Not Everything is Quite as Important as You're Making it Out to Be

If our lives only involved this world of technology, then life would be a much better place. If life was as simple as simply going to Google and clicking “I feel lucky”, then we might not have the heartache that is in the world and the social media space could just get along by whispering sweet nothings to each other in 140 characters or less.

Let me say I’m really proud of Robert Scoble lately. He is the only one in the group formerly known as the Techmeme crowd who is demonstrating how much he “gets it”. The other day he broke from his normally socially interactive groove to talk about politics and he made a strong case for the abandonment from Palin-focus and instead pleading people to write about issues that are important to them.

Ironic because only days before, my friend Erin and I were talking over IM and discussing how the momentum of the race flows unequivocally toward the McCain campaign as long as the focus, positive or negative, stays on Sarah Palin. I didn’t blog it because… you know… it’s not what I write about.

But there’s a greater story here, and one that everyone needs to get. You all need to hear this loud and clear. This is September 2008. It is the boiling point of the Presidential election. Debates are a week away and we will know who our next president is in 45 days or so.

What are the political discussions on the blogosphere today?

Let’s not forget the flap last week about lipstick.

Backdrop all this by Bloody Monday on Wall Street where stocks crashed 500 points, or 4.4% on YAFIF, or Yet Another Financial Institution Failure. Actually, two YAFIFs today. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was absorbed into Bank of America as the parade of failed high level financial institutions continue behind Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Countrywide, Bear Stearns and others.

As a practical sidenote, the Great depression began as a series of double digit percentage drops on the market and the Black Monday crash of 1987 was a 22.5% decline by itself. The downturn of today may be large, but is a far cry from the entire volume of the market. Also, every system goes through a self-cleansing period where junk is cleaned out to make room for new and solid product. The market is just self-correcting at the moment and historically shows remarkable resiliance.

But my point is this: quit worrying about everyone else and worry about yourself. Take care of your families, jobs and responsibilities. Go and vote on issues, not personalities. Remember, we have to live with whoever we vote into office in November. There are much bigger things to be concerned with during this very difficult time than lipstick and moosehunting.

Stocks Surge on Red Sox Victory

Stability has returned to Wall Street after Friday’s 300 point drop. Many industry experts credited unrest in Northern Iraq, surging Oil prices and uncertainty surrounding the 20th anniversary of the Black Monday October 1987 crash where the market lost over 22% of its value in a single day. Others, however speculated that the sudden downturn was the result of uncertainty surrounding the Red Sox ability to turn the ALCS around. Down 3-2 in Game 5, the series returned to Boston. However, the damage was done on Friday causing many to question the stability of the market and the Boston Red Sox.

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Weekend trading showed an upsurge in the market however as Curt Schilling and Japanese pitching sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka, also referred to by Red Sox faithful as Dice-K, put the clampdown on the Cleveland Indians to win the American League Championship Series in dramatic fashion Sunday night. Shortly after the game was won at around midnight Boston time, the Tokyo stock exchange surged ahead on the back of their native son. American markets would soon follow.picture-5.png

Many people question the connection between professional sports and finances. Some would call it “irrational exuberance“. However, there is no doubt that with the World Series now a certainty for the Red Sox, markets have responded favorably. In 1987, the market responded negatively to the St. Louis Cardinals ending up 2 games down in the World Series to the Twins. The Market doesn’t like the Twins because it’s hard to tell what is a sell and what is a buy – they look too similar!

The World Series was won by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929 but it took 10 days before the Great Depression would begin. This has been attributed to the fact that the market didn’t comprehend that Philadelphia would lose their team to Oakland eventually in advance of the “Summer of Love” when everyone moved to California.

All in all, the market has responded admirably to the win today with Tech sector stocks leading the way. An investor was overheard saying, “We gotta love these tech stocks! All the webheads were on Twitter last night talking about the Sox! Gotta go with the winner here!”

We’ll keep following this story and let you know any further developments.