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Panic selling and a new granddaughter

Major selling on Tuesday as the markets reacted to North Korea’s bombs and missiles.

Panic ebbed on Wednesday. The markets are now bouncing.

Friends like panic. My day traders eye a sharp dip in a stock they follow. They buy and then sell an hour or two later for a $1 or so profit per share.

My longer term investors have previously put in low-ball prices on their favorite stocks, hoping their low limit orders will be filled. Sometimes this works — especially when a stock drops, then bounces back quickly. It’s often hard to snag bargains staring at a screen, or two.

I rode it out. I wasn’t happy when the market closed heavily down on Tuesday. But I snuck out and played tennis. That made me feel better.

My simplistic view is simple:

+ Kim Jong-un wants to stay in power. He eyes that America has removed dictators it doesn’t like — Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, etc. His bombs and missiles are an insurance policy. He won’t use them. He knows that would be suicide.

+ America has been full of bluster about North Korea’s arms for eons, but other than sanctions it’s done nothing. It’s accepted them. Just like we have accepted nuclear bombs in Pakistan and India.

+ As to China, Mao once said that “Chinese history taught him the many times Korea has been used as an invasion route into China.” (The quote is Henry’s Kissinger’s excellent book, “World Order.” Buy a Kindle version for $17 here.) 

Two days in the markets:


Climate Change and Harvey and Irma

 Irma has 185 mph winds. Harvey dumped five feet of water.
My friend has two houses in Houston. I asked him how come he was so lucky he wasn’t flooded?
No. Not lucky. People who can afford to ask the question about “year flood plains” build or buy in high areas because there are so many bayous that run through our 280 square miles that make up the City of Houston. We would never buy a house in any area below the 100 year flood.

Houston has grown so fast that, for example, when the major oil companies have moved thousands of people from all over the world, those people have no idea about bayous or flood plains. They just like the house; they buy it and the husband and /or wife goes off to work.

Houston is very close to being the 3rd largest city in the United States.

Four years ago the City Council passed an Ordinance that increased the tax on square footage of each property owner’s run off area (roof, driveway, terrace — not grass, which absorbs rain water) .

The drainage charge on our water and sewer bills raised $800,000,000 over 10 years to improve drainage infrastructure for those low lying areas that normally flood.

The City has been spending the drainage money in sewer and drainage each year, but unfortunately Harvey was a monster event, and it overwhelmed the City’s drainage system.

It was really no one’s fault. It was simply a 500 Year Flood.

Our houses are so high, our insurance companies will not sell us National Flood Insurance.

That’s about it.

 My favorite cartoon:
Notes from Boston, where I presently am.
+ WAZE is incredible for getting around. Boston is a maze. Hence WAZE.
+ Slingbox is the greatest gadget for watching the shows you recorded at home, from afar or watching live shows you can get from wherever you are — local or international. Best yet: There’s no monthly charge. Amazon has a refurbished Slingbox on sale for $59.99. A genunine bargain. Click here.
+ The South Side of Boston is booming. I haven’t seen as many construction cranes in eons. I stole this photo from the Internet. It doesn’t do full justice to the massiveness and creativity of the developments — ongoing and completed. Only a few years ago, this part of Boston was parking lots (it still has a few) and deadbeat one-story “industrial” garages. It’s exploding. If I lived in Boston, I’d be developing and investing here.
I’ll take some photos in the next couple of days.
+ Look at the amazing Internet speed I’m getting from Comcast in Boston. Amazing. Everything I hear about Comcast is good.
 Thoughts from people who have nothing better to do with their time

+ Do twins ever realize that one of them was unplanned?

+ What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?

+ If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?

+ Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is as hard as trying to win.

+ 100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.

+ The doctors who told Stephen Hawking he had two years to live in 1953 are probably dead.

Harry Newton, who is happy to report that his daughter Claire, and her husband, Ted, are overjoyed to announce the birth of their daughter Zoe Newton Maloney (my new granddaughter) on September 1. She’s healthy — 7 lbs, 5 ounces and  20 inches long.


The hospital was super, even readying Zoe for travel in this cute box:


I’m very happy to welcome Zoe (pronounced Zo-ehy) to our family. I’m also tearing up with joy.

  • TomFromVa

    Congratulations Harry

  • Ed

    what is Zoe’s nationality? Cute baby but of what origin – Indian? Black? Middle EAstern?

    • harrynewton