The Contrarian's View

Vol. XIII, #3, October 30, 1998

The Contrarian's View is published 11 times per year on a mostly-irregular schedule, and the views expressed are those of the author and editor, Nick Chase. Because nobody can predict the future, results of past suggestions or recommendations are no guarantee of future results. Material in this publication may be freely quoted provided proper attribution is given to its source. Subscription rate: Free on the Internet through the World-Wide Web service at Assumption College. Using your favorite Web-browsing program, Open URL Mailed paper subscriptions, one year for $39 to The Contrarian's View, 132 Moreland Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609. There is a limit of 50 paid subscribers at one time; please check for availability before sending any money. Sorry, Visa and Mastercard are not available. Overseas subscription rate, U.S. $54. Unsolicited material sent to us by UPS or by courier other than the postal service is refused and returned to sender! Phone: (508) 757-2881

Remarks of L.D. Brown at "March for Justice",
Washington, DC, October 31, 1998

I am a former Arkansas State Trooper and Clinton bodyguard whose name has rarely surfaced. That's because my close friendship with Bill Clinton caused me such grief I've struggled to stay in the background all these years. I wanted to put the memories of all the abuses of power I'd witnessed behind me; to make a new life for my family.

So why speak now? Just when I've got a Ph.D. and am thinking of moving my family out of this country to Scotland? Yes, that's how much I want to put memories of Clinton behind me. Why speak now, indeed. Because for this moment my family and I still live in Little Rock. We are already outcasts in our own home town just because I once dared stand up and say the emperor has no clothes - he can't even keep them on. Because I promise you after what I'm about to tell you, my family's treatment in Little Rock is going to plunge from bad to worse than you can imagine.

So why make myself a marked man? Because I started lying awake last week, asking myself, what will I say when my children one day ask, "But daddy you knew so much, you could have spoken out why didn't you?"' So it has come to this moment, on this Halloween day, to reveal skeletons - just a few, we only have hours here! And I will not be telling you about abuses of power I've read about, but about crimes I've witnessed with my own two eyes.

You see I wasn't just Bill's bodyguard, I was his close friend, and he mine. My future wife was Chelsea Clinton's nanny and a frequent babysitter for Vince and Lisa Foster. I see now that Bill and my close friendship was probably predestined. We were constantly together, we both came from similar traumatic childhoods, and we both tried to womanize away that pain and confusion. But if it were just about sex, I would not be risking my family's welfare to speak up now.

I step forward because I was an eyewitness to the far darker path Bill turned down. It is a path so dark, so twisted that it is almost impossible for the average American to comprehend. The full horror of Bill Clinton's assault on truth and justice staggers the imagination. There is no precedent, no point of reference for understanding the corruption of this man. That's why we are now a nation paralyzed by disbelief. Indeed if I had not witnessed his crimes with my own eyes I could not fathom their magnitude either. But now is the moment we must find the steeliness to confront the terrible truth.

America has allowed itself to be duped into placing a dangerously sick and immoral boy/man in the most powerful position in the free world. He is pitiable, yes. But he is also the sad case with his finger on the button. He is the shadow figure with dirty hands choking the future of our children, our country - indeed life as we know it. Because make no mistake -- there is no tooth fairy, we may be on the brink of a world meltdown, this may be our last chance to save ourselves. That is why I will now publicly go on the record with what I can.

There is more I can say in time when current investigations I am involved in go public. For now let me make clear that I do not know how Bill Clinton's White House Counsel Vince Foster died. But I do know, for a fact, that both investigations, Robert Fiske's and Kenneth Starr's, were cover-ups. As a law enforcement agent for over 24 years, I will tell you that there has been no investigation capable of ruling Foster's death a suicide in Fort Marcy Park. Because there has been no investigation built around the most relevant fact about Vince Foster: the fact that he and Hillary Clinton were in the middle of a long torrid affair. I ought to know, I was there, I saw it. And Hillary and I talked about it often during late-night chats in the Governor's mansion.

This affair started in Little Rock and drew Vince Foster to Washington - and to his death. Without putting the affair between these two people at its center, without interviewing Hillary, any investigation into the death of Vince Foster will be totally compromised. I speak of this now NOT to speak of sex, but to speak of the Clintons' frightening influence over the Park Police and the FBI.

 Since when in America do we not fully and impartially investigate the death of a citizen? Any citizen. But surely there should be no whisper of compromise when it is the investigation into one of the highest-ranking government officials in history to meet a violent end while in office.

I gaze now on the White House and think of Vince walking its halls. And that leads me to a memory from the days when Bill was governor. Hillary and Chelsea and my wife and I were up in Washington together and driving in a cab past the White House. Little Chelsea, upon seeing this big white house, began begging her mother and nanny - my wife - to take her on a tour. The supposedly sweet, motherly Hillary launched into her usual sharp scolding of her daughter. Chelsea was quiet and Hillary looked out the window at the White House, then home to President Ronald and Nancy Reagan and told her child "Chelsea, I'll take you on a White House tour when someone decent lives there!" Boy, I wonder how many people are telling their children that same thing as they drive past the White House today.

When I first worked for the Clintons I naively saw myself as a sort of patriot in my own small way, helping Bill to do great things for my beloved Arkansas. It wasn't all the procurement of girls I was obliged to do for him that brought on my moment of truth. It was finally the combined weight all those moments I witnessed him sell his soul in a heartbeat.

Take just one time when he gave a law enforcement position to a man who everyone knew would be a disaster. I confronted him and asked, "Why, Bill?" He said "L.D. I know you're right, but he's contributing $5,000, and that's a lot of money right now. Sometimes we need to do bad things for the greater good."

So it doesn't surprise me to hear the Clinton administration has allowed nuclear targeting tech-nology to be given to Communist China in return for contributions to the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton has no principles. Everything he does is geared toward winning. In his mind it's all about how Bill Clinton must win -- whatever the cost to the country and the world.

Of Bill, of Hillary, of the whole stinking sordid Billorygate, I say this: Betray us once and shame on you. Betray us twice and shame on us. Betray us three times, four times, five times, as you have, and I say, Lord, what is the matter with us? Please rouse us from our denial. This is the darkest of hours for our country and our constitution. I pray that we survive this most corrupt presidency in history. I pray that this country finds a way to go on. I pray that there is a tomorrow in which the history books will record this as the crisis that rocked us to our foundations. But as the crisis from which we learned, once and for all: Character Does Count - I end with a personal plea to my former buddy. Bill: The Truth Shall Set You Free.


Recently I received in an e-mail the observation that the Federal government's debt climbed by $133 billion in the fiscal 1998 year just ended, while the politicians are claiming a $70 billion "budget surplus". The author seemed puzzled by the discrepancy (or else concluded that, in politics, liars sure can figure). I e-mailed to him this explanation:

I see you have noticed the annual increase in the national debt, even while the Federal government supposedly runs a $70 billion budget surplus. Let me explain.

The government largely runs on a "cash" basis - cash in, in the form of taxes and fees collected, cash out, in the form of grants and benefits paid, services delivered, administrative expenses and money for your favorite boondoggle. (IMF, anyone?) The $70 billion cash surplus is real; it is money the feds collected from us last fiscal year, but did not spend. Sadly, this extra $70 billion in cash is roughly equal to the money extracted from us that is supposed to be set aside for Social Security benefits in the next century, but won't be.

