Big Mac Attack

This post has nothing actionable. There’s nothing you can do about it. Or me, for that matter. It’s just me bitching. But maybe there’s a lesson in here. One of my short positions was (note the past tense) Macerich, symbol MAC. I was puzzled this morning to see I was stopped out, because on my […]
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Dark Chocolate Halloween

Old, but on point, this article on the health benefits of dark chocolate:

Milk chocolate tastes like diabetes, which is why it’s awesome. Dark chocolate tastes like you’re being punished for only shoveling half the driveway. If someone put dark chocolate in your candy bag at Halloween it was considered a hate crime akin to giving you a tooth brush, and you would egg the bastard’s house, as was only right and proper.

But a while back someone came up with an idea to market health claims around dark chocolate to drive sales, and now we have scantily-clad, coconut-water drinking Crossfit junkies “treating” themselves with one or two squares of paleo-approved dark chocolate after they do their dehydrated and well-lit butt-thrusted instagram selfies, because anti-oxidants.

[chocolate/health snobs] love to obsess over their meager ration of dark chocolate and feel all holier than Hershey-eating thou because it’s a “healthy” treat, even though it tastes like a bag of smashed badger asses and the heaps of sugar and fat somehow don’t get factored into the health washing. It’s not too guilty a pleasure because it’s dark. And dark means nutrition, cuz science. Wash it down with a glass of red wine for the resveratrol and you’re bulletproof.

[The article is also interesting because it links to an eating disorder: Orthorexia Nervosa. This is “fixation on righteous eating.”]

Happy Halloween!

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Harvey in Rehab

Happy Halloween! What are the two things that scare Americans more than anything else? How about “opera” and “Harvey Weinstein”?

What if we were to combine the two?

Could this be a conventional Verdi-, Puccini-, or Mozart-style opera with a plot that unfolds chronologically? Plainly not: the allegations about Harvey came out during one week but they covered a period of 30 years (Washington Post).

Unlike Trump: the Opera, therefore, this should be a non-narrative work along the lines of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach. From Wikipedia:

The opera eschews traditional narrative in favor of a formalist approach based on structured spaces laid out by [Robert] Wilson in a series of storyboards. … It is Glass’s first and longest opera score, taking approximately five hours in full performance without intermission; given the length, the audience is permitted to enter and leave as desired.

in the absence of a storyline attached to his image. While they did incorporate symbols from Einstein’s life within the opera’s scenery, characters, and music, they intentionally chose not to give the opera a specific plot. This is in accord with Wilson’s formalist approach, which he asserts creates more truth on stage than naturalist theater

How about an opera titled Harvey in Rehab? The stage will be broken up into three spaces:

  • Center: Harvey in a group therapy session at a clinic for sex addicts.
  • Stage left: Hotel room into which actresses come and go. At random intervals an assistant comes in to give an actress a bale of cash.
  • Stage right: Domestic realm. Wife played by actress 24 years younger than actor playing Harvey sits in front of a 10-year alimony entitlement countdown clock. Two young children run around chased by three nannies.

A chorus of lawyers in pinstripe suits occupies a space suspended above the stage. Harvey wanders among the spaces in a bathrobe while the lawyers move their heads so as to track him carefully. Lawyers lower vacuum hoses at unpredictable times to pull cash out of Harvey’s pockets or from some of the cash bales that actresses are trying to carry out.

Teenage children from Marriage #1 sometimes enter the domestic realm from stage right, wait for Harvey to appear in that realm, silently remove cash from his bathrobe pockets, and depart. Every 30 minutes, the wife from Marriage #1 comes in with an attorney singing a demand for cash while the toddlers from Marriage #2 sing “Who is this lady and how does she know our dad?”

Ending: Young wife and various actresses simultaneously pull lawyers down from the heavens. They all rush at Harvey who attempts to flee to a waiting Gulfstream on a runway reading “KSMO” rolled out in front of the stage. As Harvey attempts to depart in the Gulfstream, however, a mob of angry Santa Monicans attack the runway with scissors. Harvey exits the Gulfstream, stumbles on the airstairs, and drops his two suitcases. They open upon hitting the ground, releasing a cloud of cash that obscures all of the players. The curtain falls.



Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

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Failed Reversal Takes us to New Lows for Chipotle CMG

Almost but not quite!

Chipotle (CMG) shares plunged to new lows today after failing to break resistance into a bullish breakout from support.

What’s the level and what’s the play from here?

Chipotle CMG

After another lengthy sell-off in shares, price (buyers) found support at the $ 300 level recently.

Positive divergences set the stage for a possible bullish reversal off this support level, and thus some traders logically bought into this key pivot.

Price did push up $ 35 higher toward the target of the falling 50 day EMA (blue) but buyers weren’t strong enough to generate a breakout and thus a bullish trend reversal.

The next move was yet another gap lower, shattering support as a new liquidation phase continued.

Chipotle (CMG) reminds us that trends tend to continue and surprises – via failed reversals – often come IN the direction of a prevailing price trend.

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Affirmative action for women results in belief that women are inferior workers? (and not just at the employer implementing affirmative action)

The idea that affirmative action leads to a perception that the favored group is inferior is an old and obvious one. If the standards for admitting members of Group X are lower then other students within a college will notice that people who belong to Group X are less qualified. If hiring standards are lowered for Group Y then coworkers will come to see Group Y workers as less capable.

Is it possible that running affirmative action at Company A could cause people at Company B, which hires people without discrimination, to believe that a favored-by-Company-A group is inferior?

One of the folks with whom I talked at NBAA was a charter company CEO. Based on the people he evaluates as pilot candidates for his firm (roughly 100 pilots), he believes that women are inferior as pilots to men.

It is possible that he is a straight-up sexist, but certainly there have been plenty of accomplished women pilots. How could he ignore Hanna Reitsch, for example, a leading test pilot throughout Nazi Germany’s rapid period of innovation?

[Wikipedia notes that Reitsch was not necessarily a proponent of gender equality:

she presented the idea of Operation Suicide to Hitler at Berchtesgaden, which “would require men who were ready to sacrifice themselves in the conviction that only by this means could their country be saved.”

Despite noting her support for Hitler until the end of the war, e.g., “It was the blackest day when we could not die at our Führer’s side,” her accomplishments as an aviator were sufficient that “In 1961, United States President John F. Kennedy invited her to the White House.”]

Is there a way for his belief to be a rational conclusion from facts? How about affirmative action by airlines? Airlines are much more interested in hiring women than they are in hiring men. Consequently they are willing to hire women with the bare minimum qualifications. Occasionally these inexperienced female pilots will flunk out of simulator training or the initial operating experience in the real airplanes that is required by the FAA. However, as most pilots would prefer a job at an airline (better pay, union protection, stronger financials), this would tend to leave only the dregs of the female pilot workforce available to be hired by charter companies.

I’m wondering if this phenomenon is likely to be true elsewhere in the American workforce. The best employers, such as Google and Facebook, are desperate to increase the percentage of women so as to burnish their reputations. This leaves a skewed population for other employers to interview.


Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Retail……More On

I’ve been talking a lot about retail shorts lately, so I’ll share some more now. First up is American Eagle Outfitters, having collapsed beneath a symmetric triangle and recovered back to its failed underside. Besides just retail stores, I’m quite fond of providers of real estate to big retail. One of these is CBL & […]
Slope of Hope