Table On-Topic Summary - 29-Sep-2002
A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 42861 to 42902

Post  42861  by  oldCADuser       OT: Well, we are back from our 6,000+ mile/18 stat

Post  42862  by  poplartree1       Reply
Thank you for your letter Saddam

We greatly appreciate your restraint in not detonating that warning shot on one of our cities. Clearly, you have our attention.

A decade ago we dusted off civilian defense plans from our long cold war with the then Soviet Union. Some people thought we were trying to take over the citizen population but it was actually to prepare for this type of situation.

We would like to advise you that we have detected already 8 of the 12 weapons and have disabled them. The ample warning you have given us has allowed us to perform a semi-orderly evacuation of several key cities. Since the first explosion, we have jammed all communications out of our continent so, don't expect to be hearing from your operatives.

Racial profiling has obviously been dispensed of by our civilian population. I regret to inform you that they sort of went on a rampage and killed anyone who even looked vaguely like they were from your "neck of the woods." There appear to be no traces of a once-thriving Muslim culture here in America and I suspect within a few months the rest of the world will be the same.

As for your plans of being remembered a 1000 years from now, please reconsider that need. We have targeted our ICBMs to destroy all Muslim cities on earth that have a population in excess of 250,000 people. These birds are armed with nuetron bombs and other enhanced devices that will allow us or our allies to occupy all Muslim territories within a reasonable time.

As for your requests, we do find that they are quite reasonable. However, we must note that we are invited guests in many of the nations you referred to. They asked us to be there to protect their regimes against people like you. We would rather not be there but, our way of life currently requires your oil.

We are working on that. We have made great progress in fuel-cell technology and as you know, are now rolling out large numbers of vehicles that don't need Arab oil.

So there you have it. While we are concerned, we faced a whole lot worse with the Soviets so, we are not afraid. Go ahead and make our day.


Clint Eastwood
Secretary of Defense
for President Hillary Clinton

Post  42863  by  drm9f       Reply
A question so that I might have more clarity on your position.

You said:
The concern for me is-
With the mis-guided energy policy of years past (pushing nukes everywhere)...

Whose policy are you speaking of, that 'pushed nukes everywhere'?

Post  42864  by  drm9f       OT: Apologies to the board for not hitting OT on m
Post  42865  by  ribit       OT TESTING DISREGARD
Post  42866  by  maniati       OT: drm9f: Nemo dat quod non habet. (eom)

Post  42867  by  jbennett53       Reply
Stockman,I just love the timing of this. Gulf of Tonkin? CIA fingerprints anywhere? How about 34 stolen incubators? Noriega's office? Did you know that David Koresh broke no laws and had less weapons per capita than the average Texan? Who cares what the truth is let's go kick some ####

Post  42868  by  lkorrow       Reply
Market Sentiment, excerpts from:

Despite Steep Fall in Stocks, Investors Remain Cheerful


Updated September 28, 2002 11:25 a.m. EDT

The Chicago Board Options Exchange market volatility index, a measure of fear, peaked at 45.38 during Tuesday's sell-off, when the Dow industrials closed below the July lows. That reading was well below the 50.48 it hit back during July's sell-off. Friday, when the Dow industrials capsized, losing nearly 300 points, the VIX only hit 43.14.

The inability to come close to last summer's reading indicates that investors have grown more comfortable with the lousy stock market.


A level above 40 used to signal sufficient fear, but given the high volatility over the past several years, a reading above 50 is swiftly becoming the new benchmark. And the VIX fell well shy of 50 during this week's sell-off.

Put/Call Ratio

At the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the ratio of equity-only puts to calls dropped to 0.67 Friday, well below its move above 1.0 in the previous week. A reading above 1.0 is considered by some to signal a good buying opportunity because there's an extreme amount of bearishness.

But again Mr. Roque [SVP, Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder Inc., NY] argues that the watershed mark -- 1.0 in this case -- is too low. And he may have a point. Despite readings above 1.0 coming into the last week, the Dow Jones industrials lost 3.6%.