What do I mean by that? The taxes we pay into Social Security are supposed to be returned to us in our retirement years, increased by an imputed rate of interest. But in reality, current Social Security taxes are used to pay current benefits, with the surplus, if any, available to be spent at Congress' discretion. The money owed to us under the Social Security system is accounted for with special nonmarketable government bonds held in a vault somewhere in Virginia, I believe. Of course, this debt increases substantially each year as the baby boomers pay into the system, expecting payback in the years 2010-2040. About $3.1 trillion of the national debt is in the hands of the public or foreigners (Treasury bonds, T-bills and the like). The remaining $2.4 trillion is primarily the debt the government owes us under various retirement systems, which include Civil Service, railroad and military benefits, but mainly Social Security.

The only ways the government can pay those benefits in the next century, as the special bonds are "cashed in", are to (1) raise taxes, (2) borrow money from the public, (3) print the money. Or, it could decide to default on the promises currently being made to the boomers by changing the rules (lower benefits, later retirement age to collect, or whatever).

In the meantime, the feds are sitting on $70 billion of what was formerly our cash. It could retire $70 billion of those special bonds, but this would merely transfer the cash from one agency in the government to another. In the end, the feds would still be sitting on $70 billion of cash.

The government could also "buy back" and retire $70 billion of government bonds and notes held by the public. (Or, since the feds are continually borrowing money, just borrow $70 billion less). This would have the salutary effect of lowering interest rates, thereby reducing everybody's borrowing costs and giving the economy a shot in the arm. It would also give the feds "breathing room" in the next century to increase borrowing again to get the money to pay the promised benefits to the boomers. An entirely sensible approach that probably won't be adopted, unless it's by accident.

Another method would be for the feds to cut taxes (especially the Social Security payroll tax) to bring revenues back into line with expenses, and adjust the Social Security program so that future benefits paid = future payroll taxes collected. Another entirely sensible approach that, if you held your breath waiting for it to happen, you would turn blue, suffocate and die.

A third approach would be to rebate the portion of Social Security taxes that the public is currently paying to make up that $70 billion budget surplus, and let them divert it to their own IRAs or pension plans. That doesn't give you as much discretion with your money as not being forced to ship it to Washington in the first place, but it doesn't matter; this approach won't be adopted either.

Rather, what you see is the politicians trying to figure out ways to spend the money instead of returning it to you. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CANNOT "SAVE" MONEY, BECAUSE IT CREATES MONEY under our current fiat-money banking system. It can only decide how much to extract from you; it is up to you (through your votes) to decide how much you want it to tax and spend on your behalf.

 I hope this explains the budget numbers discrepancy.


[T]he Federal Reserve's abrupt decision to cut interest rates on Oct. 15 was not so much due to concerns over a slowing economy or credit crunch.... It was a response to an immediate meltdown threat of the banking system.... The Oct. 15 ease, on top of the recent surge in liquidity available to banks, reportedly came after urgent requests from the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, who told Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan of extraordinary demands by one member bank in its region.... Reliable sources indicate that this.... had been provoked by a credit squeeze in the interbank market against Bank of America. Bankers believe that the bank's troubles are far more serious than what is being told to the public.... The grave danger on Oct. 15 was of a breakdown in the interbank payments system, which could have easily led to a global systemic collapse. While investors around the world rejoice the Fed's action by outrageously bidding up stock prices, the more alarming message is that the emerging markets crisis has now fully reached the G7 financial systems. - Paul Lam [Nick's comment: I am not a fan of "reliable sources", who are often plants used to push a particular agenda, but this explanation does seem plausible to me.]

Who would have ever thought that the Fed would be cutting interest rates with the S&P 500 P/E ratio actually higher than it was when Alan Greenspan gave his famous "irrational exuberance" speech? - Marc Sexton

We strongly suspect there is now direct intervention by the Central Bank of Japan in supporting the Nikkei at the 13,000 level. We also suspect direct intervention by major Wall Street firms (if not the Federal Reserve itself) in supporting the U.S. stock index futures market. Only that could explain the internal divergence. This market is literally crumbling from underneath the DJIA. We feel that WHEN (not IF) the DJIA breaks under 7500, it'll be like a hot knife slicing through butter. - Jim Stack

 Alan Greenspan said last week that he hasn't seen anything like this before. He was talking of course about the risk premium that the market had swiftly imposed on anything but the safest interest rate instruments. But what he is conceding is that there is systemic risk. In such an environment there will inevitably be an increasing premium placed on capital preservation. - Greg Pickup

I do think there is a structural issue in trying to deal with the tendency of markets to go to extremes. - Robert Rubin [U.S. Treasury secretary]

So, the solution to a glut of liquidity that caused speculative booms around the world which have now mostly gone bust is...MORE LIQUIDITY! It reminds me of being a kid and staying out too late. You know you are in trouble when you get home so your might as well make the most of it while you can. Of course the later you got home, the more trouble you were in! It looks like the Fed won't get home until dawn. - Marc Sexton

It is appropriate to ask whether a gargantuan dose of easy credit can conceivably cure a global sickness that itself was caused by loose money. - Rick Ackerman

The U.S. has repeatedly criticized Asian countries for the close cooperation between government and industry. Treasury officials have argued against crony capitalism and the use of the "convoy system" to protect companies from bankruptcy. Yet the Federal Reserve in using strong-arm tactics to muscle the banks and brokers into bailing out LTCM have resorted to exactly the same tactics. In doing so the US has lost whatever moral high ground it still occupied. This has proved to be a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. - Greg Pickup

The lack of professionalism among funds and banks that have cried for free markets on one hand and demanded IMF guarantees on the other has set our financial community up for a very serious fall. - Martin A. Armstrong

...we have had a market correction rather than the start of a bear market.... Prepare for a market that will rise 25% to 40% in the next 18 months. - Kenneth Fisher [One of this month's candidates for the Irving Fisher PHP Award for 1998.]

In my opinion, the U.S. stock market is clearly back on track! The major catalyst that has brought us to this point was the decision by the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates and, more importantly, add reserves to the system.... The Federal Reserve has acted decisively, and it is more than likely that Mr. Greenspan will abstain from any further interest rate cuts provided the U.S. economy remains on an even keel. - Joe Battipaglia [Another PHP candidate.]

