Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Curveball and Madoff: I can not help but connect them/TBT: ULTRASHORT LONG TREASURY

Does anyone remember the name Curveball?  Somehow the lies told by Bush and Cheney to justify the invasion of Iraq keep coming up in my mind whenever I think about Bernie Madoff.    I view W and Bernie to be basically flip sides of the same coin.  The administration's claims made about the aluminum tubes and the yellow cake from Niger had to be known as false.

  A story in the USA Today from 2005 pointed out that the State Department had concluded that the Niger documents were forgeries in October 2002. USATODAY.com The claim about a mobile biological weapons lab came from a source called "Curveball" who was never interviewed by American intelligence. Iraq Intelligence Commission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jim Wallis: A War Pitched with a 'Curve Ball'The German handlers of Curveball told the U.S. no later than 2001 that Curveball was an out of control alcoholic.  It turned out that he was a relative of a close advisor to Almed Chalabi and had drove a taxi in Iraq before "defecting".  Warnings on WMD 'Fabricator' Were Ignored, Ex-CIA Aide Says  W and Cheney placed great reliance on Curveball.  Before the war started, the inspectors had debunked Curveball's claim finding that the suspected mobile, biological weapon's laboratories were trailers used to make hydrogen for weather balloons.   USATODAY.com   Of course the inspectors had gone to the facilities suspected of being weapons facilities and found nothing, which actually caused W to press harder to start his war. washingtonpost.com:  It occurred to me then that someone interested in the truth, which never would include W,  would have paused at that moment to reconsider rather than to accelerate the push to war. Even those who still have W stickers on their SUVs next to the yellow ribbons would agree that some matters pertaining to the subsequent occupation could have possibly been done a tad better. 

I do not take so casually a decision to go to war, as do W, Cheney and their supporters, particularly when it involves attacking a country that has not attacked us first.  Maybe a majority of Americans will be more circumspect about such decisions in the future but I doubt it.  I have already seen war fever grip the majority in two major wars in my lifetime.  I am sure that the ones that supported the "limited" war in Vietnam and the Iraq War could be convinced to invade Canada under some pretext.   I am at a loss to understand why a proponent of the Iraq invasion is called a conservative and an opponent a liberal.  I opposed the Vietnam War when I was still in high school and I was called a liberal then.  I did not view it then as a liberal/conservative issue and I do not now.     What does launching a war based on false pretenses, or one that does not clearly advance national security interests, have to do with conservatism?  I do understand that those who wish to call themselves conservatives, a soothing but inappropriate term to describe them, did everything possible to assist the administration in influencing public opinion in favor of the war. This would include questioning the patriotism of any American who dared to challenge the wisdom of what W was doing.    I would hope that an investigation by an independent commission will delve into every detail leading up to the Iraq invasion.  Facts will have no impact on the True Believers.    But there are still some Americans who want to know the truth, a diminishing minority no doubt, and those few in number souls really do want to listen to a news program that has fair and balanced news coverage rather than espousing the talking points of a political party and passing it off as professional journalism. 

That is enough about Iraq.  It is obvious to me that the American people were lied to and they will be lied to again. Bernie Madoff had no regrets for his lies and for what he did, and neither does Cheney and Bush. 

I thought this was an interesting article about TBT, the ultrashort ETF for the long treasury bond. Ultra Short Treasury ETF: Have Patience, Money Will Eventually Flow Again - Seeking Alpha
I am going to start my hedge position using TBT with a 30 share buy and then try to complete my long corporate bond position.  The reasons for using TBT as a hedge is explained in other posts. 

This is an interesting blog about the VIX that I started to read last night. VIX and More I am not interested in the discussion in that blog about options.   I do not use the VIX to predict short term movements in the market.  So I could care less about the debate whether or not the VIX anticipated in September the subsequent market sell-off after the Lehman bankruptcy.  My VIX asset allocation model involves a longer term asset allocation strategy impacting my level of commitment to stocks as an asset class. 
For the cash raised by the forced reductions in October and December 2007, the model would still have me in cash throughout 2008, both before and after the Lehman bankruptcy.  The significant increases in the VIX starting in October has merely resulted in a refinement and alteration of my SSO/SDS swing trade.   


  I am not a financial advisor but an individual investor trying to navigate my way through a difficult market. In these posts, I am acting as an unpaid financial journalist and an occasional political commentator.   I am also aggregating financial news stories that I view as important and providing any reader of these posts, assuming there are more than a couple, with links to those articles, sort of a filtered, somewhat intelligent, free search engine.  Any discussion made by me of particular securities  is not a recommendation to buy or to sell.  Trade at your own risk.  Consult with your financial advisor prior to making any purchase or sale. I will try to identify my sales too but it may take a few minutes after I implement them to create a post explaining my reasons.  The sale may before or after the post.  Before buying or selling any stock, even one recommended by a trusted financial advisor,  please research it and make up your own mind which is what I always try to do.  Research would include reading reports, reviewing financial records, earnings estimates, sec filings and prior earnings releases and news.  In this post, and all others by me, I am merely describing my reasons for purchasing  or selling securities, and the potential pitfalls that I identified prior to purchase or the reasons for a sale.  The securities mentioned in this and all posts written by me may not be suitable for others based on their unique financial position and risk profile.  Always read the prospectus before buying a Trust Certificate, bond, preferred stock or other bond or bond like investments.  Information contained in my posts has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.  These posts by me do not constitute investment advice, nor shall they be construed as a guarantee of future results, or as an offer of any transaction in securities.   All content in these posts is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only and it is a form of entertainment for me.

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