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Tom Armistead
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I am a retired accountant, having spent the early years of my career in the insurance industry and the later part in the field of accounting. My insurance experience has given me the willingness to accept investment risk if I feel the return justifies it; also, an interest in applying risk... More
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Tom Armistead's Instablog
  • A New Addition To The Wall Street Bestiary 4 comments
    Jun 26, 2013 10:46 AM | about stocks: DIA, SPY

    First, a definition, from Yahoo:

    Bestiary: A medieval collection of stories providing physical and allegorical descriptions of real or imaginary animals along with an interpretation of the moral significance each animal was thought to embody. A number of common misconceptions relating to natural history were preserved in these popular accounts.

    On Wall Street, there are arguably only three items in the collection: bulls, bears and pigs. According to the old aphorism, "Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered."

    Now the Fed's Fisher has added a subspecies to the bestiary. The feral hog roots around in the bond industry, interfering with the Fed's plans to direct the market in an orderly fashion to its ultimate goal of permanent prosperity. Feral hogs, at least in Texas, can be hunted from helicopters, with AK47s. Great sport.

    Now on the Appalachian Trail, they are seen as a nuisance that destroys desirable ecosystems. They are fenced out, or trapped and euthanized.

    (click to enlarge)

    I have a better idea, at least for Wall Street. These feral hogs are energetic creatures, extraordinarily greedy. Greed, as we know, is good, since it drives the perfect efficiency of the markets.

    Why not use an agricultural metaphor here? The economy and financial system can be envisioned as a field, which needs to be plowed and fertilized before it can be planted and harvested.

    Why not seed the field with some delicacy for the feral hogs, perhaps tulip bulbs? As they root around for nourishment, they will plow the field. Meanwhile, their defecations will provide nourishment for future crops, in due course.

    Some may argue that it will not work, citing Lemuel Gulliver:

    In another apartment I was highly pleased with a projector who had found a device for plowing the ground with hogs to save the charges of plows, cattle, and labor. The method is this: in an acre of ground you bury, at six inches distance and eight deep, a quantity of acorns, dates, chestnuts, and other mast or vegetables, whereof these animals are fondest; then you drive six hundred or more of them into the field, where, in a few days, they will root up the whole ground in search of their food and make it fit for sowing; at the same time manuring it with their dung: it is true, upon experiment, they found the charge and trouble very great, and they had little or no crop. However, it is not doubted that this invention may be capable of great improvement.

    I see the prospect of great improvement, in view of modern technology - computers and algorithms come to mind. There is no need to restrict them to the bond market. Set them loose on the equity markets as well. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) will soon regain its lost ground, and go on to new highs. Dow 20,000 (NYSEARCA:DIA) will be in sight. Indeed, it will be the dawn of a new era.

    Disclosure: I am long SPY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

    Additional disclosure: I'm long the S&P 500 by means of a Vanguard Index fund.

    Stocks: DIA, SPY
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Comments (4)
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  • Russell Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
    Tom, head for a doctor; you need to have your temperature taken. Funny article; hope you're having fun.
    26 Jun 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Armistead
    , contributor
    Comments (6296) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I've had people ask if they could get some of what I've been smoking...


    The answer is, I can do this stuff while drinking water pure and breathing fresh air, and without being in a fevered delirium.


    I glad you enjoyed the humor.
    26 Jun 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Freekizh
    , contributor
    Comments (174) | Send Message
    Tom you need to own up to your hog hunting, smoking and drinking habits - we will accept you for who you are, unintended seeking alpha consequences and all :)
    26 Jun 2013, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Armistead
    , contributor
    Comments (6296) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » That's reassuring, heh heh


    Most of my stuff is pretty much based on math, data, etc. In college I majored in English Lit, so there is this fondness for figurative speech and symbolic thinking, SA editors don't always appreciate it, so some of it winds up in the instablog.


    Often that's a sign of my best thinking.
    27 Jun 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
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