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Year Of The Clone

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Mark?s Market Commentary ? December 30, 2002


Anybody see that picture of Brigitte Boissellier? Anybody doubt that humans have been cloned already? With that disfigured face, there is no question that she is a clone herself. How else could a face come out so mis-shaped?


The year 2002 will turn out to be the Year of the Clone.


Al Green has been busy cloning U.S. Dollars.


Freddie Mac has been busy cloning mortgages.


Foreign banks and insurance companies, jealous of the ?foreign exotica? liquidity and profits miracle found here in the U.S., have been busy cloning the U.S. Grand Experiment in rampant speculation in various risk products.


The United Kingdom has cloned the U.S. Mortgage and Housing bubble.


The Hillbilly Credit Club has been busy cloning credit insurance derivatives and selling and swapping them amongst themselves, each Hillbilly thinking that he?s offloaded his bag of risk to someone else.


Major financial corporations have been cloning life insurance policies. First on the directors and officers. Then on their middle managers. Then on the janitors. Then on their own customers. Then on the customers? pets. Once again, financial profits created out of thin air.


Which leaves us to focus on the latest financial exotica used to pad profits, evade taxes, and make sure next quarter?s earnings ?exceed estimates?.


Today?s Wall Struck Journal reported on major corporations profiting from the sale of life insurance policies issues on its own employees.


?Life insurance morphed from a safety net for the bereaved into a strategy of corporate finance.?


Here is how the scam works. A corporation like Bank of America buys whole life policies on its employees. Its really not much of an insurance policy. Its more of an investment vehicle with a ?death benefit? attached to disguise the ?investment? as an ?insurance policy?. The company essentially is able to run a tax-free hedge fund, and borrow against the hedge fund assets with full interest deductability.


Tax-free interest loan proceeds are then parlayed into more of these ?hedge funds?, which creates more ?cheap borrowing? availability, which turns the whole thing into yet another Wall Street Ponzi Scheme.


Of course, like any pyramid scheme, greater pools of fools are required to be sucked into the vortex in order to keep the thing going.


By 1997, Bank of America exhausted all of its employees, it ?looked into taking insurance out on the lives of depositors and credit card holders. Fannie Mae proposed to insure the lives of home mortgage holders.?


Of course, the companies tried to put up a smoke screen saying that the insurance policies enable the companies to pay out employee benefits.


?Panera Bread collected $3 million from the death of its employees last year, equal to nearly a quarter of their net income. Bank of America earned $196 million in net income from the life insurance it owns on employees and ex-employees.?


The game got so juicy, even the life insurers themselves got into it.


?Prudential Insurance owns four groups of policies on workers? lives. MetLife, a big seller of corporate-owned life insurance, bought policies on its own employees. Hartford, another provider, took out an undisclosed amount of insurance on its own management this year.?


The Al Green productivity miracle and the service economy has no end.


Yet another work of genius to create paper prosperity, traded around in a circle.


A blur of trading. Another illusion of ?profits?. Something created out of nothing.




Louis Rukeyser continues to interview multiple fund managers each week. Next week, Abby Joseph Cohen is in the lineup. What happened to her 1560 target on the S & P? We?ll have her Barron?s Roundtable 2002 final results posted here after the close tomorrow.


Each of these fund managers interviewed seem to have no clue as to which way these stocks are going. They seem to buy on ?hope? and ?strength? of the company name as opposed to relying on any type of sector analysis or technical analysis.


I think that these fund managers might as well throw darts. They are just hapless investors. None are able to beat the S & P. Even Stansky at Fidelity Magellan can?t beat it. What?s the point?


Lou is missing the boat.


The market today is being run by the Matrix Program Robots, HedgeHogs, and X-Box Gamers, not the mutual fund managers. With the exception of the HeatMappers over at Anus Twenty (the worst performing fund group this year) trying to ?catch up? from past mistakes, the bulk of the action is being governed by the PowerTraders.


Why not get Al Green on the show? After all, he?s the Chief Market Strategist over at the Federal Reserve. Why not interview him and find out which way the market is going? Simply put, Al Green is the No. 1 technical trader of the year. Who else is able to rescue broken charts into fixed charts overnight? Who else could have engineered such a ferocious rally once 775 was broken like a match stick 15 minutes after the open?