What president cut taxes four times, reduced the national debt by a third, and reported budget surpluses every year in office? Calvin Coolidge. Not too many months after he left the White House, the country was plunged into a depression -- something that has happened every time America has significantly reduced its national debt. - Sam Smith

The bull market in stocks is over because the credit bubble has burst. Lower short-term interest rates and an attempt to print money will not revive it. The easy money that fueled stock markets around the world has dried up, and the deflationary forces that accompany the bust side of the boom will swamp government monetary and fiscal policy until the excesses are wrung out of the economy. - David Tice

Forget all the recent bunkum about 'paradigm shifts' and 'globalization.' When speculation outruns sensible investment - such as recent 30% annual returns from stocks - the Grim Reaper of economic reality always steps in. The go-go era that began in 1991 is over.... Risk, a word that has largely disappeared from our vocabulary when talking about investing or personal behavior, will again become current. - Eric Margolis

Sometimes, stuff happens. Bad stuff. Economists will retroactively explain why it was a matter of a policy failure, after they have lost everything, just as Yale's world-famous economist, Irving Fisher, lost his wife's inherited fortune in the Great Depression, after forecasting in September, 1929, that there would be no reversal of the stock market. Economists explain why something happened, not what will happen. If you doubt me, ask the two 1997 Nobel Prize-winners who were on the board of Long-Term Capital Management, which pushed 16 of the world's money-center banks to the brink of disaster last month. They will be able to tell you exactly what happened. They may even get it published in an unreadable scholarly journal. They just were not able to forecast it. - Gary North

The financial world is overseen by three great economic powerhouses. Japan is overlord of Asia's finances. Western Europe dominates East Europe and Russia. The US's bailiwick is Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Japan, mired in deep recession, has failed miserably to defend Asia. Europe has done no better in Russia. If the United States fumbles its financial manifest destiny in Latin America, head for the storm cellars. - Eric Margolis

Recent disastrous economic statistics, totally contrary to the unrealistic and virtually untruthful past representations of the Japanese economy by the Japanese government, show a virtual collapse of private investment and private consumption that will not soon be arrested.... The global economy has entered an ugly "shrinking pie" phase: increasingly desperate emerging economies can benefit only at the expense of other emerging economies. - John H. Makin

I tell you - with a broken heart - the next three months are going to be ominous and shattering here in America. A full-blown depression is soon coming to this nation and the whole world. It cannot be avoided. America and the world are now leaderless. We could be closer to the end than any of us could imagine. - David Wilkerson

During this new stage [1930] of the depression, the refugee gold and the foreign government reserve deposits were constantly driven by fear hither and yon over the world. We were to see currencies demoralized and governments embarrassed as fear drove the gold from one country to another. In fact, there was a mass of gold and short-term credit which behaved like a loose cannon on the deck of the world in tempest-tossed era. - Herbert Hoover

The Clinton administration tells us that U.S. ground forces won't be committed to Kosovo's killing grounds, that all we're committing is air power. But many American warriors have told me their U.S. units are set to go in.... I know the Serbs. I spent four years -- 1946 to 1950 -- with my weapon pointed at Serb soldiers and with their weapons pointed at me and my buddies. The first time a bullet sang over my head it was fired by a Serb, and the first dead American soldier I saw was killed by a Serb. Later as a reporter, I saw first-hand from 1991 to 1995 what they and their equally blood-thirsty Croatian and Muslim inmates did to each other during the most recent Balkan slaughter. Based on my experiences and their 1,000-year track record of death and destruction, I'm convinced that all of ex-Yugoslavia is not worth the life of one American soldier. - Col. David Hackworth

Military power and money are the two principal components of international power. America's huge expenditures to rent Mideast peace have degraded its ability to influence events elsewhere. Excuse my cynicism, but Israelis and Palestinians are no fools. They clearly understand their ongoing feud keeps the Yankee dollars coming. - Eric Margolis

It doesn't take a conspiracy theory to observe that the downward arc of citizens' liberties, independence and civic competence and of American culture generally parallels the declining value of the U.S. dollar, which has lost 99% of its value since the founding of the Fed, and 75 percent of that debasement has occurred since the last link with gold established by Bretton Woods collapsed. From that perspective, it's really not very surprising that at the end of the century, not quite nine decades after America instituted the Federal Reserve, and began the process that would deliver the power of creating unlimited debt to the political class, the White House is occupied by a couple who share not so much a marriage as they do a collection of felonies. - Anne Williamson


We need to learn, and learn well, that this is not an essentially good man with some understandable human failings but a sociopath of such a character as to make a Mafia godfather seem like a kindly benefactor of humankind -- and to understand that it is just such ambitious and ruthless sociopaths that the office with its present powers and perquisites attracts. - Alan Bock

The difference between human beings and rabbits is that we can think and reason. A rabbit is totally driven by his impulses. Unfortunately we've got a rabbit in the White House.... Now this is where my mind really focuses and [Clinton] certainly, as erratic as his behavior is, cannot be the person to press the nuclear button. - Ross Perot

WILLEY related the following story [to Linda Tripp]: WILLEY entered the Oval Office, and the President offered her coffee. He poured her a cup in the galley. The President showed WILLEY his campaign button collection. She told the President that she needed a job and that her situation was serious. WILLEY said the President was listening to her, but was not focusing on what WILLEY was saying. WILLEY said something to the effect that she was throwing herself on the President's mercy. The President said, "I'm sorry this happened to you." WILLEY said the sexual approach came out of nowhere and was forceful, almost to the point of an attack. The President said, "I've wanted to do this since I first saw you." WILLEY said, "His tongue was literally down my throat." The President had his hands on her breasts and all over her body. The President put WILLEY's hand on his penis. WILLEY had expected the kiss to be more romantic. The incident happened so fast, WILLEY still had the coffee cup in her hand. WILLEY also described the President as a great kisser. WILLEY was shocked with the force of the encounter. WILLEY told the President that she was concerned about the First Lady or another person walking in the office. The President told WILLEY that he had that covered. WILLEY expressed concern about someone seeing them. The President said, "deny, deny, deny." WILLEY said that the President was so out of control that his face was purple, and the veins were showing on his neck and forehead. The meeting ended when someone entered the adjacent office. - excerpt from Linda Tripp's FBI statement, June 28, 1998 (House Document 105-316: Part 3, Communication from the Office of Independent Counsel, September 28, 1998, pp 3995-4000.)

On the day that the Starr report was delivered to Congress, Bill was here in Orlando. My young friend took his beautiful young girlfriend to meet Wild Bill. Bill practically knocked down the man trying to get to the girl. They had a photo-op and Wild Bill hugged this young brunette all the while. He never learns. - "Ben Purdham"

I find it to be amazing that Clinton is permitted by the press, the Congress, the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the independent counsel to collect legal-defense trust fund money to defend himself in his various scandals. It is completely illegal for public officials to do this, as Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman has astutely pointed out in his report to Congress. - Joseph Farah

Bill planned to nominate Lani [Guinier] as his assistant attorney general for Civil Rights. However, when conservatives labeled Lani the "quota queen," Bill refused to send forward her nomination. He claimed that he had not realized how "radical" Lani's positions were. I have known Lani Guinier for decades. She is a thoughtful, decent, brilliant woman. While I do not agree with all of her positions, Lani deserved the right to defend her beliefs before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Bill Clinton claimed that he hadn't read Lani's writings and didn't know what Lani thought. That was an outright lie. Bill, Hillary, Lani and I were all classmates at Yale. Bill and Hillary stayed in touch with Lani after graduation and even attended Lani's wedding. When it was time for Clinton to stand firm with his.... friend, however, he left her hanging in the wind. - John Doggett

Most people, it would appear, no longer know what is wrong. Absolutes have been replaced by the polls. They tune into the news every morning to see what is and is not acceptable behaviour for that day. Is the molestation of small children always wrong, or only wrong if 51% of a sample of the population says it is? Is racial genocide OK if it is performed by the majority? Was Hitler doing the right thing as long as he had high job performance ratings? Is it an impeachable offence to lie to a grand jury if you are a federal judge, but not if you are the President? Are we getting to the point that only unpopular people and unpopular crimes are to be prosecuted? - Daniel Eaton

