Monday, January 26, 2009

One bumpy ride...

Man, I tell ya, this market is freakin' whacky. We go up and down 100s of points every day with no ryhme or reason. Just have to fade the fade and fade that fade, all the while lightening up on share size cause we can't gain any traction here either way. Some knuckelheads call it a "bottoming process" but thats utter nonsense. People like to label things. How is booyahheads CAT, AXP, WFC, and JOYG doing? I tell ya, people are nuts, they just keep trying to pick bottoms. I will be SHOCKED if some of these banks don't completely fail. BAC is teetering, did you see the way it traded today? Yeah, the government, in their infinately stupid non-wisdom could do something ridiculous and jack them up, but it'll be temporary and a short anyway. Look at today, early day we were rocking, all the financials just warp speed, but then roll over city. Who the hell wants to own these garbage cans? Are you kidding me? Please, anything more than a trade is pure insanity and nothing more or less.

As I write this futures are gapping up pretty large, about 100 points and 10 pts on the S & P. Now, thing is, it's FOMC day and we could run into it on the HOPE of some news, but unless that news is really good it'll be a super sweet intraday short, so get ready for that initial move, cause the TREND of FOMC day should do very well in this market.

I was thinking today, there have been several VERY wealthy people who lost a lot of money in this market, even billions, and then killed themselves. There was the guy involved with Madoff, there was the billionaire who lost a few billion but still had a couple left. I'm sure there are others. Kirk Kerkorian was quoted as saying that he lived a year too long because he lost billions.

OK, so what's my point? Well, I'm wondering about our value system. I get paid to teach people how to make money in the market. Or, at least try to do so. Many succeed, some fail, its not a perfect system, nothing is. People get some caught up, at times, in the making of the money, they forget sometimes that while we all want to attain financial freedom, ultimately it doesn't lead to happiness. I can attest to that. In 2001 after I had just made quite a few millions and thought I was on top of the world, I nearly died on a guerney, basically alone, my newborn baby girl almost having to grow up without a father. Just when I thought I had turned my life from zero to hero, it was going to be over. I saw the proverbial white light, literally. And, in those moments all I could think about was I wanted to see my baby girl, and my family and friends. I didn't for a second think about having millions of dollars. Do you think that Steve Jobs is thinking how phenomenal it is to be him right now if he's as sick as they say? I doubt it. Yet as a society we place so much emphasis on cashola. Now, ok, I want financial freedom as much as the next guy or gal, but not at any price, and that, I think, is my point. Part of the reason (a large part) we're in this economic mess and continue to make all the wrong moves to get out is because the value system is just as messed up as the banking system on some level. When billionaires commit suicide because they lose billions but still have billions left, something is very wrong. If it was one or two isolated cases then that would be different, but its not, its a culture, I think. I'm not judging anyone, I'm just as guilty as placing so much emphasis on money at times. I'm just pointing out that often times, at least in my view, these things are spiritual maladies. I was at some dumb meeting a friend invited me to because she wanted my opinion. I went with an open mind, though admittedly I thought it was gonna be ridiculous. Unfortunately it was. Bunch of conspiracy theorists talking about how Obama is the Manchurian Candidate, how the government is forcing the price of Gold down because it should be like $10,000 an ounce of something nutty like that. How we should all be doing Yoga, but we should all buy a gun! Funny, Yoga and guns don't usually go together, do they? Hmmm. Namaste, I guess!

So, question, it appears to me that Warren Buffet is about to blow his entire company up. You want one of the best shorts out there long term? SHORT BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY! Yes, I said it, short Buffet. He's lost roughly $10 BIL on his options plays if he cashed them out and if I'm right he will basically lose EVERYTHING if he continues to hold them. The company will effectively be bankrupt.

So, the question I have for you all is, if Buffet were to bust out, and let's say go bankrupt. Is he no longer Warren Buffet? Does he lose his Oracle of Omaha mystique? Does his entire life get washed down the tubes?

What defines us? This is a question I ask and have asked myself over the years on many occassions. The answer to this question, and this question alone, I believe, dictates our happy quotient. Our serenity, our ability to live in the world with integrity and honor.

I don't know, maybe it's all BS, but I was reading about this stuff today and also about the story of Steve Jobs health being investigated by the SEC. Not exactly his health, but how AAPL deceminated the info to the public. What have we come to when there are witch hunts of (former) icons? Are they going to arrest Bill Gates and Warren Buffet if their companies go under?

And, yet, meanwhile, we confirm Guitner, who pretty clearly has some integrity issues in my opinion. Where are the standards? Just because there are a few Madoff's, doesn't mean that we should go on Witch hunts and overregulate.

That's all for the night. Hopefully I'm not just babbling to myself. :)


Michael Waxie Parness


Bill said...

Waxie. You are absolutely correct. The values we have as a country are completely and totally out of wack. We have been placing too much importance on money and not enough attention to the things that matter and most importantly -last. Our health, family, friends and most important the blessings God has bestowed on this country. We have shoved them all aside for the sake of money. Greed is NOT good. I've had money and I've been broke. I make enough to have peace of mind and a good life. I don't need a pile of dough to be happy. You're on to something though. Our focus should not be on the crumbling dollar or market but on the people that are closest to us and actually create meaning and substance in our lives. What we need is a good change in attitude. We're in the middle of the perfect opportunity to do this. God bless you Waxie. I love reading your blog ever day!

voyager said...

Hey Waxie

When I read the Black Swan, I was struck by his assertion that war doesn't cause people to commit suicide, but financial loss will often times lead to suicide. Strange world indeed.


Jeanne Mancuso said...


You're too interesting to be babbling to yourself. I agree with you on the values. I have found that I get meaning in life by helping others when they need it, not just when I'm in the mood to be charitable or have extra cash. It has more impact.

Thanks for putting yourself out there for us to read. Sorry for teasing you from time to time.


alizach said...

true to what you say that there is a need for more then money to make a good life...but without money you don't have the luxury to be spiritual and live on a higher plane

Nick said...

I think I read something about Berkshire having a big short positon a few weeks ago. Great call on the SRS in the $55 range. The thing rocketed up to $70 after you mentioned you liked it. I was already long, but got out before the big run.