Mr. Sensitive

November 30, 2012

FSX Friday Tag-Team Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:20

Ooo, fiscal cliff!  No one cares.  CNBC is hoping they can get a ratings bump by hyping the cliff and the supposedly dire consequences of falling off it; they’re even running a countdown to the fiscal cliff, down to the second, even though there’s more than 30 days to go.  It sounds ridiculous and it looks as ridiculous as it sounds.  Alas for CNBC, the market’s not cooperating.  It ticks up or down slightly based on perceived political progress or lack thereof, but so far it’s just noise on top of an eerily quiet market.  The Dow and the S&P 500 finished just slightly higher for the week; the Nasdaq outperformed with a solid gain, thanks to big positive moves in bellwethers Apple, Google, Amazon, and—surprise, surprise—Facebook.

Whither Facebook, widely hailed as the most disastrous IPO in history?  At $27, FB is still trading nearly 30% below its IPO price of $38, but it’s also now comfortably above the September low of $17.55.  The stock is up 40% just since November 9th; maybe Zucky’s a Democrat.  If we’re still saying this was the worst IPO ever, it has to be for reasons other than market performance.  At its lowest levels of the year, FB traded 54% below its IPO price.  How about other social media IPOs?

LinkedIn is the great success story of the group, at least from a market performance standpoint.  LNKD priced at $45, doubled on the first day of trading, and at $106 today, is up more than 130% from its IPO price.  Don’t take this as an endorsement, though; LNKD trades at 687 times earnings, compared to 15-16x for the average stock.  In comparison, you can buy Google for 21 times earnings, Apple for 14x, Cisco for 12x, and Intel for 8x.  Can LinkedIn grow faster than Cisco and Intel?  Probably.  Can it grow faster than Apple and Google?  I certainly don’t think so.

As for the other big social media IPOs?  Yikes.

Pandora’s been a bigger bust than Facebook, although not dramatically so.  P priced at $16 and while its low of $7.30 equates to the same 54% drop FB experienced, it hasn’t come back nearly as far.  At $8.60, P is just 18% off its lows and 46% below the initial offering price.

Then there’s ZyngaZNGA priced at $10 and is trading at $2.45, only slightly off its low of $2.09 and more than 75% below the IPO price.

But at least Zynga’s not Groupon.  Remember when Google offered to pay $6 billion for Groupon two years ago?  Probably you don’t, but it happened.  Groupon’s board said no thanks, opting instead to go public.  At the IPO price of $20, the company was valued at more than $12 billion, and Google’s offer looked silly.  As late as February of this year, GRPN was trading above $25, giving at a market cap of more than $16 billion and making the Google bid appear downright insulting.  Now GRPN is a $4 stock…and that’s only because vulture funds began circling it when it fell to $2.60 earlier this month.  This two-week run-up in the stock has cut IPO investor losses to just(!) 80%.  The market now values the company that scoffed at a $6 billion offer at just $2.7 billion.  And I don’t think it’s worth even that.

So Facebook isn’t the worst.  It’s just plain bad.

Even if the market failed to inspire, the Family Stock Index put on a show this week, adding 2.2% to close at 13,210.  Advancers led decliners 18-7, but even that’s deceptive; two of the declining stocks were lower a measly penny, and the biggest percentage drop among the seven was just 1.3%.  At this level, the FSX is back to even for Q4 and up 19% for 2012, substantially beating the major averages over both periods.  And as a special treat to celebrate, I’m turning the A/D section over to Katie.  You’re all welcome.


  • Wilson (WILC) +18%.  This picture of Randy we saw this week reminded us that Wilson’s really not very fat.


(Mr. Sensitive says: Image courtesy of Charlotte; my clothes courtesy of Mom’s future wardrobe.)

