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31 March 2023

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ continued to rally this week led by the monster tech stocks (Apple, Meta, Netflix, NVidia Google et. al.) while most NASDAQ and S&P 500 issues continue to flounder.

We traded value stocks, including several bank stocks, this week with some small success. On Thursday with most accounts up 8% and greater for the year we again decide to move to cash. Large accounts are now 80% or greater cash and almost all accounts are over 50%.

We continue to own the Large Regional Bank ETF (AIT) and Key Bank and Huntington Bank. Our retail holdings are reduced to The Gap, Macy's and Nordstrom. And we own a modest amount of Hain Celestial on its historical low and small amounts of speculative Snap and LYFT which are both on all-time lows.


Deficit spending, ‘who me?' asks Speaker McCarthy.

The "ballooning national debt" seemed to trouble McCarthy far less when he voted for then-President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cuts. Those tax cuts, in addition to then-President George W. Bush's, have accounted for "more than 90 percent of the increase in the debt ratio if you exclude the one-time costs for responding to COVID-19 and the Great Recession," according to a Center for American Progress report released this week.



"This crisis was caused by people on iPhones and other devices, hearing on social media that some bank might be in trouble," Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman said in an interview with Bloomberg in Tokyo on Thursday. "They responded with huge withdrawals in a very short period of time, collapsing the bank."

Schwarzman, whose company manages $975 billion worth of assets, added that the current banking turmoil was unlike a "conventional crisis." In SVB's case, rather than holding risky assets, they had an imbalance of otherwise very secure bond assets that matured on a longer timeline. As the Fed hiked interest rates, the value of those bonds dipped, but would have been repaid in time if not for the bank run.

"We have just an interim issue with interest rates being up and we have a deposit issue caused by technology. And these are both solvable problems for the vast number of banks," Schwarzman said.



In prepared testimony for a Senate Banking Committee hearing slated for Tuesday morning, the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reveals that the 10 largest deposit accounts at Silicon Valley Bank held a combined $13.3 billion, a detail that's likely to intensify criticism of federal regulators' intervention in the firm's recent collapse……."As soon as corporations and the wealthy run into trouble, elites trip over themselves, discarding both law and precedent, to rescue them," Gyauch-Lewis wrote, noting that federal regulators had to classify SVB's collapse as a "systemic risk" to the financial system—a disputed characterization—in order to legally guarantee deposits over $250,000…..For contrast, Gyauch-Lewis added, "consider student loan forgiveness. The legal justification is clear as day, and the authority itself is used regularly. According to the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003, the Education Department can forgive student loans as it sees fit in a national emergency."

"At bottom, the core reason SVB's depositors got bailed out had little to do with morals or even financial risk," Gyauch-Lewis argued. "It happened because they had rich and powerful friends with the ear of the president's chief of staff. Broke students don't. The students have to organize and campaign for decades to get something far worse than what they wanted, and for that to hang in the balance at the Supreme Court. The SVB depositors just had to whine on Twitter and make a few calls."



Grifters grift.

The Saudi arrangement alone stands to earn Mr. Kushner and his partners more than $20 million a year in fees, regardless of the performance of their investments.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund also put $1 billion into Mr. Mnuchin's fund, Liberty Strategic Capital, though on less generous terms than it had agreed to with (Kushner).



Who cares about the debt ceiling when there are much more important matters to consider?

The House Oversight Committee hauled D.C. government officials before Congress this week to grill them on what Republicans call the "crisis" of crime in the capital, one of approximately 50,000 "crises" the GOP majority has identified. And Boebert was just bursting to release a stream of invective.

"Did you or did you not decriminalize public urination in Washington, D.C.?" the Colorado Republican demanded of a witness, D.C. Council member Charles Allen.

Allen looked puzzled. "No, we did not," he replied.

"Did you lead the charge to decriminalize public urination in Washington, D.C.?" Boebert demanded.

"No, ma'am," Allen answered.

Boebert persisted. "Did you ever vote in favor of decriminalizing public urination?"

Allen said he voted to keep public urination as a criminal offense.