Why a party that actually has in its background a decent moral heritage would want to take all its moral capital and throw it away in order to defend a lying, sleazy fornicator is beyond me. It is madness for the heirs of the Democratic tradition to allow this great institution to be sacrificed on the altar of a sick, juvenile, adolescent, reckless, immoral man who has systematically lied to everybody, including everybody in his party. - Alan Keyes

The destruction of the Clinton presidency never could have happened at the hands of old media. Clinton's defenders and apologists are absolutely right: This president's disgraceful behavior and persistent mendacity make him no different from either his predecessors or the hypocrites who occupy Congress. The only difference is that the old media elites have lost their ability to frame the debate. Instead, the white blaze of the spotlight has moved to the Internet, which has no owners, brooks no pundits and offers no controls. The Internet imposes no limitations on content and hence requires no manipulating or manipulated editors.... It is a diverse, decentralized, irreverent, snarling watchdog that our founding fathers certainly would have loved. The release of the entire Starr report on the Internet was not a calculated act of political sabotage by the Republican party. Rather, it was a panicked act of surrender. By disenfranchising the intermediaries that ruled the airwaves for half a century, a precedent has been set that will undermine the spin doctors of both parties, along with the millionaire news anchors who serve them. Let's have it out. Let's have it all out, every bit of dirty laundry in every nook and cranny in Washington. Let the accusers and the accused go down together, and by breaking through the fog and smoke, lay waste to a self-perpetuating political machine that has run amok.... And as this process unfolds and federal paralysis sets in, perhaps the people will awake from their stupor and realize that they don't need an all-powerful president and Congress to "run the country." This country and its resourceful, hard-working citizens are fully capable of taking care of themselves. - Bill Frezza


Before I present the quotes, I have another personal Y2K story to tell.... what is apparently the second Y2K related computer system failure we have encountered. Last summer we took the AutoTrain to Florida for part of our vacation, and when we had reserved the train we charged it to my credit card. (We seldom use credit cards, but the AutoTrain is popular and must be reserved and paid for many months in advance. Use of the credit card means one less month the government is using our cash interest-free.)

The trip down was uneventful, but on the return trip we tangled with Hurricane Bonnie. We boarded the AutoTrain in Sanford, but noticed the cars weren't being loaded into the car carriers right away, as they usually are. While we were relaxing in the lounge, with the train not having left the station an hour after its scheduled departure, we heard the PA announcement: Everybody off, this train's not going anywhere. (They didn't use those words - they spoke bureaucratese - but that was the gist of the message.) Mind you, the sun was shining and the winds were gentle, but CSX (which owns the tracks and locomotives) was projecting that the hurricane would intersect the train somewhere in South Carolina, so it was not letting any traffic run on its tracks.

We got off; my wife waited in line for 45 minutes to get the refund for the second half of the trip, which was credited to my credit-card account. (And she was one of the first in line! The poor souls at the end must have been stuck in that station for hours.) We regrouped, made some quickie motel reservations, and at 7:30 PM we set off on our three-day drive home, taking a westerly route to (successfully) avoid having to drive in hurricane weather.

In early September my wife called Amtrak to double-check that the refund had been posted to my account. It hadn't been, but the Amtrak rep was able to locate the refund and see that it got credited to my account, on the spot. The rep volunteered to my wife that Amtrak's computer systems are "antiquated". In mid-September my credit-card bill arrived; the Amtrak credit was properly posted, and we paid the balance. (We had charged other things to the card to "use up" the credit we were expecting, as there were no prior charges on the card.)

In mid-October, when the October statement arrived, my wife opened it and called me at work: There was a credit of $1288 from Amtrak headquarters, DC, and she could not account for it. She was afraid Amtrak might have canceled our 1999 AutoTrain trip (we're going to Florida again, with friends) which was purchased and paid for months ago. But that $1288 figure did not match the early-September refund, or even twice the September refund, or the cost of the 1999 trip. So I asked her, when was the credit posted? She said: October 1.

Well, I said, we're probably looking at another Year 2000 computer problem. The government's 1999 fiscal year began October 1, which means the accounting computer would be "looking ahead" to fiscal year 2000 (which begins October 1, 1999); even though it's not doing any math calculations on FY 2000, just opening up "00" in an unfixed computer program could be enough to mess it up and give unpredictable results. This probably would not have happened to us if we had not been credited the earlier refund within one month of October 1, but because we were, we were probably doubly-refunded with an amount of money that doesn't match reality.

So, I called Amtrak and explained. They said they would check it out. I said I would like to know what happened before my credit card gets debited the $1288 they gifted us. They promised they would call back first. Knowing the government, I expect that credit will be sitting on the card for months, then it will disappear without notice or explanation. I hope they get it cleared up before the more serious Y2K failures start cropping up in the latter half of 1999.

My wife and I would also like to take a train trip in 2000, which will have to be reserved and paid for in 1999. At the current rate of progress of fixing Y2K bugs, I am doubtful that we will ever get to take that trip, or get a refund for the canceled trip. I hope to be proved wrong.

Whenever someone brings up the possibility of our entire computer- based economy collapsing because of this year 2000 thing, it just makes me laugh.... All Congress needs to do is instead of calling the year 2000 the year 2000, call it 1950. That way, we have another 50 years to solve the problem.... I know there are a lot of ivory-headed liberal scholars out there who might not like this idea, but sometimes even scientists just have to listen to the voice of common sense. - Dan Quayle [former U.S. Vice-President, June 17, 1998. Nick's comment: He's kidding, right? Uh.... sorry, no, he was serious. I wonder how much hair a white male has to lose to qualify as "ivory-headed"?]

And the one frustrating thing about the Committee that I chair is that as we probe in all of these areas.... we still don't know. People lie to us. Or they refuse to talk to us.... Your alternative is panic. For example, my daughter who listens to me far more now than she did when she was a teenager, has decided that she's going to fill her garage with food on the assumption that there won't be any food on the shelves of the supermarket as a result of the year 2000. And then she turns to me and says Dad, why don't you do that? I say well, you know, that really wouldn't send too good a signal if the Chairman of the Senate Committee was filling his garage with dried food. - Robert Bennett (R-UT) [Chairman, Special Committee on Year 2000 Technology Problem, October 6, 1998]

I think the financial system is probably in the strongest position of any in the country. The bank federal regulators have been working for over two years with every bank in the United States and the last surveys they've done in their examinations show that only one or two percent have any significant delays in their progress at all. Similarly, the SEC and the Securities Industry Association have been working very closely with their members so that I think there is no basis at this time for having any major concern about either the banks or financial institutions. - John Koskinen

