Archive for January, 2012

Can we just get past Racism?

January 27, 2012

There were Hispanics at the FL Debate calling for Hispanics to be appointed to the Cabinet, how is that not racist? I am of Irish descent, I’m not calling for Irish to be appointed. I’m a Protestant, I’m not complaining because there are no Protestants on the Supreme Court. I’m happy if Presidents appoint honest Americans who can read and write and understand simple sentences like, “Congress shall make no Laws…” I once hired an assistant who happened to be a black lady. Some high ranking officials were saying that Gene McVay hires blacks whether they’re qualified or not. Really? I hired her away from the Justice Department at the same rank she held there. She had a Masters Degree and was well on her way to earning a PhD. I would have been happy with 2,000 more just like her.

I don’t care if ever single member of the Cabinet is Hispanic, or Black, or Vietnamese! In fact, the Vietnamese came to America, integrated and flourished. Around here they were usually the valedictorians with 4.0 grade point averages. What happened to appointing the BEST person? How can one person be racist and another person who does the same thing not be a racist. Why can’t we be Americans? What’s wrong with being an American?

When I grew up in a one room house in North Arkansas there were no Blacks in the County. Bigots had to pick on somebody so they picked on me. As a result my character and toughness benefited. That all stopped when I became a star on the Basketball Team. Everybody in the county and surrounding counties knew my name and spoke to me on the street. The police, teachers and administrators all but bowed down to me. I saw both sides and I liked the side where I was being beaten up and having white wash thrown on me the least. I was put upon but that’s all water under the bridge. There are some who were never mistreated who want reparations for what happened to their great great grandfathers. Mine was imprisoned at Andersonville almost the entire time it was open. He was from Southern Tennessee a few miles from Shiloh and enlisted in the Union Army shortly after the battle. He suffered on behalf of Blacks held in slavery. I’m over it, can you get over it? Indians, Blacks, Irish, can we get over it. Can we just be Americans willing to work hard for our country?


What I Expect in the Near Term

January 19, 2012

When America was competitive, America was prosperous. Now that our government punishes companies for hiring employees and taxes and regulates them out of business, our inventions and designs are produced outside the U.S. It costs General Motors $70 an hour for a union worker, that’s $145,600 a year and that’s not competitive.

On top of that the Fed is printing dollars like crazy. In spite of everything the Fed can do, inflation is a natural result of printing billions of dollars in new currency. I expect Jimmy Carter size double digit inflation.

I believe very soon the dollar will not be accepted by OPEC, Japan and China. When that happens we will have to convert dollars to Swiss Francs or some other currency. At the same time interest rates will rise. America is $15 trillion in debt, do you think we can afford higher interest rates?

The average bureaucrat earns twice as much as private sector employees and we have twice as many as we need. The people who have figured all this out are buying Gold and looking for a place to go. The Pilgrims came here for freedom of religion and opportunity. Forget about Republicans and Democrats and look for people who understand our perilous Tax, Spend & Over Regulation Problem and have the courage to fix it.

My view of Ruthless Professional Stock Trading and Corporate Raiding

January 12, 2012

Years ago the law only permitted selling stock that you did not own, known as Short Selling, on an uptick. For example, if the last trade of XYZ stock was $10.50 a share you would have to Short the stock for, say $10.58 or higher. If Traders got together and tried to drive the price of a company down by Short Selling it would be hard to do on up ticks.

Our friends in Congress changed that law so that now Traders can attack a company and drive the stock price down to the basement. At some point they have to Cover or buy back the stock they sold that they didn’t own, presumably at a much lower price. Crashing the Stock Market may wipe out your 401k and your savings but it can be very lucrative for the big boys on Wall Street.

I have seen companies driven so low that the Market Cap, the share trading price multiplied by the shares outstanding, was actually below the cash that the company had in the bank. In simple terms, the company had enough real money to theoretically buy all the shares of the company and still have cash left over plus all the assets, buildings, property, equipment, etc. A corporate raider can come along and buy controlling interest, put some lipstick on the company, pocket the cash and liquidate the rest.

The price the shares sell for in the Markets may or may not have anything to do with the actual value of the company. Professional Stock Traders can run prices up or down. It is easier to run prices down because many investors buy on margin meaning they borrow most of the value of the shares. To do that there are lots of rules. Margin requirements might jump from 20% to 70% to 90% depending on conditions. That forces the little investors to sell their shares at bargain basement prices. To add insult to injury, a Corporation that is unprofitable may still give their officers huge bonuses.

I watched the talking heads on TV trash Gold and Silver for decades as Gold went from $200 an ounce to $1,900. Why did they do it? They couldn’t control Gold. They can mess with heating oil and pork bellies but Gold is not so easy. Be very careful when you listen to those talking heads, they can be bullish today and bearish tomorrow. Investing in the markets can be perilous and treacherous. Ruthless people pursuing wealth can trample you under their feet. The people you see on TV running for Public Office or enjoying their billions of ill gotten gain may not be someone you would invite into your home or go fishing with.