisis,” he argues that financial sector compensation and flawed  incentives were integral to causing the event, and that so far, the crisis has solved nothing (“the surviving oligarchs are stronger”). He copied a chart from the Wall Street Journal showing how distorted financial sector pay is to the rest of the economy in the long view (see below).  The Wall Street Journal reports tonight that 2009 bonuses will be at record levels, exceeding 2007.

 In other words, the people, companies and distorted incentive systems that managed to drive the financial system to the brink of collapse have not changed at all.  Extraordinary costs have been borne by our society (and our children), yet it is business as usual on Wall Street. 

The Greenspan put has morphed into the larger and more expansive and more morally hazardous Bernanke put, the people who did not see the crisis are selling hard that all the “toxic” problems have been remediated, and Washington is paralyzed by the power and access of the ever stronger financial oligarchs.


Johnson suggests that in the big picture it will end badly.  Who knows, but the compensation issue is not going to go down well with a weary public.