Henry Ford on Auto Bailouts

Henry Ford said on February 11, 1934: "Let them fail; let everybody fail! I made my fortune when I had nothing to start with, by myself and my own ideas. Let other people do the same thing. If I lose everything in the collapse of our financial structure, I will start in at the beginning and build it up again."

Was the crash manufactured?

Disclaimer, this post was sitting as a draft since November if 2008 and I just now decide to publish it (March 2009)

You are going to think I'm crazy, but something doesn't feel right about this crash. Granted, I've only lived through one crash before where my focus was on the market, but this crash feels like it has been manufactured.

The whole time, I've been running under the same rules that I did the last three years. Find a good company, predict what their business will do and use that to invest in the company or not. My friends will tell you that I have been right most of the time until this year. This year has really sucked. Every call I make on a company's performance is right, but the behavior of the stock goes the opposite direction.

I just figured that it was me until I put two and two together last night when Jim Cramer mentioned that you could tell which way the market is going by watching XOM. Previously, he had mentioned that AAPL, which is a favorite stock of mine was a "tell".

Which is what made things click for me.

I think that AAPL was a target at the start of this year by people trying to take down the stock market and bring upon a crash. I think that XOM and other Dow Oil stocks were jacked up so that they could be brought down in the same way that AAPL was - hard. By proxy, if AAPL drops 50%, the Nasdaq drops with it since it is so large a portion of that exchange. XOM and other Oils drive the Dow and much of our economy.

Think about it, have we really had a recession this whole year? Has it felt like things have been slow until the last two months? The American people have been largely oblivious until this stock market crash in October that we were in any trouble at all.

I mean sure, we are in a recession now, but without the news on CNBC and the constant battering of stocks causing people to start contracting, would we be here now? Would it be this bad?

I don't know.

The Stock Market Sucks.


All bad. No Good. Just plain sucks. I feel like a red shirt in Star Trek that can't get a break.

1929 Crash Video

I think that we are nearing a bottom to this market, but the fun never stops. Contemplate this while you enjoy a video of the crash of 1929.

Should I buy AAPL (again)

As most of you know, I'm a proud owner of Apple stock and have been for a long time. There have been a lot of times this past year where it seems that I should have sold and did not. Oh well. That is the problem with my having invested in the company and not having traded the stock.

Of course, had I just traded the stock, I would have sold during 9/11, I would have sold when Jobs had surgery and I probably would have sold at any of the times that it has lost half or almost half it's value in the last 7 years. Had I been a trader, I would have lost out on the current 1000% gain that I'm sitting on.

Would I have been smart to jump last December when the stock hit 202 intraday? Yes. But I didn't buy the company wanting to sell it. I bought it because I wanted to own it. I guess that some people probably won't understand that. There have been a dozen times in the last 7 years that I would have been right to see that would have cost me money if I took them.

So now, AAPL looks like it could test 52 week lows again during another market drop downward. I've been buying calls every time this drops, and I'll probably do so again if it drops over the next couple weeks. The calls I'm buying are at least a year out, so I'm not saying that AAPL will rocket upwards in the next couple months. But by next year at this time, unless the entire market gets halved again, you will be wishing that you picked some up here.

I do think that there will be an event at next earnings that could be profitable to the upside. I think that there are a couple things that indicate we could have a massive short squeeze if all things align just right. Apple has traditionally not had a very high percentage of shorts. But this is going up in general with the overall market problems. Take a look. Also, there is some bullish sentiment that Apple could blow out numbers again, even in the downturn. I think that these two things indicate a potential for great upside in a squeeze if enough shorts get on this bandwagon before earnings. Like lemmings, I think they will.

So what gives me confidence? Three things:

1. The first reason is contrary:
During a recession, people tend to do small things that make them feel better. Apple has this category well covered, iTunes gift cards are everywhere, iPods are cheaper and better than they have ever been, and even if you got one last year or the year before, you are feeling the need for the new one. Is your old iPod a gaming machine? Does your old iPod have apps? Face it, you feel the technolust, and everyone else does too.

2. The second reason is trend: There is a global move (finally) to mobile and hand held computing. Apple leads in laptop sales and "pwns" everyone in hand held computing.

I have been a cutting edge consumer of this trend for the last 12 years. Starting with palm pilots hooked up to Nokia cell phones with a tether and almost every iteration of Windows Mobile or other hand held since then. None of the many devices that I have owned compares to the iPhone.

The only device that seems to come close is the Android based "gPhone" but even it falls short. Feeling cheap in comparison. I managed to stop in and play with the Android phone at T-Mobile and was able to play with the MySpace App that my team designed for the first time on a live phone*.

The Android phone feels "plastic", like a toy. The screen "wiggles" when slid out and when I picked it up, I had thought that I was holding on of the fake display phones until the screen lit up.

The iPhone, and for the timid, the Touch, are the best handheld computers on the planet. The hardware is not cheap and plastic like the Google phone, the software does not feel locked down and corporate like the Blackberry. The developer market and simplicity of the app store make this a killer that everyone will adopt. The price that consumers see up front is too cheap to pass up and likely to get cheaper with new models.

