Friday, November 14, 2008

475 Speculators Anonymous

475 speculators Anonymous

Think about the plight of the poor speculators. Oil prices are sinking like a body with cement shoes off Staten Island. Guys who bought oil for $147 a barrel are selling it for 57 bucks. You have to feel sorry for these people. And you have to figure they'll figure out a way to get even. They're speculators. They can't help themselves.

If they were normal traders, they'd hold on to the stuff and wait for the price to come back up. But it won't hit $147 again any time soon, so they're going to take a loss, one way or the other. And since they never actually take delivery, there's no way to hold on to it. A shame, really. They'll probably have to default on their rent-a-Benz or their third or fourth house. But they've probably got some money salted away. Some of it, they'll use for suing their would-be customers who will have weaseled out of contracts to buy the stuff. The rest won't be discovered until the IRS finds out about their Swiss or Bahamian bank accounts.

Of course, they can prevent that by never using the money. But being unable to use it is kind of like not having it in the first place.

Some of these newly impoverished, newly depressed fellas will have to go out and do something they've never done before, get jobs. And that's not terribly easy these days, either. Plus they often have no marketable skills.

They will have to start support groups. The name "Speculators Anonymous" has a nice ring to it. "Hello, my name is Steve, and I am a speculator..."

And it's not just oil we're talking about. It's pretty much everything. Even scrap metal. Yes, the market for scrap iron and copper have tanked right along with oil. But with scrap dealers there IS a bright side. If THEY have some bucks stashed away, they can hold on to their metal and wait for the market to come back, which, eventually, it will.

And they can look for new sources of revenue. Paper. Plastic. McCain campaign buttons.

And, again, there's always S-A. Not only will they meet like minded people in similar circumstances, but they'll be able to pass the time they'd usually be using soaking the rest of us.


--Farewell Howard Reig. Howard was the last of the great old time staff announcers recently retired from NBC and was 87. Introduced "Nightly News" from the John Chancellor through the Brian Williamsanchorships.

--Yes, Don Pardo is still alive and working. But in his 90s has reduced his work load to "SNL" and a couple of extras now and then. And, yes, he's still as powerful a bellower and as funny as ever.

--The job of staff announcer once was the most prestigious in broadcasting. And the guys who were in the job when the job was eliminated got lifetime guarantees of continued work. Back when unions were still labor organizations.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(sm)
(C) WJR 2008

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