Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Old is Too Old ?

Two recent example of foolishness by elderly high public officials brings this question to mind. I postulate that age 80 is a cut-off age to avoid probable nonsense from babbling forth into public discourse.

Permit me to adduce two bright examples.

Example I. John Paul Stevens (age 86) writes an opinion that Shakespeare didn't write the plays. WSJ: Justice Stevens, who dropped out of graduate study in English to join the Navy in 1941, is an Oxfordian -- that is, he believes the works ascribed to William Shakespeare actually were written by the 17th earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. ... This puts much of the court squarely outside mainstream academic opinion, which equates denial of Shakespeare's authorship with the Flat Earth Society.

" 'Oh my,' said Coppelia Kahn, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and professor of English at Brown University, when informed of Justice Stevens's cause. 'Nobody gives any credence to these arguments,' she says. Nonetheless, since the 19th century, some have argued that only a nobleman could have produced writings so replete with intimate depictions of courtly life and exotic settings far beyond England."

Gosh, a common man couldn't read and talk to courtiers. Nor write such magnificent works. That required the nobility.

What nonsense !!! But what would I expect from one involved in saying that carbon dioxide - essential to plant life - is a pollutant. Or one who can't read the Second Amendment and understand its plain language.

Example II. Yesterday Paul Volcker (age 81) opened his mouth again. WSJ: "Mr. Volcker, who led the Fed in conquering double-digit inflation in the 1980s, questioned how the Fed can talk about both 2% inflation and price stability. 'I don't get it,' Mr. Volcker said, leading to a lively back-and-forth between the two central-bank heavyweights at a conference Saturday at Vanderbilt University." I suppose he doesn't think sub 2% core inflation rate is close enough, but wants to grind down millions of the common man to get it closer to zero.

Then on Blabbberg I heard his suggesting that Fed accountability be reviewed. Now ? Here's a guy who used his unaccountable authority to destroy millions of manufacturing jobs in the MidWest in the 1980s as he caused the dollar to soar to ridiculous levels with high interest rates. I call Paul Volcker the Neutron Bomb of central bankers. He saves the money while killing all the people. If one thinks ECB chairman Trichet is an Ostrich with his head in the sand, then Volcker is Pluto, god of the underworld far down below ground level.

The Fed under Bernanke is the only institution in DC that is working well. Maybe Volcker is opening his mouth to be in the spotlight after years in the shadows. Maybe he likes the attention Obama gave him. But he's dangerous to listen to. People I know personally heard him speak at a conference recently in NYC and told me everyone was thinking Volcker sounded completely foolish, bloviating on matters he knew nothing about.

Conclusion: The drop-off in wisdom begins at age 80. Let's make it a mandatory retirement age for public figures.


Big drop yesterday. After six weeks of green, some big, bright red days are expected. Barring bad news, I'll give the selling three days, then look for some adds.

Word of the Day

"Emend" - verb [$10]; from the card file
Emend means to remove errors or corruption.
Sentence: Excessive Congressional and "watchdog" efforts to emend the TARP appear to seriously harm its effectiveness. A similar failure due to undue focus on emending a program killed last summer's multi-billion $ mortgage relief program.

Le Mot du Jour

"Le pouvoir" - noun [sic], masculine. I am not referring the the common verb, "pouvoir".
Le pouvoir means power, ability, capacity; (Physics) power.
La Phrase: Les pouvoirs de l'État sont grandes et dangereux.
Sentence: The powers of the State are great and dangerous.


maverick said...

good post this morning Bman

Bunkerman said...


Bud said...

i 1000% agree on volcker..........he's lookin for attention

Bud said...

they better reinstate the uptick rule .......these banks begiinin to act like september 08 will be revisited

PS......for etf's too !!!!!

Bud said...

le chaussettes rouges c'est en feu !!!!!

big papi has 'le pouvoir'

Bunkerman said...

lololol ... Bud parle français !

Bud said...

le aquarium de requeins cest en feu !!!!!

suck it frosty !!

mern said...

yes interesting post, bman. probably agree on 80, especially driving or at least making them take a test once a yr after that.

i find it hard to believe the midwest would not have lost those jobs anyway, with or without volcker.

the unions, with their blasted entitlements programs, drove those jobs to mexico, asia, etc.

the standard of living in the US must drop, while the rest of the world cathces up. education is so bad in this country, who knows where to start?

i wud agree with that gore vldal dude. 1999 was the height of our society, and like the roman empire, we r simply on the decline. it will probably be long slow ride, back to the middle.

we were the big dogs for about 100 years, which in the grand scheme of things, isnt that big a deal.

Bud said...

Bman you may have to make an amendment to the drop off in wisdom 80 rule

seems like gore vidal's application for membership to that club should be approved

Bunkerman said...

it's a population distribution, Bud. Without undue complexity, the likelihood of being "wise" falls quickly around 80, give or take a few years.

Ya gotta draw the line somewhere.

Spin-em said...

....soft flazzholes all ready to raise the white flag

pusant salaud indeed

Frosty said...

gore vldal...that's your new hero...ppfftt...once brilliant indeed, reads more like a ranting old senile ego maniac now...like a trader that made it big during the shooting fish in a barrel generational bull market, that charges for advice, but has lost touch with modern markets....sad indeed that those that lack the ability to think for themselves still listen or worse pay for such nonsense.

Frosty said...

smoke coming off that fastball...can't hit what ya can't see...let me slow it down.

"Bulls don't want to miss a move higher, but they're afraid of more downside"...thx jim...bank indeed, oh man.

Bunkerman said...

Cleveland Indians comfortably in the cellar :((

maverick said...

Bman...what are your thoughts about the banks here? Making any moves? Are you a buyer sir?

Bunkerman said...

I don't have any idea about C or BAC - the dilution is worrisome and unknown.

Overall I was a buyer a lot lower, so have enough of most.

I wish I had a bit more MS, though. Have enough JPM and HBC.

Bunkerman said...

hey, what happened to the pullback? I wanted to buy some stuff lower.

Mav, I can't buy more up here without more pullback.

Bud said...

ummmmm........why you askin the Bman about banks ?? he hasn't been right about them in.....well.....about a year

refresher : american banks are a sham......their balance sheets are ahouse of cards.......

binomial indeed

Bunkerman said...

Actually I've been right about them for a few months. Got some JPM at 20, etc, MS around 17, etc.

GE at 6, etc.

Bunkerman said...

"World Bank President says dollar to remain global reserve currency "

I see he read my blog series last week.

Frosty said...

"hey, what happened to the pullback?"...hhhmmmm Bunky about to get buck fever I see...old habits die hard.

Bunkerman said...

nope ... non .. nein ... nie ... no

"no" in five languages for the frostman re bman getting buck fever.

Bud said...

buck fever ?? what's that

prolly some sort of gay fetish frosty has........ya know.....since he's a fag

Bunkerman said...

city slickers ... sheesh.

"buck fever" is a condition that causes one to jerk the trigger in anticipation when a fine multi-point buck is in one's rifle sights, hence missing the shot.

It's a also used figuratively for buying too early, jumping the gun, etc.