The Bozo Effect is a well-understood phenomenon. The project is in crisis; management is screaming in terror; confusion reigns and code is spattered into production. It's Bozo the software quality assurance clown! True Story: October 4, 1998. Annandale, Virginia. A geek pal is thinking about donuts and 7-11 coffee, checks his wallet, awww, no bucks... but wait, here's a Chevy Chase FSB Visa debit card, expiration date November 1998 ..and there's a nice blue Chevy Chase ATM. ENTER PIN... **** ...RE-ENTER PIN... **** ...YOUR CARD HAS EXPIRED. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR BRANCH. WE ARE HOLDING YOUR CARD FOR YOUR PROTECTION. Hey! What the F. Where's my card? October 5, 1998. A neighborhood branch of Chevy Chase FSB. Say, yesterday, an ATM ate my ..... Yessir, we know, we had computer problems all weekend. Please fill out this form and we'll get you a new card right away. (End True Story) No problems, banks "get it". Banks are ahead of other industries? What kind of baloney is that? They're slamming code into production before it's tested, and it's clearly date-processing code. This is a major screw up.... He told me, shit Cory, I should have known something was wrong when it asked me for my PIN twice. - Cory Hamasaki

My wife's mother is head assistant to Y2K project director for a fairly large regional bank. She says they're making good progress, but even she can't find out "true" information. Recently, all the top brass meetings began to be held behind closed doors, and even she is not allowed in. That can't be great news. - Greg Sugg

I am a mortgage counselor for a major bank here in the Midwest. That means if you have been more than 16 days late on a house payment, you have probably heard from me! For the last 6 months I have been receiving some rather unusual interoffice emails through our company's intranet. They say we have our Y2k problem solved and have instructed us to tell our customers that the problem is fixed and business will carry on as usual. However, since they have "solved" this problem several strange things have been happening. For example, our computer is now showing several thousand loans as matured because they were originated in the year 1900 or matured in the year 1900. They show up in my files as in default. Our computer system is also losing payments. When a payment is being electronically processed, the computer sometimes places it in all kinds of strange suspense accounts. We thought we had that one fixed until yesterday when we discovered the computer had just created some new suspense accounts to stash your cash! - anonymous [at his/her request]

Called some local [New Zealand] banks about their Y2K progress. Asked the following questions. (I didn't ask the officials, I talked to the people at the desks, tellers and personal bankers.) How long was it since you got an internal memo about Y2K? When do you expect to get the next one? Had any training on the new software? Got your new computer system yet? When do you expect your bank to finish the testing program? Got these replies - Bank 1: new software/no new hardware yet. Still testing but major transition to new software done. Monthly staff updates. Bank 2: new hardware and software installed, finishing early testing, monthly staff updates. Bank 3: no new anything as yet but implementation 'real soon now', no recent info. Y2K project started in 1997. Bank 4: no new anything yet. Merger caused headaches.. no recent info. Y2K project started in 1997.... My summary: progress is being made but is very uneven. - Bob Barbour

We don't trust the governments. We think that they are too late. They are not pro-active. I see no action from Brussels. I'm fearful that we will not be ready in time; there will be delays and detours. Planes will stay on the ground and this means capital will not be generating money. Within half a year, some airlines will be facing bankruptcy. - Max Rens [KLM head of information]

I was called to go in to another company's client today to look around for Year 2000 problems. The details of the client: The client supplies produce to over 400 (they're growers and brokers too) grocery store customers. Although most of their customers are small grocery stores, a couple are really large.... Most of their larger customers modem in their orders every morning directly to this supplier's computer. They never talk unless there is a problem. Obviously, these guys aren't the grocery stores' only suppliers of produce; but from the volume they move, if they went down it would be felt fairly hard. They're rack up quite a few millions per year in sales. Here's the glitch. This whole organization is run by just two computers. And both these computers are old, full of dirt (literally), 486's with 16 meg of memory running Win 95. Backup consists of a $200 tape drive. Nobody there can do more than enter orders, invoices, or cut checks. It seems that their largest customer actually set up the order system because I can guarantee you these people didn't. When we checked out what they had, we found the 486's to be non-compliant. Not a hard call.... We informed the owners that they would need to at least replace the two units. I also told them they should consider setting up at least a backup system that could mirror the first. His reply, "Send me some prices, but I doubt if I'm going to buy any new computers. These are only a few years old." After explaining to him of the potential problems they might encounter, he informed me that he thought this Year 2000 "stuff" was just a bunch of folks running a con.... I'm amazed at... the attitudes of people that will refuse to spend a few thousand dollars to support a multi-million-dollar business.... I'm running across many businesses with small, custom-built packages that are critical. And in most cases, these old packages aren't going to make it in 2000. - Greg Sugg

This clearly is a serious problem that everybody should be treating as such, but on the other hand, there's no indication yet that there are going to be basic failures of the infrastructure in the United States and therefore I think that there is no basis for people disrupting their lives at this time to be prepared for that. - John Koskinen

The "party line" of the [electric power] industry remains: Everything's OK, this isn't a big deal, we'll get it fixed. However, anyone in the industry who understands the total scope of the problem, and who will speak off the record, is scared to death. Why? Do they know something that the rest of the world does not? ....The perception of security can be as basic as having the ability to turn on the lights with the flip of a switch as you come through the front door of your home. In the absence of that feeling of security, social order breaks down in a hurry when the lights go out, the beer gets warm, and people get cold. Whether it's deserved or not, electric utility companies have an unspoken and unbreakable contract with society to keep the power flowing. - Rick Cowles

Many reporters fail to discern that Y2K progress is usually self-reported and reflects an optimism not warranted by the facts.... From most of the reports I've read - and I review some fifty a day - reporters seem content to accept the statements of government officials, public utilities, and big business without further inquiry.... No follow-up questions. No contradictory evidence. And none of the usual skepticism. Instead, like a deer caught in the proverbial headlights, they offer a blank stare and record the statements as if they were scientific fact. By the time this information makes its way to the public, the Pollyanic view that there is nothing to worry about is reinforced. Thus, consumers are not being motivated to take the steps necessary to protect themselves or their loved ones. Worse, they are being lulled into a false sense of security, believing that someone else is taking care of the problem for them. Meanwhile, the days continue to slip by and the deadline looms. - Michael S. Hyatt

A great deal of progress has been made during the past year in the U.S. and in several parts of world. IT organizations in the U.S. have increased their spending for Year 2000 projects an average of 6 times over what was spent during 1997. Year 2000 is now prioritized at the top, or number 2 (following Enterprise Resource Planning system projects - to replace Legacy systems) by most U.S. companies. Large companies in the U.S. have made the most significant progress, and many of them will complete most of their compliance efforts by 2000. Even smaller companies in the U.S. have made significant progress in the past year, in several industries. Even with all of this progress, there are still very serious risks for the U.S. and throughout the world. The gap is widening even more, between companies and governments farthest ahead and the ones farthest behind, since the laggards are moving much more slowly toward compliance. In the U.S., industry segments such as healthcare, education, agriculture, construction, food processing, governments, and companies under 500 employees are lagging way behind in compliance efforts. Many of these will simply not finish critical systems by 2000. U.S. investors are provided very optimistic , often inaccurate, disclosures from publicly traded companies (to the U.S. SEC), and therefore accurate investment risk assessment data is not often available. This is likely to affect our U.S. market and several other economic factors as we get closer to 2000. - Lou Marcoccio [Research Director, Gartner Group, testimony to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, October 7th, 1998. The complete report - must reading! - is at 8.html]

