Saturday, December 31, 2011

William Blake art from The Book of Urizen

First Book of Urizen plate 21 William Blake
 William Blake etching with watercolor and ink (Tate collection).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lao Tzu on prediction

"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge." - Lao Tzu

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Friedrich Hayek on Keynes (1978 interview)

F.A. Hayek discusses John Maynard Keynes in this 1978 interview clip.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mark Cuban: How to Get Rich + Success and Motivation

You may have seen me quote Mark Cuban on Twitter the other day. This is Cuban's take on entrepreneurship in America from his, "How to Get Rich" post: 

"...The nature of our country’s business infrastructure  is that it is destined to be boom and bust. Booms are when the smart people sell. Busts are when rich people started on their path to wealth." 

Kind of applies to trading and "investing" as well, doesn't it? The smart money and experienced traders are buying or preserving their capital and looking for signs of coming strength at the trough, following a panic or bust (bear market). 

The bit players in the crowd are mostly on the sidelines, waiting for things to get exciting before they plunge in. They are driven largely by emotions and their knowledge of the market landscape is, shall we say, less than that of the experienced speculators.

When the boom is in full gear and evident to all, savvy veterans are lightening their positions and selling into a liquid marketplace that will take the inventory (stocks, etc.) off their hands. 

Novices generally buy high and sell low, losing a great deal of their money in the process, while the expert traders buy at a reasonable, or high, price and sell higher. 

This applies to business deals as well, as Mark points out in his post. But you need to put in a lot of hard work and learn your business well before you can identify the right time to invest or start building your company. 

Whatever you have set out to do, there's no quick and easy path to excellence and success. If you want to learn more about what Mark Cuban went through to get to where he is today, read his post, "Success and Motivation". I suspect there are lessons here for all of us, whether you're an artist, a writer, a trader, or an entrepreneur. 

Related articles and posts

1. Mark Cuban interview: "Buy and hold is a crock" - Finance Trends.

2. Howard Lindzon interviews Mark Cuban (StockTwits TV) - Finance Trends.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Frederic Bastiat - The Law

"The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! 

The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it." - Frederic Bastiat, The Law (e-book, English translation).

Related articles and posts

1. Biography of Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) - Mises.org.

2. The Law by Frederic Bastiat (audio book) - Free Audio. 

3. Works of Bastiat and web links - Bastiat.org.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Kyle Bass on sovereign debt crisis and gold

Hayman Capital's Kyle Bass discusses the world economy, gold, global credit growth, and debt problems in US, Japan, and Europe at the AmeriCatalyst 2011 conference. 

Here's the, "Black Swan of Cairo" piece (Nassim Taleb and M. Blyth) cited by Bass.

Hat tip: Olivier at Tischendorf Letter for highlighting this clip and the article.

And if you missed it, here's Kyle's interview on BBC Hardtalk, skillfully dodging TV sensationalism and speculator-scapegoating attacks to address the euro crisis, the developed world's sovereign debt troubles, and how he is managing risk in his portfolio and hedging against problems in Japan. 

Quoth Bass: "Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell"

In other words, the Western world must atone for its past financial profligacy. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rewards for Failure

"The United States has lost its way".

Greg Simmons at ScopeLabs riffs on the rise and fall of nations and our bailout society in this excellent six minute YouTube video

Greg hipped me to this clip after I mentioned how I had enjoyed some of his Skype interviews with Matt Davio. From the moment I saw their first taped discussion, with Greg standing there in his Black Flag t-shirt, ready to talk trading and current events off the cuff, I knew I had found someone on my wavelength. 

This clip is a must-see, plain truth indictment of our societal decline. Will America wake up from its national brain-coma in time to right itself? Watch and learn, friends...watch and learn.