Saturday, February 09, 2008

The markets are sloshing with red ink. Benumbed and indifferent, I shrug at whizzing bank headlines, what’s eight billion or ten, give or take a few? A great IPO fizzles out to nothingness and is withdrawn petulantly. Then, another, even the Burj builder has no takers, not at these levels. These are GOOD issues, not your fly by night z listers. I watch that kid of a day trader juggle non stop calls on his cell and blackberry, his face grimmer with every call; three years, I tell him, before it looks up again. Pity he’s never seen the way the markets were a decade ago, pity he’s never been burnt, but there’s a first time to everything, and you may as well lay back and enjoy it.

Yesterday all my silent cribbing about a train journey that took long disappeared in a whiff, when I talked to this young girl whose shift would begin at eleven in the night, selling credit cards to customers in far away lands, so as to support herself through college, a masters degree and hopefully a better life. The city does that, shuts you up and stops you short.

This is interesting for the rough edges and polishable instances, a Gatsby redux:


Because of B said...

withdrawls of the city...
just the city or the generation?

Portia said...

Everything that goes up must come down. We tend to forget that when we're on top...

The link didn't work for it new article?


the link wasn't working for myself, either!

A humbling experience to fall and then rise, but the real winners are those that stick it thru the rise and falls, that's for sure!


Loup said...

Are you using some kind of posting software?

Seeing html tags on your post.

Train journeys :).

Contrarian said...

Belly acres cracked me up.

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Anonymous said...

Hello Austere!

I'm sorry I missed the interview! Yes, I would say I myself am in a constant state of existential meltdowns and regrowth. It's kindof like forming the big island of Hawaii I suppose. :)

I too watch the markets. We try to be frugal and judicious with our money, but of course, with a new house, there are tons of things we would love to buy, right now if we could. Tired of holding furniture together with duct tape and old screws from the bottom of the tool box.


Anonymous said...

I do not understand anything of the markets. I think there are mostly ideas and promises sold, no goods and services. And most of our ideas and promises vanish or go "plopp" like a bubble from soap-water.
That young girl is working on her dream of a better life. She can doe this as long as she is healthy and young. I wish her success and the portion of luck that is needed.

Quin Browne said...

it is frightening all around, having been through it before, struggling again.

perhaps i should sell pencils on the street corners in new york, with gloves with the fingers cut out... it always looks quaint in the films.

Sathya said...

Hi Aust,

this market redness is pretty disheartening... Some how I fear that the basis for all this is greed on our sides...And every time I hear the so called words of re-assurances from FM and such - "the fundamentals are strong blah blah" - I really begin to feel we are in an over valued bubble....

And worst of all I really have begun to hate the Udayan Mukherjeees of the Biz TV segment...

I agree that market is speculation based and sometimes even R stocks can face the dredge... But I cant tolerate the flip talk by this Udayan guy... I remember him starting this year by saying glorious words about R power... and then when it lists badly... he says " I have always maintained that R power was overvalued... it doesnt hold great promise blah blah"


austere said...

b-of-b- I think generation. Some pain you learn only when you live through. No textbook can shortcut that.

portia- true-' always wanting what is not' could be from one of the nursery rhymes you sing to your sons, but true. You need a free subscription to New York Times to read that article, but you'd already have one, the slieshowd and art section is tremendous.

crusty- I sure hope so, The US situation is scary, maybe its just the bogeyman.

lopu- the html tags are all google donated, now you see them, now you don't. Strange are the ways.

contrarian- that kid was hurting bad, you think hi fi math can help him, eh?

anon- thanks but no and pls dont spam again.

proxima-It would be nice if you did read it, honest. I guess as long as you're keeping to a budget.

mago- if market players read history they'd know to recognise the signs. but we dont read and wont learn. how many repeats of the tulip bubble have to recur? How many Joe Kennedy and shoeshine boy stories do we need?
I think your good luck reached the girl. :)

quin- tday I read about the B man saying its not all ok with the US economy. I guess as long as you watch your costs you'd be fine. Not a nice time, 'maam, and then the North Illinois thing.WHY?

sathya- they are presenters. not analysts or financial ppl with their money at stake, somewhere over time you'll learn to look at a news source as a news source and keep your head down, disregard the hype. Read Peter Lynch, read Warren
Buffet (chairman's letter for BYK to begin), read Taleb. Trust your judgment.In time.

AmitL said...

Hi,Austy-a big grin at the usage of 'red ink'.:)ya,I agree,a few billion here or there,seem to have the same value for our stockmarkets,as a paltry million used to,four-five years back.

Re. the girl whose life begins at 11 at night,selling credit cards-well,I guess there's always something to be grateful about,where one's own self is concerned..only,we tend to take things for granted and continue cribbing...a post from me coming up,on that,shortly.