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund (hereinafter "TIAA-CREF") represent and warrant that their systems will, under normal use and service, record, store, process, and present calendar dates falling on or after January 1, 2000, in the same manner, and with the same functionality, data integrity, and performance, as TIAA-CREF's systems record, store, process, and present calendar dates on or before December 31, 1999. This Warranty is expressly limited to TIAA-CREF's processing of data for participating institutions' employee benefit plans serviced by TIAA-CREF. This Warranty is made solely for the benefit of TIAA-CREF participating institutions; it does not apply to vendors, service providers, financial institutions or any other third parties or to any matters beyond TIAA-CREF's reasonable control. TIAA-CREF has taken steps to ensure that all of TIAA-CREF's mainframe, midrange and personal computer systems as well as their external and internal interfaces, equipment, and forms, are Year 2000 compliant. TIAA-CREF represents and warrants that the arrival of the new millennium will not cause any loss of benefits to TIAA-CREF participants or beneficiaries. [Nick's comment: Good news for those of us in the TIAA-CREF 403(b) program. Note, however, that you must exercise caution in that the values of the various CREF portfolios are NOT guaranteed against losses due to Y2K]

With all the information available on global meltdown and y2k, anyone who still has a significant sum of money in the market is either stupid or has balls the size of Mt. Everest. - anonymous Internet post

If you are a senior manger, throw a dinner/party at a nice restaurant with free booze. Invite only grunts doing the actual coding and absolutely NO SUPERVISORS. After dinner, circulate and ask simple questions,"strictly between you and me what do you think of XXX Y2k status." You will find out more in one evening than in a month of meetings. Do NOT betray any confidences and start berating your supervisors. Just readjust your resources and priorities. Been there, done that! - R. D. Herring

The academics, the real computer science, PhD-holding, dept-chair, paper-writing, patches on the sleeves, academics have missed the entire Y2K issue. Y2K has a decidedly, proletariat, sweaty, grime under the fingernails, working-class programmer sense to it and no self-respecting academic would stoop to doing real work... I mean, REALLY, we're above such things. So except for that silver bullet that came out of Cornell (or was it Yale) a year an a half ago, the academics have been very quiet about Y2K. They've missed it completely... well, I'm sure that when the press comes to call, they'll be happy to run their mouths... they are quick studies, after all. Click up a few web sites and they'll be regurgitating six-month-old stuff from [the Internet newsgroup] c.s.y2k. ... but saying it so sincerely that you'd almost believe they thought it up themselves... and at the same time, running down the doomsters and net loonies. - Cory Hamasaki

You're a Y2K nut-case... ah, I mean, well-read on Y2K issues and you're following the late-breaking events... that's you... right? So, what's the point of National Y2K Week? ... or whatever it's called. Do you know? I don't. And what are the Y2K activities? Did you have a Y2K songfest? you even know Barbara Knox's Y2K song? Did you sew a block for the Y2K quilt, hold a candlelighting ceremony (to show that you're ready for "lights-out")?... I helped a nice lady at one of my clients put up smiley-face balloons and paper ribbon for the Y2K Week display in their lobby. She gave me a copy of a Y2K coloring book she got from somewhere... Did National Y2K Week achieve its goals? Were there any official activities? - Cory Hamasaki

At the end of July, Alexander Krupnov (chief of the State Communication Committee of the Russian Federation) finally confessed that Y2K is a real problem for our country. He estimated that the cost of fixing the Millennium Bug in Russia would be $500 million. But he went on to say that not a single government ruble will be spent on Y2K, because the budget is empty. - Nick Poluektov [manager at Avgur, a Moscow based computer firm whose focus is the assessment of technological accidents]

Russia have said they haven't got enough money to fix the problem, so they're going to deal with it as it arrives. Well, Chernobyl comes to mind. - Karl Feilder [Y2K adviser to the British and South African governments]

Here we are, just a little more than 14 months from perhaps the biggest predictable calamity in human history - a disaster with ominous civil liberties implications, and the ACLU is nowhere in sight. The New York Times devotes more resources to covering so-called "hate crimes" than to researching what could be one of the biggest stories ever. We are on the brink of martial law and America still isn't certain whether it should dump a known felon, liar, power abuser and sociopath at the helm of the nation's executive branch, where he would become, on Jan. 1, 2000, a de facto dictator. Beam me up! - Joseph Farah


A "surprise" interest-rate cut from the Federal Reserve? My reaction was, "I wonder who needs bailing out now that we don't yet know about?" Since the primary role of the Federal Reserve is to protect the banking system from systemic risk, the speculation that Bank of America (see Quotes) was overextended is as reasonable to me as any other explanation. Certainly the Fed thought somebody big would have gone under, very possibly setting off a chain reaction, if it did not take action.

Moral hazard? What moral hazard? Didn't you know we're in a "new paradigm"? Everybody knows the government has the clout to bail out countries, banks, hedge funds.... even keep stocks from going down! Why, just look at the success stories of the past! The Tulipmania.... er, no. The South Seas and Mississippi bubbles.... oops, no, even the governments got burned in those. The 1907 Panic.... sorry, that brought on a depression. The 1929 Crash.... yeah, that was truly a Federal Reserve success story, the ensuing depression lasted only ten years. The 1989 bubble-popping in Japan.... sure, that's why Japan is so trouble-free and prosperous today. The Mexican bailout.... such a good job, other countries recognized their limits and none have needed to be bailed out since.... NOT! The 1987 Crash.... ultimately led to an even bigger stock-market bubble.

And there's the rub. We do not have a good historical example of governments being able to slowly deflate an asset mania. Either the efforts fail (as in 1929, and 1989 in Japan), or the loss of moral hazard leads to an even bigger bubble down the road.

Meanwhile, while everybody is jumping on the bullish bandwagon the Fed has caused, ask yourself: What would have happened if the Fed had not engineered the (so-far) successful bailout of Long Term Capital Management? If its unexpected easing of interest rates had not saved Bank of America (or whomever)? Do you think, maybe, that our fiat-money-fed system of credit is, perhaps, just a mite overextended? Do you think the cure for this over-extension is even more bailouts? Or do you think, as I do, that postponing the inevitable day of reckoning will make things much, much worse when it finally arrives?

Maybe I'm being unreasonable here. It's not human nature to accept a little pain now when it appears that it can be deferred (ask Bill Clinton). If I were Alan Greenspan, charged with keeping an increasingly shaky debt-based banking system afloat, I'd also probably be trying to keep the fragile system going while trying to unwind its excesses behind the scenes. The error is not in trying to deflate slowly, even though history tells us the chances for success are slim to none; the error was in allowing such a system, now exhibiting its monstrous excesses, to be created in the first place.

At any rate, the Fed's actions turned what was a modest bear-market rally into a REALLY BIG bear-market rally... witness the return of the siren calls for "Dow 10,000" or higher that I anticipated in mid-September. But the reality is: The psychology has changed. "New paradigm" chutzpah has been re-placed by the return of respect for risk. Every country is now in gear for deflation and depression; only the path taken to ruin remains in doubt.

Since moral hazard has (temporarily, at least) been consigned to the ashcan, I must confess that there is about a 5% chance that the Fed's efforts to protect the banking system could set off another stampede into financial assets, at least in the U.S., and give us an even bigger bubble as we head into 1999. Though the Dow looks like it's in a "new bull market", most stocks are behaving as in a bear-market rally, though admittedly a strong bear-market rally. "Internal" deterioration.... that is, selling by "smart" money.... continues.

