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Archive for the ‘Size: Venti’ Category

Nationalization? Maybe.

In Headlines, Size: Venti on March 2, 2009 at 3:23 am

(A brief update)

Lately, I have been lurking around just two places on the web: twitter (username: blueblooded) and Paul Kedrosky’s blog ( Twitter has unexpectedly been… entertaining. It’s perhaps one of the easiest ways of receiving various information from various people about various subjects. Not to forget it’s the quickest way to blog.  Quite a convenience for people like me who tend to be lazy bloggers most of the time.

Paul Kedrosky is a regular on CNBC. A very smart man who enthusiastically gives me and thousands more our daily dose of interesting readings. He is a research consultant for Ten Asset Management and a senior fellow at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

I’ve also been busy reviewing for the CFA (just about to move to the 5th book, just after 2 months and 3 more left for the 2 remaining books and review), but the pace at which I’m going, fast as it may be, is enough to scare me. I may be reaching the 250-hour minimum suggested review time but it doesn’t quite bode well for me that I’m finishing a book, on average, in less than 2 weeks when each should at least take three. The current book I’m on, I began reading just exactly a week ago.  And now I’m down to reviewing the last chapter and I’m ready to move on.  It’s one thing to understand the concepts, it’s another to retain them along with the eerie collection of formulae that are slapped to everyone studying for the exam. Somehow. I take comfort knowing that I did understand pretty much everything I’ve read and I have enough time to review and master everything. I hope to be very well prepared come June. Let that be my gift to myself.

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Remembering the Heroes

In Interesting, Size: Venti on January 4, 2009 at 6:51 am

As we grow up, our definition of what heroes are or who they are in our lives is modified.  Some look up to their dads, some to their partners, and some even to political and socially-figures in their countries as life heroes.  Meanwhile, there are those who take a more social definition of it and look at firefighters, at times the cops, and more importantly the soldiers fighting in wars to be members of the same group.  But have a trip down memory lane, from 10-15 years ago and none of what has been said above would apply.

As kids, our world revolved around skilled, powerful, and masked men- ginormous or regular-sized, who wore jumpsuits of different colors.  Thanks to the Japanese, we managed to find more than a simple pasttime but more reasons to shout out loud at home as our favorite characters transformed from being humans just like us.  And thanks to my friend Niq’s post on her blog about MMPR, nostalgia got me digging up the past and scouring all over the net for photos most familiar to us and would easily remind us how much we loved these shows.

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2008: The Year That Was.

In Life Matters, Size: Venti on January 3, 2009 at 9:05 am

I’m sure it’s not just me.

As I watched the millions of people in Times Square count down the remaining moments of 2008 on New Year’s Eve, I felt a sense of excitement just like they did too.  Just like I did last year. And the year before…and the year before that. It wouldn’t be insane to think that it is innate for people to feel a sense of new hope as one year draws to a close, every single year.  Whether it is with fireworks or in a bar with friends or just staying home being accompanied by Carson Daly as the world counts down with New York, we choose to be optimistic. Of course it is no guarantee that the optimism would come realized, but between being positive and negative it just makes perfect sense to choose the former.  Whatever our hopes are, we always look forward to a better year or even just a good one particularly when what we just had revolved around broken dreams, shattered hearts, and quiet and uneventful moments.  It is human nature to seek for more. More money, more friends, more luck in love; better job, better relationships, better life.  I’m sure there were so much more hopes and prayers sent out to the winds with the departing 2008.

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GM: B for Bankruptcy, not Bailout.

In Headlines, Size: Venti on November 18, 2008 at 8:42 am

This issue with General Motors has been ongoing for weeks now and seemingly the most obvious solution is similar to what banks and non-bank financial institutions received- a bailout. Today, the US Senate agreed on a $25billion loan to GM to save the company. The loudest argument against non-bailout is the spiral effect bankruptcy/failure has not only to GM but also to thousands of its suppliers who run the risk of similarly filing for bankruptcy if GM is allowed to fail. Following the huuuge job cuts pending the failure are the big sums of money that would certainly be needed to support the families of people who lose their jobs and to meet benefit obligations- health care, pensions, etc.

While I do admit and agree that GM’s, perhaps including Ford’s and Chrysler’s failures, pose some level of systemic risk, bailing them out (in the meantime) does not relieve them of the inefficiencies that currently exist in their systems. Receiving the bailout funds would only permit them to continuously fund their insanely quick cash burnout rate. For the 3rd quarter, GM used a whopping $6.9bn or $2.3bn a month while Ford reported the figure $7.2bn.

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Wines for the Holidays

In Interesting, Size: Venti on November 10, 2008 at 7:04 pm

I am not a big fan of wines but a feature on the CNBC website roused my interest and I thought I’d copy its contents here. Just for keeps.


“Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, I’m going with American wines for the most part. And even at Thanksgiving, there’s no predicting exactly what will be on the table, so we need versatile, light- to medium-textured wines that will match with the 10,000 mains and sides they’re likely to encounter.

