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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.

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8:30 AM EST, Thursday, March 22, 2007: There are growing industries and there are declining industries. The newspaper business is declining. There are three reasons. Young people get their news from the Internet. Many older people hate the Times' liberal bias. And advertisers advertise with Google.

Advertising revenue f
or the New York Times' newspapers fell 7.0% in Feb. The New York Times itself was down 7.5%. The New York Times stock has reflected the bad times.

A bunch of institutions stubbornly still hold stock in the Times. They're all trying to motivate the Times management to perform better. That has the same pleasure as peeing into the wind. Times management can't be fired by stockholders, since the Times is a two-class company -- public A class shares and private B class shares that have all the control. The Wall Street Journal had a piece. Click here. One day the institutions will wake up and dump their stock. Then the stock will plummet.

The Fed held interest rates yesterday. And stockmarkets boomed. The Fed said:

Recent indicators have been mixed and the adjustment in the housing sector is ongoing. Nevertheless, the economy seems likely to continue to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters.

Recent readings on core inflation have been somewhat elevated. Although inflation pressures seem likely to moderate over time, the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain those pressures.

In these circumstances, the Committee's predominant policy concern remains the risk that inflation will fail to moderate as expected. Future policy adjustments will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information.

As we know, all the Fed cares about is inflation. If it senses it, it lifts rates. With the economy slowing, the housing business going away, and electronics getting cheaper by the minute, there is little chance of serious inflation. The only inflation is on the farm, where demand for ethanol is driving up the price of corn. Soon oil will rise again. But it's hard to predict when. See Tuesday's column. Click here

The story with subprime mortgages: From a very talented man called Jeremy Diamond, managing director of Analy Capital Management (NLY):

The events of the last few weeks in sub-prime mortgages have rocked the financial markets, and rightly so. The papers
and the web are rife with stories of end-of-cycle misbehavior, regret and recrimination among the various players in the
mortgage finance chain-lenders cutting corners for market share and growth, borrowers stretching to buy homes they
couldn't afford, appraisers and real estate agents colluding on home values-not to mention the enabling of the Wall
Street securitization machine, the ratings agencies and, some would argue, a Federal Reserve that kept rates too low for too long. Depending on who is speaking, the consequences for this cyclical turn could range from brief and sharp pain narrowly centered on the sub-prime lenders and borrowers to a deep consumer-led economic recession featuring a tidal wave of defaults and a credit contraction. We would say that once the books have been written, the documentaries have been made and the finger-pointing ends with jail time, it will have turned out to be closer to the latter than the former.

If you'd like to read the whole 6-page piece, click here. is for sending large files.
Want to send someone a huge file -- bigger than 5 megs? Email doesn't work. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) works but few people have FTP sites. is a place to drop your files off and have them picked up by someone else. Recipients you specify are sent an email with instructions on how to download the file. Files are removed from the system after 7 days, regardless if they have been picked up or not. You can upload any type of file, mp3, movies, docs, pdfs, up to 100MB each. You can upload an encrypted file or a zipped file. Recipients can be anyone with an email address. Neat service. Trivial to use.

Check your PC's time: I set the new daylight savings time on my PC. Then Microsoft messed up and set it back. Can't this company do anything right? Meantime, my new Mac continues to work flawlessly. And Steve Balmer leads MSFT to rack and ruin -- somewhat exaggerated. But you get the idea. I'm not impressed.

Traveling this summer? Check that the specs on your power supplies say "110-240" or "110-220" or "100-200." All these variations will work on the higher voltages overseas. Plug your U.S.-only adapter into a European power outlet, and you will blow your American gadget. Nokia phones are the worst. Some adapters work only here. Some work only there. And some work everywhere. There is no consistency. You need to check.

Oh to be a dictator:

Kim Jong II is the world's leading buyer of Hennessy Cognac, says a congressional intelligence report. The North Korean dictator spends up to $720,000 a year on Hennessy.

Divorce is fun (well, sort of)
A German man in the throes of a bitter divorce chain-sawed his house in half and drove off with his portion on a forklift truck. The unnamed 43-year-old is apparently a trained mason, and took careful measurements of the one-story summer home before beginning to cut. "The man said he was just taking his due," said a spokesman for the police. "I don't think his wife was too pleased."

Nice pun. Bad moral:
On a farm lived a chicken and a horse, both of whom loved to play together. One day the two were playing, when the horse fell into a bog and began to sink. Scared for his life, the horse whinnied for the chicken to go get the farmer for help!

Off the chicken ran, back to the farm. Arriving at the farm, he searched and searched for the farmer, but to no avail, for he had gone to town with the only tractor.

Running around, the chicken spied the farmer's new Harley. Finding the keys in the ignition, the chicken sped of with a length of rope hoping he still had time to save his friend's life.

Back at the bog, the horse was surprised, but happy, to see the chicken arrive on the shiny Harley, and he managed to get a hold of the loop of rope the chicken tossed to him.

After tying the other end to the rear bumper of the farmer's bike, the chicken then drove slowly forward and, with the aid of the powerful bike, rescued the horse!

Happy and proud, the chicken rode the Harley back to the farmhouse, and the farmer was none the wiser when he returned.

The friendship between the two animals was cemented: Best Buddies, Best Pals. A few weeks later, the chicken fell into a mud pit, and soon, he too, began to sink and cried out to the horse to save his life!

The horse thought a moment, walked over, and straddled the large puddle. Looking underneath, he told the chicken to grab his hangy-down thing and he would then lift him out of the pit. The chicken got a good grip, and the horse pulled him up and out, saving his life.

The moral of the story? Yes, there IS a moral.

When You're Hung Like A Horse, You Don't Need A Harley To Pick Up Chicks.

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. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look mighty 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 Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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