3. The third reason is personal: I visited the mall yesterday at 1:00 in the afternoon to stop by the Apple store and drop off an old computer in need of repair. The mall was a grim sight. Even for a weekday, the mall was barren. It felt like a ghost town that had no ghosts. The food court had people, but it was just after lunch at 2:00 and there weren't many people there either.

But the Apple store was different.

It had so many people in it that I had to wait to get help. Every station had someone shopping or buying. There were people engaged, iPods being sold and happiness all around. It's hard to judge traffic at the Apple store, as it has always been packed, so it might have less than it did 6 months ago, but on Tuesday of this week at 2:00 in the afternoon, it seemed to be doing very well.

I didn't go into any other stores, but of the ones that I passed, about half the mall, there was little to no activity. So Apple really stood out as busy.

I think it's possible that this could be a good season.

Do I think the market or AAPL can go down?

Of course. There is the possibility that all hell has broken loose and the consumer, always slow to catch on that they should be in a recession, has finally realized it and is slowing their spending. So if you buy. Realize that things can get worse before they get better. Also realize that if hell has broken loose, we could go down another 50% and stay there of the next ten years.

I'm hoping that hell has not broken loose.

I think AAPL can hit as low as 80 under great, massive fear in the market or under any general collapse that does not decimate the market. But I think a year from now, this will be back to the 130 to 150 mark on some returned optimism in the market.

* The app is great and is better when viewed on the live phone than in the simulator. My team rocks. (We designed MySpace on the iPhone as well.)

Forclosing Hitler, are you Hitler?

Here is a litmus test for you.

Watch this video. If at any time you say "I can understand why he did that, I did that too" then this entire housing collapse if your fault and I'm pissed at you. Guess what, the rest of America and the world is also pissed at you too.

Here is a plan for those of you stuck in this situation:

1. Sell everything that you have, immediately. Go to eBay, go have a garage sale, call friends that were not as foolish and sell everything that you own. Keep anything sentimental, but lose everything else. The big screen, the expensive car, the toys, everything.

2. If you cannot pay off all your bills and debts with this cash, hide the money. Put the cash in a box in your closet. If you put it in a bank, it may be taken by the courts when you do what I'm recommending next. If you can, jusp to step five, you are not doing too badly.

3. Declare bankruptcy. I know. Not an honorable thing to do. But it will give you the chance to fight another day.

4. Get a tattoo in a place where you can read it every day, perhaps your forearm or in reverse on your chest. The tattoo should state in plain English everything that you did wrong and include at the end a promise with your signature that you should never do it again.

5. Look at that tattoo every day and live within your means for the rest of your life. (This is the most important step.)

6. If you happen to become rich or do well enough to have extra money you should pay back the debts that were forgiven during your bankruptcy. Probably you will not be able to pay back the people you directly wronged, but you can try. If you can't pay debts back directly, donate the money to a worthy charity.

I.O.U.S.A. byte sized

I found a short version of the film I.O.U.S.A., a film that Warren Buffet was involved in. I'm still looking to watch the whole thing when it comes out on my Apple TV. Have fun.

Nailing Palin

No, not Nalin' Palin, the porno. Conservatives are now nailing Palin for the negative impact that she had on the campaign.

I guess that since the Republicans lost and need someone to blame, we can start getting some honest conservative reports of this "remarkable" woman.

Watch this clip from Fox News. I think that with enough of these statements, it might be a shoe in that we'll never see Palin in an election race outside Alaska ever again.

However, I do foresee a Palin Miniseries, made for TV movie and potentially a talkshow. Of course, the aforementioned porno will probably get a lot of traction as well.

Two days into a changed world

The world changed for the better on Tuesday. It changed because a nation on the brink of becoming irrelevant decided that it would awaken a new age and let the world know that it was ready become great again.

I'm proud to be an American. Really proud.

Of course, this was not just an American event. The rest of the world joined in the celebration and that is what is really important.

The links will take you to picture galleries that really do a good job of conveying the emotion of the moment. But my favorite is this one since it makes me feel like we just entered the Matrix.

I voted today


In all seriousness. I did vote today.

Zombie Sunday - Call of Duty World at War

I didn't know about this one. All I can say is awesome. Nazi Zombies... I think I'm in heaven.

Zombie Sunday - Left 4 Dead

Another post for the zombie lovers out there. Is anyone else looking forward to "Left 4 Dead" as much as I am? Here is a teaser trailer to whet your zombie killing whistle.

Currently I'm playing through "Dead Space" on the Xbox, but it's a bit to spacey for a zombie purist.

Election Humor

Well... Sick election humor anyway.

I stumbled across a Photoshop thread with a ton of politically charged images. Some of which are pretty funny, but some are offensive no matter who you are: Democrat, Republican, Republicrat, intelligent human being, etc.

Have a laugh if you dare.

Just trying to lighten things up before the election gets stolen again.

I've pulled out a clean one for you in case you fear going further.