College Road Trip, Britney Spears, The Bernank, and Secrets of Seduction

I have not been sleeping. I think there are probably many reasons why, but I think it mostly comes down to the fact that I am in the midst of planning a plethora of college visits for Number One and I. Of course there is an element of sentimentality at work, where I am amazed that the same boy who refused to wear pants when he was three years old is now driving around, calling at everyone, “Yo Bragh”. Yes, the same boy who sat anguished in my pickup truck for two hours after a little league loss, will have to sit with me in that truck for nearly 30 hours as we head down the Eastern Seaboard in just a few weeks. Sigh.

But fear not. These will not be Harry Chapin moments. Life is too short for emotion. Why should anyone have to endure awkward touchy feely stuff when they can just as easily endure just plain awkward? I am queuing up my iPod with the right tunes, and if the air gets silent and awkward I have a list of worldly things to talk about. I give you five themes, with corresponding music, we will delve into on our journey; feel free to poach them for your parental use:

5) The Bernank, discussed to the music of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Money-printing discussed while we listen to Money. The Bernank’s effect on inflation and tuition (Fall 2012 per year figures as follows: Private Tuition at $60,000, Out-of-State State Schools at $40,000, and In-State Rutgers at $30,000). We can finally end up at the final destruction of the middle class, where Wall Street bonuses still skyrocket while the rest of America shops at Dollar Stores. We will do this of course while we listen to Us and Them.

4) World Unrest and Liberty in general, discussed to Bob Marley and the Wailer’s Songs of Freedom. Oh who are we kidding? This will also be a discussion of food inflation and the Bernank. We will get to Tim Geithner in this discussion as we hear Soul Shake Down Party, and obviously we will be talking about Quantitative Easing II as we listen to Do It Twice. We will go through Khadaffi’s 90-minute speech, given just three days ago) while listening to Simmer Down off the same song collection. We will finally get to the role of the Fed Governors in general as we wave our hands in the air to Don’t Rock The Boat.

3) Choosing Wisely. We will talk about the importance of making intelligent and appropriate choices in our daily lives. We will talk about the use of drugs, sex, and Charlie Sheen in great detail. Now I know that it is hard to find the right music for this type of discussion. This is why this theme needs to be delved into deeply, whilst we listen to the music of Keith Richards and Britney Spears. I am thinking Miss You, Shattered, and then Oops I Did It Again. Regrettably, I think at some point in this theme we need to talk about the Bernank again. I guess we will do that again to the music of Everclear, as their music is all about screwing up.

2) The Art Of Female Seduction. Number one needs to know that part of college is interacting with the ladies. This will not be an easy theme. How does one impart a lifetime of the most valuable information imaginable to someone who can never hope to aspire to that level of excellence? Sigh. In this theme we will delve into the art of the “across-the-room-keg-party-look”, and how to combine sweaty big hair with Ben Stiller’s Zoolander Blue Steel look. The iPod will be playing Starship’s We Built This City here. In addition, and this will be tough while driving, I will have to impart how to dance in a cool way, with awkward random convulsions. Of course we will be listening to The Talking Heads’s Burning Down The House. I have not decided if I want to turn the boy onto Ambrosia’s You’re The Only Woman. Some things a man must take to his grave. We will not talk about the Bernank in this theme, by the way. We will talk about Greenspan, Ayne Rand, Barbara Walters, and Andrea Mitchell.

1) Getting A Job. Unemployment. This is the reason we are spending $200,000 plus per child in the first place, after all. We will delve into this final theme just as the iPod reaches Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm (I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more) and John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero”. Unfortunately we will again have to talk about the Bernank here, and we will do so to Dire Strait’s Money For Nothing (Gotta Install Microwave Ovens, Custom Kitchen deliveries. We gotta move these refrigerators; we gotta move these color TV’s).

Five Themes. I got this down. This upcoming trip is going to go perfectly. What could go wrong?

PS, Please allow me to include Cantor’s Craig Cumming’s Thoughts this morning on several issues ranging from Joe Stack, to the Middle East; I liked the note:

Who remembers Joe Stack?  A year ago this week Joe made a long web post about how there were two sets of rules in America.  One for regular people and one for “the rich and the politicians”.  Joe listed many examples of how the US law is complicated and forces the uneducated or less wealthy to “ take it” while those who can afford to pay people to find the loopholes get out.  Some of his logic was flawed but in general his points were accurate.  He seemed to be venting sound frustrations.  Then he got up and flew his plane into an IRS building in Austin, TX.  What concerned me most about the incident is that I almost ( not totally, almost) could see his point.  Desperation is a awful predicament to be in and at some point what do you do?  Why am I telling this story this morning?  Two reasons.  I am SO pissed about this Rahm Emmanuel thing. Politicians think the law doesn’t apply to them and that’s just bullshit but the fact is, it doesn’t.   The law specifically said Emmanuel wasn’t allowed on the ballot but he swindled his was around it.  That sucks and it happens every day  in America and that pisses me off.  The other reason is what’s going on in the Middle East.  Those people LIVE desperation.  It was awful for centuries but now they can see on the internet that the “Great Satan of the USA” they were told about actually isn’t that at all.  Many of them now want what we have and you’re all watching the mayhem that generations of desperation have led up to.  My friend Jeff points out I shouldn’t be upset about this stuff in the Middle East.  We’re getting the same thing we got in Iraq but we’re getting it for free.  Maybe we should have just dropped a million IPODs on Iraq and let the people all see what the real USA was about.  The whole country would have revolted for their chance to meet Snookie.  (If you want the full Joe Stack story ask and Ill email it to you)  Tiger Woods ousted in Round 1 of the WGC by Bjorn.  The SECOND Swede in a year to throw him out.




Where we left off 4:00pm EST:

INDU                     12,105.78                                              -107.01

SPX                        1,307.40                                                -8.04

CCMP                    2,722.99                                                -33.43

Futures now at 7:00 am EST:

DJA                                        -50 

SPA                                        -16.80

NDA                                       -13.00

Key Data out today:


08:30:                    Chicago Fed

08:30:                    Initial Jobless Claims (expecting 405,000)

08:30:                    Continuing Claims (expecting 3,880,000)

08:30:                    Durable Goods Orders (+2.8% in January)

10:00:                    New Home Sales (305,000, down 7.3% MoM)


Since the prior close, some key stories:


–       Oil hits $115 in London.

–       Crude and The Economy in the WSJ: Click Here

–       Saudi Arabia says we got your oil right heahhhhhh.

–       Government Motors misses estimates.

–       RIG misses.

–       Trucking stocks signaling Recovery (Bloomberg)

–       Libya. You know. Stuff is happening there still. And no one can spell Ghadaffi.

–       Tiger Woods exits in First Round at World Match Play Golf.

–       India’s stock markets off 3% on rising inflation pressure.

–       Banks face large declines in mortgage revenues (FT)

–       AAPL MacBook Pros moving from NVDA to AMD graphics?










Significant Movers This Morning:

PPO +11%, PCLN +5.6%, XNPT +5%, LKQX +4%, RA +4%, IPI +4%, KOG +2%, DISH -10%, SLXP -20%, IDCC -8%, JACK -6%, TSCO -5%, ETFC -5%, SAFM -4%, AXTI -7%, MGA -7%