  • Ruby (RJET) +9%.  Finished editing her catalog that she hates at work this week.
  • Marcus (MCS) +6.3%.  Feeling better, I think, according to Jodi Ann. Maybe he knows I’m going to email him. Oh, and not as much Christmas drama this year either (according to me).
  • Mario the Elder (MGEE) +3.5%.  It’s still pretty warm in Hilton Head while it’s freezing everywhere else. Jenny would probably be up a lot if she didn’t have to deal with cold mornings.
  • Winston (ED) +3.1%.  Excited about his upcoming visit to the La Quinta!
  • Nicole E. (NICE) +3.0%.  Excited about her upcoming visit to our home! Or about a few days without Justin when he’s down here next week.
  • Lee (MSTR) +2.5%.  Because you loooooove me. And because you made it through the What a Mess chapter finally.  And because Jenny and I have been more pleasant to be around the last couple mornings.  (Mr. Sensitive says: What A Mess was my judgmental parenthetical title for Chapter 18 in the first draft.  That chapter was crap and total garbage; I’m not sure what I was trying to do, but I’m sure I shouldn’t have done what I did.  I had to rewrite the whole thing; it’s still crap, but it’s not total garbage.)
  • Brinkley (BCO) +2.3%.  He’s getting so much bonus time lying with his parents while we try to figure out how to make him sleep.
  • Reagan (REGN) +0.3%.  Spelling bee’s coming up and she’s got the words – this is her time. Let’s hope it’s goes better than the science fair project so far.  (Mr. Sensitive says: REGN sold off in the afternoon after Katie wrote her blurb, but she still deserves a mention for making yet another new high at $188.95 yesterday).


  • Mario TY (WMAR) -0.7%.  Because he apparently can’t beat Tara this year.
  • Justin (SCI) -0.8%.  Because he’s not excited about seeing us twice in one month? How could that be?
  • Lucas (LEI) -1.3%.  Middle school. Apparently it’s contagious (see Jenny’s recent grades and behavior).


Name Ticker 11/30/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $27.46 +0.63
Charlotte ICE $132.15 +0.96
Dustin DST $57.64 +0.68
Ghost Marisa MOLX $26.38 -0.24
Icarus FAST $41.81 +0.67
Jenny JNY $11.76 -0.01
Jodi Ann JOY $56.99 -0.14
Justin SCI $13.93 -0.11
Katie CATY $17.90 -0.01
Lee MSTR $88.49 +2.19
Lisa LNCE $24.08 +0.52
Lucas LEI $1.51 -0.02
Lulu LULU $71.72 +1.05
Marcus MCS $11.84 +0.70
Mario T.E. MGEE $50.55 +1.72
Mario T.Y. WMAR $10.34 -0.07
Namilita NL $10.70 +0.20
Nicole E. NICE $33.78 +0.98
Nicole M. COLM $57.90 +1.06
Reagan REGN $176.55 +0.47
Ruby RJET $5.81 +0.48
Wilson WILC $4.95 +0.77
Winston ED $55.79 +1.69
Zero ZIP $8.13 +0.01
Zondro ZQK $4.00 +0.16




‘Rise Above’? How About ‘Who Cares’?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:59

Boy, are those Republicans ever mad about the fiscal package Geithner delivered this week.  That’s got to be a good thing; tantrums are part of the process.  Babies don’t throw tantrums like this unless and until they know they aren’t getting what they want.  Let the discombobulated hissy fit begin!

The market gives the appearance of hanging on every word the Boehners, Cantors and Reids utter; to this point, though, the excitement in the financial media over these market moves is wildly out of proportion to their magnitude.  We’re talking about moves of 100 points or less on the Dow; that’s not even 1% with the index sitting at 13,000.  In the six weeks following the Lehman bankruptcy in September 2008, 100 points was a quiet day.  Actually, 100 points was a pipe dream; the Dow routinely rose or fell by 500 points or more, and when Congress rejected the bank bailout—remember that?—the Dow plunged 900 points in response.  The difference is that 2008 was a real crisis; this is political theater.  Can the more volatile actors force a crisis if they get carried away, letting their roles play them rather than the reverse?  Sure.  But the Republicans shifting into tantrum mode already is the surest sign yet that it won’t happen.

CNBC is having a slow-motion meltdown over this ‘fiscal cliff’ nonsense, though.  Their slogan is ‘Rise Above,’ and they’re calling for the politicians to work together.  By which they mean, now it’s time to work together because the big Republican victory didn’t pan out and Bush-era corporatist bullying is off the table.  They’ve officially turned against Warren Buffett, only the greatest value investor of the last century and a virtual market demigod.  Why?  He’s rich and he wants higher taxes for rich people.  CNBC let blithering idiot Rick Santelli target Buffett with one of his anti-everything rants, and even Cramer suggested the Oracle of Omaha might be out of touch.  That was especially disappointing because it was so baseless; Cramer interviewed a big bank CEO who claimed he was afraid for the future of racketeering  America, and the following morning Cramer argued that an East Coast bank executive has a better grasp on the state of the economy than the CEO of a $200 billion conglomerate operating in dozens of industries across the country.  Hopefully he was just sucking up so CEOs won’t stop coming on his show; that would be understandable.

