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Friday, June 20, 2008

Ramblings from the train

Heading back form an eventful trip to the Apple, sharing a crowded Acela Express I find that I am an ready to be out of the city. I love New York but having to dress like an adult is something of a pain in the ass. Two days of having to wear big boy shoes is wearing thin. I need my faded cut offs and flip flops to feel comfortable and myself again. I went to the bull and bear at the Waldorf last night and have to agree it is a lovely bar. Wonderful old style New York d├ęcor, great bar conversations, decent drinks and a running ticker tape to keep track of the world. Of course it should be wonderful for $17 a fucking drink! Give me red eyes and cold gin in a plastic cup with a savings of about 13 bucks a drink any day. I stayed at the Double tree hotel on 51st and Lex and while the location was perfect, the hotel itself was far from it. The hotel surpassed the Algonquin for the smallest room I have ever stayed din. It was beyond tiny. Damn good thing I was traveling alone since the room was not big enough for any wild drunken sexual romps without serious injury to one or more of the participants. Over 330 dollars for a room that would fall short as a closet in a lot of places is a bit much.

The number of foreign tourists in the city is staggering. I heard half a dozen languages tossed around the bar last night. This is not necessarily unusual for me but I was still sober at the time. The one benefit of our government’s heartfelt desire to turn our currency into toilet paper is that all those wealthy Europeans and Asians who hate every ounce and fiber of the American Being and Persona can come over and swizzle scotch at a substantial discount. It is a great time to be selling week old hot dogs and stupid tee shirts in NYC as all the vendors seemed to be doing a brisk business in tourist crap and bad food. A strange world where everyone hates us but rushes to buy the tackiest crap we can sell them.

As for the market, what can I say.?It sucks. It has sucked and by all indications it will continue to suck. This is the Linda Lovelace of stock markets. Oil just will not go down. They raised the price in China and no one cared for more than a few hours. Demand is not going away. An economy that is growing at 10% needs fuel. The tow choices are coal and oil. Both a e higher and probably going to stay that way for the future. I was berated wildly last year for buying ICO and JRCC as they both went down initially. Both are up multiples of the purchase price now and the gain has more than justified the waiting. Food prices are high and getting higher. The Midwest flooding has ruined the already tight grain supplies and this will filter across a wide variety of food oriented commodities. I am not happy about this at all. First cigarettes went up because of Gov RockandRoll Dumbasses tax hike, scotch went up as the dollar fell and now a damn hamburger is going to increase because of flooding and an energy policy that has raped our food supply to make inefficient ethanol. Is this a great country or what?

Financial stocks continue to have a tough go of it as well. Key Corp and Fifth Third were thought to be conservative banks. Until they blew up this week. FITB had to raise a$1 billion to clean up its mess. KeyCorp needed $1.65 billion. The fact that banks can continue to get capital is simply amazing to me. This has to either be foreign money hoping to gain control of the US banking system or some of the dumbest rich guys in the history of the world. Investor s are giving ore money to the same idiots who caused the problems in the first damn place. Bad loans,. Securitized crap, securities they didn’t understand but put a few billion into to gain 50 basis points, the mistakes are almost ludicrous. And now they are raising billions like they had cured cancer.I once thought of changing my name to Tim.Com and doing an IPO. Now, I think I will become TimBancorp and sell a few billion of perpetual preferred stock to fund my next few marriages. The financial system has deep problems and the poor consumer is screwed some many ways right now they must fell like a gang banging porn star who just found out they are doing another take of the pile on. Higher food, higher energy, home price falling. What direction will we get fucked from next? Here’s a clue. Interest rates are starting to rise. I continue to think that only an illiterate deaf mute kamikaze could be aggressively long the US stock market. Of course there are lots of those around. We call them mutual fund managers.

At least it is summer. Last week Richard Ford the noted novelist wrote a piece in the NY Times lamenting summer as the season that disappoints. Like the character in his books it seems that the season falls short of his expectations. Actually I would suggest that Mr. Ford falls short of summer rather than the opposite. Ford is a brilliant writer bit I tire of the life as serious of failed hopes and everyday despairs. As I age I find that I prefer the characters of Richard Russo. The residents of Mohawk know that they grabbed the shitty end of the stock and have been beaten with it in many cases. But they embrace themselves as who and what they are and find a way to get the enjoyment out of life the angst ridden seldom find. You are disappointed in summer? Guess what? Summer is real fucking disappointed in you , pal.

Summer is a season of opportunities. We have suffered through dealing with the moody bitch ice queen that is winter, drudging through snow drifts on sun shortened days, winds that bite like the words of an angry wife wondering just where the hell you have been until 4 am. We have endured the flirtations of the nipple flashing virgin that is spring with her sexy promises but delivering only a peek and a peck pf what summer can deliver. Summer is the denim shorts and halter top clad, bare foot dancing girl of our dreams. She will dance the months away if you only ask.

If you sit and wait for summer to come to you, you will be disappointed. But if you get off your ass and go get it summer will be what you want it to be. There are days of great weather, there is boating ( I will even include you “we have the right of way and could you slow down because the noise hurts muffys ears “pain in my ass rotten shit sail boaters here), there are hammocks under shade tress and lemonade, docks bars and gin and tonic while the band plays rock and roll under the sweaty night sky, there is pace ball in the Bronx and at the yard. They are going t play nine at Wrigley and at fen way and 26 there stadiums this year. This of course does not include the minor league parks all over the country. There is golf if you like dressing up like schmuck and chasing a little white ball. Tennis. Swimming. Little kids playing in the sprinkler. Ice cream sodas. Cold beer. Burgers and dogs on the grill. Sleeping off a hangover on the beach trying to match the rhythm of the waves to the ones pounding in your head. Watching the girls walk down 5th avenue in sundresses. Watching the girls at Redeyes wearing damn near nothing. Fishing in a stream or a lake, trolling in the bay for rockfish
It doesnt matter what it is you want, Summer can deliver. But you have to get u off your dead ass and go get it. If you spend all your time whining about the heat or focusing on the everyday the you god and fucking well deserve to miss out. Can you really give a shit that the laundry isn’t put away when the Yankees and birds are playing at the yard and there is a smoking band at the deck bar. Is dusting more important than screaming across the bay at 75 mph on a clear day basking in the sun and the speed? Which would you rather do? Cut the grass and clean house or join a bunch of friends for a raft up at conquest beach, spending the day swimming in the river, drinking beer and laughing your ass off? Me too.

There are things we have to do. Even I know that. There are articles to write, the markets will be open even if they are going down with the regularity of a fat girl at closing time in a tequila bar, and we all have to earn a living. But seriously, save the mundane shit for a rainy day. Play ball, Start your engines, hell ,hoist the mainsail if you must.

But if summer disappoints you, it is your own damn fault. Shes right over there beckoning at you to come play, to dance, to live. If you sit there and wait for her to come to you, like most other things in life you will be sorry.Its summer. Get off your dead ass and go live a little.