"The put/call ratio is not as relevant as it has been in the past. The trend has been higher for two years," Mr. Roque says. "We don't think it necessarily represents investor fear as it once did."

Herd Mentality

The Investors Intelligence Survey, a weekly polling of investment newsletter writers, determines whether they are bullish, or bearish. The latest survey showed 42.2% bullish responses and 34.5% bearish -- underwhelming negative sentiment for anyone trying to call the market's bottom.

Source (requires subscription):,,SB1033144145256145113,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us

Post  42869  by  lkorrow       OT: Someone should send sadaman a copy of the War
Post  42870  by  StockmanI7       OT: Jbennett, timing of uranium bust

Post  42871  by  maniati       Reply
pmcw: CDDD: Ok, it looks like I have to give you that, but with an asterisk, which I will explain in a moment.

Using closing prices, I see an all-time high on Mar 2, 2000, of $61.06, and a recent low of .04. That's a drop of 99.9345%. That is the new number to beat. The intra-day number is 99.9371.

(BTW, my reason for not mentioning CDDD earlier has nothing to do with the asterisk - I simply missed your post. Sorry. Someone, who will remain nameless, decided he was above playing by the rules, so I had to do his work for him, and, in the process, I missed your CDDD post.)

The asterisk is that CDDD has not filed a quarterly report with either the SEC or the Nasdaq for either Q1 or Q2 of 2002. Frankly, I'm surprised that a stock can even trade without being current in its filings, but that's another matter. In a sense, I think one has to seriously question whether this company really does exist! Yeah, I know it does, since the stock continues to trade, but look at it this way: Based on their last filings (through 2001), their burn rate was far in excess of their assets. Granted, they claim to have downsized a lot to reduce that burn rate, but, last anyone knew, they only had $600,000 in cash, and that was 3Q's ago. Based on that alone, one would have to seriously wonder how they could continue to be in existence today, unless they received an infusion of money, which they have not. It's not clear at all how they can even continue to pay their rent, let alone salaries. Then, couple this with the fact that the filings stopped just as all this was happening, which means that, essentially, no one had heard from them in 3 quarters. It's kind of like being on the phone with someone who says he sees a tornado coming, and then the line goes dead. The relatives won't know right away, of course - until someone tells them. Maybe that's how the stock can still be trading. :-)

In their 2001 10K, they said they will continue to be unprofitable for years. I just don't see how they can make it.

Obviously, anyone could have picked a company that has gone bankrupt, and lost 100%. But, that would be too easy. The idea was to find the biggest % drop in a company that is still viable. (pmcw, I know you know this - I'm just saying it to explain my reasoning to everyone else.) But, you have managed to pick a company that, despite not technically being in bankruptcy, seems to be as close to not being viable as one can get. So, you either deserve kudos for coming within a razor's edge of the boundary of the rules, or you have gone over. Well, I have to go by the book, and say that, since the company is not actually in bankruptcy, then it qualifies. But I can understand how someone else might think it does not comply with the spirit of the game. Still, rules are rules, and your entry complies. But I reserve the right, upon further investigation, to rule that the company is "effectively" in bankruptcy, if I were to discover, for example, that the company's doors are shut, and the only thing of value is its IP.

Additional comments are welcome.

Post  42872  by  pmcw       Reply
maniati, Maybe you need two lists. One for companies that actually generated revenue (deployed and sold a product) and others who simply stole money from investors and, so far, have gotten away with it.

Over the years I've been spammed with hype about many companies. I always forward a copy to and quite frequently, I post a warning on the RB board. I can't recall a single instance when the companies involved didn't drop by at least 50% during the next three to six months. Some, like CDDD, dropped over 99%.