First, a Pinot Gris from Washington State or California, like the Willamette Valley Vineyards 2007 Pinot Gris ($16). A bit tart, a bit spicy, very fruity and crisp. And then, shoot me for being predictable: Pinot Noir. Let’s pull J Vineyards & Winery 2005 Nicole’s Vineyard from Russian River Valley ($42). Again, a touch of spice – the Thanksgiving meal can be so “same-old, same-old” from year to year, you need to wake it up – but mostly great cherry fruit on the silkiest pillow imaginable.”

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The Artist

In Life Matters, Size: Venti on November 3, 2008 at 12:24 am

November 12 marks my third month of finding my luck in landing a job in the financial industry. While there are million others going through the same experience as me, it’s utterly difficult to take consolation in that while I see others continuously leave their marks one firm after another. It has been more than two years since I graduated with my undergraduate degree. Since then, I’ve made a lot of decisions, which at times I doubt were the best ones I’ve made. Certainly there are perks one could take out of those experiences. I’ve also believed for some time that things happen for a reason. However, it is particularly difficult to dig deep for reasons when one deals with frustrations.

When you’re in that very moment of disappointment, of frustration, of questioning, you very well know that answers could only arrive in time. That no matter how much you seek for them, it is the unfolding of events that help you figure things out. Piece by piece, the events let you understand why so and so happened. But in the meantime, you are stuck. You could try to make sense of things but comfort is never completed unless they are matched with often unanticipated events and experiences that help you confirm your initial beliefs.

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Rally, rally, rally?

In Headlines, Size: Venti on October 30, 2008 at 11:15 pm

So what’s new in the market this week? Not much on the overall state of the economy but some can be picked up from the specifics relating to it. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve cut its rates by 50 basis points to 1%- simply what the market expected. If this was of any use, it simply prevented a bigger drop in the stock market that could have followed if the Fed refused to follow expectations. From a credit market standpoint, there’s not much to be gained from such a cut. Yes, perhaps it widens earnings potential for banks or prevents a deflationary environment. But it still does not quite solve the problem of liquidity. On the contrary, it potentially reduces it. As people find higher earnings from investing in bonds and stocks, particularly that a lot of the latter have been beaten heavily lately, they tend to move in that direction. That doesn’t include those who remain fearful, and thus keep their cash under their beds. I might be missing the point in not seeing the value of a rate cut, if any; so please let me know if I did.

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Market Trading: Currencies, ETFs, and then some.

In Headlines, Size: Venti on October 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Monday marked the 2nd time that the week began on a positive note, after last week’s record rally of 936.42. And yesterday and today also marked the 2nd time that the rallies were followed by plunges. It was another 514-point decline to the Dow, bringing the index to its 5-year low. Intraday trading even saw the Dow fall as much as 698 points just moments before the closing. Only shows you that last week’s high was indeed a simple bear rally. The bottoming is not yet over.

Everyone’s fearsome right now of the looming recession or one that’s already begun. Demand for commodities have declined, even from China, which reported a GDP growth of just 9.0, way below the 9.7 expected. And that’s a single digit growth rate for you. BHP Billiton, Australian-based steel company, reported negative outlook on the demand from China. Read the rest of this entry »

Market Watch: 10/16

In Headlines, Size: Venti on October 16, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Recently, a big range of movements on the Dow has become typical. Last week saw the Dow move within a 1200-point range after the worst week ended lower by as much as 21%. Monday’s rally was easily wiped out by the two days that followed after hedge fund redemptions, lower economic figures reported and fear continue to surround the markets.

Today was another busy day. The Dow played within an 800-point range- from being down by as much as 400 points early in the day only to rally in the last hours of trading to finally settle higher by 401 points. S&P and Nasdaq expectedly followed suit with 4.25 and 5.50 percent increase, respectively. Interestingly enough, the VIX recorded another all-time high when it peaked at 81 points before settling at 67.61. It has a lot to do with the puts and calls that are being traded, and the contracts expiring within the next few days. It’s something I still have to educate myself a lot with.

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Long (Market) Update

In On Headlines, Size: Venti on October 16, 2008 at 2:43 am

And it’s another down day today. Surprise. Monday’s big rally, rising by 936.42- the biggest ever- almost got wiped out after yesterday’s drop of 76 points and today’s tenfold drop of 733.08 to 8,577.91. NASDAQ fell by 150.48 to settle at 1,628.33 and S&P also headed south by 9% to close at 907.84. Some facts: Monday’s rally is the biggest since the spring of 33 and last week’s more than 2000 point drop was the biggest since the summer of the same year. The volatility index, VIX, which basically reflects people’s fear of the market shoots up again to 69.25 after two days of hovering under 60.

People attribute the drop to two main things: hedge fund liquidation as well as the negative retails figured taken from the Fed’s Beige Book released earlier today. In this crisis, hedge funds are some of the biggest casualties and more of them are expected to go out of business in the coming days. As investors seek to get their money back, hedge fund managers scramble to take their positions out, in effect, creating an oversold market. Monday’s historic rise, people say, is still not the beginning of another bullish market. It was simply a bear rally.

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