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

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7:00 AM EST, Wednesday, May 6, 2009. Massive inflation. Government debt so high it takes all our taxes (and more) just to pay off the interest due. So the government prints more and more money. And pretty soon the U.S. dollar looks like this:

That's the fear. It's not the fear of guns and barricade nut crowd. It's increasingly the fear of rich folk who've listened to Nicholas Taleb talk about black swans, who have watched the government pour more and more money into saving institutions too big too fail. But it's also the fear of normal folk with tens of millions in hard-earned savings asking questions. Richard Russell of Dow Theory Newsletters is no nutcase. Trust me. But last night he wrote:

I believe we are entering into the land of unintended consequences. We are now watching a deadly battle between deflation and over-creation of fiat money, meaning future inflation or even hyperinflation. Making the picture even more confusing, there are increasing doubts about the viability of the US dollar and whether it can keep it reserve status.

What to do? Russell (and many others) suggest cash for deflation as it continues and physical gold for insurance against future inflation. Russell is also worried about this recent stockmarket boomlet which he now sees as "toppy," but likely to continue for a litttle while. I agree.

Think this through. Gold is not currency. You can't buy bread with a gold coin. Is Harry Newton, entrepreneur, shortly going to be selling home furnaces for us all to melt our gold bullion into coins which Whole Foods and Price Chopper will take? Should we all borrow like crazy today to acquire hard assets -- like houses and office buildings? So that when the time comes to pay them off, we'll be paying our bank with worthless inflated dollars?

There are millions of us asking these questions. Right now we're like deer stuck in the headlights. We missed the Mid-March-to-Now BIG Stockmarket boom. We're wondering what the next shoe to drop will be. The cartoonists are pandering to our fears (obsessions?).

We think this stupid cartoon is funny.

What a weird world. At Berkshire's annual weekend meeting, Buffett showed a sales receipt for $5 million in U.S. Treasury bonds that Berkshire sold in December, 2008 for $90.07 more than its face value, ensuring a negative return for the buyer. Buffett said he doesn't think most investors will see negative returns on U.S. bonds again in their lifetimes. But they are now.

Buffett is moving ahead as if the hyperinflation won't happen and we'll muddle ourselves out of it. And maybe we will. The New York Times -- God bless its pinko commie negative thinking socialist heart -- yesterday ran a very upbeat story on employment:

Bright Spot in Downturn: New Hiring Is Robust
Everyone knows the grim news — unemployment in the United States has jumped to 8.5 percent, a 25-year high, and is racing toward double digits. Since November, the nation has lost more than three million jobs.

But not everyone knows the brighter side to the equation: deep in the maw of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, millions are still being hired.

So, while 4.8 million workers were laid off or chose to leave their jobs in February, employers across the country hired 4.3 million workers that month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The best thing you can say about these numbers is it speaks to the dynamism of the U.S. economy, and the net negative number that we all traffic in masks that,” said Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at ITG, a research and trading firm. “Ninety out of 100 people who know the number — 650,000 were lost in February — think that means no one was hired and 650,000 were fired.”

In February — before the economy started to show the first faint signs of a possible recovery — there were three million job openings nationwide. And despite large new job losses likely to be announced Friday, there are still millions of job openings.

Who is hiring? Hospitals, colleges, discount stores, restaurants and municipal public works departments. I.B.M. is hiring more than 700 people for its new technical services center in Dubuque, Iowa, while the Cleveland Clinic has 500 job openings, not just for nurses but also for pharmacy aides and physical therapists. And after President Obama’s stimulus package kicks into gear, state, local governments and road-building contractors are expected to hire more.

In the old days I committed a little money to private equity funds run by Goldman and Citigroup. I thought they made sense at the time. Now suddenly they're coming to life with capital calls. Yesterday I received two. The reasons:

Goldman Sachs:

We believe the current market environment represents an attractive entry point for opportunistic investments in stressed and distressed debt instruments. We have started to prudently build positions in a limited number of credits, each purchased at a significant discount to par. In addition, we have a number of prospective investments in the pipeline.

These new positions are confidential as we are primarily investing through open market purchases. We will provide you with a detailed description of these investments when our buying programs are complete.

Citigroup Capital Partners:

The capital call will be used to fund several follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies, which have occurred since the Partnership's last capital call in August, 2008, as well as additional follow-on investment activity anticipated in the near term.

I'll send them the money. I don't have a choice. And I'll pray they're finding really cheap things to buy. Meantime, I'm mulling about gold and other hard assets.

Giving our government competition. Anne took BoltBus from Boston to New York yesterday. It cost her $17 and she had free wireless connection to the Internet the entire way.

Had she taken our government's Amtrak, she would have paid $62 and not had Internet connection. Both trips are roughly the same length -- four hours and a bit. Good news, Saturday is

which "is a coast-to-coast celebration of the way trains connect people and places," according to Amtrak. I took Amtrak on Monday evening last

The government and the businesses it regulates. If the Bank of America can't raise the $34 billion, the Feds say it needs, -- see today's headlines -- does that mean that Washington will run our largest bank? How about branch offices on Amtrak, or worse...

A Newfie is a person from Newfoundland, usually lacking intelligence. So the story goes: A Newfie was stopped by a game warden recently with two ice chests full of fish. He was leavin' a cove well-known for its fishing.

The game warden asked the man, 'Do you have a license to catch those fish?'

'Naw, sir', replied the Newfie. 'I ain't got none of dem dere Licenses. I don't need one. You must understand, by, dese here is My pet fish.'

'Pet fish?'

'Yeah. Dat's de trut' bye. Every night, I take dese fish down to de Cove and let 'em swim 'round for awhile. Den, when I whistles, dey Jump right back into dese here ice chests and I takes 'em home.'

'That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that.'

The Newfie looked at the warden for a moment and then said, 'It's de Trut Mr. Government Man. I'll show ya. It really works.'

'O.K.', said the warden. 'I've got to see this!'

The Newfie stood on a rock and poured the fish into the cove. Then He stood and looked out to sea.

After several minutes, the warden says, 'Well?'

'Well, what?', says the Newf.

The warden says, 'When are you going to call them back?'

'Call who back?'

'The FISH', replied the warden!

'What fish?', replied the Newfie.

Moral of the story: We may not be as smart as some city slickers on De mainland but by the lard tundering jaysus we ain't as dumb as most Government employees.

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.