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What could possibly go wrong?

Trump won’t accept the election results — unless he wins. He thinks the election will be rigged — unless he wins.

Short-term this means an ugly gray (grey?) pall over the stockmarket short-term.

Long-term, no worries.


Earnings season is on us.

You can’t predict surprises. Like the Microsoft and McDonalds beats.

I’m sitting tight, gritting my teeth. Maybe some of my favorites will drop in price and I’ll pick up some on “sale.” I have some limit buys in place.

The classic cockroach stock

Now Wells Fargo is being investigated on suspicion of identity theft.

Want more? Google “Wells Fargo stole my house.” The stories are heart-rending.

All those cockroaches are not affecting the stock — yet.


I remember selling Lehman Bros short back in 2008. I’ve wanted to sell both WFC and DB short. But today is different. Here’s DB over the last three months. Weird.


 Justice David Souter’s dire warning

On September 12, 2012 — more than four years ago — Justice David Souter (who used to be on the Supreme Court) did a Q&A with New Hampshire students.


New Hampshire kids asked questions ranging from the Second Amendment to what Souter worries about at night.

In answer to that one, he spoke of pervasive civic ignorance and the structure of government.

Two -thirds of Americans don’t know we have three branches of government.

What I worry about is a remark that Benjamin Franklin that an ignorant people can never remain a free people. Democracy cannot survive too much ignorance.

Benjamin Franklin was asked on the streets of Philadelphia, “What kind of government will the constitution give us?”

Franklin’s famous answer was “a republic if you can keep it.”

Souter said, I don’t worry about losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because I think there is going to be coup by the military, as has happened in some other places.

What I’m worried about is that when problems are not addressed, people will not know who is responsible.

When the problems get bad enough as they might do, for example, with another serious terrorist attack … As they might do with another financial meltdown, some one person will come forward and say “Give me total power and I will solve this problem.”

That is how the Roman Republic fell.

Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman Senate. He became emperor because he promised he would solve problems that were not being solved.

If we know who is responsible, said Souter, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performance from those responsible.

If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls,we will not demand it and the day will come when somebody will come forward and we and the government will in effect say “Take the ball and run with it. Do what you have to do.”

That is the way democracy dies.

If something is not done to improve the level of civics knowledge that is what you should worry about at night, concluded Souter.

To watch the full video which ranges broadly and also includes a discussion the Second Amendment, click here.

Things learned:

+ Don’t ever allow them to force you into “paper-only.” Citigroup forced me to go paperless. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Yesterday I tried online to get details of my latest Citi MasterCard. Here’s their enlightened response.


I called them. On-hold. Wait. More wait. Finally, a live human being. Can you send me details? I asked. Yes. But only by mail in 7 to 10 days. You can’t do email, I asked? No we can’t do email. Can you do faxing, I asked? No we can’t do faxing. Can you do overnight delivery. No…. You get the message.

Citigroup gives bad customer service a whole new meaning.

The moral of the story: Never go paperless — no matter how much they beg you.

+ The New York Times did a piece on “Three Excellent Books About Long-term Investing.” The books are:

andrewtobias commonsenseinvesting  charlesschwab

I’d start with the Tobias book. Click here. You can read the New York Times article here.

+ If you ever need to get to the on-line version of a piece you’ve just read in a newspaper or magazine, search Google thus: Excellent Books about Long-Term Investing. 

Google does a better job searching than the publisher’s own web site. This advice applies to Bloomberg, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, etc.

+ Go through that pile of credit cards you have in your wallet. You’re paying $85 a year for the privilege of cluttering your wallet with many of them. Cancel them — if you can. You gotta call and wait interminably. Don’t sign for new credit cards. You don’t need them. You need one Visa or MasterCard and one debit card. That’s it. No more.

+ Save your work every few minutes. Or change your auto-save (if you have that feature) to one minute. Google Gmail is the best for auto-saving. It does it fast.

TV Academy offers Trump Emmy if he will quit race


LOS ANGELES (The Borowitz Report)-After learning that Donald J. Trump was still stinging from having lost an Emmy for “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences offered to give the former reality-show host a belated Emmy if he will drop out of the 2016 race.

“We never imagined that if we had simply given you an Emmy back in the day our current national nightmare might have been avoided,” a Television Academy spokesman said in an online video.

Displaying an Emmy statuette, the spokesman said, “Here’s your Emmy, Mr. Trump, all gold and shiny, just the way you like things to be.”

Reached by reporters, the spokesman said that the Academy decided to give Trump the belated Emmy because the organization felt “terrible” about the unwitting role it had played in bringing the United States to the brink of destruction.

“Historically, television has been blamed for a lot,” the spokesman said. “We wanted to show that when the very existence of the entire world is at stake, television does the right thing.”

Harry Newton, who went to his investment club meeting this week and learned (once again) the virtues of diversification. Meantime, it’s raining in New York. So much for outdoor tennis.