"We have records that show you were in favor of removing that criminal offense and allowing public urination!" Boebert charged.

The councilman explained that, though the D.C. criminal-code reform commission proposed making public urination a civil offense, the council voted to maintain it as a criminal offense.

Thus did the floodgates open on the Great Public Pee Pee Debate of 2023.



Trump not first presidential candidate to be indicted for hush money payments.

Former Democratic Senator, presidential primary candidate, and general election VP candidate John Edwards was indicted and tried for very similar charges as Trump's expected charges — violating campaign finance laws by not reporting donations and associated payments to silence a former girlfriend:

John Edwards, the former vice-presidential candidate who wrecked his political career with an extramarital affair, walked free from court on Thursday after a chaotic end to a month-long trial for using campaign funds to cover up his infidelity.

The DOJ failed to obtain a conviction against Edwards, and many people — including Republicans — will soon cite the Edwards criminal case as evidence to support the argument that it is unwise to bring criminal charges based on a politician's surreptitious, "hush money" payments related to sexual peccadillos. Maybe that is correct; maybe not.

But the Edwards case is an important example to refute the notion that similar charges against Trump are "unprecedented," "wrong," or "corrupt," Like Edwards, Trump is free to mount his most vigorous defense in court.

And, more starkly, we already know that criminal charges based on the exact same facts were brought against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen — and Cohen served jail time over this.

So, when you consider the Cohen case, and the Edwards case, it is preposterous to argue that anything sordid, much more corrupt or threatening to American Freedom, is going on with a similar indictment of Trump.



24 March 2023

Monday and Tuesday were positive market days with the major measures up 1+-% each day.

Wednesday was Fed day and the markets moved on Chairman Powell's individual words. Or rather, the computers moved the markets on his words. As the Chairman answered questions the markets did just that on Wednesday moving up and down 1% before closing the day down over 1%.

Thursday began well with the major measures up over 1% only to lose most of the gain by the close. Friday was down to begin then closed mildly higher.

The bank stocks were on a roller coaster all week and we bought the downdraft last Friday the 17th , then took mostly profits on Tuesday the 21st when banks rallied and we sold all. We then bought a few of the banks back at lower prices during this morning's down opening.

The Treasury and FDIC are hesitating to insure all bank deposits no matter how large. The political decision makers don't want to be seen helping the fat cats. In reality, the fat cats have moved their money. The community banks need the business deposits and the businesses need to keep balances for payroll and bills. Until the FDIC can positively assure large corporate depositors in community and regional banks the dust won't settle.

We plan to continue trading the dust ups. At the end Friday we owned KRE (Community Banks ETF), KBWB (major Banks ETF), Wintrust, US Bank and Fifth Third.

On Thursday the big boys and girls decided to raid retail which we repurchased last week down 20% and more from our previous sale. Now those stocks are down 30%. Ugh

We have been trading since 1984 when Mickey Drexler and we were a lot younger. Mickey is the CEO who made The Gap popular but eventually he moved on while we continued to trade the moves. The Gap's equity is priced at $3 billion while reduced sales still exceed $14 billion.

We also own Macy's, Nordstrom and Best Buy because they have good value at present prices and had positive quarterly reports and VF Corp (Van's, Timberland, North Face) because it's cheap.

New purchases this week were IBM, Pfizer, Glaxo, Snap (spec on TikTok demise), Dow and Disney. We sold Under Armour to place the funds in our other retailers; sold Paramount to add funds to AMC Networks (not the movie chain), Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Southwest Air, Cleveland Cliffs and U.S. Steel. All were plus scratches.


It's all the Fed's fault

Famed money manager Cathie Wood bemoaned the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest-rate hikes over the past year, saying they hit Ark Invest's strategy "like an earthquake."

Wood revealed that her flagship fund Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK) logged over a $2 billion loss from selling stocks during 2022's brutal market slump, which saw the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fall 19.4% and 34%, respectively. She explained that the fund reduced its holdings from more than 50 to just 28 stocks.

The weakness in equities weighed on ARKK's performance, with the fund plunging nearly 70% last year, as increased interest rates damped investor appetite for growth-focused stocks. Higher rates also tend to lower stock valuations because future earnings look less attractive.