Personally, I consider having the Dow anywhere in the high 8000s to be a gift from Alan, another chance to bail out of those long positions of yours which plunged so frighteningly in the August-October selloff. I can't promise you this will be your last chance to bail out, nor can I tell you that it's impossible for the Dow to top its July highs; but I reiterate, this is a very high-risk stock market. Your continued success (if you are "holding for the long term") is dependent on the Great God Greenspan's ability to keep pulling rabbits out of hats. For those of us who are short and are waiting to be vindicated, we'll just have to wait a bit longer, and boy, is it frustrating!

We're now past the "window of opportunity" for the stock-market meltdown to occur this year; it likely won't return again until 1999 (based on financial conditions alone). However, there is always the risk that a death blow of political origin could strike.... another impeachment report submitted to Congress, Mideast war, Russia falls apart, whatever.... to send stocks into a renewed tailspin. Essentially, with corporate earnings on the decline, stocks remain so overpriced that whenever "Timer's Trend" says SELL (it's currently on a buy signal), that "window of opportunity" for the meltdown reopens. In the meantime, an increasing divergence between the health of the favored blue-chips and the ordinary stock is likely.


The combined performance of the portfolios (including predecessors, but excluding "PIG" and TIAA/CREF) from January 1987 to the present, adjusted for the dilutive effect of added cash, is +12.50%, for a compound annual rate of return of 1.00%. For comparison purposes, from January 1, 1987 to October 30, 1998 (11.830 years), the CREF stock unit value (whose performance closely parallels the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested) has risen 406.66%, for a compound annual rate of return of 14.71%. WARNING: I am a rotten stockpicker. Prices shown are as of October 30.

 A. "Phoenix" -real portfolio, begun on October 1, 1995.

SUMMARY - "Phoenix":

             Original cost:         $ 8,090.45
             Present value:         $ 7,324.03
             Increase:              $ - 766.42  [-9.47%]
The performance of this portfolio and its predecessors ("Hedger's Delight", "Present and Future Income", "Crapshooter's Folly") from January 1987 to the present is +2.65%, for a compound annual rate of return of +0.22%.

 COMMENT on "Phoenix": Hard come, easy go: The August-October selloff gave us a taste, just a taste, of the profits to be made when the current bear market returns with full fury. (Cash balance is not up to date.)

 B. "Professors' Investment Group (PIG)" - investment club portfolio.


             Original cost:         $ 8,575.00
             Present value:         $ 6,971.42
             Increase:              $-1,603.58  [-18.70%]
COMMENT on "PIG": The PIGs expect to buy 50 shares of Genzyme (GENZ) at 22 or better. The PIGs' Web page is at

 C. Roth rollover IRA - real portfolio, includes commissions:


             Original (1983-86) cost:  $ 8,326.19
             Present value:            $13,041.18
             Increase:                 $ 4,714.99 [+56.63%]
The performance of this portfolio (including its predecessors) from January 1, 1987 to the present is +18.91%, for a compound annual rate of return of 1.47%.

COMMENT on IRA: There is no change from the last issue..

 D. CREF Pension plan; I switch between indexed stock/bond/money funds:

Date           Sold            Bought
13Mar92          stock @ 56.65      MM @ 13.41
29Apr92          MM @ 13.48         bond @ 31.19
19Jun92          bond @ 32.14       MM @ 13.55
29Jun92          MM @ 13.57         stock @ 56.74
24Jul92          stock @ 56.76      MM @ 13.61
29Oct92          MM @ 13.72         stock @ 58.61
23Dec92          stock @ 61.48      MM @ 13.78
16Jan95          MM @ 14.83         equity-index @ 26.44
20Jan95          eq-index @ 26.19   MM @ 14.84
30Oct97          MM@ 17.24          bond@47.56 (27.17%)
30Oct97          MM@ 17.24          i-i bond@26.12 (27.17%)
11Feb98          bond@ 48.84        MM@17.52 (27.17%)
11Feb98          I-I bond@ 26.23    MM@17.52(27.17%)
16Jun98          MM@ 17.84          TIAA Traditional (45.87%)
Values, 30Oct98: stock, 150.73; MM, 18.20; bond, 52.03; inflation-indexed 
27.26; TIAA current yield in SRA, 5.75%
Gain, 1988: 18.91%; 1989: 14.48%; 1990: 8.28%; 1991: 27.93%; 1992: 10.20%; 1993: 3.08%; 1994: 4.07%; 1995: 4.80%; 1996: 5.28%; 1997: 5.38%
Gain, January 1 through June 30, 1998: 2.81% (5.74% annual rate of return)
Total gain since January 1, 1988 (10.5 years): 166.73%
Compound annual rate of return: 9.79%   (My long-term target: in excess of 15%)
Gain shown excludes the impact of additional monthly cash contributions.
Buying CREF stock on January 1, 1988 and holding it gained 346.20%, for a compound annual rate of return of 15.31%.

E. Current unfilled portfolio good-til-cancelled orders: None.

COMMENT on "Timer's Trend": The October 21 BUY signal is still valid, and though it missed the "bottom" by 1000 Dow points, it will probably still yield a few percent profit for those of you who mechanically follow it. The indicator has been remarkably free of whipsaws in this bear market.... so far.