And why not bring on the Black Boxes? The Program Robots who follow Al Green?s trades like starved Great Whites chasing the chum line?


And what about some of the Automatic Trading Vehicles advertised so prominently each day in Riverboaters? Business Daily?


I can see it now.


Rukeyser easing out of his chair after his monologue and strolling over to the boardroom table.


And the boardroom table guests include Al Green at the head of the table, and a neat row of Black Boxes placed on the other empty chairs.


?And now, we will ask each of our guests where they think the market is headed in 2003.?




The Color Commentator was off today. So we will bring out some of his rants from last summer regarding the ?v-shaped recovery? which was so widely forecasted:


?The media remains the most influential arm of the capitalist machine and it remains in grotesque denial. Best to all, fools and wise ones, no matter, the criminals who have sold the equity revolution to the public will not suffer, those buying it will suffer and those too lazy or too overwhelmed by mounds and mounds of meaningless data will be the victims. A Ponzi scheme not even Ponzi himself could have dreamed up, soon to collapse under its own fat. Who knows when but chances of it grow daily.?


?The whole thrust of C.N.B.C is to get the viewer to continually believe that there is an economic recovery well underway and merely a strange aberration between the Stock Markets failure to respond and this 'recovery'. Beware, these people are spinining, spinning, and more spinning. Have they mentioned the mark up run for the roses thru December that sent valuations back to ludicrous levels in 2 months time and made the crack Market virtually untradeable from the long side for the rest of the year? What a joke, why don't they just say "look folks this is a casino based the presumptions of Ralph Ponzi, HedgeHogs and major players are merely trading burning bags of nonrevenue earning filth here and the game is not to be caught holding the bag when the whistle gets blown" , ludicrous all of it and the Myth, the Spin is on heavier than ever, that its only a matter of time and that the Economy is in recovery.?


?U.S. economy is in bad shape. The last great spin pulled out is by Greenspan and C.N.B.C. and anal cysts who are arguing constantly that recession is over and we are headed on out into the bright light again. This is the last and the biggest, cruelest most stupid lie and fittingly it is being perpetrated by idiot economists who haven't a clue and people with a vested interest. Unemployment at a 10 yr. high, huge personal debt, credit bubble, housing bubble, USD falling and falling, gold high, and many, many huge corporations are simply and clearly going bankrupt.?


?Complacency is high at least partly because the public remains uninformed about the dire situation and that is for good reason, the consumer and the IRA holder are the last props to this dead man walking. Valuations in idiot tech stocks and all around are way too high. All this adds up to a simple equation. Coming financial disaster for many, huge disappointment and eventual surprise, we are truly in the midst of a major turning of cycles, the Bull is now being gored from all sides and eventually will be dragged out of the arena by its heels and gutted in the open street. Clearly it is to be a slow and agonizing death. I see no way around this. The public is not being warned, they are being asked to have 'faith', hang in there. Say what? Nortel closed at 1 and 1/2 or something today. Can people put 2 + 2 together??


?Layoffs at WCOM and IBM, yeah right the economy is in great shape and steaming right ahead, Cramer and Kudlow and all the rest of them work for the Hoods and Bosses, this is the bottom line, no more, no less. The great sham is still being run and after all this time. Unbelievable. Biggest swindle perhaps in history remains unreported, the theft of 5 trillion dollars from personal accounts. I wonder why Komansky picked next year to retire from MerryLynching, is that taking the money and sneaking out the back door or what? He was last seen backing up truck off waterfront along Hudson and loading gold bullion in large bars all night. Swiss labels seen on all the packaging.?