I've noticed a inverse correlation between the amount of crap I get from the posters on these boards and the quality of the company. The nastier they fight back, the more I dig up from SEC filings and the worse the company looks. Some boards, I'm sure, are filled with paid pumpers and, in a few cases, I've received some pretty serious threats - once from Russian email addresses.

Another sure sign for spotting losers is to see if the number of posts times $1 is greater than the company's sales. If this is the case or if the company also has an "OT" board or a "DD" board, look out - the value is most likely based on a cult attraction than it is a real business plan. Regards, pmcw

Post  42873  by  jbennett53       OT Stockman, I cannnot believe the conspiracy nuts
Post  42874  by  Decomposed       OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Sep 28, 2002

Post  42875  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Roof, the news just keeps piling up, doesn't it. That said, I told you to keep an eye on the yield curve. That will tell the story wrt interest rates. This flattening issue will force the Fed's hand. I for the life of me cannot understand why they did not ease. I mean if I see it and I'm not the brightest guy surely Sir Alan should see it. But to wait another six weeks is just foolish. Unless they did not want to step into the political process and give any ammo to the Dems. IMO, PMCW is right, whether you agree or disagree with the Republicans it is now the utmost importance they get both houses of Congress. We are going to need some help from Washington and if the Dems get both houses the market will drop another 2000 points. That is what we are now down to. Anyway, it's all bullish for gold. As I said $400 by Christmas.


Post  42876  by  maniati       Reply
pmcw: I understand your point about spam and hype, but I was happy with just one list - remember, you were the one who brought up CDDD. :-) But, I'll be happy to take it off the list if you are willing to say you don't think it's a viable company. I think INKT makes for a better front-runner, anyway, because more people have heard of it, and more people have lost money in it. CDDD is a bit obscure. But, I'm willing to be flexible. :-)

Post  42877  by  Decomposed       ot: tinljhtkh

Post  42878  by  nacl01       Reply
Listed Options question

I have a question about listed options (options traded on exchanges as opposed to those offered to employees of a company). I will explain my terms, both to educate those it might help, and to be sure that my understanding is correct.

Implied Volatility is the stock price volatility that is implied by the price of the option.
Historical Volatility is the actual volatility in the stock price over some period of time.
Bollinger Bands are plotted on stock charts to show the actual standard deviation of stock prices over a given period of time.

Whatever your strategy, the best time to sell options is when the Implied Volatility is high. The best time to buy options is when the Implied Volatility is low. Often money can be made simply because of a change in the volatility of the stock.

Question: Since the Implied Volatility is quite tedious to calculate, can Bollinger Bands be used to indicate the Historical Volatility of the stock? What period(s) would one use to calculate the BBs?

I am assuming that, over time, the Implied Volatility somewhat tracks the Historic Volatility or the Black-Scholes equation could be reduced to BS. ;-)

Any help in understanding these relationships would be appreciated,


Post  42879  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Roof/LK, RE: KRY, just a hunch but my gut is telling me we are going to have a very good week. Pace.

Post  42880  by  tinljhtkh       OT: Decomposed!
Post  42881  by  ferociousD       Not weapons, reactors for power-
Post  42882  by  Decomposed       ot: tinljhtkh,
Post  42883  by  ferociousD       OT: Polls take heavy toll
Post  42884  by  pmcw       OT: A previously over looked quote from Gordon Moo

Post  42885  by  lkorrow       Reply
Pace, sounds good to me!!! 'Spect you're right. Go Kry! :-)

Post  42886  by  pmcw       Reply
Triva Questions:

1) What does 3Com stand for?

2) Where (at what company) was Ethernet invented and who is credited with the invention?

Regards, pmcw

Post  42887  by  pmcw       Reply
nac, When I first started using options to hedge I when to the book store and started sifting through the various books on the subject. Most of those I thought good read more like a text than anything else. There were several methods offered to extrapolate volatility and I remember any exactly.

