Vol. 1 No. 17…potpourri de vino

“Isn’t it funny, how time slips away?” …anyone else recall that song?

It has been a month since the last post which means ole TB is two weeks late. Kind of lazy as have been taking meds for a throat condition…and get this: looking forward (not) to a throatectomy on the 22nd – at 70! Okay, a tonsillectomy, but the result is the same: pain! (Horrible syntax in that elongated sentence, but so what?

Anyway have been reading a lot but not tasting much wine other than a Basque Txocolina (pronounced Chock-o-li) on the 4th.

So here are some of the items you might have missed:

*Temperatures in the Willamette Valley have been as high as 99 degrees! Columbia River area of Washington too. This is especially bad news, not for this year but future years if they don’t get a big El Nino next year (one is predicted but this years was a weak one thus not helping the drought. Also some unseasonal rains and even snow in Northern California. This could be more problematic than helpful. Repeat after me: there is NO climate change!

*Some years ago TB heard of a recovery of a cargo of champagne from a sunken ship in the Baltic Sea off Finland (2010). Then nothing more. One had to wonder if it was still good after being at the bottom of the ocean. An article in the Los Angeles Times did a follow up. There were 168 bottles of champagne, and it was originally assumed it was headed for Russia aboard, and the wine (which had lost its labels of course) was probably over 100 years old. Oddly enough they tasted it and it was still good. A caveat here: they liked it sweeter then – much sweeteer. This is where it gets interesting: they were able to do extensive chemical analysis on the wine which had been resting at about 38 degrees Fahrenheit. It showed high sugar levels of 150 grams per liter v. about 6-8 grams today (told you they liked it sweet…likewise, German white wines were made very sweet and then somewhere in the 20th century made bone dry and often served with a bowl of sugar to sweeten to taste.

They had also noted that the corks were intact and the engraving still showed: Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, Heidseck, and Juglar, which the article stated later became Jacquesson. Russia was ruled out as the destination since it turned out they like it even sweeter (Veuve made a Champagne a la Russe that had sugar levels of 300 grams per liter!). The author pointed out that a 12-ounce can of Coke contains ‘just’ 38 grams of sugar.Note that is in Europe and Mexico. Americans are deemed not to be able to discern the difference between sugar and corn syrup so we get the inferior brew.

Philippe Jeandet, a prof at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, was part of the team of scientists who published the results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, was given a miniscule sample on his hand, and declared it very similar to champagne made today. He stated the the taste lingered with him for hours afterwards. Hmmm.

Champagne is a wine region very dear to TB, having stayed in Fare-en-Tardenois (Hostellerie du Chateau – excellent and a Relais and Chateaux, where he was given a letter of introduction to Mumm’s and provided a private tasting room – at the time we bought Dom Perignon at the chateau for $30 a bottle! Time does slip away…

*Ever considered becoming a Master of Wine? TB did, then dismissed it…expensive and a lot of work, but IF you are thinking about it you can go to http://www.jancisrobinson.com and get the questions from this years exam. If that doesn’t derail your interest…go for it! Me? I prefer to drink it.

A votre sante

Trader Bill

©Copyright 2015 TBOW, all rights reserved.

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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

One thought on “Vol. 1 No. 17…potpourri de vino”

  1. La Veuve Cliquot is my hands down favorite ; it has a slightly yeasty character. When my dad was alive we celebrated his birthday (December30) with a blind champagne tasting; Veuve Cliquot la Grande Dame, Louis Roderer Cristal, Piper-Heidsieck-le diament bleu,etc; invitees were requested to bring “un grand millésime” The guests were treated to raw oysters on the ½ shell, beluga caviar, I forget what else. Back then 1970’s those champagnes went for about $25-$40. La Veuve Cliquot la Grande Dame was usually the favorite in the blind tasting. It was a lot of fun.


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