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

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9:00 AM EST, Monday, March 9, 2009. The BIG questions of the day:

1. Has the plummet in stock prices produced bargains yet?

2. Will the U.S. print so much new money that there'll be hyperinflation (like in Germany in the 1920s) and the dollar will lose all its value?

3. Should we all be hoarding gold ingots in our basement?

4. What should we do with the cash that's burning a hole in our pockets, i.e. is not invested, or as Wall Street likes to say -- hasn't "been put to work."

5. Will the U.S. dollar continue to be strong against other currencies?

6. Are we really in better shape than the rest of the world?

The Hayman Capital Master, L.P. has done extraordinarily well for its investors. Since its inception in February of 2006 it has returned 340%, while the S&P 500 has returned -42.37%. The annual returns were 20.6% for 2007, 216.64% in 2007, 6.13% in 2008 and 9.03% year to date for 2009. On March 2, J. Kyle Bass, the managing partner, wrote a 26-page letter to his investors. In the letter, he wrote:

+ There will be a time to get bullish (my guess is many years from now.).

+ We believe that the U.S. (and in fact, the world) is in an ongoing debt inflationary spiral that will likely continue for some time (possibly years).

+ The greater concern is the potential inflationary time bomb that grows as government continue to borrow, print and "stimulate." What happens to inflation when the velocity of money goes from zero to 100?

+ Just how big is the global debt tidal wave? ... The results of our study are nothing short of shocking."

The entire 26-page letter is nothing short of brilliant. If you do nothing today, you must read J. Kyle Bass's paper.

Bits and Pieces of Statistics.
+ American car sales have dropped to an annual pace of nine million, from some 17 million in 2007.

+ In February, 168,000 more manufacturing jobs were eliminated, bringing losses over the last year to 1.2 million. In Michigan, where the troubles of the auto industry have been particularly traumatic, the unemployment rate sits at 10.6 percent, the highest of any state in the nation. There's an interesting piece on Lawrence, Mass, an erstwhile manufacturing center with 13% unemployment at present in The Wall Street Journal.

+ There are now 12.5 million people out of work, and the jobless tally has swollen by 4.4 million since the recession began -- and by 2.6 million in the past four months alone.

+ Banks are now selling properties at such low prices — many below what they sold for in the 1920s — you have to wonder why they bother to foreclose at all. (The F.D.I.C. estimates that each foreclosure costs a bank on average $50,000, more than if they were to do a loan modification.) ... Cleveland plans to tear down 1,700 houses that are abandoned and beyond repair, but the cost is steep -- about $8,000 a home. -- These stats from a cover story "All Boarded Up," in Sunday's New York Times.

Lessons from a U.S. Airways survivor who went down in the Hudson River.

1. Cherish your families as never before and go to great lengths to keep your promises.

2. Be thankful and grateful for everything you have and don't worry about the things you don't have.

3. Keep in shape. You never know when you'll be called upon to save your own life, or help someone else save theirs.

4. When you fly, wear practical clothing. You never know when you'll end up in an emergency or on an icy wing in flip flops and pajamas and of
absolutely no use to yourself or anyone else.

-- Gerry McNamara

The Afghani Quarterback
The coach had put together the perfect team for the Detroit Lions. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback.

He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win.

Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan.  In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan Muslim soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away.


He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards away, right into a chimney.


Then he threw another at a passing car going 90 mph.


"I've got to get this guy!" Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!"

So, the coach brings him to the States and teaches him the great game of football.  And the Lions go on to win the Super Bowl. The young Afghan is hailed as the greatest hero of football, and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wants is to call his mother.

"Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the Super Bowl!"

I don't want to talk to you, the old woman says. "You deserted us. You are not my son!"

"I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleads. "I've just won the  greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring  fans."

"No! Let me tell you!" his mother retorts. "At this very moment, there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped!"

The old lady pauses, and then tearfully says, "I will never forgive you for making us  move to Detroit!"

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.