Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lost ... and found again

The readers of this blog, both of you, may have noticed that I've gone a few weeks since the last post.

Part of this actually is the market itself.  We noted the significance of the 200 DMA and a couple of important descending trendlines, and proposed that the market would either fail at these levels or hang on and likely push even higher.  The latter is my current view; I'll post some charts supporting this notion later tonight.

The other reason is that shortly afterwards, my position was eliminated by my employer and I was promptly laid-off, part of a large and important restructuring.  While this came as a surprise, it was precisely right for them to do -- I entirely agree with the broader effort, and I wish them well.  Nevertheless, it's never any fun to get swept up and caught out in this way, no fun at all.

the Henry Fonda, "The Grapes of Wrath"

The good news is, I found another job right away, a really good one, I might add.  It's an unusually good fit between me and my new gig, and the very first resume I sent out.  This could even be a better job than the longtime one I had had, an actual improvement in my life, a move I should have made regardless of my circumstances.  Wouldn't that be something?

And the sheer strange chance of it all!  I found a fresh job listing that they had posted to a feed they had never used before, and apparently (to my knowledge) I was the first and only one to reply to their ad.

These sorts of odd events do happen, and when they do, you should embrace them with the most ardent enthusiasm and renewed efforts.  When I first moved to the Seattle in the year 2000, it was to work for a dotcom company that by the Laws of God and of His rational capital allocation, should not have existed at all.  And yet I met my wife there, began a life with her, and had two spirited children who are now my forward links in the Great Chain of Being.

On this Easter holiday, I feel humble, and quite fortunate, and very very thankful.

Fare thee well, my friends out there in the aether.


Bryan Franco said...

Way to go CG! It is brutal out there, so I am glad you know how fortunate you are to have found something so quickly.

observer1357 said...

Hi CG,

I'm glad to know that you were able to land on your feet. Whatever the media has been saying about the economy, it is a lot worse than what is being reported right now. I know that hearing the news about being laid off must of been difficult. Considering that you have your wife and two girls to take care of, I'm glad you found a new job.

I have a question for you. Your new job does it offer better pay, easier commute, better advancement prospects or some other tangible advantage you don't mind talking about? I hope that this new position works out well for you.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, that was shortly after I commented about a couple of people I know being laid off. Congrats on finding something so quickly. I really don't understand how anyone can be a macro bull at point.

Christian Gustafson said...

Observer, it's a mix of things, and I apologize if I can't be too specific here.

I do think that the new gig will be much more focused and intense -- harder work! -- which will be good for me.

You know, the economist Ron Coase died just a couple of years ago, and I've been thinking about his famous work on the firm lately. In 1937 Coase was asking, Why do firms even have employees, instead of bidding and contracting with individuals for specific tasks? The answer was that the organization of the firm, and the existence of stable, continual employees would lower the overall transaction costs for the bits of work and make a more efficient machine.

But the question is always there, to what degree employees still make sense, which I think large firms will revisit in the coming years.

There's a copy over at Magus Books here in Seattle, so I think I'll walk over there tomorrow and pick it up, even if it is only paperback. This one deserves a re-read.

Christian Gustafson said...

Well here's an example of market failure: if you want Ron Coase in hardcover, it's going to cost you $1000.

A 1988 published University of Chicago Press title is not exactly an exotic super-rarity. Looks like the offer is $1K ... and the volume of this market? Check back in six months and these will all still be listed here.

I've seen pricing distortions on this before while looking for essay collections from Edward Shils. The pricing algos get to chatting with one another and convince themselves that some not-very-unusual title is worth $600 just because I happen to be searching for it. But the liquidity of these markets is thin thin thin ...

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that a lot of people, only seem to understand the supply part of supply and demand. If they have something that is rare, they believe it's valuable. Never mind if anyone actually wants to buy what they're selling.

Christian Gustafson said...

Here is a Google Sheets log of book prices I tracked for a while of a book I needed for my shelf, a collection of important essays by Edward Shils from 1975 called Center and Periphery.

The price bots would play with each other, little feints and dodges around some imaginary pricing level, penny differences on a $300 book, with no transactions clearing at all.

Of course, Amazon owns now, so it's possible that they are running on some "smart pricing" system, something clever under the hood.

After following this book for a while, I found a copy, hardcover with a very good DJ, for $20.

My bid met the offer, and actual commerce took place that day.

I'd track the hardcover Ron Coase book, too, if there were only a few more copies out there. He did win the Nobel Prize, after all, maybe that's the reason for this silliness.

T.Berry said...

must keep reminding yourself the stock market always comes back. there will never be just one more high :)

Christian Gustafson said...

Growth and the prosperity, Mr. Berry!

T.Berry said...

copy that cg! dont ever think we'll see another bull market any better than this one.

btw congrats on getting a new position so soon too! nice to hear.

T.Berry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.Berry said...

think my post are disappearing. if this bull market is anything like the secular bull that went from 1980 to 2000 than we have at least 10 more years to go : )

Christian Gustafson said...

Your posts are delayed, sorry.

The twit "scott" returned, so I re-enabled comment moderation. I wonder if he's still bravely holding short from ~1930 SPX.

Ugh. Hell really is other people sometimes.

T.Berry said...

i can't imagine scott would show up with the market about to hit another ath....

with no more rate hikes this year and vix still 30% above 52 week low, this rally could last a while.

very impressive close today

T.Berry said...

going out on limb, s&P doens't see < 2000 in '16

Ken Barrows said...

This stock speculation is interesting, I guess, but how about this? The 10 year UST never goes above 3% for six months. You heard me ;)

Christian Gustafson said...

36 year bond bull .. The End of it may take the dollar with it.