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Everything posted by pantone159

  1. The couple who used to own Hawkeye Point (the Sterlers?) had a reputation for being very friendly to state highpoint collectors, so I give it good vibes. When I visited almost 20 years ago the husband had passed but the wife still owned the property, but everyone was welcome to visit. My parents had both been to Ocheydan Mound (which was for a time thought to be the Iowa highpoint) so I went there too, and collected several ticks. Most all of the western state highpoints do have really great views, as you would expect. But once you set yourself to visiting all the state highpoints, you will go faaaar out of your way for even sillier places. (Ebright Azimuth DE, aka road intersection, holla!)
  2. Don't miss Iowa! Guadalupe Peak is one of my favorite of the US state highpoints. The views are very cool and pretty varied as you hike up. It can definitely be windy, so be prepared for that, but otherwise it is an easy hike, besides the moderate elevation gain.
  3. The Chinese have this figured out. They have lots of banknotes for the afterlife, known as 'Hell Money'. You can even get them on eBay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_money
  4. Day 3 actually sounds harder than Day 2, just be prepared to be pretty worn out, but that may be ok for you. I have climbed Guadalupe Peak and driven back to Austin the same day, so it is possible, but I do not recommend that schedule. There is snow up there sometimes, but that probably won't be much of a problem on the GP trail. Fwiw, Carlsbad NM is as close (or closer) to Guadalupe Peak NP as Van Horn is. Carlsbad is not much of a town but Van Horn is not either. (Though Van Horn does have the Chuy's with the shrine to John Madden, who was still going the last time I was there, I suspect his table is still waiting for him though.)
  5. Well, that is literally what that means. Come and take it!!!
  6. That is a good question. Is the $250K coverage from the FDIC per each fraudulent account, or are they all combined?
  7. Huh? The debtors, especially the depositors should absolutely be in front of the shareholders. The shareholders get squat until the depositors get ALL their money back.
  8. But if they do indeed hold them to maturity then they will in fact get paid in full, and the market price does not matter, or whether the interest rate changes or not. Works until a bank run forces you to sell.
  9. But is has to be easy to sell for cash, and a bit at a time. You could take off a couple of links from a gold chain and sell for a little cash as you need it. Gemstones are probably a lot more trouble to sell, and a lot more trouble to get fair value, there is no 'melt value' for emeralds. I hadn't thought about the markup on jewelry though.
  10. Yikes. It has occurred to me that a gold chain may not be a bad way to 'stack'. To me the use for gold is if somehow I need to flee for my life. Unlikely, but possible, and with a chain on my neck I don't have to waste pocket space to hold my gold. But gold did not work as insurance for that guy.
  11. Yes, T bills would have been a lot less profitable for SVB. To be fair to SVB being a bank has to be hard in ways in a zero interest rate environment, you need to earn something on the money, and there were probably no easy answers for them. The actual easy answer is that the whole VC industry should not have all piled all this capital into the same medium sized bank and assumed that everything would just magically work out (like it always has seemed to for them) and that is a mistake made by SVB's customers and maybe not even so much by SVB.
  12. They will be made (mostly, at least) whole, because the assets of SVB are (presumably) not garbage and will be sold for their market value which will mostly or even entirely cover the depositors. But these deposits are no longer the liquid cash they thought they were.
  13. If you have enough eggs in one basket, you either need to a) really watch that basket, or b) think about spreading the risk. I doubt that you can audit your bank enough yourself to be really sure of them, so maybe having an account at another bank as well is not a bad idea. Banks can and do fail sometimes. You should have already thought about this but SVB is a reminder that yes this does really happen sometimes. It would be no cause at all for panic or even fear though.
  14. Actually SVB would probably be fine now if they had invested in Treasury BILLS which are short duration, have not lost value, and are now having their best investment performance in 15 years (finally!). These are the possible replacements for bank deposits as cash-equivalents. Instead they bought long duration Treasury BONDS and apparently quite long term which gave them the most possible exposure to interest rate increases, and made these investments at a time when interest rates were at the lowest level in generations. Oops. But yes the banking industry does provide very important liquidity to the economy and it is important that it keeps operating. It is also a good idea to diversify the banks used so you don't have an entire industry going to one single bank for their financial needs in a mad rush to follow the herd. Oops.
  15. It is like nobody in the industry is over 40 and so has no memory of interest rates being other than zero. Interest rates now are not 'high'. They are about 'normal' now. The past 15 years have been the abnormal ones.
  16. The SVB failure is directly related to the bank management making the obvious mistake of backing short-term money (deposits that can be withdrawn) with long-term assets (long duration Treasuries). This has caused plenty of banks to fail in the past and being aware of this risk should be Banking 101 level obvious. For a more local variety of this issue, see the S&L crisis from the 1980's or so. At least the S&L's had the excuse that they were basically forced into investing in long-term mortgages, while in SVB's case, being that they invested in marketable securities which they chose, was an unforced error. And it should also be completely obvious that bank deposits in excess of FDIC coverage were a credit risk from the bank. It is kind of astonishing really that somebody who claims to be financially sophisticated (Ackerman) would ever think to utter that. This should have been 100% totally obvious to the management of every single one of the companies who had large deposits with SVB. I do agree that there will be rippling effects that go beyond SVB's customers, which will have unknown consequences, but for now those who are caught by this made their own unforced mistake. They will probably eventually get almost all of their money out, but for now I guess their management has finally learned that credit risk is a thing. Edit: I am mixing threads in my head and was half responding to this:
  17. This is one aspect of self-driving infrastructure that I am disappointed to see that little is happening (as far as I can tell). If we have computers driving cars, it seems like it would be a really good idea to make it easy for the computers to figure out the situation. One aspect would be things like electronic lane markings. Maybe there could be cheap RFID tags along the roadside to help the cars figure out where and how many lanes there are. And also some way to electronically signal that a road is closed (maybe a giant sinkhole just opened up, or a truck carrying nitric acid just rolled over on the road ahead, or whatever) to make it easy for the self-driving cars to figure out the road is closed, and not have to e.g. notice red smoke clouds in the distance and realize that is a nitric acid spill. Adding some signals from each car so other cars can identify others would be part of this as well. I really hear very little about work in this direction. Of course a full self-driving car needs to be able to deal with the absence of such help, but why not make some of the problem easier?
  18. Imagine somebody who absolutely has to comment on any possible subject, whether they know anything about it or not. They may be ignorant, but have heard enough buzzwords that sound related to whatever subject comes up, so they go on and on and on spewing out stuff that sounds kind of related, but is actually nonsense. This is EXACTLY the kind of conversation that these chatbots are making. You probably know somebody that talks like this. Do you look to them for advice?
  19. These candy hearts are chalky and unpleasant! I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!
  20. It does of course, and so if this has really not fallen far off the road, it will not take too long to find it, even if they have to look for thousands of miles. Gamma ray spectroscopy FTW!
  21. I suspect your problem is the sleazy salesman who sold you your internets. Never trust anyone wearing a tie.
  22. Yes, I believe it. SOMEBODY gave this guy a bunch of money, he went from broke to having $700k in the bank or something like that, in the runup to his campaign. If all this did not come from the ponzi scheme profits (and I suppose it could have), then SOMEBODY paid him to get in this position. So, who?
  23. That is Guatemalan, not Mexican. You can tell by the repainted Bluebird logo.
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