Friday, June 10, 2005

Wrong and Right...

I was wrong about the Euro increasing in value relative to the US$. The past two weeks have seen this currency crater. When you screw up you need to admit it and move on. However, my observations on the US stock market were dead on. However, my ideas about the US$/Euro were wrong. Reason for the screw up was easy. I relied on conventional wisdom and did not follow the EU Constitutional Debate. The French rejection of the EU Constitution has created a crisis of confidence in the Euro. I was not looking at the possibility of politics impacting the price movement. I didn’t lose any cash, because of good risk management…but still being wrong can teach you a lesson. Here is mine…Never forget that exogenous events can and do have an impact on “rational” markets.

It is a little early to see what impact their positions are going to have on the returns of hedge funds and companies like Berkshire Hathaway. Rumor has it that many hedge funds were long the Euro and if so they got shafted. Also Buffett was publicly saying he was long the Euro. If so then the oracle from Omaha made a big mistake and his profits are going to be a lot lower…

Remember a month ago when I talked about GM? Now they are laying off 25,000 workers. That is not a very good sign. Combined with their low car sales means that this cornerstone of US manufacturing is in huge trouble. Their bonds are junk and their prospects are pretty bad. Can bankruptcy be fare behind?

Middlebury Reunion

A lot has happened in the past month and I have been very busy. Classes have ended and the senior class at Vermont Commons has graduated. The good byes are tough especially considering that I have taught some of these kids for four or five years. The world keeps turning and times change.

I went to my 15th college reunion. It was fun, but a little depressing. The accomplishments of some of my classmates are quite extraordinary. I spent a fair amount of time with an Assistant Professor at Duke in the Medical School, a homebuilder and an oil executive. There were also some impressive people leading quiet high quality lives of teachers, parents and storeowners. I liked hanging out with these people the best. It was also great to see some close friends that I have not talked to in ten or fifteen years. The reunion made me realize that I am just a simple person with no real desire to be anything other then a good husband, father, teacher and friend. I’m just a simple hobbit living in the shire.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Commons Co-Article in Burlington Free Press

The Burlington Free Press published a report on the Commons Co-op Project. It was a good article and great publicity for the school and the project. This project has been taking a lot of time lately and I will soon be posting an update various activities and events that I have been participating in.