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Contributed by Bill Bonner
Publisher of: The Fleet Street Letter

LONDON, ENGLAND 
TUESDAY, 20 JUNE 2000 

 

Today:  Sunstruck

In Today's Daily Reckoning:
*** The Nasdaq is flying...
*** Amazon drifting down river
*** Gold is still breaking hearts 

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*** Again, not much time, so chronically afflicted Daily 
Reckoning readers get another day of relief.


*** I'm staying at Claridges on Brook Street. Nice hotel. I 
usually stay at Berner's, which is nice, but not as 
luxurious and not nearly as expensive. But events drew me 
here yesterday...about which, more below.


*** I am socializing with stockbrokers, fund managers and 
very rich people - so I'm getting different, probably more 
mainstream, opinions about what is going on in the markets, 
and what it means. The young, up-and-coming moneymen seem 
pretty sure that the worst is behind us. The correction was 
healthy, in their opinion, and now the market is ready for 
another growth spurt.


*** Some of these young guys have made a lot of money in 
the market's growth spurts. They cannot believe that the 
proximate future will differ greatly from the recent past.
(http://www.dailyreckoning.com/body_headline.cfm?id=193)


*** "Stocks are pretty much trading on fundamentals," said 
a portfolio manager with Unity Management, reported by 
Reuters, "and the big rally in techs kind of shows that 
tech earnings are going to be very strong."


*** Huh? What fundamentals? The Nasdaq rose 129 points - 
bringing it within 2% of where it began the year. The 
leaders were the big techs - Cisco, Intel, Oracle - which 
are probably the worst investments you can make, for 
reasons I've explained. But no will be charged with 
mismanagement for buying these stocks. No one will be 
disgraced for having them in his portfolio. They are stocks 
you can lose money on respectably...and almost certainly. 


*** Intel, for example, is selling at 54 times earnings. 
During the dark phase...when the New Era sun ceases to 
light up the occidental world...Intel's P/E will fall to 
less than half that number.


*** Tech buyers seem to think that Greenspan is finished 
his work. They are betting that there will be no rate hike 
this month.


*** Amazon keeps drifting down river. The stock is at $45 
and falling. While Amazon still has a long way to go, my 
host here in London, whose company launched many of these 
IPOS, thinks some of them are reaching bargain levels. Some 
have been given up for dead by investors - even though they 
still have cash and other assets. The assets of Boo.com, 
for example, recently worth hundreds of millions were sold 
for $1.5 million.


*** Honeywell has fallen a third in less than a month. When 
these big blue-chips fall that much it shows that the 
entire market is held up by a lot of very fickle, amateurs. 
Buffett doesn't dump stock when an 'earnings warning' comes 
out.

*** Gold, that heartbreaker, is back at $288...after 
falling $3.20 yesterday. What happened to the bull market?


*** Oil fell...so did the euro - but I doubt that these are 
developing trends.


*** The yen rose against the dollar on new hopes of a 
Japanese recovery. This must be the recovery that I warned 
you about 9 months ago. Better late than never.


*** We were momentum players as we dined last night -- at a 
restaurant named 'Nobo,' where the waiters are all 
stylishly dressed in black and the customers eat raw fish. 
Typical of trendy London restaurants, the d‚cor is 
minimalist, stark and cold. Sound echoes off marble and 
metal surfaces so it can be hard to hear the person next to 
you.


*** But after dinner, we became contrarians again. We 
stopped by the very fashionable Annabel's for a drink. 
Annabel's was the hottest club in London a few years 
ago...but it was mostly empty last night. 


*** A front page article in The Daily Telegraph tells, once 
again, of the terrible pain and travails of an Anglican 
clergyman. "The whole thing is full of agony," said the 
poor vicar, whose feminine spirit has been trapped in a 
man's body for 46 years. But at least he seems to have 
gotten good service from it. He's been married and divorced 
twice and sired a child once. 


*** On page 3 we discover that a group of Brits is trying 
to recreate the building of Stonehenge. They dug up a rock 
of the sort used to build the monoliths (though rather 
small in comparison to those at Stonehenge) and were 
transporting it by raft. Alas, their raft-building skills 
need some work. The $150,000 project suffered a setback, 
possibly fatal, when the raft sunk.


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SUNSTRUCK


"God save our gracious Sovereign, and all the Companions, 
living and departed, of the Most Honourable and Noble Order 
of the Garter."

At the Garter Day service, 
Chapel of Saint George 



A single sunny day does not a summer make.


Maybe you've never heard that expression. It wouldn't 
surprise me. I just minted it.


But here in England, like the rules of English grammar, it 
may not apply. The English know that when the sun comes 
out, you have to take advantage of it. A day or two of hot, 
sunny weather may be all there is for an entire summer. 


Yesterday was very hot in London. Everyone whom decency 
permitted removed his shirt. Carpenters hammered their 
nails, people read books or dozed in the parks, truck 
drivers shifted their gears - all torso nu. I felt like 
taking off my shirt too - but I was in polite society. My 
host had advised me to "wear a smart suit." I was not sure 
what he meant, so I put a silicon chip in my old grey suit 
and hoped it got some sense before the event.


