The markets were slightly up in mixed trading over the week, exhibiting, to my eyes, topping behavior. I expect the markets to drop a bit early this coming week, just because they're so overbought, then likely rise at the end of the week for "triple witching day," the day when stock options, stock futures, and index options all close for the quarter. After that I expect the markets to go down because 1) nothing has changed, we should still be range-bound between about S&P 1030 and 1130 and we're very close to the top; and 2) sentiment has turned highly bullish, which is almost always a bearish indicator.
A few months ago, all eyes were on the PIIGS - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain - as they appeared to be about to crash due to excessive government debt. Then the European Bank announced their $1T bailout fund, and all was right with the world again. So, how's that going today, this trillion dollar gain of kick the can down the road? Um, well, it seems there's some potholes in that road. CDS rates, the cost of insuring the PIIGS government bonds, are raising again. Last time it was Greece and Spain leading, this time it's Portugal and Ireland. The issue of excessive government debt is by no means behind us.
In the continuing story of Bell, CA, ex-city
manager Rizzo is now found to be due a $600,000 per year retirement from nearly bankrupt Calpers. Plus cost of living increases.
Calpers is "investigating." Rizzo is 56, so the way to bet is he lives another 22 years, roughly a $16M payout at this point.
Personally, I think Rizzo should get this money: he's earned it by bringing to very public attention the corruption and unfairness
of our public employee pay / retirement system. We need a poster boy for this problem, and he's my guy.
|Rank||Name||$Billion||Country||Year||Source of money|
|20||Carlos Slim||$62||Mexico||2008||Mobil phones, Telecoms|
|17||Marshall Field||$66||USA||1906||Retail store chain Marshall Field and Co|
|16||Stephen Van Rensselaer||$69||USA||1835||Inheritance, marriage|
|15||Jay Gould||$71||USA||1890||Railroad baron and gold speculator|
|14||Henry Duke of Lancaster||$78||UK||1360||Inheritance, marriage|
|13||Frederick Weyerhaeuser||$79||USA||1910||Weyerhaeuser Company, timber|
|12||A.T. Stewart||$89||USA||1875||Retail and Wholesale Business|
|11||John of Gaunt||$101||UK||2008||Ruled England as regent to Richard II|
|10||Stephen Girard||$105||USA||1830||Shipping, banking business|
10th Earl of Arundel
|$108||UK||1370||The Earl of Arundel, Inheritance|
|8||John Jacob Astor||$121||USA||1840||Fur trading, real estate and opium|
|7||William de Warenne||$134||UK||1085||Reward for defending William the Conqueror|
|5||Alan Rufus||$149||UK||1085||Reward for defending William the Conqueror|
|4||Cornelius Vanderbilt||$185||USA||1870||Railroads, shipping|
|3||William The Conqueror||$209||UK||1085||Conquest of UK|
|2||Andrew Carnegie||$309||USA||1915||U.S. Steel|
|1||John D. Rockefeller||$336||USA||1935||Standard Oil|
I bought a new camera recently. I do this every few years, and several of my friends like me to keep them informed as I do a bunch of research first and get good prices on great cameras. I bought a Canon T1i 15mp body, $540 at Central Digital or Shop Digital. There's a Canon T1i package which includes an 18-55mm lens, but the 18-55mm lens is junk. I then bought a Sigma 17-70mm lens used on EBay, $315. New about $435. I also recommend the Tamron 17-50mm lens, about $400 new, the Canon 15-85mm lens, about $700, or the Canon 24-105mm lens, about $950. The 24-105 is the best lens in this group, but the others are quite close. My camera has my favorite features: it's a PhD ("Push Here, Dummy"), and takes great photos. Enormously better than the compact Kodak and Nikon cameras I had been using. My total price was about $860, which is about $10 less than I would have paid at Sam's club for the same camera with the junk 18-55mm lens.
|Picture with Kodak compact 10mp camera||Picture with Canon DSLR 15mp camera|