A few analysts, including former Trump defense official Elbridge Colby, argue that the United States cannot afford to support both Ukraine and Taiwan. But America's billions in aid to Ukraine are only a tiny portion of a defense budget that is approaching $1 trillion. "US spending of 5.6% of its defense budget to destroy nearly half of Russia's conventional military capability seems like an absolutely incredible investment," argues the Center for European Policy Analysis.



Oops, J P Morgan got caught holding the bag - of rocks.

The London Metal Exchange revealed a surprising mix-up last week at a warehouse in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.

An operator for the warehouse weighed bags that were thought to contain 54 metric tons of nickel, only to find that they were filled with stones, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It appears that JPMorgan Chase is the unlucky owner of those bags, the Journal said on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Had they contained nickel, the bags would have been worth $1.3 million at current prices, representing 0.14% of nickel inventories, Bloomberg reported. into question. "In an industry riddled with scandals, the LME's contracts are viewed as unquestionably safe," Bloomberg said.



Loyalty and good management fall by the wayside. As all the Tech behemoths lay off thousands because the over hired where are the executives who authorized the hiring? Getting large bonuses, we would guess.

After years of companies trying to attract and placate workers amid a labor shortage, businesses are reasserting some of their power. Call it the "Great Reclamation."

Conventional thinking about multiple rounds of layoffs being a terrible management practice, while still valid, may no longer matter because of shifting economic and social mores, she said.

"There are labor-market behaviors that are new both for workers and for employers — and these behaviors are not following traditional patterns of the past," she said. "We read about two rounds of layoffs now and shrug and say, 'When's the third?'"


Once a Grifter always a Trumpster.

Donald Trump wants his '74 million' supporters to sign a petition railing against his potential arrest. Those who sign it are asked to donate $3,300 and more.



Fools and their money are soon parted. Don't these folks know he's a multibillionaire?

Donald Trump's fans sent him $1.5 million in 3 days after he falsely claimed that he'd get arrested on Tuesday.


Who knew?

The grand tradition of political sex scandals goes back a long way. The ancient Romans, after all, speculated about whether the emperor Nero and his mother had an incestuous … thing going. In early America, even deeply non-rambunctious John Adams was a target — people gossiped that he'd dispatched Gen. Charles Pinckney across the Atlantic to fetch four beautiful Englishwomen for them to share. ("I declare on my honor, if this be true, General Pinckney has kept them all four to himself and cheated me of my two," Adams declared.)



Speaking of banning books;

Frustrated by the books being removed from school libraries, a Utah parent says there's one that hasn't been challenged yet, but that they believe should be, for being "one of the most sex-ridden books around."

So, some parents submitted a request for their school district in Davis County to now review the Bible for any inappropriate content.

"Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide," the parents wrote in their request, listing topics they found concerning in the religious text. "You'll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has ‘no serious values for minors' because it's pornographic by our new definition."

Anyone who has actually read the Bible can tell you it's full of stories that should not be read by children. Here is a quick — and very incomplete — list:

Samson and Delilah (pictured above): she seduces him, then robs him of his masculinity.

Judah has sex with his widowed daughter-in-law, thinking she is a prostitute.

Amnon rapes his half-sister, Tamar.

Lot's daughters get him drunk and have sex with him

Noah (the "righteous man in his generation") gets drunk and is found naked by his son Ham.

The Song of Songs is an extremely powerful paean to sex between two people who are not married.

David commits adultery with Bathsheba, then has her husband killed so he can marry her.



Ironic Layoffs Watch '23: Indeed.com (the online employment agency)

Indeed.com is joining in the layoffs game. The job-listing website is axing some 15% of its employees—more than 2,000 people. And while those folks will be joining an exceedingly tight labor market, they can always go to Indeed.com to find a job.



