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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.

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9:00 AM EST Tuesday, July 1, 2008: With pride (and sadness) I present Lehman Brothers, my favorite short.

Further reasons to stay away from financials:

It is with sadness that I report these three stocks alone have lost their shareholders $300 billion since their recent highs in early 2007. I figure this by deducting the combined value of last night's market capitalizations from the value in early 2007.

I suspect all three will go lower, for the simple reason that there is not a single reason to buy any of them -- they all face two major problems -- a toxic balance sheet and the desperate need to raise capital.

How deep is the financial crisis? The Fed has done three things recently:

1. Kept interest rates artificially low -- a present to the banks, a disservice to Americans living off interest income. (I'm personally not pleased.)

2. Allowed unregulated investment banks to now borrow money from the Fed. Previously it was just regulated banks.

3. Expanded what it will take as collateral for its loans. That "collateral" now includes credit card debt, student loans and car loans. I'd hate to see the Fed's balance sheet in a year's time. Yes, you and I dear taxpayer, are bailing out the most irresponsible of our financial institutions. I'm sure there's a good reason somewhere.

Anne Himpens strikes again. Her favorite keyboard shortcut in Excel is F4. That key repeats what you did last. Her favorite key in Windows is Shift-Tab. That takes you back to the previous field.

One of these is Anne and one is my son, Michael.

The picture was taken last weekend at a New York flea market, where these sunglasses were on sale. My son, who's seriously cheap, didn't buy them, but mooched a free picture out of the poor vendor. Sort of thing his Daddy would do.

Published without comment:

Wimbledon continues today. More hours of tennis today. That will be much more enjoyable than watching the ticker today. Here is the TV schedule. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (L) = Live (T) = Taped

Tuesday, July 1 7:00 am - 10:00 am Quarterfinals (Ladies') ESPN2 (L)
Tuesday, July 1 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Quarterfinals (Ladies') NBC (L)
Tuesday, July 1 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Quarterfinals (Ladies') ESPN2 (L)
Tuesday, July 1 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Quarterfinals (Ladies') Tennis Channel (T)
Wednesday, July 2 7:00 am - 10:00 am Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Wednesday, July 2 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Wednesday, July 2 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Wednesday, July 2 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) Tennis Channel (T)
Thursday, July 3 7:00 am - 12:00 pm Semifinals (Ladies') ESPN2 (L)
Thursday, July 3 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Semifinals (Ladies') NBC (L)
Thursday, July 3 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Semifinals (Ladies') Tennis Channel (T)
Friday, July 4 7:00 am - 12:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Friday, July 4 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Saturday, July 5 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Saturday, July 5 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Sunday, July 6 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Sunday, July 6 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)

A better idea
Ruth is about to leave her house to meet her three friends for their regular monthly get together. But as she bends down to pick up the last of the toys left on the floor by her four children, her back gives way. She’s in great pain, so she phones her friends and tells them that she won’t be able to go out with them that afternoon.

Later that day, her three friends come to her house to commiserate.

"Oy Naomi," says Talia, "it’s such a shame you being laid up like this."

"Yes," says Fay, "it’s terrible. The pain you must be experiencing. Such tsouris (problems) you’ve got."

"I know what we can do," says Judith. "We’ll all pray for you every day until you get back on your feet."

As Talia and Fay are nodding their heads in agreement, Naomi says, "Better you three should come here every day and help out with the housework. Praying I can do by myself."

A guy fell asleep on the beach for several hours and got horrible sunburn, specifically to his upper legs. He goes to the hospital, and was promptly admitted after being diagnosed with second-degree burns. With his skin already starting to blister, and the severe pain he was in, the doctor prescribed continuous intravenous feeding with saline, electrolytes, a sedative, and a Viagra pill every four hours.

The nurse, who was rather astounded, asked, 'What good will Viagra do for him, doctor'?

The doctor replied, 'It won't do anything for his condition, but it'll keep the sheets off his burned legs.'

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 click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing the Google ads on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.

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