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Choose your own prediction

Our glass is half full. Half my friends have bailed. The other half have bulked up, believing stocks are on sale.

Your choice. I’m as good as predicting as everyone else — i.e. lousy.

Global politics stink. Russia. Ukraine. The Middle East. European economies are weak. Even Germany is close to recession.

Interest rates, despite predictions they would rise, have fallen.  Hence, bonds stink.

Where else can people put their money? Only U.S. stocks, New York City real estate and contemporary art. But mostly U.S. stocks, which, by historical standards, aren’t expensive.

Look at this chart of the Dow over the past ten years. (S&P 500 shows the same pattern.)

Blind Freddie made money by buying pretty well anything in the last five years. Even me.


Now look at it over the past year.

DowOverOne Year

We’re in the middle of a bounce-down. But we also had a bounce-down from mid January to early February when it bounced back stronlgy. This could happen again. My bet is it will.

My bet is that stocks like BA, CAT, HON, IP, JNJ, MMM, NKE, PF, QCOM,  UNH and V are on sale.

Your web site is your most important marketing/sales tool. For a good one, look at For a bad one look at JetBlue.


You’re the CEO. You need to visit and use your web site regularly. An airline that can’t keep its web site working? What am I missing?

Whatever happened to the Arabs? I keep returning to a piece the Economist ran in July. It began:

The Middle East. The tragedy of the Arabs
A civilisation that used to lead the world is in ruins-and only the locals can rebuild it

A THOUSAND years ago, the great cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo took turns to race ahead of the Western world. Islam and innovation were twins. The various Arab caliphates were dynamic superpowers-beacons of learning, tolerance and trade. Yet today the Arabs are in a wretched state. Even as Asia, Latin America and Africa advance, the Middle East is held back by despotism and convulsed by war.

Hopes soared three years ago, when a wave of unrest across the region led to the overthrow of four dictators-in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen-and to a clamour for change elsewhere, notably in Syria. But the Arab spring’s fruit has rotted into renewed autocracy and war. Both engender misery and fanaticism that today threaten the wider world.

Why Arab countries have so miserably failed to create democracy, happiness or (aside from the windfall of oil) wealth for their 350m people is one of the great questions of our time. What makes Arab society susceptible to vile regimes and fanatics bent on destroying them (and their perceived allies in the West)? No one suggests that the Arabs as a people lack talent or suffer from some pathological antipathy to democracy. But for the Arabs to wake from their nightmare, and for the world to feel safe, a great deal needs to change.

For the Economist’s full, brilliant article, click here.

What am I missing? Follow my logic:

Iran supplies Hamas with rockets.
Hamas uses the rockets on Israel.
They do minimal damage on Israel.
Israel responds.
Israel does  huge damage on Gaza, and on Hamas.
Strikes me Hamas is ultra-stupid accepting Iran’s rockets.

What am I missing?
That Hamas hatred for Jews is so powerful that it trumps all commonsense?
This is not rocket science. (Or maybe it is.) Nor is this a battle Hamas has one chance in a million of winning.

There isn’t a Jew in the entire world that wouldn’t give his entire net worth (and life) to Israel if he felt that nation’s survival any way in doubt. I feel that way. My parents just barely escaped Hitler’s gas chambers by getting on the last boat to Australia before the outbreak of WWII in 1939. It’s not going to happen again.

 Obama has authorized bombing ISIS. I love these two recent cartoons:



Here are my favorite cartoons from this week’s New Yorker:



Harry Newton who played tennis at 7:00 AM this morning and found that more pleasurable than watching the stomach-wrenching gyrations of our stockmarkets and how they react (or don’t react) to unctuous global events. I hate writing about politics but they play a role in our stockmarkets. Sadly, we need to heed them. I pray we don’t send troops back into the Middle East. Been there. Done that. Messed it up.


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  2. Fderfler says:

    “That Hamas hatred for Jews is so powerful that it trumps all commonsense?” Yes, exactly. BUT, forget Hamas. The fearful hoard is “ISIS” / “The Islamic State” . They are on the border with Jordan. They are in Syria. They could take Lebanon. If “ISIS” slams through Jordan/Syria and gets to the border with Israel, then what? It will not be a war of rockets. It will be a war of teeth and claws and perhaps nukes in the Negev. To heck with Hamas. They’re just the local scrub team. ISIS has 12th Century Saracen philosophy and morality, 21st century US weapons, a knowledge of networks and communications, and a hoard of fearless fighters… some with US training. The only thing ISIS could learn from Hamas is propaganda. Hamas does THAT very well.

  3. Devon says:

    Harry – the Economist piece was an ideological fairy tale, hardy brilliant. If you want brilliant, read some of the comments to that article on that link.

  4. KzooPost says:

    Stocks on sale. Look to Europe. Sure they might have another recession, but it would be mild. Unilever (UL) and Astra-Zeneca (AZN) have 3.5% dividends that are safe. I don’t own them but am ready to pull the trigger with any market capitulation. Of course, in the US, Proctor and Gamble fits those criteria as well but with a European recession the euro will lose value and help UL over PG exports, in my thinking.

    • Cliff says:

      The capitulation was in March of 2009, my friend. If you had invested then, like me, you’d be up several hundred percent. Now, you’re in for decent, but comparatively modest, returns for, well, probably the rest of your life. You missed the boat.

  5. cliff says:

    This is a new low – BOTH of your groups of friends are wrong.

    Half my friends have bailed. The other half have bulked up, believing stocks are on sale.

  6. Longtime Reader :) says:

    Harry! Check check check!
    The man who addressed the queen was not the conductor of the orchestra.
    According to a September 4, 2011, entry in an Islam in Europe blog, the man had a
    history of interrupting events. We believe that the incident occurred near that
    time. The blog post also said that the orchestra was ordered off stage by the
    security team that showed up shortly after the interruption of the program.

    • Harry Newton says:

      You’re right. I should have checked. CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.
      I’ve removed the entry from today’s blog.
      thank you for checking.