17 March 2023

Markets retreated rapidly this week as social media, talking heads and the lack of an uptick rule, all exacerbated by computer arbitrage, created a perfect selling storm in bank stocks. The rapid 20% and greater collapse in bank stocks migrated to other industries as oil traded below $65 (hope the government is refilling the oil reserve- We added BP, Apache Oil and Devon on the drop). The Apple, Google Amazon, Netflix and Meta stocks did rally through the week led by Microsoft as many institutional sellers migrated to safe ground. But even those issues and the drug stock complex, -which is usually a safe haven during market drops- surrendered to Friday's retreat. For the week the S&P 500 (up 1% on the year) lost most of its gains for the year. The DJIA is down 4% and the NASDAQ is up 10% (but still down 20% for the 2022 and the first 3 months of this year).

The Ides of March was as deadly to Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank on the left (west) coast and Signature Bank on the east coast as it was for Caesar.

And First Republic bank is among the walking wounded having been rescued (temporarily?) by a consortium of banks that deposited $30 billion to help replace the money that fled the bank during the last week.

11 banks bailed out First Republic?

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase contributed about $5 billion apiece, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley deposited around $2.5 billion, the banks said in a news release. Truist, PNC, U.S. Bancorp, State Street and Bank of New York Mellon deposited about $1 billion each.

Ignore the talking heads and politicians. The collapse of Silicon Valley bank was caused by the bank seeking an extra 1% interest on its government bond portfolio by buying long maturity bond instead of staying short. That strategy was myopic, stupid and dumb dumb dumb. There is no excuse for folks who were making millions in salary to allow that to happen.

So where to from here? Having moved all to cash over the previous month in anticipation of a March retreat, we decided to commit about 50% of our cash to stocks that are down 20% and greater from recent highs. Last year we did the same thing- and regretted it- but events are different this year. The blowup of the bank stocks is overdone. The wholesale decline of all bank stocks suggests that trend following computer selling pressure is arbitraging bank ETF's and individual bank stocks in rapid millisecond trading (a real result of the absent uptick rule). Rather than bemoaning the no uptick reality that causes these vacuum drops in stocks we decided to buy value where we see it.

We used the fire sale in bank stocks to purchase 3 bank ETs: KBWB (Invesco KBW Bank ETF) which owns 24 major bank stocks. Well, only 22 now since Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank are valued at $ 0.

When we purchased the ETFs the 2 banks were valued at $0 and First Republic had dropped from $140 to $25 so their collapse had been accounted for.

The holdings of the other 2 bank ETFs are super diversified with KBE (SPDR® S&P® Bank ETF) owning 100 banks with the largest position about 1.7% and KRE (SPDR® S&P® Regional Banking ETF) owning 141 banks with the largest position 2%.

We also added individual bank stocks that we have traded over the years. We added Wintrust Financial, a well-regarded insurance, wealth management, bank holding company that has 15 chartered bank subsidiaries in the Chicago area. We also purchased banks involved in the First Republic rescue package including BankAmerica, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Truist and U.S. Bancorp. Finally, we bought Fifth Third to go with our Huntington Bank position and also purchased a small amount of beaten down First Republic in larger and more aggressive accounts.

We purchased a new stock for us, Charles Schwab at $58 down from $80 a few weeks ago. Other old favorites we added and own are retailers Macy's, Nordstrom, The Gap, Under Armour, VF Corp and Best Buy all 15% and greater below our last sale

We now own several steel stocks- U.S. Steel, Cleveland Cliffs and Carpenter Steel for trades

Southwest Air which is on a multiyear low after the contretemps of Christmas is the only airline with cash equaling debt; and is a good example of buying good companies that are out of favor because of one-time occurrences.

We're back in AMC Networks (not the movie chain), Paramount, HAIN Celestial and Hewlett Packard all of which we have been trading the past few years and were repurchased 20% below the last sale.

We are tiptoeing back into Verizon and AT&T 5% lower than our last sale and have been adding Stanley Black & Decker, Medtronic and Best Buy on their recent lows to larger accounts.

We are overweighted in Bank stocks on the whole but no individual issue is outsized. All these bank purchases are of issues down over 20% from recent highs and below levels of the last few years.

Larger accounts are 40% or greater cash and as with smaller accounts very diversified. Even after this week's drop accounts are up 5% to 10% on the year.


