Think about this: A verb is a noun. Heavy!

Or this: The glove compartment in your car. Have you ever – has anyone in recent memory ever – used this compartment for gloves? And yet it’s unquestionably the glove compartment.

Or this: When Alan Greenspan floated that phrase ‘irrational exuberance’ in 1996, the Dow was around 6500 (today it’s 10,000) and the NASDAQ, around 1250 (today it’s 1800). Five years later, after much hard work and technological advance, levels like that may no longer be irrationally exuberant at all! (If they ever were.) We may have grown into them! But that would still leave us quite a way to go on the downside. (I’m not predicting it, just supplying a little perspective to those who assume 10,000 is the absolute floor.) In fact, if 6500 were fair value, and if markets tend to go to nutty extremes in both directions . . . well, have a nice day.

Germaine Oliver: ‘The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is just coming on board for us military folks, but no one seems to give a hoot. I’ve not seen one word of it in the military press. There are five funds you can invest in, all of which mirror some index (S&P 500, Wilshire 4500, etc, etc), so this is IMPORTANT to take advantage of!!! Please trumpet this good news to all the world! Military members can now contribute to their own retirement!!!’

☞ And, if I read the web sites right – click here or go to – TSP contributors will get the first 5% of their pay matched dollar for every dollar. You put in $500, Uncle Sam doubles it. All but irresistible. Enrollment for military personnel begins October 9. [Ah, but I don’t read the web sites correctly. Only civilian government employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System get those matching contributions. More on this tomorrow.]

Dale Stancil (re the $720 nightcap): ‘Just tell Alan and Clark to go back to Paris next year when there won’t be any more pesky francs around, only euros. (Euro currency in circulation by 1/1/02, local money withdrawn by 2/28/02, local money completely demonetized by the end of 2002).’

Tomorrow: The Safest Investment in the World


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