Mega 3 day Weekend Linkfest

Good morning! From 28 inches of snow, to a sunny 60 degrees, and back to the 20s: That’s the weather in the NorthEast. (Why Vermont and Maine didn’t get buried, I don’t know). We had quite the busy week, from Bernanke to options expiration to a strong (if narrow) rally. Lots of stuff to cover — pace yourself, ya got 3 days — so pour another cup-o-java, and lets get down to it.

• This is probably the coolest thing I’ve done at The Q&A: Paul Desmond of Lowry’s Reports. Desmond is an extremely well regarded Technician. If you read just one thing today, this is it. And Part II Q&A is even better;

I was planning on linking to Paul Kasriel’s 7 page Critique of Bernanke’s Congressional testimony — and then I saw that this morning’s Barron’s excerpted the most relevant parts of it. (If no Barron’s sub, go here);

• Speaking of which:  Didn’t we hear back in June 2005 that we were in the 8th inning of the Fed tightening cycle?  Gee, this has got to be the longest 8th inning in the history of baseball;

• Fascinating journo tale: For three years, a WSJ reporter in Baghdad tried to work and live normally — as the war closed in: Under the Gun (free);

• I double dog dare anyone to call Paul Craig Roberts a member of the far Left: Before he wrote The True State of the Union, he was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, Associate
Editor Wall Street Journal editorial page, Contributing Editor of
National Review
. (Go read his True Sotu — its not pretty);

Interesting: We are shifting our buying habits from things to experiences;

Does Treasury Secretary Snow understand the difference between CapEx and Cap Gains? Apparently not, judging by his recent WSJ Op-Ed: The Heart of the Economy;

• Some Economists disagree with Greenspan: Why Central Banks Should Burst Bubbles;

Finding Memes for Contrarian or Trend-following Plays makes a lot of sense;

• Airlines do it, Oil
companies do it — why not GM and Ford? Their sales are so subject to the vagaries of Crude Oil prices: So why doesn’t GM Hedge?   

• Its not just for low paying jobs anymore: Outsourcing Is Climbing Skills Ladder;

Fascinating: Bob Cringely thinks that Apple can do for video distribution what it did for digital music, and inadvertantly save a dying franchise:  Don’t be surprised if Apple saves the day for Blockbuster Video (hint: it involves Video iPods);

• The WSJ and NYT each fail to Connect the Retail Sales Dots;   

• I am not a big Suze Orman fan — she reminds me too much of my mother (which helps explain much of whats wrong with me) —
but this column is filled with some surprisingly good advice: The 12 Biggest Money Mistakes;

• Huh? How they gonna do that? ETF Will Trade On Earnings Surprises;

• The Christian Science Monitor informs us of a dangerous backlash: the Status of US brands is slipping globally among teens;

• No surprise here: Foreign buying of US corp bonds hits record in ’05;

• The Housing Market won’t pop — but it might gradually slow, with big implications for the Economy;   

• I’ve been Bullish on Oil since 2003 ($32), but this strikes me as a bit late and alarmist: Why oil will hit $100 a barrel;   

Are Bears really more rigorous than Bulls? (Cramer and I disagree on this)   

• Reuters has set up a Financial Wiki;   

• Two interesting Science articles caught my eye this week: renown Physicist Alan Lightman discusses the Future of Science, while Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria looks at Europe as a fading Scientific — and therefore economic — power: The Decline and Fall of Europe;   

• As if you haven’t had enough about bloggers: The BBC looks at Bloggers as an army of irregulars; New York Magazine considers the Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom, and Slate wonders if Blogs Are they over as a business; As to the the phrase "Magazine Cover Indicator" — at best, I helped re-popularize it — but I cannot take credit for coining it;

• If you ever wondered why a CD film soundtrack costs more than the movie DVD itself, you are not alone:  75% of music fans surveyed said CDs cost too much. Perhaps this non-competitive pricing — and not downloading — is the industry’s biggest problem;

• Of course, the RIAA’s lousy PR ain’t helping:  Telling consumers that they cannot convert their legally purchased CDs to iPod is absurdly idiotic; So too, is illegally digging up dirt on a single mom’s kids (who may have downloaded music);

• Mac versus Windows, the too-funny version: Bill Gates introduced the features of the upcoming Windows release Vista, at CES. This version of the speech is notable for the video substitution of the 3 year old Mac OSX, revealing Microsoft "innovations" as cheap copies; (heehee

Arrested Development ended its 3 year run, amongst rumors of an iPod video only version; More likely is ABC or Showtime picking up the critically acclaimed and very, very funny show;

• I’m not a big country music fan, but Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis (with The Watson Twins) is a terrific album — I love the cover of the Traveling Wilbury’s "Handle With Care"

Believe the hype: Eye to the Telescope by Edinburgh chanteuse K.T. Tunstall is the best new CD I’ve heard this year;

Old School? Streaming Rhapsody’s free music service, I heard the  Benny Green trio  Live at the Village Vanguard: Testifyin’! Great stuff for classic Jazz buffs;

• A pair of very violent flix with female leads, opening soon: Ultraviolet (starring Milla Jovovich, from the under appreciated Fifth Element) and the comic based  V for Vendetta (starring a shaved Natalie Portman). I’m there.

