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.

Eliza Grows Up

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I first laid hands on a personal computer in 1979, and I owned my first – a TRS-80 Model 1 – in April 1980. One of the first programs I got for it was called Eliza, which was a knock-off of an online "psychiatrist" developed at MIT back in 1966.

It was a very simple program, but in those days, it seemed like utter magic.


I was reminded of my old therapist friend this morning, as I was reading the very positive reviews of the Siri voice-activiated digital assistant built into Apple's new iPhone 4S (and which sent AAPL to a new lifetime high). It looks like a really cool new system, and I'm tempted to upgrade from my current phone, a lowly 3S, and not hold out for an iPhone 5 (which, when it comes out, will probably cook you breakfast).

The funny thing is that this site is suddenly getting a lot of attention as a repository of the funny responses Siri gives to, errr, non-standard queries. We've come a long way since the days of Eliza.


Bail Outs & Bond Fires……….Evil Plan 15.0

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What wrong with this picture? 


As Rome burns, these high finance wizards are crafting plans to bailout insolvent banks using bankrupt sovereign funds, which will be collateralized with Italian bonds backed by further austerity measures.  Sure looks like the man on the street is ready to pitch in, and do his part to help resolve the problem ……….

Yeah, that should work!……..Wonder how EUR/USD will open Sunday night?   Flash Crash 2.0 anyone?

Let them eat cake!……….Evil Plan 15.0

 BDI SOH's Idiot Savant

Which Road To Take?

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The last two weeks have been pretty miserable for equity bears. The market’s reaction to news – any news – tells the story. If the news is bad (such as the downgrade of Spain), the market doesn’t really care. If the news is good (like GOOG earnings), the market skyrockets. And if the news isn’t even news (Merkel mumbling something about a plan that they’ll come up with sometime in the future), the market blasts higher still. There was, in short, a lot of pent-up demand to buy riskier assets.

In turn, bonds have been crapping all over themselves. The TLT fell for eight out of the past nine trading sessions, and I believe I read it was the largest sustained drop in such a short amount of time in the history of the long bond. So, if you can’t stand to be anything but a bear, you could at least find refuge in the wonderful world of US government debt.