Email notification to Brandon Starr's blog has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol in two-toed sloths, and has been used as an effective exfoliant.
Friday, April 30, 2004
"The Onion" does it again
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Google is about to go public--that is, sell shares into the stock market.
Usually, IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) are doled out to a group of brokerage houses, which in turn sell them to their clients. Google isn't doing this. Instead, it will hold an online auction (almost certainly not on eBay) to make the shares public. Then they will trade on the open market.
The differences are:
1) Google is likely to get more money from the auction. When a "hot issue" hits the market, it almost invariably shoots up on the first day. But the company doing the IPO only gets the money from the sale by the brokerage houses to their clients. The market value rise on the first day of trading is lost to the issuing company.
2) You are much more likely to have a chance to get shares this way than the usual way--but you'll pay more. The auction means anyone who signs up will be able to bid. But the value is much lower--you're not getting a low pre-trading price, you'll be getting an already-set-by-the-market price.
3) Shares may not go up at all once the auction is complete and trading starts--especially if the price paid is already high.
4) The odds that the Google owners and vested employees will be filthy rich are higher. This could be a disincentive for them to continue working at Google, or at all.
5) Google avoids the infighting and politicking that goes with the old-fashioned method of doling out shares, where the brokerage houses all clamor for a greater portion of the IPO shares.
6) Google may not see its market price stay above auction/IPO issue price long, if at all. With a hot issue, keeping the price above the psychologically-important issue price isn't usually a problem. But if you auction it to squeeze every last dime out of the market, Google may have nowhere to go but down. Of course, Google is about as hot as they come--so it may be able to overcome this handicap.
IPOs are notoriously difficult things to invest in. Many strong people have been reduced to tears. Some see sharp early gains, followed by long, painful declines. Many studies have shown that IPOs often trade for long periods below their issue price. After all, even under the old-fashioned way the point is for the company to make as good a deal as possible with the investing public.
So don't be surprised if Google is auctioned off as one of the most richly valued newly-traded companies ever. And don't be surprised if it can't hold that level. But, on the other hand, there is an old saying: the stock market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. So I wouldn't be placing bets on the stock dropping, either. This one is going to be a tough call.
In the end, the Google founders and employees may be the only winners.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
..and yet more info on silver
Well, now the silver chart appears a lot flatter. It's still down, the same amount as the last time--around $0.50/ounce. But the steeper drop down to the low $4 level has disappeared. Hard to say what happened exactly.
Either way, silver is looking weaker in the short term. You can bet I'll be looking for a good spot to jump in if silver really takes it in the chops.
...and the silver rebound
Whew. Silver is going on a major rebound. It's still down heavily as a metal, and the stocks are still in the basement, but jeez, I'd hate to be a commodities futures guy today.
This increases the uncertainty around silver, so it'll be a while before I feel comfortable jumping back in. We'll see.
Chinese comments slam metal, coal stocks
China, whose economy has been very strong the last few years, is saying it needs to cool off its economy to prevent overheating (i.e. inflation).
Gold stocks are down about 5%. Silver, because it has industrial uses, is down more. Silver miner SSRI is down over 10%. Silver prices are down over $1 an ounce. This is a monster move.
Oh, and one minor correction. I thought I was out of silver altogether, but I forgot I had a small amount in my IRA, which I rarely check. Well, I have 10% less today. Ouch.
Not sure if it's time to get back into silver yet, but surely this is bringing the time closer. Woof.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
One more thing about the unforgivable Bush action...
Unforgivable Bush action--holy cow, I can't believe my eyes
Bush takes unsuspecting woman's blouse, cleans his glasses with it
It happened at "Late Show With David Letterman." The video is available on the link.
Really, what can you say about a guy who treats people with so little respect? He must think this woman is less than human to clean the grease off his glasses using her clothing without asking.
I am flabbergasted and disgusted.
Monday, April 26, 2004
This explains the feeling I get watching Bush stumble over a question
Research: brain response same for watching mistakes as making your own mistakes
I think we all know that feeling. When someone is trying to get the "Wheel of Fortune" puzzle with only one blank space left and can't, and you just want to reach through the screen and throttle them. Or watching a friend drop an easy catch.
Likely this response helps people come to the aid of others, increasing efficiency. Imagine if you are in a primitive tribe, and some numbskull is hunting by stepping on every dry stick in their path. If you didn't want to go over and smack them upside the head, it could jeopardize the food for your entire group. This part is, of course, speculation on my part.
This seems to be the opposite of schadenfreude, the "shameful joy" you feel when gleefully watching someone fail. Likely the difference has to do with your attitude towards the other person. If they're a rival, you'll more likely feel schadenfreude; if an ally, you're likely to feel this "argh, don't do that!" response, which doesn't have a cool name that I know of.
Of course, when I watch Bush stumble, and I feel "argh" instead of schadenfreude, it's an indication that I want him to succeed. That's not surprising, even though I differ with him on many issues. I still want a President who is competent. Too bad I feel "argh" on an almost constant basis.
I'll have to live with it. Hopefully only a few more months.