From Bloomberg:

"What we've seen very clearly over the course of the last five days is significant adjustments in their perceptions of market risk," said [Bob] Elliott, who worked for Bridgewater Associates for 13 years, in a telephone interview. "What you have is a bunch of risk managers pointing at their traders saying, absent of anything else, we have to start to bring portfolio risk down and that's happened in the context of pretty sizeable positions coming into this."


We are not Surprised.

Goldman Sachs Eyes a Big Payout from Silicon Valley Bank Deal

The Wall Street giant is likely to be paid more than $100 million for its role in a bond purchase that ultimately failed to save the California bank from collapse. Goldman never losses even if its customers don't do well. That's because the folks at Goldman and other investment banks work for the banks not the customers.

The news reports that 2 gifts to Trump are missing. One of them is a set of golf club. While the Trumpster is certainly not our favorite it seems the folks should be able to keep some gifts that are usable in everyday life rather than storing them in a warehouse for perpetuity. The irony is that the government is worried about a set of golf clubs while a $2 billion management amount (worth $40 million a year in 2% management fees) to son in law Kushner from the Saudi Investment fund merits a ho hum.


If theTrumpster is arrested do the secret service have to be in the jail cell with him?


10 March 2023

Today is the anniversary of the Stock Markets bottoming in 2009. The S&P 500 hit 666 intraday. It's now a tad under 4000.

The Employment Report had 315000 folks obtaining jobs. The guestimate was for 225,000. That's a negative for the Fed to slow raising interest rates. But the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and some of the internal numbers in the Report suggest the Fed will only raise 25 basis points not 50 basis points at the next meeting as had been feared. The Treasury 2-year which was over 5% yesterday is at 4.70% today which is an outsized move related to the bank failure as there is a move to safety by big money folks.

$40 billion in market value goes poof in 2 days as Silicon Valley Bank is closed by California authorities on Friday. Silicon Valley Bank was not a small bank, it was the 16th largest bank in the country, holding $210 billion in assets. Part of the reason it went poof was that it announced the sale of $20 billion of long dated Treasuries which led to a $2 billion loss. This created the need for the bank to consider selling new shares of bank stock to raise money for capital to replace the lost $2 billion. But when some Venture Fund folks who had deposits at the Bank learned of the loss and the need to raise capital, they began withdrawing large deposits and urged others to do so. That action caused a bank run as folks rushed to get their money out and that caused the demise of the Bank. All this occurred in less than 4 days. The folks running the bank took a risk by owning the long dated Treasuries and paid the price.

For many years we have wondered about the practice of banks (and insurance companies and institutions) buying 5-year and longer maturity bonds when interest rates were under 2% in the 30 year and 1% on the 5-10 year. Banks do not have to recognize price declines on securities that are noted as held to maturity and that has been the saving grace for all the underwater bank bond portfolios as yields have risen and thus bond values have declined. But if a bank has to sell bonds for cash to meet withdrawals, then they also have to recognize losses to capital. That in effect is what happened to Silicon Valley Bank and because the bank announced it needed to raise capital to cover the losses ($2 billion) depositors (many depositors were large hedge funds) rushed to withdraw deposits. And as they say, the rest and $40 billion and the bank are history.

We are guessing that the bank stock panic selling of Thursday/Friday is overdone (First Republic Bank closed at $95 in Thursday; traded as low as $45 in Friday morning and closed at $81. Oft times the Ides of March are not kind to Caesars' or the markets. We remain fully invested in 3-month T-Bills through the BIL and SGOV ETFs. We did raise a bit of cash Friday with the possibility of buying the Regional Bank ETF (KRE) if the selloff in bank stocks continues. No rush.


Musings and articles that interested us:

This is an excellent article on hedge funds and University endowments.

The most cutting jokes are the ones with a bit of truth behind them. While the increasingly popular quip that "colleges are just real-estate hedge funds with classes attached" may inspire eye rolls, recent moves are making the joke cut deeper.