• How many of these do you recognize?  Unusual Looking Buildings On Earth;

Dave Barry’s Blog is another huge time suck — and is hysterical.

That’s all for the last linkfest of February — I’ll be travelling next week, and won’t be able to post.

I’ve been to San Francisco a dozen times, but always on business — I am taking a few days to enjoy the city — Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park (Japanese Gardens), Carmel by the Sea, Muiz Redwood Forest. Hey you local San Franciscans — what are the must see/must do/must eat/must stay things and places when visiting the City by the Bay for a few days of R&R? Tell me what has to be done on a short trip!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Katherine commented on Feb 19

    While we are still near the the start of this year and discussing what can derail the economy in 2006, how about the first few human cases of avian flu in the US? It seems more and more likely to happen this year, and I think I can safely predict that the stock market will not approve.

  2. touche commented on Feb 19

    Exquisite interview with Paul Desmond. Homework assignments were never this much fun.

    He said “there is a very consistent pattern of market bottoms about every four years.” Does he think this is caused by the election cycle?

    He also said “if you are trying to look at fundamental information, you are always too late”. I would say the tendency is too early, not too late. Markets have a tendency to stray very far from fundamentals before most people realize it. And fundamentals rule in he long run.

  3. Mike commented on Feb 19

    Blowfish Sushi on Bryant Street.
    Mmmm…me like da’ sushi.

  4. B commented on Feb 19

    Why oil will go to $100? I like why oil will go to $42. Then likely below that. And why Cononco Philips will get slaughtered for making such disproportionate bets at the top and Lee Raymond will be vindicated for showing restraint when others cajoled him for being so conservative.

    Belly up to the bar and place your bets. I just wish I had a few extra million sloshing around in my pockets because I’d be hunting out a savvy CTA right now and have him waiting for the slaughter. There is so much bullsh*t out there being fed to us by “self appointed” expert traders who are driving the market at their own peril. Running out of oil. Running out of oil. Not enough refining capacity. Not enough refining capacity. Iran could shut off the market. Iran could shut off the market. China is growing. China is growing. This time it’s different. This time it’s different. The sky is falling. The sky is falling. They are going to pay dearly. When? Don’t know but I can smell it coming sooner rather than later. And maybe that will finally shut the f’mullahs up in Iran and put a muzzle on their Borderline Personality Disorder president or whatever title he has. Lead quack. Line ’em up for the slaughter Ethel. The pigs are looking mighty fat.

  5. touche commented on Feb 19

    Paul Craig Roberts is a visionary economist with rare common sense. He’s a one of the last real conservatives, but he’s too much of an optimist. There is no way that he or anyone else can rescue our economy from the pit that we have dug for ourselves. Better to drink fine cognac than wallow in what could have been.

  6. Paul commented on Feb 19

    Paul Craig Roberts was an interesting read & this just really jumped out

    “Without the new jobs waiting tables and serving drinks, the US economy in the past five years would have eked out a measly 64,000 jobs. In other words, there is a job depression in the US.”

  7. dave commented on Feb 19

    used to live on the monterey peninsula – if you make it to Carmel, strongly suggest you spend another 45 minutes driving south on coast 1. Have a drink or two at Nepenthe or wherever. Park for a moment by the Bixby Creek bridge – you’ll recognize it from every car commercial ever made.

  8. algernon commented on Feb 20

    Indeed, Paul Craig Roberts was interesting. A “conservative” who no longer believes in freedom. The freedom to trade with someone he doesn’t approve.

  9. cm commented on Feb 20

    Re the outsourcing article — I see offshoring in action in my job, and I suspect also elsewhere it’s done in the mode of farming out parts of projects across time zones. Thing is, much of complex business processes require effective teamwork, and teamwork and the associated smarts/intelligence is a social phenomenon. If people cannot talk to each other in real time, it’s not gonna happen or only with much energy spent on overcoming the “physical” obstacles of distance and time shift, assuming a large amount of goodwill not to be taken for granted. But what do paper & number pushers know about this.

