Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven


Thursday, January 08, 2004  

Schadenfreude

I would glory in this secular NYT's dolt's loss of a fortune except that I know of a whole bunch of local churches here in Sacramento which fell for a pyramid scheme.

I would like to exult that Christians are "wise as serpents but gentle as doves", except that they aren't, and do the silliest things with fortunes also.

I got burned by the Tech Bubble Burst even though I was diversified, and knew the Tech bubble was a fraud. I knew very well that companies that did not actually make anything but a glorified web site would not succeed (whereas Amazon actually filled a niche with a real product).

My fault was not selling before the burst which I knew was coming, but who can time such things? Anyway, all we lost was some inflated value, and the mutual funds are now rallying and beginning a rational climb.

But this fellow: "In early 2001, Mr. Denby had a net loss of $155,000. By October 2002, his investment acumen had taken the net loss to $900,000. The idea of gambling with the Denby family money as the marriage dissolves feels a bit creepy, and it is unclear how much his wife really knew."

The market had already fallen for me before early 2001. And anyone could see it coming at that point. In fact, he had the best advice: " Not many individual investors get a private audience with the nation's chief market regulator. And in that meeting, in mid-summer 2000, Mr. Levitt tells Mr. Denby that the game is over. Like Caesar, though, he ignores the soothsayer."

Additionally, the reviewer finds this "refreshingly honest" about Denby. I don't.

". . . about his erratic state of mind. The departure of his wife of more than 20 years leaves him reeling. In the months after the breakup, he becomes addicted to Internet pornography, has an affair and fetishizes about an Audi A6. Chicks, cars, bucks. A baby boomer's midlife crisis on full display."

Finally, this: "Dishearteningly, Mr. Denby's coda--the lessons derived from his humiliating loss of friends, money and dreams--stumbles when it could soar. Toting up what caused the mania, Mr. Denby cites unquenchable greed and rank materialism, turning preacher instead of penitent. As for his own day-of-reckoning reflections, he edges up against death, morality and spirituality but ultimately retreats into boomer clich?. Love conquers all. Live life more slowly.

The humbled, slower-moving, diversified (one hopes) Mr. Denby may still have a bit of the trading jones in him. By writing about his adventure, he perhaps hopes that a few of his fellow mania-investors will buy the book and ease his losses. Would that make them suckers all over again?"





posted by Mark Butterworth | 3:46 PM |

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