The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

running with the Bulls and driving Cattle


Back in 1977 Grandad said to me: “You can be a leader or a follower. Leaders know whom to follow at critical points in their lives. But, don’t ever be the wrong leader of followers”.

That requires some careful thought, and much more perspective.

Over the summer of 1988, while teaching me how to first listen and then sell (while also teaching me how to sail in Santa Monica Bay) David Sugarman, my “Jewish mentor” advised me, in that brilliant sepulchural baritone of his: “don’t bother buying a stock you might ever want to sell.”

“Trust in human nature”, he added.

These, strategies (they might be foundational philosophy /1) if you will, then required careful thought, research, informed decision-making and maturity to pull off over a lifetime.

Through the Spring of 1999 I remember the DOW breaking 10,000 for the first time with it’s delicious opportunity to revisit and contemplate David’s words.

Under pressure of very awkward and highly suspect circumstances, the market began it’s dark and ugly descent towards 6000 last year, and I decided to hold firm to Grandad and David’s, always great and evident, wisdom.

Every where I went, the only talk you could hear was about how low the DOW might go. It reminded me of the whole OJ Simpson ordeal. It’s all anyone seemed to want to focus on.

I could easily draw a correlation between the two topics. However, as a Prudent Gentlemen, I don’t see the point as it reduces the advantage, and lessons the potential effects and opportunities now relative to Laws of Natural Selection.

I will, however, offer an example, with the hopes loyal readers of this Blog harken and, perhaps remember when the next test rears itself.

I first listened to, and then observed, a local and hapless friend defy common sense and guidance, as he sold off all of his investments, leveraging both a dirth of intelligence while timing his decision to match, perfectly, mind you, the very bottom of the market. He was firm in his convictions and determined to panic. The chap was convinced the market was going to “crater (a clever and dramatic, albeit meaningless terms financially)”. I had told him there were many reasons – most of them built-in, while others were easily psychological (although both cleverly manipulated) that the market would not go below 6000. You can read more about that here (but, there is more elsewhere), and on this very Blog. Do it!

In any event, he bought into the frantic mooing to be found permeating the internet, and stampeded with so many others, failing to see the buying opportunities, and sold into a crashing market designed to fatten the wallets of the happy minority.

That fellow was a follower. And, he might have actually been a leader of followers (he was a bad example of something, or maybe a good example of a bad thing), to make his plight all the worse.

Today he’ll wring his hands and tell you that his wealth managers “screwed” him, as they misled “everyone (typically this is what thirteen year olds say in the absence of empiric evidence)” regarding their research abilities and understanding of market trends. I’ll wager they had been telling him to sit tight. The storm always abates, and the market always comes back.

Just like the current market will.

Because you can trust human nature (make sure you read that aforementioned post). And, try it from the view of a Heterodox. Consider it a Kobayashi Maru, and literally, an opportunity to Kill that Bear./2

This is an obvious point, but the only people that “lost” money in the stock market are those that panicked and sold into a down market. Conversely, there is new wealth, big money, being created, on paper, by people that have been buying stocks up for the past six months.

I have, and with good reason, cause to make another stand, right here, and say we’ll break back up, and through 12500, by the end of the First Quarter of 2010.

Do some leading research. Maybe you begin with why are the banks really hoarding all that cash?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ There is some agreement, therefore, that philosophy is based on method, and is rational, systematic and critical, or characterized by logical argument.

Intrinsic Character: Philosophy can be distinguished from empirical science and religion. The Penguin Encyclopedia says that philosophy differs from science in that its questions cannot be answered empirically, i.e. by observation or experiment, and from religion, in that its purpose is entirely intellectual, and allows no place for faith or revelation.

2/ From the Movie: “The Edge”.

Adieu Leonard Pennario


Adieu Leonard Pennario.

I was introduced to award-winning pianist Leonard Pennario by my business mentor David Sugarman in Los Angeles in 1988.

This was back when David was working so very hard to teach me to listen.  He would often say that pretty much everyone had something better to say or show than me.  So, I needed to learn how to appreciate great people.

I really miss David.

And, I miss Leonard.

I last spoke to him about 8 months ago.

He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  So, he had not really played for a number of years. But, he was always teaching and influencing.  He sounded good, and still had his wheezy and raspy laugh.  He inquired about my “ears” – sort of a tribute to our friend David.  I think he had hoped he could teach my Emma Jo one day.  Her fingers might be long enough he would say.  And, she has her Daddy’s eyes and heart.

I always appreciated that he saw Emma Jo and me like that.  It made me feel centered.

I had just finished the Western States Raid Endurance Race.  I would fly into San Diego to catch a friend and his plane for a drop into Mexico for some surfing Monday.  I planned to stop by and surprise Leonard with a visit Leonard for an hour or so.  That is when Mary Kunz Goldman, his biographer called to let me know Leonard was gone.  “There were complications dear”, I heard her voice quaver over the static-filled connection.  She sighed and tutted.  I just said okay (it was all that I could muster), and dropped the line.

About the Man…

Pennario won a Grammy in the 1960s for his work with violinist Jascha Heifetz and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.

He was a passionate performer who enjoyed playing in front of audiences.

Leonard would say…  “You have to play for the people; you have to play for an audience,” she recalled Pennario saying. “You can’t just go into the studio and make records, you know?”

Pannario was born in Buffalo, New York on July 9, 1924.  He was 10 when he and his family moved to Los Angeles.  At age 12, he learned the Grieg Concerto in just a weeks time so he could perform it from memory with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  Although Pennario never attended a music conservatory but at 19 made his debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic.

He made more than 40 recordings for the Capitol record label between 1950 and 1960.  He went on to make more than 20 more for other labels.

I just know that My Grandad liked his music.  And, I thought it was cool that David Sugarman called Pannario “his dear friend”.

David would travel almost any where just to listen to Pennario.  And, he especially enjoyed having leonard over to his home so they could play chess, and “compare notes” David would say laughing.  I suppose David thought that was funny.  I just liked hearing David laugh in his rich baritone.

When I look to the skies I will hear Leonard’s gift to this world.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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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