Can’t Fight This Feeling

Source: The historically bad video to REO Speedwagon’s 1985 hit power ballad “Can’

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  1. Yup - totally agree.

    What causes “us” to change? My sense is that most people don’t feel as if they can afford to actively push back. As a result, it is unlikely much will change until the costs of these transformations migrate from being abstract concerns to immediate, painful, and personal challenges.

    I wish it were otherwise, but I just don’t see the evidence. What you and Ben are doing is as close as it comes to changing that.

  2. Corzine was my personal a-ha moment. When I realized that (some people) could basically do whatever. Unless of course one is stealing food or passing counterfeit $20s or something. #bitfd

  3. Rusty, great but disturbing analysis. I would appreciate hearing more about “I don’t have any reason to think we’ve got a bubble that’s about to burst.” At what amount or duration of boundary-testing behaviors do you start to think that a burst is coming?

  4. Hi David

    My gut level feeling what has caused “us” to change is fear. Ben’s question ( paraphrased here because I probably will mess it up) “When did the future stop being a promise and become a threat” has hit home to millions… Survival to some means finding the next meal and to others it means keeping up with a debt load supporting a life-style and spending pattern. By any means possible.

    There has never been a better time to care for others and practice forgiveness. Best path out of a dark place. EP provides some light along that path,

  5. Great stuff, Rusty. I remember being in college at the same time–in this case quite literally as it seems we graduated the same year–and my experience of the dot-com bubble was from a different perspective. My father was at the time what we would call a broker (banish the word from the modern era! We are advisors, dammit!) and I watched as he was consumed by the carelessness and greed of the market implosion. Although he was not a risky investor, his clients would hound him to buy whatever the latest, hottest future bankruptcy was in the zeitgeist. It was tough on him, and it left a lasting impression on me. Even today I’m a more cautious advisor than I would have been than if I had simply breezed through that time, oblivious to what kind of real pain was being caused by rampant speculation and the amateurization of a profession. And that’s why I write this next part:

    The Chief Medical Officer of Moderna (MRNA) currently owns ZERO shares of the company’s stock. Nada. Zilch. Within months of his options vesting he simply exercises. So far he’s managed to rake in ~$74,000,000 (my estimate) by selling stock. Since April. April 2020. He doesn’t strategically sell, hunting for the right price. His sales are immediate and indiscriminant. Insider selling can mean a lot of things, as Peter Lynch said, but buying can mean only one thing. Before the $1.5b government contract was announced he sold again, netting a little under $1,000,000. Those 20,000 shares that Dr. Zaks sold probably ended up in the hands of a bunch of naive Robindhood traders who, since then, have seen the stock close well below the price Dr. Zaks got. Why would someone want to invest in a company where every single Form 4 transaction in 2020 has been a sell?

    Insiders of every questionable company ought to buy the guys who founded Robinhood a few rounds next time they’re in Menlo Park. They built the perfect machine to hoover up unwanted shares while the insiders get to walk away with piles of dumb retail money. It’s a voluntary wealth transfer the likes of which is matched only by casinos. At least with roulette you know the odds are against you.

  6. I have been following this too D_Y. I have never seen a 10b5-1 plan (never mind several for insiders at the same company) that would sell so much on so many different days of the week/month. The 10b5-1 plan also seem to absolutely nail the headlines EVERY ONE OF THEM. It’s sickening.

    Rusty, what does the change look like? I don’t know what else I can do other than voting with my wallet and whining on Twitter & ET.

  7. I wonder how WE change when there doesn’t seem like there’s anything to change TO… maybe I just haven’t found it yet; I’m looking for the community-centric Plan B. If anyone knows, please advise.

  8. Maybe, learn Esperanto?

  9. “Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.”
    – Napoleon Bonaparte

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