Friday, April 9, 2010

Passing Thoughts...

It has been close to a month since I last blogged at Megatrends... I can honestly say that I missed the opportunity to unwind and analyze this little sphere of ours...

Take for instance the increased tension between the United States and Israel which was first noted during VP Biden's visit to Israel nearly one month ago. Since that time, the usual sibling type spats the countries generally have had in the past seem to be more pronounced. This is most noted by Netenyahu's snubbing of Obama's Nuclear Arms talks. We are reminded that Israel is the ONLY democracy in the Middle East (lest we call Iraq anything more than a fledgling oligarchy at this point). Iran now seems bent on quelling the pro-democracy movement within its own border by rejuvinating right-wing Islamists who need little help in vilifying the Israelis. Just the thought of this makes be want to purchase large positions in domestic oil, silver, and gold...

Healthcare has been a hot topic of conversation. Now all Americans are covered with some type of health plan... which in my humble opinion is not too different than what was going on before there was Obamacare...  think about all the stories you have heard about people who do not have health insurance, and have still gone to a hospital for treatment... Someone has been paying for them all along. Now, it appears that this whole system will be less of shadow statistic, and more above board. Who knows, maybe just maybe Obama et al. will be able to show American how this program actually saved Americans money.
Have you read your food packages lately?  I have, and I must say that I am seeing less and less of non-hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and sun flower, soy, and cotton seed oil. It has been a fact for some time that america is eating itself to death. However, factory foods have helped make this problem worse through a variety of chemically modified foods. Not only are these food by-products unhealthy, but they are also a way for food companies to maximize profits at the expense of our health.
As an educator, I am convinced that we do our children a tremendous dis-service by not teaching them some of the most critical skills to be successful in life. sure reading, writing, and aritimetic are important but I do not want to underestimate some other fundamental classes that should be taught. for instance, we should teach students how to win friends and influence people (in other words) basic social skills for getting along in the work place. Another skill I would like to see taught is manners and ettiquette. Kids have to learn these skills somewhere, and if a mounting book of evidence suggests that many of these skills are not taught at home, some reformers believe school is the perfect place. Goal setting and time management should not be forgotten. In a day and age where students are constantly being pushed toward entertainment options, it is important that students learn the basics of how to prioritize daily goals, and set long-rage plans. Last, would would be completely remiss if we did not include basics on financial literacy. I spoke with my banker the other day and she clearly believes that there is a general illiteracy when it comes to finances. She sees it in both her high school and college educated customers.

Bank Reform:  The Game is Rigged
Sure the banks have a ton of debt off their books. I would also agree that accounting standards exist in a reality that is much different than the average person's checking account. Therefore, we cannot begin to understand Wall Street profit driven schemes. Quite simply, we can choose to accept them and profit, or be very selective and profit from their fall into oblivion. Let us surely understand that the game is rigged. In his book A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, Lawrence G. McDonald suggests that Wall Street is always a few steps ahead of regulators. This too would go along with the Dick Bove's scheme that bank stocks could go up an additional 400% by 2012. While my money has bet against Wall Street in the past, it only makes sense to place bets on horses that are guaranteed winners. On the other hand, Jim Chanos would ask that investors use common sense

Stock Watch
I entered into a 9/5s C contract only to watch it fall 20% the first week. However, a bit of patience has seen the investment rise to a 33% profit. I will look to add to this position as I am certain the banks will get away with murder when it comes to any type of regulation...

I purchased silver coins the other day from a gentlemen who was looking to unload a few silver dollars. I was able to purchase these coins at a 15% discount off retail price, and within the past couple of days have seen the investment in silver bullion itself increase and additional 7%.  I will continue this new and unexplored avenue. My only regret is that I was not more aggressive on this option in the early going.

NEOP continues to bewilder me. Obamacare did put a mild crimp on this one as there is serious discussion as to the amount developmental drug companies will have to pay in taxes. Still though Lymphoseek and Rigs continue to food toward final FDA approval.

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