Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Treason's Reward

Lovely, isn't it?

This morning Bank of America issued a "sell" recommendation that knocked the stock down to another new 52 week low. It's being propped at the moment by institutional holders (with very heavy volume). If Junior's office has operable windows, Keller better have maintenance screw them shut for the time being.

CyberMonday came in a lot better than even Black Friday.

Don't these people realize just how nigh the end is? Why aren't they huddled in a tent somehwere in Idaho awaiting the arrival of the dreaded Black Swan?


buddy larsen said...

they're now banking on the website, Rick. A smart broker i know has been researching the issue and thinks they're a buy here, on the strength of the brand's potential on the web. Dunno if i'd buy--they're on my rather-see-in-Hell list.

chuck said...

I hope the science section, still the best in the business, manages to parachute out before the crash. But I don't see how.

buddy larsen said...

True--there's a lot of talent & energy in the thing. Pure tragedy, really classic tragedy, that such an organization is being brought down by such a duckbill platypus of a red hereditary lordship.

Can you say "internal contradiction" ?

Rick Ballard said...


Isn't any play in the stock dependant upon removal (or maybe sequestration) of Junior? I understand the "could be" side of the web issue but Junior has only shown an aptitude for the edifice complex. There is a definite brand value that still exists but the paper is still being edited for a Manhattan bien pissant (including emulators) audience that continues to shrink.

Another unintended result of the intentional dumbing down of the electorate (IMO).

Get Junior out and replace him with someone who doesn't start taking off his shoes when he gets to eight while counting and it would definitely be a buy. For a while anyway.

Accelerating change isn't a friend to media.

Knucklehead said...


I held on to my NYT subscription for a few extra years just for the Science section. Then the bastards even politicized that so I finally gave 'em a call and said, "Don't darken my drive with this drivel no more."

buddy larsen said...

Rick--you might be right re management shake-up (just up on Drudge).

Rick Ballard said...


That's just moving deck chairs from port to starboard during the stop to take on a little ice. I'm wondering if more news on loan covenants and possible ratings changes from S & P or Moodys is in the wind. The Globe is really a drag. The Blue Plague has knocked the total population down by about 2-3% and the poverty rate is creeping up nicely.

"Vote Dem and Die" works as well in Boston as it does in Philly - not quite as good as Detroit but give 'em time.

Did you move to the sideline in oil? I'm thinking that the oily princes may give the carpet a tug over the next year. Put a little bigger dent in Iran and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't they huddled in a tent somewhere in Idaho...

Umm, you are assuming that Idaho would want them.

buddy larsen said...

re the oils, naw, rick --i hate to admit, but i'm buying the dips and increasing net longs.

with hindsight I could've avoided a few percent post-August haircut in a few issues if i hadn't surrendered to the fear that i'd have to buy back higher once the next accumulation wave comes up--and them black boxes can't be beat on speed, they have to be out-positioned.

I realize a sneaky bear will shoot my method all to hell but with low rates and high global growth (and hillary's flat hectoring voice), i can't get skeered enough to change yet.

I keep 20-30% cash tho, so i don't have to sell in a hurry to raise bargain-hunt cash for these dips. staying underinvested as a policy is stupid in an up market but it does let you add little dribs and drabs when the things are on sale. and keeps the nerves steady.

I manage risk by staying clear of shorts and derivatives and no 'hot' stocks that aren't levered to energy and global infrastructure build-out.

I missed Google, RIMM, APPL, Baidu, all those great plays. They seemed iffy, 200-500% ago, alas.

Rick Ballard said...


You're talking equity rather than commodity, right? I was thinking you played commodities as well.

buddy larsen said...

rick--just the stocks now, in this phase--here's my trades: gold thru NEM, FRGOX and AU, energy thru CVX, HAL, SLB, OIH, XTO, MTR, NBR, PBR, CHK, infrast/coal/ag thru ADM, GE, AA, BTU, MEE, tech/tellecom thru TXN, T, NOK, JDSU, LVLT, consumer/food thru WMT, NSRGY, SLE, rest of world thru CWGIX, and a rate hedge thru RYCBX. Lately been helped by owning no financials, except a token AMP and AXP to try to recapture some card fees, LOL. want to buy some XLF while it's bumping along bottom but skeered. even after the last two days--note the very light volumes.

spread wide & thin, but it kinda hedges the downside--as well as of course retards the upside alas.

not to toot horn but i'm up 15% on the year, 20% in '06 (tho not with all the same stocks listed--i change a few issues every quarter) with as you see risk dialed down thru diversification. always the general market risk tho.

all in all i'm tickled with approaching the thing as a cash-flow biz--it keeps you focused like the dickens (and cursing your hix in the stix sole choice wifi connection), but no FDA/TDH regulators, no commuting, and no livestock (*whew*). a much better old fart's game than the wholesale food producers racket.

buddy larsen said...

hasten to add, it was just dumb guess-right luck to be loaded up in energy stocks when they went parabolic the last couple years--otherwise i wouldn't be tooting so. in fact i'd probably be back out in the fields--and i do mean the fields.

Rick Ballard said...


You don't exceed 15% two years running on "luck". I don't have the stomach for trading any more. "Any more" being since 1987.

If the financials get hit a little harder I might give it a whirl. The problem is figuring out who has coal in their stockings and who has diamonds. It would be a bit more helpful if the banks pretended to have a clue as to what the whiz kid quants had gotten them into.