Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clearing the sagebrush...

I've been having my doubts about the stock market.

I wonder why.

Anyway, I've been mulling over paying off the house vs. retirement; cash versus any other Wall Street mechanism.

Was listening to an interview with Michael Lewis, The Big Short, (he's been on at least three shows I watch; 60 minutes, Rachel Maddow, and Jon Stewart), and he made a distinction between the whole credit fiasco and the stock market. Bonds are the Wild West, and stocks by comparison, are more transparent and regulated.

Doesn't resolve all my worries -- another downturn in the credit default and bond market would drag everything else down too -- but my instinct is that there is still a preponderance of bearishness out there. Once I use money on the house, it's locked up. I can always make the payment later, maybe closer to summer.

Cash isn't the answer. There is virtually no way to grow the money.

My experience with investments so far (starting in March of last year) has been pretty good.

I actually am going to do what everyone says you can't do, and try to time the house payment. See if my experience with selling product over the last 30 years does me any good. There is always that moment in time with an increasing value when you have to pull the trigger. You can't wait for the peak, but it doesn't make sense to do it at the bottom either. So you try to pull it out when it's increased in value significantly -- but looks like it may still go up.

Then you let it keep going up, if it does, without regret. Because trying to guess the peak is a mug's game.


Did a driving tour of Redmond yesterday, and realized it had been a couple of years maybe since I'd really looked around. It's really built up, isn't it?

Kind of a mess, too.

I think merchants can be a bit optimistic about how long it takes for things to turn around. I spent most of the 80's waiting for downtown to start getting better, and then another half decade before it seemed all right, and another two/thirds of a decade before it became the thriving center it is now.

Redmond has those possibilities -- but it's going to take a long time.


Alice in Wonderland was a beautiful movie. There was hardly a false note in it. Terrific.

I'm surprised no one has come into the store looking to buy the original books....

We were watching the previews and I turned to Linda and said, "Kid's today don't know how good they got it...."

"Yeah, not just the kids. I can see us sitting here at 90 years old and going, "WoW!"



The Auditor: "....there is a risk the company may not be able to continue as a going concern..."

Patricia Moss: "....the auditor's assertion is a standard accounting practice..."

The FDIC: "....requiring the bank to raise it's capital levels under a consent order... To date, it has not met the order's capital requirements."

Patricia Moss: "....a private stock offering of $150 million is still planned."


Who to believe. Who to believe.

Thing is, if CACB is exposed to commercial real estate loans, their troubles may only be beginning.


So Deschutes County more or less said; "You're on your own if the state turns you down, Bend."

This comment was rather remarkable: "....a smaller expansion that likely wasn't acceptable to the City Council."

That does seem to have been the concern. Not whether it was necessary, not whether it would past muster, but only if it fit the vision of the city council, whether it was realistic or not.

Now that the economy has turned down, it would be a perfect political opportunity (and cover) to go back to the drawing board, and not stick to a plan that was grandiose even in the bubble years....

This stubbornness they've displayed over the last few years, especially in regards to Juniper Ridge, is half the problem.



Anonymous said...

"Bonds are the Wild West, and stocks by comparison, are more transparent and regulated"

So the point is that we should be in stocks?

I watched the Jon Stewart interview, and didn't see this there. Which link was it?

Duncan McGeary said...

I think it was the Rachel Maddow interview.

I know I had been more or less conflating the bond market and the stock market, so I noticed.

Not that he was recommending the stock market, just that by comparison, the stock market is much more inclusive and less opaque.

Stock market is probably also rigged for insiders, but a rising tide raising all ships....