Critical Section


the morning after

Saturday,  11/01/08  08:46 AM

The morning after...  Halloween, Shirley's birthday, Pathology Visions, October.  Feels like a lot has happened which is now done happening...  and it is cold, and windy, a light rain is falling outside, and in my head, too.  One of those end-of-year days...

Economist cover - 11/1/08Here's what "the tank" looks like; this is the cover of the latest issue of the Economist.  Previous to this election I always felt them to be rather neutral, in favor of open markets and pretty libertarian.  But there's a new regime there, and they clearly feel like weighing in on the U.S. election, despite being London-based.  They have an influential readership, and while their endorsement may not sway too many undecided U.S. voters, it will certainly have an impact on the perception of the results of the election, whichever way it goes.

Speaking of the way it goes, Zogby has McCain ahead!  WHAT!  And Fox says Obama's lead narrows...

Meanwhile, McCain is campaigning with our governator in Ohio.  He'll be back :)

Mark Steyn sums it up: "This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration... And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange."  Not that strange.  There are still thinking people out there who vote with their heads, not their hearts.  [ via Instapundit ]

redistribution and the constitutionGerard Vanderleun posted the great cartoon at right.  Sums up how I feel exactly.  That is the point.

In other rather interesting news, Drudge tops NYTimes in web traffic.  You could see that coming from a long way off...  but now it has happened; a "blog" has more traffic than the leading U.S. newspaper.  May you live in interesting times, indeed!

Related, LATimes lays off 75 staffers.  I bet Drudge doesn't even have 75 staffers.  This is one of the reasons we read so much gloom and doom in the newspapers; the papers themselves are suffering badly.  If you work in that environment, you can't help but be affected, and your stories will reflect that.

Scott Pederson emailed to suggest this decade be named the "naughty aughties", because of the extreme negativity on display during the 2008 election.  I can't figure out if the negativity is coming from the campaigns themselves, the press, or the electorate.  I almost think people get the campaigns they deserve, because of how they respond.  Sadly, our reality show society probably responds better to superficial negativity than the details of a serious health care reform proposal...

Victor David Hanson: The End of Journalism.  "The media has succeeded in shielding Barack Obama from journalistic scrutiny.  It thereby irrevocably destroyed its own reputation and forfeited the trust that generations of others had so carefully acquired.  And it will never again be trusted to offer candid and nonpartisan coverage of presidential candidates."  Dead on.

Lemons: Another week, another 18,885 layoffs.  This totally sucks.  That is 18,885 people whose lives have been changed, who will struggle to make their house payment, who will not be taking a vacation or buying nice presents this Christmas.  The ripple effect of all these layoffs is the biggest baddest thing about the financial meltdown.

File as Making Lemonade, from NBS Financial (my PFA):

The month of October was the worst for the stock market since October 1987.  The dichotomy of this is that this week was the best for the stock market for 26 years.  As one of the few financial advisors who was in this business in 1987, I can attest from personal experience that those that sold after "Black Monday" of 1987 faired much worse than those who did not sell. 
If we look back at the last three bear markets:
 
Ending February 2003             -49.1%
           December 1987           -33.5%
           October 1974              -48.5%
 
The average gain over the 24 months following each of these three declines was 47.7%.  We all wish the market hadn't declined over the last year, but we are were we are and now is the time to focus were we are going and not were we have been.  Based upon both historical precedent and the visible dynamics at work, I would suggest that the next 45% move in the markets will be up not down. 

More Lemonade: AlwaysOn wonders Coming Soon: High-Value IPOs?  I sure hope so...  There were only six IPOs in 2008, only six.  Still I can remember when PayPal went public in early 2002, the first after 9/11.  And it popped.

 

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