I know, I know–I said I would stop listening.  It’s okay now; when the election was in doubt, the rhetoric was frightening, but now it’s just funny.

November 28, 2012

Who is Cliff, and Is He a Consenting Adult?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 14:43

This was a headline on CNBC today:

Blankfein on ‘Cliff’: ‘Everything Must Be Touched’

Just remember the old adage, Lloyd: money can’t buy you love.  And another one: no means no.

Dramatic Cats and Demon Trees

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:58

We have a situation, my little gray friend.  That tree you have there?  I want it.

Not moving, are you?  Very well.  Let me show you something, then.

What do you say to that?  Behold my massive broadside.  Clearly, you are some sort of dwarf cat, if you are a cat at all.  You must know you cannot prevent me from seizing that tree.

And still you do not move.  Are you frozen with fear?  Or is there more to this situation than I first perceived?

It’s the tree, isn’t it?  The tree has done something to you.  The tree has possessed you, my poor, tiny friend.  I’ve heard the rumors, of course; stories of demon trees, animated by the souls of murdered birds.   Only stories for half-weaned kittens…or so I thought.

I will heed your warning, dwarf cat.

The demon tree will not steal another soul this day.

Before I take my leave, allow me to honor your sacrifice as only a cat can.


November 27, 2012

Brinky Cup – Week 12

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:38

Another week means another first-place finish for Tara, allowing her to extend her lead in the overall Brinky Cup standings to 7 games.  It’s a crazy year: Ohio State goes 12-0 and doesn’t even play in a bowl game, while Buckeye Tara leaves Brinky Cup juggernaut Mario in the dust.  I don’t know what to tell you.  At 9-7, Charlotte had a disappointing above-.500 week; you can’t afford even that mild degree of success in the crawl for the Bizarro Brinky Cup, not when perennial anti-champ Ruby throws up a 4-12.  Eyes on the prize, Sis.

With five weeks to go, it’s time to think about positioning for the Brinky Bowl playoffs.  As before, the top six finishers in the Brinky Cup will qualify for the playoffs.  Tara, Mario and Justin are virtual locks; Nicole E. and yours truly are in strong positions at #4 and #5, disrespectfully.  Reagan is holding down the sixth and final playoff spot right now, six games behind #5 Nicole and three ahead of #7 Jodi Ann.  I could be wrong, but I suspect Reagan’s the one only who will be anything other than annoyed if she gets to/has to compete for the Brinky Bowl, so I’m pulling for her to hold on.  Plus, I’m her dad, so there’s that.

Games Back Week 12
Tara 11-5
Dark Mario 7 9-7
Justin 10 10-6
Dark Lee 13 8-8
Nicole E. 14 11-5
Reagan 20 9-7
Lee 20 7-9
Mario T.Y. 21 3-13
Jodi Ann 23 9-7
Nicole M. 23 8-8
Marcus 23 4-12
Brinkley 24 8-8
Jenny 25 7-9
Katie 27 6-10
Mario T.E. 27 4-12
Ruby 27 4-12
Charlotte 33 9-7

November 23, 2012

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 15:43

This was a blowout week for the stock market, any way you slice it.  The S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials each added around 3.5% to close above the psychologically-important levels of 1400 on the S&P and 13,000 on the Dow.  The Nasdaq led the way, climbing 4% behind at 8.3% rebound in shares of beaten-down bellwether Apple.  Volume was even decent, considering that the market was closed Thursday and open only a half-day today.  The market has shaken off its post-election funk in decisive fashion, and just in time for the holidays.  I give Congressional blowhard ideologues until the middle of next week to grinch it all up.