Your idea to use Bollinger bands is interesting, but I simply like to review the historic time period that equals the number of days to expiration and compare that to the volatility implied by the price. CBOE has the best Black Scholes calculator I've found and one can drive a volatility number through a "sub-calculator" that is included. Using this makes calculating the implied volatility a snap.

If you want to run some rough calculations simply pick a single stock and test a series of expiration dates against the historic volatility. I think that until you get into some distant leaps that you'll find it to be pretty true to form.

If you do decide to continue this path of reserach, please take the time to post what you learn. I feel learning how to use options can help many investors reduce risk and manage taxes with minimal impact to their potential rewards.

Regards, pmcw

Post  42888  by  pmcw       Reply
maniati, Rather than listing CDDD as the number one loser and marking it with an astrix, I think it would be more appropriate to list it in a footnote. Another way to purify the list would be to limit it to companies that sold at least $10M in products during at least one year of the contest or that the company must still be listed on one of the three major exchanges.

Bottom line: Even though the "spirt" of the contest wasn't indicated I feel INKT meets what I feel it should be.

Regards, pmcw

Post  42889  by  Decomposed       Reply

Too easy! That be Computer, Communications and Compatibility.

Ethernet is tougher. 2.94 Mbps Ethernet was a Xerox product conceived by Robert Metcalfe in 1976. The better known 10 Mbps release was a 1980 joint effort by DEC, Xerox and Intel. I have no idea who, if anyone, was the genius behind it.

Post  42890  by  Decomposed       Reply
re: ...foreclosures have climbed to all-time highs.

I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of other stories like THIS in the coming months:

More homeowners face foreclosure

Rising jobless rate seen behind trend

CHICAGO, Sept. 29 — Beth Johnson and the U.S. economy both were on a roll in 2000, when she bought her first home. A single mother, the Minnesotan managed to join the fast-swelling ranks of homeowners on her modest but steady income after drawing up what seemed like a manageable budget. What she didn’t anticipate were sudden medical bills and a shrinking economy that wrecked her financial plan and dried up the job market, resulting in several missed mortgage payments and an agonizing year on the brink of foreclosure.

“MONEY JUST GOT TIGHT,” says the 25-year-old Mankato, Minn., resident, who works in customer service at a telecommunications company. “I felt completely helpless. ... I got physically ill thinking about not having my home.”

Unexpected troubles are puncturing the American dream for increasing numbers of people nationwide.

It’s the flip side to the happy homeowner scenario: Even with mortgage rates at record lows, mortgage delinquencies are increasing and home foreclosures have climbed to all-time highs.

According to data released this month by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 0.4 percent of loans entered foreclosure in the second quarter and another 1.23 percent were still in the process — both unprecedented in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.

The biggest culprit: rising unemployment, with sinking stock portfolios, illness and easy financing all contributing.

The north-central United States, including layoff-hit manufacturing areas, topped all regions with 0.47 percent of loans entering foreclosure in the second quarter.

But the trend has left no area untouched. The South had the most mortgage problems as measured by payments 90 days or more overdue, nearly 1 percent, while Nevada, Pennsylvania and Utah were among other trouble spots.

All types of borrowers have succumbed — from six-figure earners who defaulted on $300,000 jumbo loans to middle-income couples buried in credit-card debt to first-time homebuyers taking advantage of low rates to squeeze into a house.

The mortgage group’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, says the main reason is the recession, which cost 1.8 million jobs and shrank many paychecks as overtime fell.

Also behind it is the proliferation of non-traditional loan programs that mushroomed as mortgage rates sank, enticing borrowers into taking on more debt than they could handle, often at brokers’ urging.

More liberal lending practices have helped boost U.S. home ownership to 68 percent of all households, up from 63 percent a decade ago. But experts say some of the innovative loans, including ones for 97 percent and even 125 percent of the home’s value, are showing cracks under the stress of an economic downturn.

“If Joe Sixpack can only scrape together 3 percent of the value of the home or less and has to borrow the rest, he’s got no cushion if he loses his job or gets divorced,” said James Croft, executive director of the Mortgage Asset Research Institute.

