YOUR CHANCE TO GET QUOTED

Elizabeth Harris: ‘I am writing a piece for the New York Times on financial blogs. I’m especially interested in your interaction with your readers – do you think any of them would be willing to talk/e-mail with me about what keeps them coming back?’

☞ You never know.

FUNDAMENTALISM

Doug Jones: ‘I was involved with the Shepherding Movement eons ago. I was also involved with the Religious Right in its early days. (Have I ever changed!) The biggest argument I have against religious fundamentalism, whatever the flavor, is simple and historic. Circa 1100 A.D., the most advanced culture in the Western world was Islam. Math, medicine, science, etc., were all advanced and continuing to improve. The Greek philosophers’ writings were rescued by and copied by Islam scholars. The society was flourishing. Then the Islamic fundamentalists took power. ‘Nuff said.’

A DIFFERENT APPROACH

Ralph Sierra: ‘I was wondering when someone would ask whether Britain’s relative success with their recent bombings was due to their handling it as a civil rather than a military matter. Here it is from The Guardian.’

Almost every significant aspect of the investigation to bring the London terrorists to justice is the opposite of Bush’s “war on terrorism”. From the leading role of Scotland Yard to the close cooperation with police, the British effort is at odds with the US operation directed by the Pentagon.

Just months before the London bombings, upon visiting the Guantánamo prison, British counter-terrorism officials were startled that they did not meet with legal authorities, but only military personnel; they were also disturbed to learn that the information they gathered from the CIA was unknown to the FBI counter-terrorism team and that the British were the only channel between them. The British discovered that the New York City Police Department’s counter-terrorism unit was more synchronised with its methods and aims than the US government was.

BOREF

Matt Ball: “I know it is lightly traded and nothing is ‘logical,’ but, following Yahoo’s ticker, why would it be down 6 in one day, sans news?”

Joseph P. Sermonsky: “Please explain – on the Pink Sheets there are enormous spreads. For example, one market maker bids $14.50 and asks at the same time $55!  How can he think he gets shares for $14.50 if the customer sees that he wants to sell them for 55?”

☞ BOREF was quoted at 15 “bid,” 21 “asked” Friday afternoon.  That means the most any of the dealers was willing to pay for shares was $15, while the most any dealer was willing to part with them for was $21.  The last transaction was someone selling – perhaps someone who had bought shares at $3 and was cashing out entirely with a nice gain (or selling just enough to recoup his initial investment) – so that was the reported closing price.

If a dealer has no shares in inventory, he may ask $55 as his way of saying “sorry – look elsewhere” (rather than “go short” by selling you shares he doesn’t own).  He doesn’t actually expect anyone to pay it.

The place to watch Borealis stock is the Pink Sheets.  But the smart thing to do is NOT to watch it.  (As with so much else in life, I fail to do the smart thing.)  A year or two from now, it will either be:

  • Sort of zero – although I’d be surprised, now that its motor has pulled the jumbo jet.I doubt the market would conclude definitively after just a year or two that there is zero potential in this.  Though it’s certainly possible.
  • Sort of where it is now – if nothing much happens but an equilibrium is reached between existing investors losing patience, selling out, on the one hand, and others, newly intrigued by this bizarre story, taking a flier.
  • Much higher – if there are further positive developments.

If you bought your shares with money you can truly afford to lose without pain, hang on.  That’s what I’m doing.

If you ignored the cautions and gambled money you shouldn’t have, sell at least enough shares to get that money back.  (And give yourself a stern talking to.)

ARC

Marc Goldberger: “I’m surprised you’re forgetting about ARC.  Stock took a hit.”

☞ Oops.  Not a great suggestion on my part, down about 15%.  I’m holding mine, albeit without a great deal of enthusiasm.

NO COLUMN TUESDAY

I’m going deep into the Maine woods (well, South Waterford, “population six in the wintuh, hundred and fawtee in the summah”) and probably won’t have broadband.  You deserve a day off anyway.

 

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