  10. Frank Black commented on Feb 20

    I would definitely have oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co at the Ferry Building. Then have overpriced crab at Pier 39- it has to be done.
    If you are going to Alcatraz book in advance online- it sometimes is booked days in advance.
    Also take the Blue and Gold Bay tour which will take you under the GG bridge and give you a great view of it from below.
    And then drive 60 miles north to Santa Rosa and use it as a base to visit wineries in the Russian River Valley.
    Ignore that whole Napa place. Remember Sonoma for wine, Napa for auto parts.

  11. Michael commented on Feb 20

    Great, great interview with Paul Desmond. He looks under the hood with his indicators compared to many TA guys.

  12. Michael commented on Feb 20


    Frank has a lotta good stuff. Drive down Lombard Street is another. Too bad you can’t rent a Shelby GT and do “Bullitt” driving. Riding the cable cars all around is a blast, I think you can get a pass. Hit the Buenva Vista for the home of Irish Coffee. Visit Coit Tower. Dinner in China Town. Hit the Cliff House for breakfast. Hit one of the hotel bars in Union Square like the St Francis.

  13. blue][erring commented on Feb 20

    whoops, missed this thread. let’s see, i would get thyself on the bay on a boat. you could take the muni trains (any of them) to Embarcadero then take that ferry to Sausalito or Jack London Square (or both), just float around on the bay for a while, it’s nice. or rent a sailboat for a couple hours.
    The best bartenderess is at the Orbit Room on Market near Octavia, you’ll know if you go. Get a helicopter ride, it’s a tight town from the air especially around dusk with the fog and the hills and what not. ask people about alameda, it’s my real estate pick for best 5 year performance in the bay area as of 2010.

  14. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 21

    – First of all you want City Lights, the original Beatnik bookstore, at Broadway and Columbus.

    – At Pier 39 you can get well within seeing (and smelling) distance of the sea lions on the ground-level boardwark without going to that upstairs viewing gallery.

    – A good quiet evening would be sunset seen from the north side of Potrero Hill followed by dinner at one of the bistros around 18th and Connecticut Streets. Only go that far out of your way if you’re renting a car, though, as public transportation is iffy in that area and so are parts of that neighborhood after dark. The nearby Anchor Steam brewery does a lovely afternoon tour of the premises with free beer included but it may be too late to reserve a space:

    – If you are in fact renting a car and you want to see redwoods, skip touristy Muir Woods and drive south down scenic Highway 1. Turn inland at La Honda, onetime home of Ken Kesey. (You may remember Tom Wolfe’s description of redwoods painted Day-Glo green.) Continue to Sam McDonald Park, which has lots of redwoods but not many tourists.,,5556687_12313313_12345082,00.html . Lunch at Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero, where local artichokes are the specialty. See .

    – Alternatively, you can make a full day of it by driving south down Highway 280 to visit the Stanford campus, cross over via Sand Hill Road (yes, that one) and Highway 84 to La Honda, visit Sam McD Park the same day, and back to SF up the coast.

    – If you do any hiking in coastal scrub outside the deep shade of mature redwood groves, be a little bit careful about brushing against twigs along the path. It’s early spring here, and the poison oak leaves may not be open far enough to make clear their resemblance to East Coast poison ivy.

    – If you’re on foot, here’s a good, varied afternoon walk if you have the stamina for steep hills: take BART to (seedy) 24th and Mission Station, and walk westward uphill on 24th St. until it becomes the main shopping street of (quite ritzy) Noe Valley. Get lunch or coffee on 24th. Turn northward onto Castro and walk north over the top of Liberty Hill into the famous gay Castro District. Follow Castro all the way up to Market. Note the Harvey Milk memorial plaque in the entry to the Castro District Muni Metro station. From there, you can take Muni Metro underground or an F Market historic trolley aboveground back to mid-Market (fare $1.50).

    – The Upper Haight, where Haight runs into Golden Gate Park, is the Haight-Ashbury of Summer of Love fame. Not much love there any more. Too many runaways taking too many drugs, and too many Restrooms for Customers Only signs on shop doors. It’s missable.

    – Try Memphis Minnie’s Barbecue in the Lower Haight: . If you’re on foot, any bus with a 6 or 7 in the number will get you there from Market Street.

  15. GG commented on Nov 15

    welcome to wow gold—-buy wow gold sell wow gold we guarantee the lower wow gold price in the market, please contact with our live support for further details.lowest price, live customers support, flexible payment methods and instant wow gold delivery are the reasons that make us different from others.

  16. 上海翻译公司 commented on Aug 16

    Is Alfonso Soriano?s continued and apparently ecstatic presence on the Washington Nationals the evidence of wise restraint or the residue of jumbled design? Is it a godsend? If not a godsend, then a curse? If not a curse, then a failed opportunity? Or, if not a failed opportunity, then a cause for admiration?

Read this next.

Posted Under