______________________________  TIMER'S TREND  _________________________________
Mon 18 May 98        #  I  .       | 9050.91  |*+.~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tue 19 May 98        .  I# .       | 9054.65  + .      *
Wed 20 May 98        .  I# .       | 9171.48  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Tue 21 May 98        .  &  .       | 9132.37  |-.           *
Fri 22 May 98        .# I  .       | 9114.44  |-.        *
Tue 26 May 98       #.  I  *       | 8963.73  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wed 27 May 98     #  .  I  .       | 8936.73  |~.*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thu 28 May 98        .  &  .       | 8970.20  | .-           *
Fri 29 May 98        .  &  .       | 8899.95  |*.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mon  1 Jun 98        .# I  .       | 8922.57  | .-          *
Tue  2 Jun 98        . #I  .       | 8872.30  |~-*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wed  3 Jun 98        .# I  .       | 8803.80  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thu  4 Jun 98        .  &  .       | 8870.56  |-.                   *
Fri  5 Jun 98        .  I  #       | 9037.71  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Mon  8 Jun 98        .  I #.       | 9069.60  + .                          *
Tue  9 Jun 98        .  &  .       | 9049.92  + .                      *
Wed 10 Jun 98        #  I  .       | 8971.70  + .      *
Thu 11 Jun 98    #   . *I  .       | 8811.77  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fri 12 Jun 98       #.  I  .       | 8834.94  | .-         *
Mon 15 Jun 98    #*  .  I  .       | 8627.93  |~.~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Tue 16 Jun 98        .# I  .       | 8665.29  | .  -          *
Wed 17 Jun 98        .  I #.       | 8829.46  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu 18 Jun 98        #  I  .       | 8813.01  | .-                *
Fri 19 Jun 98       #.  I  .       | 8712.87  *~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mon 22 Jun 98        . #I  .       | 8711.13  | -     *
Tue 23 Jun 98        .  I #.       | 8828.46  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed 24 Jun 98        .  I #.       | 8923.87  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu 25 Jun 98        . #I  .       | 8935.58  |-.                      *
Fri 26 Jun 98        . #I  .       | 8944.54  + .                        *
Mon 29 Jun 98        .  | #.       | 8997.36  +~.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Tue 30 Jun 98        .  |# .       | 8952.02  + .          *
Wed  1 Jul 98        .  |  . #     | 9048.67  |+.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu  2 Jul 98        .  | #.       | 9025.26  |+.               *
Mon  6 Jul 98        .  |  .#     }| 9091.77  | +                            *
Tue  7 Jul 98        .  |# .       | 9085.04  | +                           *
Wed  8 Jul 98        .  |  #       | 9174.97  |~.+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu  9 Jul 98        . #|  .       | 9089.78  |+.   *
Fri 10 Jul 98        .  #  .      [| 9105.74  |+.      *
Mon 13 Jul 98        .  #  .       | 9096.21  + .    *
Tue 14 Jul 98        .  |  #      ]| 9245.54  |+.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed 15 Jul 98        .  |# .      [| 9234.47  + .                 *
Thu 16 Jul 98        .  |  #      ]| 9328.19  |+.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Fri 17 Jul 98        .  | #.       | 9337.97  |+.                      *
Mon 20 Jul 98        .  |# .      [| 9295.75  | +             *
Tue 21 Jul 98        #  I  .      {| 9190.19  |+.~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed 22 Jul 98      # .  I  .       | 9128.91  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
Thu 23 Jul 98   * #  .  I  .       | 8932.98  |~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
Fri 24 Jul 98      # .  I  .       | 8937.36  | . -    *
Mon 27 Jul 98      # .  I  .       | 9028.24  | .  -                      *
Tue 28 Jul 98    #   .  I  .       | 8934.78 @| .   -  *
Wed 29 Jul 98      # .  I  .       | 8914.96 @|~.~~*-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
Thu 30 Jul 98        . #I  .       | 9026.95  | .  -                         *
Fri 31 Jul 98    #   .  I  .       | 8883.29  |~.*~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
Mon  3 Aug 98     #  .  I  .       | 8786.74 @|~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
Tue  4 Aug 98  #     .  I  .       | 8487.31 @|~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
Wed  5 Aug 98      # .  I  .       | 8546.78 @| .   -             *
Thu  6 Aug 98       #.  I  .       | 8577.68 @| .    -                   *
Fri  7 Aug 98        .# I  .       | 8598.02 @| .   -                        *
Mon 10 Aug 98     #  .  I  .       | 8574.85 @| .   -                   *
Tue 11 Aug 98   #    .  I  .       | 8462.85  |~.~*-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Wed 12 Aug 98        .  &  .       | 8552.96  | . -                      *
Thu 13 Aug 98      # .  I  .       | 8459.50  | .  -  *
Fri 14 Aug 98      # .  I  .       | 8425.00  |*.~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mon 17 Aug 98        .# I  .       | 8574.85  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Tue 18 Aug 98        .  &  .       | 8714.65  |~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed 19 Aug 98      # .  I  .       | 8693.28  | . -              *
Thu 20 Aug 98      # .  I  .       | 8611.41  |~*~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Fri 21 Aug 98    #   .  I  .       | 8533.65  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Mon 24 Aug 98        #  I  .       | 8566.61  | . -          *
Tue 25 Aug 98       #.  I  .       | 8602.65  | .  -                 *
Wed 26 Aug 98    #   .  I  .       | 8523.35 @| .   -*
Thu 27 Aug 98  #     .  I  .       | 8165.99 @|~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Fri 28 Aug 98    #   .  I  .   *   | 8051.68 @|~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Mon 31 Aug 98  #     .  I  .       | 7539.07 @|~.~~~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Tue  1 Sep 98        .# I  .       | 7827.43 @|~.~~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed  2 Sep 98       #.  I  .       | 7782.37 @| .    -     *
Thu  3 Sep 98     #  .  I  .       | 7682.22 @|~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Fri  4 Sep 98     #  .  I  .       | 7640.25 @*~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Tue  8 Sep 98        .  I# .       | 8020.78  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed  9 Sep 98    #   .  I  .       | 7865.02  |~.~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Thu 10 Sep 98   #    .  I  .       | 7615.54 @|~.~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Fri 11 Sep 98        . #I  .       | 7795.50  |~.~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Mon 14 Sep 98        . #I  .       | 7945.35  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Tue 15 Sep 98        #  I  .       | 8024.39  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Wed 16 Sep 98        .# I  .       | 8089.78  |~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu 17 Sep 98   #    .  I *.       | 7873.77  |~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    
Fri 18 Sep 98        #  I  .       | 7895.66  | . -        *
Mon 21 Sep 98       #.  I  .       | 7933.25  | . -                *
Tue 22 Sep 98        .# I  .       | 7897.20  | . -        *
Wed 23 Sep 98        .  |  .#      | 8154.41  |~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu 24 Sep 98      # .  I  .       | 8001.99  |~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fri 25 Sep 98       #.  I  .       | 8028.77  | .-          *
Mon 28 Sep 98        .# |  .       | 8108.84  | -                           *
Tue 29 Sep 98        #  |  .       | 8080.52  | -                     *
Wed 30 Sep 98      # . *I  .       | 7842.62  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thu  1 Oct 98*    #  .  I  .       | 7632.53  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Fri  2 Oct 98        . #I  .       | 7784.69  |~.~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Mon  5 Oct 98     #  .  I  .       | 7726.24  | .  -     *
Tue  6 Oct 98       #.  I  .       | 7683.51  |~.*~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Wed  7 Oct 98     #  .  I  .       | 7741.69  | .  -              *
Thu  8 Oct 98    #   .  I  .       | 7731.91  | .  -            *
Fri  9 Oct 98        .# I  .       | 7899.52  |~.~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Mon 12 Oct 98        .# I  .       | 8001.47  |~.~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Tue 13 Oct 98     #  .  I  .       | 7938.14  | .  -    *
Wed 14 Oct 98        #  I  .       | 7968.78  | . -           *
Thu 15 Oct 98        .  |# .       | 8299.36  |~.-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Fri 16 Oct 98        .  | #.       | 8416.76  |~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Mon 19 Oct 98        .  | #.       | 8466.45  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Tue 20 Oct 98        .  |  #       | 8505.85  |+.                          *
Wed 21 Oct 98        . #|  .      }| 8519.23  |+.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Thu 22 Oct 98        .  |# .       | 8533.14  |+.                       *
Fri 23 Oct 98        .# |  .       | 8452.29  + .      *
Mon 26 Oct 98        .  |# .       | 8432.21  +~.~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tue 27 Oct 98        .  #  .       | 8366.04  |-.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     
Wed 28 Oct 98        .  |# .       | 8371.97  + .      *
Thu 29 Oct 98        .  |  #       | 8495.03  +~.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
Fri 30 Oct 98        .  |  #       | 8592.10  |+.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
"Timer's Trend" is based on 4% and 10% exponential moving averages of the New York Stock Exchange advance/decline line (that is, the ratio of advancing to declining stocks). There are many symbols shown above, but the ones that count are the braces: {, } = "Timer's Trend" (4% exponential confirmed by 10% exponential) SELL ({) or BUY(}) signal.

NEXT ISSUE - will appear about November 30.     /Nick Chase