Among the people in our group was an extremely attractive 
young woman of French origin. I was secretly hoping she 
would remove her shirt too, perhaps in the spirit of gallic 
contrariness. Alas, that wasn't on the menu. 


The sun beat down on Windsor Castle at the occasion of 
Garter Day...a procession whose roots date back to King 
Edward III in 1348. There, only a short walk from 
Runnymede, where King John Lackland signed the Magna Carta 
on June 15, 1215, Edward assembled his military leaders. 
One story, perhaps apocryphal, has it that one of his 
mistresses lost a garter at a ball. Edward, gallantly 
distracting attention from its owner, held it aloft and 
proclaimed it as the emblem of his highest order of 
knights. Thus, the order's motto: Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense 
(shame on he who thinks evil).


The custom of choosing and assembling the knights mutated 
over the years. Today, being a Knight of the Garter is one 
of the highest honors the monarch can bestow. There are 
only a handful of them. It cannot be bought with campaign 
contributions, we were told.


While hundreds of people camped out on the lawn, enduring 
the hot sun for hours for the privilege of viewing 
celebrities close up, our small group of about a dozen 
enjoyed an elegant lunch in a room almost directly over the 
parade route. Looking out the window, we noticed a large 
pink woman fall backwards onto the lawn. Several people 
rushed to her administering aid. They fanned her and held 
umbrellas to protect her from the sun. And after a while 
she must have revived, because I saw her sitting upright 
later on.


Finally, as were finishing our summer pudding, the 
procession began. 


"England is different from France," one of my companions 
remarked. "Rather than chop their heads off, we've turned 
our aristos into a tourist industry."


The household guards marched down the hill in bright red, 
wool tunics, leather boots that reached their knees, 
leather gloves up to their elbows and what looked like 
burnished brass helmets with straw-colored plumes. There 
were also a few soldiers in those huge beaver hats. They 
took their places along the parade route to protect the 
processioners, decoratively at least. A metal detector had 
been set up at the entrance to the castle grounds. I saw no 
one in the area with an IRA Forever tee-shirt.


After the guards were in place, there was a long wait. The 
sun seemed to get even hotter and we began to notice that 
one of the guards was starting to sway. 


"I've got thirty pounds that says he goes down before the 
show is over," said David, one of the small group.


It did look as though he would never make it. Others, too, 
looked a little wobbly. And there, on the grass, another 
large female had conked out. This one was loaded on a 
stretcher and taken out. Another casualty.


But then, the band started up. And what a fine group they 
were. Bedecked in heavy velvet, they carried their tubas 
and clarinets and played everything from the Imperial March 
to the St. Louis Blues.


They were followed by various groups, each one more 
splendiferous than the last. There were the military 
knights, the Officers of Arms, (with titles such as the 
Rouge Dragon Pursuivant) and then the Knights of the Garter 
themselves - walking at a pace so slow they threatened to 
topple over with every step. The Knights of the Garter are 
all men - with one exception, Lady Margaret Thather. And 
they are all very old. Medics stood by with oxygen as they 
tortured themselves down the hill. 


Then came the nobles -- the Duke of Norfolk, the Viscount 
Ridley, and the Black Rod, Sir Edward Jones, whatever or 
whoever that is.


And finally, the Prince of Wales and his sister Anne, and 
the Queen and her husband. All magnificent in huge velvet 
robes. And all very much as advertised.


And when the last of the royals had vanished into the 
church, I looked again at the crowd. Several more women 
seemed to be down - sun struck, or maybe star struck. 
Stretcher bearers attended them. 


But the guard still stood.


Your sunstruck correspondent at Windsor Castle,


Bill Bonner



P.S. Today - we're off to the races. Ascot, that is.
 
 
 
 
About The Daily Reckoning:
The Daily Reckoning... "more sense in one e-mail than a month of CNBC."  That's what readers are saying about The Daily Reckoning.

Bill Bonner, recognized internationally as a brilliant writer, entrepreneur
and publisher of The Fleet Street Letter, offers you his daily market
commentary absolutely FREE. For the first time, outsiders are getting a peek into his powerful and profitable investment insights. Bill's practical contrarian advice empowers even average investors to protect their hard-earned wealth and achieve amazing gains.

Bonner writes his email letter from Paris, France, each morning --
describing the wacky, wonderful world of investment, politics and everything remotely related. Irreverent. Sharp. Honest. Thoroughly, unabashedly contrarian. It's also among the fastest growing e-letter on the Internet.  It's a brand new service... but it has a distinguished history..

For nearly 62 year, The Fleet Street Letter, the oldest investment
advisory letter in the English language has consistently delivered
invaluable economic and political foresights to savvy investors. Current readers regularly enjoy impressive investment gains even as the market falters. Here's more from his online readers...

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Last modified: April 02, 2001

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