In January, the University of California system — one of the largest public-university systems in the world and where I teach — made a $4 billion investment in the Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust fund, one of the world's largest real-estate funds. The massive investment came just weeks after the fund, known as BREIT, came under fire for limiting how much investors could pull out of it. But these liquidity concerns didn't scare off UC, which committed to keep its investment with BREIT for at least six years.

And the University of California system isn't alone in its ambitions — universities across the country have invested in or bought up real estate. And some large public universities such as Georgia Tech, the University of Washington, and the University of Texas at Austin have even teamed up with private developers to build "innovation districts," hubs of office buildings and retail shops that are leased to private companies instead of being used for classes or student housing, on university property.

While the money flowing from higher education to real estate has intensified in recent years, universities have been looking to private equity and real-estate investments since the 1980s to fund their operations. And increasingly, this financialization of higher education has warped the purpose and mission of universities. Billionaire donors and money managers have shifted the focus of these institutions from providing students an effective education to sustaining a profit-generating, investor-enriching machine. Read more:


Our thought: If universities just invested in the S&P 500 over the years on 75% margin (the hedge funds in which universities invest their money are much more heavily margined) they would have performed as well or better than most hedge funds without having to pay the yearly 2% + 30% fees on profits. The drawback is that the endowment fund managers wouldn't have received the golf and deep-sea fishing trips, Broadway tickets and 5-star restaurant dinners and super bowl box seats that the hedge funds are happy to provide.



Trump is publishing a book of 150 private letters he's received, including at least one of the 'love letters' he got from Kim Jong Un — and a signed version only cost $399


Headline: Millennials in their 30s are sitting in an economic quagmire that could stick with them through retirement.

According to The Journal's analysis, people who are 30 to 39 years old — currently the bulk of the millennial generation — have about $3.8 trillion in debt as of the fourth quarter of 2022, or about a $140 billion increase from the third quarter of 2022. As the Wall Street Journal article noted, that's 27% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the last time debt owed by 30-somethings grew this quickly was between 2005 and 2008.


When we were young there were no credit cards- only buying basics on time. Our first mortgage was at 6% but the mortgage was only $25,000. Our first car brand new $700 (VW BUG), we had no cell phones or internet or all-terrain vehicles and our apartment rent was $125 for a 2 bedroom. So, with our combined salaries of $7000 we were comfortably able to handle those costs. Of course, color TVs cost $800 so black and white served our purpose. Now a color TV is the only necessity (32Inch) that is cheaper ($200). Times have certainly changed. (Our parents said the same thing.)


We need an Upton Sinclair. Child non protection is returning to the 1890s in the packing factories and chicken and dairy farms of Arkansas and Iowa.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed into law this week legislation that rolls back significant portions of the state's child labor protections.

The law eliminates requirements for the state to verify the age of children younger than 16 before they can take a job.

Other states are also considering loosening child labor protections. A bill advancing in Iowa would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work certain jobs in meatpacking plants and would shield businesses from civil liability if a youth worker is sickened, injured or killed on the job.




History rhymes:

Tennessee House passes bill allowing county clerks to refuse to marry same-sex, mixed-race, transgender couples.


Arkansas passes state funded school choice vouchers.

Arkansas is where Eisenhower had to send Federal troops after Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.

A Little Rock history professor Jim Ross was a public educator and briefly served on the Little Rock School Board before a state takeover in 2015. He says school choice plans got their start in Arkansas in the wake of the 1957 desegregation crisis at Little Rock Central High School. Members of the school board created attendance zones for high schools, and allowed students to transfer if they found themselves assigned to a school with a majority Black student body.



This crisis in care caused by abortion bans is only going to get worse. Dr. John Werdel, an OBGYN and medical director for women's services at Saint Luke's Health System, points out in the Idaho Capital Sun today that a recent survey shows that more than 45% of OBGYNs are considering or actively working on leaving the state. And in just the last six months, he writes, three out of just six maternal fetal medicine doctors in the state have decided to leave. People don't have opportunities to be heroes here since they're risking felony charges every time, they do the basics of their jobs.



What could go wrong?

WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment- not Sport) is in talks with state gambling regulators to legalize betting on scripted (also known as fixed i.e., predetermined outcomes) match results

WWE has held discussions with state gambling regulators in Colorado and Michigan to legalize betting on scripted match results, sources said.

WWE is working with EY, commonly known as Ernst & Young, to secure match results so they won't leak to the public.

WWE creative executives don't plan to inform wrestlers who will win until hours before a match.

WWE aims to have major sports betting companies offer bets on high-profile matches.



Political grift expands:

In a decision that critics are calling "pathetic," "troubling," and "unfortunate," with "limitless potential for corruption," the country's election regulators have for the first time explicitly authorized personal slush funds for politicians.



How Musk inspires loyalty in his remaining Twitter employees.

No one knows who's next for the chop. Managers were recently told to provide a list of people who ought to be promoted, says one former staff member still in touch with some who remain working. Little did they realize they were signing their own death warrant: many of those managers were subsequently fired and replaced by those they'd recommended, as part of a cost-cutting drive.



A GOP war on 'woke'? Most Americans view the term as a positive, USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds



And the beat goes on:

"We're all pretending we've got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it's been is too tough to digest. But come on. There really isn't an upside to Trump."


"We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can't wait."

"I hate him passionately."

Text from Tucker Carlson to unnamed Fox employee on Jan 4 2021


3 March 2023

Stock markets rebounded this week while Treasury rates rose to over 5% on T-Bills and T-Bonds of less than 2 years maturity.

This week we chose to eliminate our stock positions (which were less than 15% in many accounts) for plus and minus scratches and concentrate our funds in the 0-3 month maturity Treasury ETFs that we have been purchasing for accounts. These 2 ETFs are yielding over 4.9% annualized.

In the past 9 years we haven't had the opportunity to park funds in high quality very short term easy entry/exit investments. Short term rates were being held at near zero by Fed interest rates policies. By purchasing 3 month investments now we limit most risk while obtaining excellent returns. It's seems a no brainer.

Of course, we'll miss a market rally from this level but as we proved last year we mange client money to mitigate downside risk while seeking a reasonable return.

Last year we bested the S&P's negative 19% return by a very wide margin (most accounts except the smallest were down 3% to up 5%) and are up 6% and greater this year. With that gain we are inclined to sit tight and earn an annualized 4.9% return while watching as events in Congress with the Budget and Debt Ceiling evolve.

Last year we moved to mostly cash in March with accounts up 8% and then tried to trade the market in April/May losing all our gains and spent the rest of the year in and out in nerve racking trading to regain at least a flat ending to the year. Once burned twice shy.

There may be a significant pullback intra-year or during tax selling season (now called tax harvesting) at year end. We may re-enter then- or not.

Red wing blackbirds arrived in Madison yesterday and we hear and saw a Sandhill crane fling overhead this morning so Spring is on the way.



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All SEC Rule11Ac1-6 Quarterly reports up to March 2, 2012 may be found by visiting the diclosures at LY& Co Clearing Broker Mesirow Financial at: http://www.tta.thomson.com/reports/1-6/msro/.

From March 2, 2012 forward all SEC Rule11Ac1-6 Quarterly reports may be found by visiting the website https://www.rbcwm-usa.com/legal/rbc-cs/cid-360855.html.

Annual offer to present clients of Lemley Yarling Management Co. Under Rule 204-3 of the SEC Advisors Act, we are pleased to offer to send to you our updated Form ADV, Part II for your perusal. If any present client would like a copy, please don't hesitate to write, e-mail, or call us.

A list of all recommendations made by Lemley Yarling Management Co for the preceding one-year period is available upon request.

Business Continuity Plan


309 W Johnson Street Apt 544 Madison, WI 53703 312-925-5248
The factual statements herein have been taken from sources we believe to be reliable but such statements are made without any representation as to accuracy or completeness or otherwise. From time to time the Lemley Letter, or one or more of its officers or employees, may buy and sell as agent the securities referred to herein or options relating thereto, and may have a long or short position in such securities or options. This report should not be construed as a solicitation or offer of the purchase or sale of securities. Prices shown are approximate. Past performance is no indication of future performance.