Grant's "To-Do" List

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

“You know, it's at times like this when I'm stuck in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she say?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen.”
                  -Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
As we approach the end of the year and the various cliffs, bungee jumps and political idiocy that is in front of us you might want to take some time and pay attention to some friendly advice.  Yes, of course you know everything, yes of course there is nothing that escapes your attention and you are personally plugged in to the inter-galactic computer that provides not only financial answers and but divine indulgences but still; keeping an open ear might be a novel experience.
“History often repeats itself. It has to; so few listen!”
                    -The Wizard
Take some profits. That is my first suggestion. You and I have no idea what these “detached retinas” might do in Washington. They obviously lack clarity of vision and it could be higher taxes or a trade-off for some even higher capital gains tax or an investment income tax or who knows what. We know what we have now and we can be pretty assured that it will be something higher or trickier after the first of the year so locking down some profits now is a decent strategy in these difficult times. One plan is to move from “AA” or “AAA” corporates or asset backed securities and into Municipal Bonds of the same quality where the absolute yield, forget the tax implications, is better than their corresponding taxable bonds. Also if times get tough I point out that Muni’s default nine times less than taxable bonds because they have the ability to tax; if nothing else. Also if there are higher tax rates to come Municipal bonds will become even more valuable and they will compress even from present levels as their value increases.
Video games have not ruined traders. If that assertion was true they would be sitting in darkened rooms, talking to their consoles, pushing buttons on weird keyboards with Jewish names and yelling, “Gotcha.”
In the last year $400 billion has poured into bond funds. This trend is likely to continue as investors prefer the safety of the fixed-income world as opposed to the volatility to be found in equities these days. This has been true for institutions and the public alike and I do not expect any reversal of course as Americans lost thirty-six percent of their wealth during the financial crisis of 2008/2009 and are unwilling to repeat the experience. Coupled with this is the exposure to markets that are confronted with a potentially wider war in the Middle East, a Greek blow-up that could come from the Greeks or from some countries that are funding Greece refusing to waste anymore of their citizen’s money and a Spain/France/Italy debacle that could occur. One thing that is absolutely clear to me is that we have a lot of political risk on the table now and if you want to bet, fine, but if you wish to invest then holding on to your capital should be uppermost in your mind. Profits now, then cash until after December 31 or a weathered eye for opportunities during the rest of this year; both are good strategies.
“I've been things and seen places.”
                            -Mae West
Finally if you are betting for a living then I would say that the craps table is now safer than Europe. These people have flown over the cuckoo’s nest and have become disoriented by the flight. They print money and claim it is sterilized which is pretty much like a pregnant girl telling her father that she has just put on some weight. They point to debt to GDP ratios as if they were real which is about the same type of math as where two plus two equals seventeen. They count what they want to count and ignore the rest and then convince themselves, because they all chant the Mantra daily, that there must be some truth in their addition because it has been peated and repeated and finally regurgitated so often. The Europeans have also become magicians. They look at Greece and claim that their debt can be paid back; even Houdini could not pull that trick off! Spain claims a “Great Victory for Europe” which is akin to Napoleon making the same statement after Waterloo. The European Central Bank has proclaimed that they are going to “Save the World”  but I remind you that the last fellow that made that claim ended up on a cross and crucified and that any sign of “Saving” since then is beyond me. They have grand soirees, drink plenty of Champagne, bathe their vegetables in truffle oil and then demand that the citizens of various nations foot the bill. Parties such as this are funny things; the jesters jest, the Kings lord, the Palace of Versailles is abuzz and it all goes along until someone switches off the lights. Keep your eyes on the switches!
They thought they were the light of the World but then they had been blinded long ago by their ambitions!

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SheepDog-One's picture

All-in on red #30! Gimme another free drink!

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

REPEC's 50 best economists in the world: Highlights - Part 1


Coming in at number 24 in the world is Dr Paul R. Krugman 


Dr Krugman is famous for accurately identifying the causes of the 2008 recession and engineering the fiscal and monetary policies that ultimately put global economy back on the road to recovery. In addition to his academic work, Dr Krugman is also a popular author and blogger for the New York times. Dr Krugman is admired by sophisticated liberals and progressives scholars for his eloquent articulation of the virtues of state power and the benefits of central planning.