Believe it or not, this was the best week the Family Stock Index has had all year.  We finished the shortened Friday session at 12,929, up 4.5% for the week; breadth was terrific as well, with only two of the 25 index members ending the week in the red.  The FSX is still well below the October highs, as evidenced by the fact that the week’s dramatic surge produced only one new 52-week high (Reagan, duh) and two new lows.  Far be it from me to punch a gift horse in the face, or whatever.


  • Zero (ZIP) +17%.  Zero zagged again this week, easily clearing near-term resistance at $8.  He’s now positive for the fourth quarter and his year-to-date loss is back below 40%.  We’ll call this the Reagan Effect.  Zero is slated to advise on the purchase of a guitar for Reagan, thus helping to launch next year’s ascent to global superstardom that is the only possible explanation for her stock’s 2012 performance.
  • Reagan (REGN) +12%.  She’s going to be Taylor Swift without stalker-itis, Adele without the pumpkin head, Nicki Minaj without, well…everything.  There’s no other way to explain the market infatuation with Reagan that’s produced a 218% gain in her stock just this year.  All she needs is an instrument and an inspiration…
  • Jenny (JNY) +7.5%.  …so expect Reagan’s first album to be about how mean her sister is.
  • Ruby (RJET) +7.5%.  Ruby could be Reagan’s manager.  Anyone who crosses her once for damn sure won’t do it again.
  • Katie (CATY) +6.6%.  Reagan loves her Mommy.  So get ready to be in the front row at every concert, like it or not.
  • Brinkley (BCO) +5.7%.  Drums.
  • Marcus (MCS) +5.7%.  Spooky instrumentals.


  • Winston (ED) -1.6%.  Ed is having a hard time coming to terms with the Republican setbacks in this year’s election, sliding to a new low for 2012.  Four more years of Bo Obama is a bitter pill for him to swallow.
  • Lee (MSTR) -6.0%.  A fresh 52-week low; a big drop in a surging market; down now 35% for the quarter and 20% for the year.  I couldn’t argue if I was inclined to.
Name Ticker 11/23/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $26.83 +1.45
Charlotte ICE $131.19 +3.59
Dustin DST $56.96 +2.27
Ghost Marisa MOLX $26.62 +1.16
Icarus FAST $41.14 +0.14
Jenny JNY $11.77 +0.82
Jodi Ann JOY $57.13 +2.25
Justin SCI $14.04 +0.36
Katie CATY $17.91 +1.11
Lee MSTR $86.30 -5.48
Lisa LNCE $23.56 +0.55
Lucas LEI $1.53 unch
Lulu LULU $70.67 +2.65
Marcus MCS $11.14 +0.60
Mario T.E. MGEE $48.83 +0.24
Mario T.Y. WMAR $10.41 +0.41
Namilita NL $10.50 +0.40
Nicole E. NICE $32.80 +0.49
Nicole M. COLM $56.84 +2.17
Reagan REGN $176.08 +18.39
Ruby RJET $5.33 +0.37
Wilson WILC $4.18 +0.07
Winston ED $54.10 -0.88
Zero ZIP $8.12 +1.17
Zondro ZQK $3.84 +0.22

We’re Going Off The Cliff

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 10:30

Stocks rallied forcefully this week, clawing back much of the post-election swoon.  Investors are increasingly optimistic that the politicians will make a deal to avert a plunge over the fiscal cliff next year, just as I said they would once the window for political grandstanding closed.  I’ve been saying this throughout the summer and fall: the fiscal cliff is nonsense, it won’t happen, the Corporatists will come to terms with the Democrats and the Apocalypse Party will be left hoping the Mayans deliver the disaster they’re otherwise denied.  The market is coming around to that view…but now I’m not so sure.

