The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

trading sense for Dollars

August26

so…

recently the German stock market, also known as the DAX, fell sharply at two hundred fifty points that really only equaled less than two percent (2%), quickly recovering from four percent (4%), in a matter of minutes – and, seemingly without cause or reason (they can be different especially if there is a purpose). read more about that, here.

global indexes followed also – all seeming without legitimate explanation. oddly this happened right on the heels of Warren Buffet investing five billion ($5B) dollars into the shame-drenched Bank of America. more about that, here.

NOTE: I’m evaluating Mr. Buffet right now. he essentially bails out Bank of America for their bad behavior. this is the same fellow that says certain people in this country need to pay more taxes. but, this man has a perspective shared by few others. I can’t say today it’s (that unique view) good or bad. but, his perspective is different than almost everyone else’s. and, both things equal bandaids and less so long-term solutions (although Bank of America appears to be bailed a lot with the word taxes being involved – directly, or indirectly). maybe Bank of America needs to be run-to-ground with its executives being held in the spot-light, and we should consider paying less taxes and focus more on responsible spending. seriously… how do most of you run your own households?

QUESTION: many of the Bank of America executives received HUGE bonuses in the last couple of years. how many of them invest with Mr. Buffet?

…I’m just asking.

last week, our own New York Stock Exchange took a precipitous dump after generally good market news. although the media failed to elaborate, we know this ostensibly occurred due to “algorithms” and certain trading protocols driven by murky economic data that may-or-may-not be self-serving (to someone).

this means a computer (or, something like it) measures activity, somewhere and somehow then makes a cold calculation to buy or sell certain stocks or interests in commodities.

have you bothered to notice that most of the shenanigans occur during “after hours” trading?

so… who actually approved algorithmic and after hours trading? and, how is it monitored to keep things fair? oh… and, who defines what is fair?

what few people (the hell with “pundits” like the self-serving cultural terrorists idiots on MSNBC) will actually talk about is that these algorithms create buying opportunities for certain types of people that most of you don’t know and also don’t care about you, collectively.

consider this… stocks like Apple (AAPL) seem immune, for the most part, to predatory speculation, like that. people can still buy that stock and reasonably expect it to help them plan for the future. I believe it could be worth one thousand dollars ($1,000)a share afore too long. but that stock is in the spotlight for many other reasons. for Gods’ sake, the company has over seventy eight billion ($78B) in cash reserves. they could bail-out this country because they actually understand how to run something successfully, unlike our own government. so, it’s behavior tracks to reality, whereas stocks driven by algorithms react to insidious stimulation by people commonly referred to as, “they” or “them”.

keep thinking about this and remember, one day, I brought it up.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

police States can spawn revolutions

July1

So… History does not refer to it as a “Police State”, but that could aptly describe the the American Colonies under British rule.

That view, and it’s merely a (substantiated) view, sets the stage for my thinking today.

“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

Richard M. Nixon

“Change – yes we can!”

Barack Obama

“Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House.”

Bob Herbert

As you read this Blog post further, I am going to ask you to watch a “position” documented by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that offers insight into an emerging perspective on the future of President Obama’s administration and what it portends for the American people.

I better point out now that I don’t support Al Qaida, or what we think are global terrorists. But, I do recognize the objectives and intents of Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers as they architected the Constitution. Mind you, the signers of the Declaration of Independence likely felt as if  they were signing their own death warrant. They were often hunted down and imprisoned without trial of due process. They were terrorists after all – right? But, the more the British pushed us down, acted like bullies, and upset our collective sense of fairness, the more strident became our call to action for freedom – and, the world (even the French) rallied to us.

Certainly things have changed.

Americans have a tendency to conceive of our country as an exception to the rules, or to the laws of human nature, that govern other nations.  This notion is sometimes called “American exceptionalism”.

Sometimes, it takes the form of believing Americans are entitled destined to be a free people.  When we see the difficulty so many other peoples have realizing their freedom, it often confirms our notions that what is happening to them cannot, or should not, happen to us.

For example, we might fully support the Iranian people in their struggle for democratic elections, but our support for them is seldom qualified by the thought, “That could happen here.”

But, it did happen here. And, it might needs happen again.

Put differently, we appear to struggle with learning, or the notion of learning from other countries (another example is Norway and Healthcare). Very few Americans think Iran has anything to teach us about our own democracy.  After all, we are, an exception to the rules that govern countries like Iran (we can also nuke other countries, and then dictate who is allowed to own nuclear power).

Did I use the work dictate?

Sometimes the notion of American exceptionalism takes the form of believing our leaders can breach with impunity the checks and balances that have traditionally limited their power over us.

Richard Nixon seems to have expressed that opinion when he stated that if the President does something, it’s not illegal.  Ultimately Nixon was impeached – but, only because he was blatant, blunt, undiplomatic, considered unsavory (compared to the mob boss John F. Kennedy) and generally (in retrospect) unable to deliver a flowery speech like Barack Obama.

In any other country, unchecked power soon becomes tyranny. But not, we think, in America.  In America, only the nut cases (or terrorists, or insurgents, or patriots) warn us against allowing our government to have unchecked powers.

Patriots?

As promised earlier, here is a Youtube video demonstrating how President Obama has declared his intention to indefinitely imprison people without trial.

The notion that a free people can grant their government the power to imprison them indefinitely and without trial is absurd.  Ayn Rand is likely spinning so fast in her grave that the world is in danger of spinning off of it’s axis, and falling into the sun. There is nothing in the long history of our species (long time readers of this Blog know I am always looking for a way to sneak Charles Darwin into the mix) to suggest that is at all possible, let alone likely.  Any people who condone grant their government tyrannical powers will, before too long, enjoy a tyranny – and, this is evidenced by history.