Not unlike when stocks started plummeting, the mortgage miseries have stirred panic among many distressed borrowers and prompted a sharp rise in demand for financial counseling.

“They’re scared they’re going to lose their house,” says Melinda Wright, education director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Indiana, which doubled its typical mortgage delinquency workload to 30 appointments last month. “And they’re blaming themselves. They say, ’I should have known better.”’

At “Ask Susan,” an Internet financial advice column compiled by nonprofit Money Management International, foreclosure has recently become the most frequently asked-about topic among thousands of questions received, says Kim McGrigg, who co-writes it.

A posting from a woman named Poncha begins: “I have fallen behind on the monthly house payment and the mortgage company calls me three or four times a week to ask me when I will send a payment. I want to rework the loan but they don’t care. ... HELP!!!”

Still, experts say there’s no cause for national alarm about the foreclosure trend. San Francisco-based Loan Performance, which tracks mortgage loan data monthly, says foreclosures and delinquencies may be flattening and recent loans are performing well.

But that’s scant good news for people such as Johnson, who ran into trouble making payments for her two-bedroom home after her son had ear surgery last year. She fell three or four months behind, battled to pay off other bills and finally got help from a foreclosure prevention program at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.

After taking out a second loan with deferred payments, it still took a lengthy fight with her mortgage company to get foreclosure warnings stopped.

“I had a lot of anxiety, took medication for that. You get dragged down and really depressed,” she said.

Johnson admits she wasn’t prepared for tough financial times and got caught up in the homebuying rush, but adds: “There should be something out there that says you have to have so much of a cushion before you can buy a home.”

Loretta Cardonia, 42, has been fighting to save her home in Houston since shortly after her husband was laid off last year. With debts and missed payments mounting, she borrowed from her 401(k) plan but remains four months behind. When the phone rings, she fears it’s another foreclosure warning.

“I didn’t think this was possible,” said Cardonia, a pricing manager at a grocery store. “It just takes a certain event and it seems to put you in a downward spiral.”

As she seeks help and another loan, the nightmare has taught Cardonia some lessons: Manage finances better and make mortgage payments first, even at the expense of other bills.

“I’ve learned that no matter what, I’m going to pay the house payments first,” she says. “I don’t want to lose the house.”

Post  42891  by  tinljhtkh       OT: Decomposed!

Post  42892  by  pmcw       Reply
Decomp, I think you'll find the following link of interest. It might fill in some blanks.

I'm not sure Metcalfe originated the saying, but I'm sure he would agree - "Harvard, where turkeys teach eagles to fly" They flunked his doctoral thesis on ARPNET.

Regards, pmcw

Post  42893  by  pmcw       OT: tin, Not a point of argument, just a point of

Post  42894  by  jeffbas       Reply
pmcw, I don't know enough to know how they might be related to "ETHERNET" but BBN was the pioneer in this general area (ARPANET/INTERNET) in the 1960's.

I remember, because I considered investing in the company back before they got noticed (but never did).

Post  42895  by  pmcw       Reply
Just as an example, the component cost of a cell phone is half active components and half passive components. VSH, not that the cell phone market is big for them (I don't know if it is or not) is one of the leaders in passive components. They are also one of a few leaders in power semis. I'm buying a bit more of their stock Monday for under $9. Regards, pmcw

Post  42896  by  lkorrow       Reply
pmcw, turkeys seems to fit.

Post  42897  by  Decomposed       ot: tinljhtkh,
Post  42898  by  Decomposed       ot: New contest
Post  42899  by  Decomposed       ot: Contest correction (I really should get back
Post  42900  by  pmcw       OT: Decomp, I tend to forget - do you remember whe
Post  42901  by  pmcw       OT: Decomp, Marilyn often goes to the geography qu
Post  42902  by  oldCADuser       OT: A Vacation Odyssey: