Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Sell 'em All, They Aren't Worth the Paper They're Printed On"

I've mentioned* that one of my mentors was the best trader I've ever met. Creative, intelligent, disciplined (and bankrolled).
From time to time though, he would lose his mind and run around the floor screaming
"Sell 'em all, they aren't worth the paper they're printed on".
Along those lines,
From MarketBeat:

Midday Tidbits — The Response to the Fed Response
Goldman Sachs strategists advise selling this rally, saying the Federal Reserve’s action “does nothing to attack the root cause of credit and funding risks: asset price depreciation.” The company believes housing prices will fall an additional 10% to 12%, and commercial real estate prices will fall an additional 15% to 20%.

*Can you trust the First Bank of Nigeria?

...One of my mentors, and one of the sharpest traders I ever met, had the most common flaw of students of markets, hubris. In his case it was non-fatal, more of a cost of doing business:

1) He had somehow ended up with some of the
Boston Chicken-Einstein/Noah bagel bonds. We know how that worked out:
...Short-sellers got teary-eyed this week following word that old faithful Boston Chicken (Nasdaq: BOST) finally bit the Chapter 11 bankruptcy dust. Though hardly unexpected, Monday's announcement dropped the stock to $0.50 a share, down an astonishing 97% from its 52-week high near $16.
Source (scroll to "A Chicken Autopsy")
He knew it was a finance scam "but the debentures paid 11%"

2) He got into a rigged blackjack game in Yugoslavia. Lost half-a-mil. Said he started to think it was was fixed when he was down a couple hundred.
Wife: "Then why the hell did you keep playing?"
Him: "I thought I could beat it".