How long before people like myself – controversial figures that speak our minds, end up in prison (okay, for me back in jail) for exercising free speech against the machine?

“But we are different”,  says the American exceptionalist.

Or, maybe we reconsider the word entitled and call ourselves “entitleists” (I probably made that word up – I do that a lot on this Blog). That sort of sounds like “elitist”. And, Americans like to believe we make the rules.

But, if we use the idea of our Constitution as a blunt edged weapon it becomes abuse. I think that changes the spirit that inspired Thomas Jefferson and that hardy and ferocious crew of rabble rousing non-conforming Founding Fathers, and that will in turn change the karma attached to our two hundred and fifty year national history.

Men like Barack Obama are called the Anti Christ by nut-cases right? People that speak out against him are not cool and certainly politically incorrect. We might even be viewed as racist.

Come on… We have to ask hard questions. Truth and light, I say. You gotta watch the carnie’s hands performing the card tricks.  So, to wit, additional food for thought (this could have – maybe should have, been a separate post. But, I want everyone thinking about all of this. And, I know this post os going to be widely circulated.

It seems that Barack Obama is carefully priming the pump for dropping a unpleasant surprise on our collective “we the people” (yes, more video evidence). As you recall, he (that would be Obama) promised once that no one making less than $250,000 a year would see any tax increases.  In fact, those people would enjoy tax cuts, he carefully promised.

But, to be fair, that was only an empty promise made by a naive candidate whose only business experience spanned that of a non-profit lawyer.

But with his health-reform plan, which will likely add another $1.6 trillion to the deficit, there won’t be any way around new and higher taxes on everyone (and several future generations of Americans, who will be paying through the nose fifty and a hundred years from now solely on account of 2009 spending).

Is that the kind of change Obama would talk about while on the campaign trail? I suppose he was really referring to all the change he was going to pull out of our pockets.

You may Recall Obama’s Presidential Campaign slogan:

“Change – yes, we can.”

The new updated version is:

“Can you spare some change? Sorry, I’m not asking – I’m telling you!”

One of my (hardly articulate) points here is that, over the next five and a half years (by then Obama will be under a lot of fire and hopefully it won’t be too late), you are going to get a lot more taxation without representation.

Just be aware that the rules are being changed subtly. One day, if you squint your eyes, tilt your head to the left, stand on one foot leaning against a wall, you can see that many of our Constitutional rights have been chipped away, and laws may be be leveraged that benefit an ever growing minority.

It’s what you don’t understand or see coming that will kill you. On the other hand, if you see a problem and don’t do something about it, you become part of the problem.

Right there you become the catalyst or footnote for evolution or revolution.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Setting the Stage

January24

A core difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans suspect Democrats are closet Socialists (in a general sense).

It occurs to me that Obama’s legacy could be taxes and Welfare.

Extremes.

Consider this article: “Obama’s Tax Plan Is Really a Welfare Plan” by Peter Ferrara.

In addition, I offer you this timely, if not ironic quote (shared with me by Jim Scott):

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” – Dr. Adrian Rogers /1, (1931 – 2005)

A setting of the stage, if you will.

Thomas Jefferson (see my prior posts: The Jeffersonian Model, Being Jeffersonian, Part I, and (the epic /2Being Jeffersonian, Part II ) would likely frown over this because it falls outside the Democratic ideal.

And, Ayn Rand would have railed as she warned us of this in “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” as they outlined her ideas around Objectivism.

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” – Ayn RandAtlas Shrugged 35th anniversary edition

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_______________________

1/ Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 121931 – November 152005), was an American pastorconservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-1980 and 1986-1988).

2/ I make no apologies.  Love me, love my passion.

Lending Banks Money

October2

The “Paulson Plan” essentially means we give the banks money to bail them out of their bad decision-making. 

However, many banks may not participate in the Troubled Asset Relief Program portion of the plan because they haven’t had to write down as much assets under accounting rules -meaning decisions to sell into the program would cause them to lose capital. /1

“Its benefits, in its current form, will be largely limited to investment banks and other banks that have aggressively written down the value of their holdings and have already recognized the attendant capital impairment,” /2

– Jeffrey Rosenberg, Bank of America’s head of Credit Strategy Research

Ironically, Investment Banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley may be among the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion U.S. plan to buy assets from financial companies, while many banks see limited aid (according to Bank of America Corp.).

This feels like a ruse to indirectly rescue Wall Street (which remains our biggest problem).

In any event…

The Plan that failed Tuesday called for each tax payer will be saddled with approximately $2300 in debt after we cough-up $700 billion.  After interest it looks more like $6900.

I don’t run my personal or business finances this way, and I don’t like the notion of having this debt shoved down my throat.

I would prefer to lend the banks (okay… the investment banks) money, and have them pay me back with an interest that equates to the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s performance over the same period.  Or, give me DJI stock (better yet – options).  This means we directly share in the profits that the investment banks will certainly derive from this strategy. /3

Peace be to me Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

____________________________________

1/ Designed to remove “illiquid assets” clogging the financial system, reverse declining asset values and prevent the freezing of lending for U.S. financial firms, companies and consumers.

2/ I think Rosenberg assumes the government will use a reverse auction in which banks submit the lowest prices they are willing to sell certain types of assets for and then the government buys the cheapest ones, with the goal of “protecting the taxpayers”.

3/  There have not been this many market opportunities in almost seven (7) years

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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