Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.
9:00 AM EST Wednesday, July 22, 2008: I
remain ultra-cautious. Happy days are not here again because the market
has bounced back for the past six days.
I suspect the
bounceback has less to do with "fundamentals" and far more to do with
short-covering, especially financials.
suddenly cheap? I say "NO. There are too many losses still to come.
There's too much work to be done to rehabilitate the financials from the worst
financial crisis since the great depression. And, in coming weeks, there simply
won't be the excitement to push up, let alone hold their present stock prices,
which will slide down." In today's present frenzy, it's too early to short
the financials. But it soon will be.
Want to read more?
The New York Times has a piece, Bank
Investors Expect Less as Losses Mount. The article has these words:
But it has now
been a year since the credit crisis erupted, and, so far, the optimists have
been proven wrong time and again. Skeptics say it could take years for banks
to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Depression. And even
when things do improve, the pessimists maintain, banks profits will
be a fraction of what they were before.
There are many
reasons for caution. Home prices continue to decline, and defaults are accelerating
on a wide range of loans. As lenders struggle, loans are becoming even more
scarce for hard-pressed consumers and companies. That, in turn, could slow
any recovery in the broader economy.
Wall Street Journal has a piece "Five
Banks Post Losses -- and Their Stocks Soar". The piece contained:
Five of the
largest U.S. financial institutions, led by Wachovia Corp. and Washington
Mutual Inc., reported combined quarterly losses of more than $11 billion.
But their shares jumped an average of 14% on rising hopes that battered bank
stocks have fallen about as low as they can go.
The buying frenzy, also fueled by short sellers covering bearish bets, was
at odds with the mostly somber assessment by bank executives Tuesday of the
shaky loans and struggling economy bedeviling the industry.
In a sign of
the loan woes likely to haunt them for years, Wachovia, Washington Mutual,
SunTrust Banks Inc., Fifth Third Bancorp and Regions Financial Corp. socked
away nearly $13 billion in loan-loss provisions. Wachovia, Regions and Fifth
Third also cut their dividends in order to conserve cash.
malfunction fine removed: A federal appeals court
overturned the $550,000 fine that the Federal Communications Commission levied
against CBS. The court said the fine arbitrary and capricious. The Court found
the fine was unfair because the commission, in imposing it, deliberately strayed
from its practice of exempting fleeting indecency in broadcast programming from
punishment. The commission also erred, the judges ruled, by holding CBS responsible
for the actions of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, who were characterized
by the judges as independent contractors hired for the limited purposes
of the Halftime Show.
I am glad that the Court handed it to a Federal government agency. These agencies
step way out bounds far too often. To have a court system you can appeal to
makes me feel good.
Sadly, the only
people who benefited from all this nonsense were lawyers.
Mia is fun. We saw it last night. I loved it
and cried. My wife thought I was a woos. But she liked it also. Mamma Mia is
the supreme "feel-good" movie. Lots of dancing. Lots of music. And
it ends with a teary love scene that ends in -- what else -- a marriage.
Stars Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried are really good. They can sing and
dance. Pierce Brosnan tries to sing, but can't. But he does bare his handsome
to save on gas: Engine tune-ups, wheel alignments,
tire pressure checks, and filter replacement. Remove little-used equipment that
adds weight or increases drag (e.g., sporting gear, tools, roof racks/carriers).
No jackrabbit stops and starts. Drive a little slower. Combine multiple trips
African scams actually work. Americans get
sucked in for millions of dollars each year.
permit me to share my problems with you. My name is Alida Malik 21 year from
Sudan , residing in Accra Ghana as refugee. I got your contact through my
search for a trustful person/company in Europe or U.S.A that will assist me
retrieve the sum of ($9.850 M) with Bank of Ghana .
And through my enquiry from the regional branch manger of the bank i was told
that the money (Nine Million eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars) was
placed in escrow call account with my name as the beneficiary so that no one
can take the money except my family member. So my aim of contacting you is
to assist me to retrieve this money to your account as my Family purchaser
or my late father's partner. ...
And another one:
I want to inform
you that the fee for your Cheque Draft has been Paid yesterday 30 /6/ 2008
at 8:30Am because I went to the Eco bank that issued cheque to confirm if
the cheque has expired and the manager of Eco Bank Benin told me that before
the check will get to you it will expire. So I told him to cash the $900,000.00,
all the necessary arrangement of delivering of the $900,000.00 in cash was
made with FEDEX COMPANY WORLD WIDE. Here is the contact of the fed ex Company
World Wide bellow.
ATTN: Dr Sammy
...I am waiting
for your urgent response. Mean while the only fee you have to pay them is
$185 USD they will use to obtain insurance certificate and claims of affidavit
that will prove that the box belongs to you. Be rest assure that all other
fees have been paid by me.
I am waiting
for your urgent response.
Thanks Dr Sammy
every day. If I skip a day's exercise -- typically
running around on a tennis court -- I feel stiff and crabby. I'm addicted to
true Southern lady
A very gentle Southern lady was driving across the Savannah River
Bridge in Georgia one day. As she neared the top of the bridge; she noticed
a young man fixing to jump.
She stopped her
car, rolled down the window; and said: ' Please don't jump, think of your dear
mother and father.'
He replied: '
Mom and Dad are both dead; I'm going to jump.'
She said: ' Well,
think of your wife and children.'
He replied: '
I'm not married and I don't have any kids.'
She said: ' Well,
think of Robert E. Lee. '
He replied: ''
Who's Robert E. Lee ? ''
She replied: ''
Well bless your heart; just go ahead and jump, you dumb ass Yankee ! '
Last Stand, one day later
The day after Custer's Last Stand, a surviving Indian scout employed
by the U.S. Cavalry rode a donkey into Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory,
where Custer had departed with his regiment to the Little Bighorn less than
a month previously.
When asked what
he was doing there riding a donkey, he replied, "Custer ordered me to save
This column is about my personal search for the perfect
investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered
with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor.
I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three
reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column
is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect
Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas,
concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address
is . You can't
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