SheepDog-One's picture

Right MDB, in other more simpler words the bullshitters are now totaly believing their own bullshit.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The placebo effect can be quite powerful when belief is very high.

<Is it the medicine or the belief in the medicine that "cures" the patient/economy?>

JPM Hater001's picture

Hey, order a shot of Jose Cuervo for me...Lemon and Salt please.

TheCanadianAustrian's picture

How about the real stuff instead of that artificial corn-based shit?

mess nonster's picture

There isn't anything quite like authentic, homemade, real corn liquor. You can get it if you look hard enough. You can tell it's the real thing by the peculiar oily motion of the liquid inside the mason jar, and by the way your head explodes into a million pieces after the gulp.

lincolnsteffens's picture

Oh, goodie goodie! Thank you so much!! Now I know what to do with all my assets. Great idea, I'll convert it all to Muni Bonds to escape taxes and keep my savings, well, safe. I guess to be really safe I should spread it out by state economies, biggest is Calif. so I'll load up on them first, New York and New Jersey sound like good bets too.

Ass wipe

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"......that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."

Actually in a world that is rapidly changing (and not necessarily for the best) we might be better off if we ignored what we have been told/conditioned and went against the flow. The meat grinder doesn't care what you believe.

<Ignore how the sausage is made. Just understand that you are the meat.>

Miss Expectations's picture

Here's some of my mom's advice:

(On going to a restaurant)

Always check the bathroom.  If the bathroom is filthy, the kitchen is worse.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

That wise advice could apply to politics, economics, religion etc. Can I steal that? :>)

<You can tell a lot about a man by looking at the condition of his shoes.>


Miss Expectations's picture

If the bathroom is filthy, the kitchen is worse. TM



StychoKiller's picture

Sage advice:


What to do if you're trapped under a large boulder with no hope of rescue:  Consider how good life's been to you so far.  If, alternatively, life hasn't been good to you so far, which considering your present circumstances, seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.

[/quote] -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

GetZeeGold's picture



Need to speed up Agenda 21 bigtime......or all this crap is going to spin out of control.


Maybe just buy some gold and punch out of society.

zerozulu's picture

A plan to test all US citizens between the age of 15 to65 for AIDS is a part of agenda 21? Is this an excuse to collect DNA samples?

GetZeeGold's picture



No thanks....I don't need any aid.

JPM Hater001's picture

<-----Muni Bonds (9X's Less Default)

<-----Silver (No Default)

buzzsaw99's picture

Grant should switch to some better quality drugs imo.

StychoKiller's picture

The best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

The effect of drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.

See chapter two to see on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organisations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards.

To mix one yourself:

Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit. Pour it into one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V - Oh that Santraginean sea water. Oh those Santraginean Fish!!!

Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzine is lost).

Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.

Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle sweet and mystic.

Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.

Sprinkle Zamphuor,

Add an olive.

Drink.....but.....very carefully.

fonzannoon's picture

This muni bond safe haven is a bunch of bullshit. Not becuase of defaults. Everyone got herded into dividend paying stocks for the last few years. Now they may possibly hammer dividend income. Next they will be herded into Muni's becuase they are a tax safe haven. Once all the sheep have piled in they will put the muni interest income exemption on the table and the sheep will be sheared again.  How is this guy Grant so oblivious?

PlausibleDenial's picture

And, tax exempt income can increase the tax on your social security should you be receiving it.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Prediction time coming right up.

I think we are going to slip EVEN further down the rabbit hole.

I predict that Top managelemnt will screw bottom workers even harder in 2013.

I predict skirts will grow shorter and tops tighter in 2013 in the Main Stream Media.

I predict another 15 % of the brown and black people of th eworld will be munched by the great LEviathan and it's "david"esque (HAH!!!) partner in 2013.

I predict an Apocalypse, perhaps not in the way commonly understood and a massive surge in Cognitive Dissonance.


JPM Hater001's picture

The only thing I can reliably predict is lunch.

Tinky's picture

"I'm sorry sir, but we're out of the chicken salad."

nonclaim's picture

"I predict skirts will grow shorter and tops tighter in 2013 in the Main Stream Media."

That reminds me of Naked News... from what, 10 years ago?

Whatever happened to that idea, it stopped being fun when they started to add "diversity".

