Short Updates

A few items on my mind, deserving of note:

  • Goldman’s Cohen’s touting a 1050 target on the S&P.  While once a perfectly reasonably number for a bear market rally, I now almost feel compelled to load up on puts.  (And would not be particularly surprised to learn that Goldman’s trading desk was doing the same.)
  • The behavior of the administration (past and present) in strong-arming investors into making poor decisions in an attempt to continue papering over gaping wounds in the financial system.  Bernanke and Paulson’s threats to Ken Lewis of Bank of America are the largest example, though rumor has it such pressure was also applied in an attempt to avoid a Chrysler bankruptcy.
  • Also, I hear more than a few comments of the “now is the time to buy” sort.  This should also be addressed in a full post, but my position still remains that we are looking at a deflationary severe recession or depression.  In short, I expect further significant declines (30-50%) in both housing (Case-Shiller) and equity (S&P 500) indices.

Finding Faith and Common Ground….

I heard this carol on the radio the other morning, and just had to track it down. It’s going to be my favorite Yule song for quite a while, I think.

“But we love trees, we love the snow,
the friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God,
and we find magic everywhere”
. . .
So the Christians and the Pagans
sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground
the best that they were able

– Dar Williams, “The Christians and the Pagans”

Eulogy for Irwin

It was Sunday evening when I first sighted the news, and followed it as it spread from site to site, wisps of rumor coalescing into a more weighty substance. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, had died in the line of duty. Perhaps it was to be expected, that Darwin would finally catch up to him, but the shock is no less.

I see the jokes made, and the news that his zoo stayed open. I think he would have appreciated both. It is hard to describe my feelings at how the word travelled; within minutes or hours it had spread to the farthest reaches of the net. This seems a great honor, that one man so great of heart could in his life win the hearts of so many. The vacuum of his passing has left a void in the world, even as the world echoes with the remembrances of all whose lives he touched.

I hear tidings now of word and action, of the man who lived life with a boundless energy and a ready smile. I hear of the man whose life was his work, and took joy in every moment. I hear of the man who worked for his dreams, in public and in private, such that the truth within his heart was the truth reflected to the world.

To Steve Irwin, who Spoke to Animals; in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

The Seminyak

Seminyak house

As mentioned earlier, here is a more in-depth look at the Tomahouse.

In a look reminiscent of the Banyan Tree’s Floating Bedroom comes the Tomahouse. Featuring traditional Balinese design, this amazing structure can be erected in as little as four hours and disassembled in one. Conceived by Frank Thoma, these modular buildings can be extended up, down, or sideways as the terrain demands. Various insulation and structural enhancement kits allow placement in most any clime.

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