House Speaker Boehner is acting crazy right now, and that’s a really bad sign.  First he says Obamacare is the law of the land; then he backtracks and says parts of the law need to be changed; then he backtracks even further and recommits to full repeal.  None of this backtracking is consistent with what the majority of Americans voted for two weeks ago; it’s a desperate attempt to hold the Corporatist and Apocalypse parties together in a single Republican caucus.  It won’t work, and Boehner has to know that.  Even so, it would have been fine for him to say he’s not changing his stance on Obamacare because of the election, and it would have been fine to hold yet another meaningless House vote for repeal.  But to insist now, out of the blue, that Obamacare needs to be part of the fiscal cliff negotiations is senseless.  It’s a non-starter, and Boehner knows it; the Democrats are in a stronger position now than at any point since 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, and public support for the law is trending against the Republicans.   The only reason for Boehner to float this nonsense in public is to try and hold his party together.  It won’t work.  This ugly, Rovian version of the Republican Party is done; the election proved that to those Republicans who still base any of their decisions on evidentiary proof.  The prevailing demographic and socio-economic trends are poison for the Republicans, as the party is now constituted, and at this rate they have until redistricting at the end of the decade to change course or become the Whig Party of the 21st Century.  The Corporatists have to jettison the Pockies and their hate-based social agenda, but I don’t know if they have the guts to make that decisive move and then spend the time in the electoral wilderness it would entail.  I’m afraid Boehner may believe he has to indulge the lunatics in his caucus one last time—taking us off the cliff and incurring the wrath of the American people in the process—in order to convince the rest of his Corporatist brethren that the alliance with the Pockies isn’t worth it.  The market isn’t pricing in that kind of intra-party brinksmanship; if I’m right, we’re in for an ugly December.

November 22, 2012

Wal-Mart is the Borg

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:03

The American economy has a huge problem: Americans are addicted to low prices.  We reflexively shop for the lowest price, abandoning local businesses in favor of big-box retailers; we demand that prices keep falling, without regard to the cost cuts manufacturers and retailers will have to make in order to lower those prices; we fail to make the connections between low prices and cost cuts, between cost cuts and job cuts.  If we demand that prices be as low as possible, we are effectively demanding cuts in our own wages and outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries like China and Vietnam (both Communist countries, by the way).  It’s a devil’s bargain predicated on short-term thinking.  You demand the lowest price when you’re shopping for something now, today; you don’t consider the impact that demand has on American manufacturing when everyone makes the same demand every day.  The average American doesn’t have the time or the money to deliberately reject cheap goods, but if we don’t, we will destroy our livelihoods.  If we don’t stop reflexively shopping at Wal-mart, the only jobs left will be Wal-mart jobs.

This is just one reason why Obamacare is important.  It will cause prices to rise; in some cases, businesses will absorb the costs, but in other cases they will pass it on to consumers.  Like the minimum wage, Obamacare is a necessary curb on our lust for low prices; it protects the future of the economy to an extent that is necessary but cost-prohibitive for individual consumers.  I’m not suggesting the law in its current form is perfect, and that changes won’t be necessary.  Attacks on Obamacare in principle, however, must be rejected.  The line must be drawn here.

November 20, 2012

Brinky Cup – Week 11

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:07

No update last week because the results were too boring; 8-6 was the best any of us could manage, and frankly, 8-6 doesn’t merit an update.  This week produced more differentiation, albeit with no change at the top.  Dark Me and Dark Mario put up solid Week 11 records (11-3 and 10-4, respectively), yet Tara’s not budging.  The numbers over the last five weeks are mind-boggling: 51-18 overall; one perfect week and another with just 1 loss; and most critically, not a single sub-.500 week.  Her pursuers need Tara to have a bad week, and she hasn’t.  In the crawl for the Bizarro Brinky Cup, Charlotte is blowing away the field.  Katie and Brinkley posted truly dismal 10-18 records over the last two weeks…and Charlotte still extended her lead.  This is truly a tour-de-flace performance.

Games Back Week 11 Week 10
Tara 9-5 7-7
Dark Mario 5 10-4 6-8
Justin 9 8-6 7-7
Dark Lee 10 11-3 8-6
Mario T.Y. 13 6-8 8-6
Nicole E. 14 8-6 3-11
Marcus 16 9-5 5-9
Lee 16 7-7 7-7
Reagan 18 4-10 5-9
Mario T.E. 20 6-8 4-10
Ruby 20 6-8 4-10
Nicole M. 20 4-10 7-7
Jenny 21 8-6 7-7
Jodi Ann 21 6-8 8-6
Brinkley 21 3-11 7-7
Katie 22 6-8 4-10
Charlotte 31 3-11 6-8


November 18, 2012

He Means It, Too

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:20

Quit your crying.

I’d say the big fella knows what he’s doing.  If he doesn’t want you to have a time sphere, you know he’s got a darn good reason.  He’s got an honest face.

That’s a face you make when you know what’s up.

That’s not.

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