?Because the numbers are so confusing, data floods the Market weekly and obfuscation is so high, there is no way for the average investor to see that in fact INTC is headed for 10 long before its ever headed for 40. Sorry. A nest of lies and vipers. Look at its P/E, look at how its marked up by Players, they have already squeezed it dry and are either shorting it now realizing this or have long since passed the manure bag onto Joe Retail who thinks hes getting a deal. More of this, much, much more in the months to come. All the Kings Must Die, all of them, all the once proud popular Mo Mos must be pancaked. Period. End of Story. There is no recovery on and it is in the vested interest of C.N.B.C. and all the media to spout otherwise. Who owns these companies? The public? Or just more crooks dealing in back rooms? Didn't everyone beleive Nortel's recovery story last year and ORCL and TYC? How about IBM? JNPR? CIEN? And on and on. They are all hugging the Porcelain now? When will the public just boycott all this crap and do what the foreign investor is doing. Get out of U.S. Equity 'Growth'? Can someone spell J A P A N ????


?We are really now on a Japanese course to implosion. Sounded ridiculous not long ago and there were so many denials and "oh no, don't be silly, they just haven't a clue, it can't happen here" but that is where I beleive we are headed. Perhaps a 10 year downcycle with mounting disgust towards equities and loathing of all authority figures, government and financial alike. Can you imagine when they come on C,N.B.C. one day and outlaw the shorting of stocks for the public interest? Nothing is unimaginable any longer, nothing I tell you. There is never any control over a massive business cycle contraction. We have had our crazy money bull for longest term in History, we are now due our long term Bear.?


?This is the be all and the end all. People simply do not wish to acknowledge the inexorable laws of Karma. They would rather believe that Greenspan, the definitive Wizard of Oz, the impotent old man pulling levers behind the Green screen, will save them. People in emotional situations essentially behave like children. They scream and cry and plead to be saved by the Fed, by the Gov't, by some primitive notion of God as Chuck Heston with a walking cane. No where has this been more clear than in Japan a completely authoritarian society where trust has all but been vaporized in a nuclear cloud of scandal, chicanery, corporate greed and subsequent disembowelment. A primer for the good old U.S.A.? We shall see. Weeks ago before the gold rush I posted how Japanese businessmen had begun hoarding gold bars and carrying them around with them. They seem to be a pretty good leading indicator of things to come in the West, especially the more the powers that be deny it here.?


Today?s Action


I expected more of a jam job today, but it failed to materialize. The Nasdaq looked especially weak. Some key economic data will be floated tomorrow, and I suppose there is the possibility that they could be bent to the upside, which would provide a catalyst for the move.


The dollar fell again. I suppose the foreigners, who have maintained an obsession and infatuation with their version of their own ?foreign exotica? (The U.S. Dollar and its attendant Investment Grade Speculations) might be losing interest.


Gold was slammed hard today. But I?m not worried. It will be proven to be a gift to those who want the metal or its shares at lower prices. Another buying opportunity should emerge within the next couple of trading days.


Position Summary:


No changes.


We are 44% short, 24% long, 16% cash.


Half Short:


LOW at $42

INTU at $53

C at $38

TGT at $34

MBI at $50

JPM at $25

AMGN at $52


Quarter Short:


FRE at $68

CFC at $49

KBH at $49

LEN at $56

TOL at $27

BBBY at $35

COCO at $40

KSS at $66

NCEN at $28

NYT at $45

WSM at $27


Full Long:


GG at $11


Half Long:


BGO at $1.31

HL at $4.10

PAAS at $5

DROOY at $3.35

GLG at $9

MDG at $16

GSS at $1.72

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I think the Mexicans have cloned the US's trade policy officials.

I just got back from visiting my aunt and uncle in Guadalajuara.

While I was down there, I bought 2 sombreros for my sons,

and they were made in Thailand !!!!!


Here's more from not too Shabby Abbie !!!!!! :grin:



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Thanks for the idea, Mark.


Clone yourself, take out a HUGE life insurance policy on 'it'....then snuff it, collect the loot and disappear.





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Just watched Maria Barfaroma interview Robert Shiller (the author of Irrational Exuberance).


I still don't know if that woman is stupid or an evil genius.

She still doesn't understand the concept of stock ownership.


Now I'm watching Kevis Landis being interviewed on Crapvision.

What is the cutoff before the folks at Crapvision won't let you come on the show anymore?


Down 90% for the year?


Here's a chart with some of his funds 1 year performances.




How can this be the bottom when your funds are down 40% to 60% and they still want your opinion on Crapvision?