Quinvarius's picture

Didn't work so well the last time you suggested everyone sell last week.  Oh yeah and 85 billion a month in printed money.  Good luck with that whole "I want to sit in dollars" routine.

LoCicero's picture



Once again:

As for Venice and its people, merely born to bloom and drop,

Here on earth they bore their fruitage, mirth and folly were the crop,

What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop.

notadouche's picture

Why wouldn't one just take the tax hit and penalties (or hardship out of penalties) and cash out of 401k's now, take that money out of official circulation and move on?  Doesn't it appear that we will never have a cheaper time to access 401k's and  are at the low end of taxes for the rest of the century?     

mess nonster's picture

Cash out your 401k now, before the FrankDavisChrist nationalizes it and gives you stock in Hostess instead.

Take that cash, and put it someplace safe, like inside your mattress.

Deflation is coming. Tight oil is another lying pipe dream dreamed up by prevaricating liars. The Hubbert Curve for tight oil has ALREADY peaked. Every oil driller and two-bit energy vampire has monetized unrecovered and unrecoverable reserves, and that money has already been spent. The oil-patch bubble is real. Just another overvaluation in a giant over valuation bubble bath.

I know everyone relaxed when they thought tight oil solved the peak oil problem, but it takes energy to pay the vigorish. No energy, no vigorish, and no vigorish means someone's legs get broken. Deflationary peak oil shitstorm bitchez!

In a cashless society that is utterly broke, guess what cash will be worth? Whatever you guess, it will be worth more. I know it's just paper, but fancy-engraved paper will be worth more than gold when the time comes. It's the perversity of human nature. You go figure.

LoCicero's picture

It's been obvious to some of us for 4 years that Barack The Destroyer is trying to collapse the economy so he can invoke martial law after the ensuing chaos & anarchy.  Connect the dots.

Be prepared:  Food, water, flashlight, matches/lighter, pet food, car repaired & fine-tuned, visit to the dentist, etc.

See Fernando Ferfal's, "Surviving in Argentina":

And by the way, Mark Grant is a National Treasure. 

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Take those profits and invest in physical Gold and Silver and if you have anything left over,invest in land far from the city for future needs.

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Meanwhile, SP going green..... take profits, but not until the Black Friday ramp job is over.

zebrasquid's picture


Municipals Safe? Hardly..

[ from:  Money and Markets, by Nilus Mattive]

But What Most Investors Don't Realize 
Is That This Last Good Reason to Own Munis
Could Very Well Be Going Away, Too!

CNN Money reports almost 75 percent of municipal bond buyers are invested primarily because of the tax advantages.

This means there is always high demand for munis, even at lower interest rates, because the tax advantages and supposed safety of these bonds make them very attractive compared to things like higher-yield corporate bonds.

But according to Bond Buyer magazine, federal tax exemptions from municipal bonds have cost Washington over $258 billion in missed revenue over the last five years.

That may not seem like a lot when Washington is running trillion-dollar budget deficits, but President Obama is desperate for ANY increase in revenues he can find to fund the Capitol's spending addiction.

In fact, he has already tried to end the tax exempt status of municipal bonds twice before.

Both times he buried this legislation in larger bills.

The first was in the American Jobs Act of 2011 where he tried to sneak in a 7 percent tax increase on municipal bonds.

Obama then upped the ante in the 284-page Debt Reduction Act of 2011, which would start at a 7 percent tax increase with the potential to totally eliminate the tax exemption if Washington failed to meet its deficit targets.

Both times, his attacks were fought off by bond dealers and state lobbyists.

Now, however, a third attack on the tax exempt status of muni bonds has finally surfaced in Obama's 2013 budget proposal. And I think he may be successful this time around.

So if you've been running to muni bonds for safety, please reconsider. They are looking FAR riskier than dividend stocks right now.

In fact, I'd say this is the perfect time to get rid of any muni bonds and switch INTO dividend stocks.

After all, muni bonds are backed by governments with huge financial woes and are facing huge unknown tax issues. Meanwhile, dividend stocks are supported by private companies sitting on record levels of cash. And if anything, the future tax concerns about dividends are being OVERSTATED.


beaker's picture

MDB is a prick who is trying to get a rise out of people.  That's all.

Diogenes's picture

What are these profits of which you speak?