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...I still don't know if that woman is stupid or an evil genius.

Saw it too. My sentiment exactly about her. Good description. Can't tell if such intellectual talk is going over her head or she is just sluffing it off since it is too dire and not the usual happy-days nonsense she is accustomed to hearing.


Either way, classic case of bubblehead-itis.

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Surprise, surprise, surprise....




Well, I wasn't paying attention today.....


Guess where the Big Jam is occurring?


Not the Supermodels, like I thought...


Looks like the retailers caught a bid on some pretty big volume today.


If there is follow through on this group, then look out for the jam job to occur on this miserable bunch.


Probably the sector with the most of the retail short interest right now, given all the negative news out on these companies.


TGT especially had a good day with some big volume.


HD looks like a perfect bottom today. Low risk entry, stop right under today's lows.


Big reversals on JCP, ROST, S......


Guess I should close those short trades tomorrow....

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Miliken's boy Winnick is riding off into the sunset carrying his bag of money...


I especially liked this part...Winnick, who sold some $700 million in company stock over the past two years, pledged to give $25 million to cover employees who had lost money in the telecommunications company's 401(k) retirement plan.



Hey that's 3.6% and they aren't even grateful, imagine that...



What a guy

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Love the commentary and your new look :rolleyes:


Take a look at the 60 minute HUI chart. It looks like the odds

are stacked against you. I can see a right shoulder forming

and nearly a three peaks/domed house - and on this chart

there's a rising wedge which will likely break to the downside.




POG will test support @ $330-325 before it can push ahead.

Some call for a retracement to $336. Who knows how far it

will pull back before it starts looking like a viagra ad again.


Even though I said that gold is truly in a bull market I can't

help but get anxious at the technicals. Greens in the money

market account sure beats ownership of falling gold stocks.

I would expect the HUI to pull back at least 5%, maybe more.

From the neckline @ 142 to the top of the head = 7 points

7 points if we break the neckline will take us back to 135!!

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Lots of stranded longs will be left on this POS.




The Bataan Death March continues, as maggots gnaw at the bowels of the Nazty monster.




How can a bear be tired of being a bear?? The fun has just begun.


monthly banking index. Brings more foam to my mouth.


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I made a vow to myself, not to watch that soap opera ever again. What did sir arch duke of Ferdinand have to say?

i sure wish i knew. crapeuro switches suddenly and without warning between usa and euro programming, and instead of arch i was treated to a set of european closing prices and a conan o'brien ad.


anyone? bueller?


pile? fokker?

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I think bulls on the main street are getting so frustrated with the media-amplified stats - 3 down year in a row, worst December since 1931, geopolitical concerns, oil price hike/venezuela, etc. Bears got a little complacent with the somewhat surprisingly weak market in December. This might be the perfect setup for a runup when all bulls lose hope for a rally...the trigger may be a surprise ending of the oil strike in Venezuela, which could result in the s/t drop in both oil and gold prices, and surge in equities. Just my gut feeling. But I went 100% long today, and got a kick in my face when the semis took a beating - I thought they would be the first group to run up, but it was the retailers instead...Would be interesting to know whether SG loaded up today.

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Just watched Maria Barfaroma interview Robert Shiller (the author of Irrational Exuberance).


I still don't know if that woman is stupid or an evil genius.

She still doesn't understand the concept of stock ownership.


Now I'm watching Kevis Landis being interviewed on Crapvision.

What is the cutoff before the folks at Crapvision won't let you come on the show anymore?


Down 90% for the year?


Here's a chart with some of his funds 1 year performances.




How can this be the bottom when your funds are down 40% to 60% and they still want your opinion on Crapvision?

She left me absolutely stunned. It's entirely beyond me that she hasn't been fired, lynched, or both. That interview was an incredible testament to her astounding bias and incompetence. I doubt if we'll be seeing Mr. Shiller again on Poovision - no garbage from him, and Ms. Arsehasaroma failed to either gloss or confuse him.


I would have sooner entrusted my money to Ron Insane than to Landis. He sounded like he couldn't find his ass with both hands and a flashlight.

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