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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Cody Blog Has Moved

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Rock n Roll Spirit of AC/DC Is Gone

You know, I complained awhile ago when AC/DC sold their classic jam, "Back in Black" out to the black Razr from Motorola. But now I notice all the places it's used including the Lewis Black segment on The Daily Show and it's ruined the song for me. And now....it's used for a Gap women's pants commercial featuring Audrey Hepburn? Oh, man, that's just brutal -- and don't get me wrong, I love that Audrey woman -- but she don't mix with AC/DC!

CW on the Real Story

I chatted with my main man Aaron Task, Executive Editor at the TheStreet.com about the DJIA, Microsoft, and what else I’m looking at right now. Fun stuff, click here to check it out.

Welcome to the revolution hitting full bloom.

Bulls Dance on Dead Bears

A picture like that 8”x6” picture on the front page of the Money and Investing section of the Wall Street Journal … well, that can’t be a bullish thing.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

EPSN MNF -- Can't Get Much Worse

I don't really know how to rant about how bad the commentary on ESPN's Monday Night Football was last night. Did anybody else catch that interview with Steve McNair in which a good 90% of the questions were, "Well, back to Brett Favre, Steve, how do you think it must feel to [fill in blank here]."

Here's an revelatory idea, Joe Theismann, et al: Ask Brett about Brett and ask Steve about Steve and the Ravens!

Sheesh, some heads need to roll at ESPN before they completely blow this MNF franchise to hell.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Cody News Spot: Ivory Coast Dump Tragedy

Global Sludge Ends in Tragedy for Ivory Coast

Published: October 2, 2006

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Sept. 28 — It was his infant son’s cries, gasping and insistent, that first woke Salif Oudrawogol one night last month. The smell hit him moments later, wafting into the family’s hut, a noxious mélange reminiscent of rotten eggs, garlic and petroleum.

Mr. Oudrawogol went outside to investigate. Beside the family’s compound, near his manioc and corn fields, he saw a stinking slick of black sludge.

“The smell was so bad we were afraid,” Mr. Oudrawogol said. “It burned our noses and eyes.”

Tough, tragic story here from the NYTimes about these criminal enterprises who dumped toxic waste in Ivory Coast, leaving civilians in the area in a major health crisis and even killing at least 8. The article's wrong to call this an "underbelly of globalization", but these criminal enterprises who are guilty of murder must be prosecuted by the global courts. And yet again, where is the UN when it could be helpful? Of course if they do get involved, I suppose Kofi's kid can finagle another new Mercedes out of this deal anyway.

CW in FT: New Windows promises a breath of fresh air for tech

As oil spurted from the $30s to the $70s during the past few years, as the price of petrol at the pump in the US exploded from about $1.50 to nearly $3.00, as copper quadrupled, the handwringing was all about how the consumer would collapse and inflation would skyrocket. It turns out that the positives, a strong global economy, a friendly Fed and the coinciding booming housing market, trumped the negatives of spiking raw material costs and energy prices, writes Cody Willard. | Read

Channeling Positive Feedback

Got this email on Friday and it sure made my day heading into the weekend. I get a lot of very supportive email from readers — my only question is: Why not post it in the comments to counter the negativity there? I think the reason why is that the readers who reach out with positives want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the comments. Anyway, I thought I’d share this one, and the author gave me permission to use her name to boot.

Dear Cody,

Hope all is well for you in New York ! I was looking at your new video today and I thought it looked very nice! You look and sound great. I am sorry to read so much "off" stuff on your blog this week...My letter to you earlier this week was a joke...You got that, right? Not interested in meeting you in the ring, only if I can buy you a drink whenever you are stranded in Dallas as promised in my first email to you:). But thank you for posting my blog about global warming. I hope others share in my passion and I hope you appreciated the sense of humor along with my message.

I must confess you are quite a trooper when it comes to all this criticism. The way you press on is impressive and I am learning from you how to be more like that....It is a good thing for me to remember your character and how you continue and not give up. That is the kind of thing that separates men from boys.. Anyway about your new video, for some reason your face on my Mac screen goes in and out in a bizarre pixel looking blur and then the video stopped halfway before you finished. Don't know if you know that or if it is just my compute screen r, but it did that on the last video too, just didn't stop halfway.

As I said you look great and I like when you are more poised. I am up for a television gig myself in Philadelphia and so I can understand having to be "on" and pulled together in front of a video. It is a lot to keep together...Take care, Cody..press on....Sincerely, Ellen Borlenghi

Thanks, Ellen. Press on — and ROCK ON!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

'Til Death Killed by Overexposure?

A few months ago I went with my friend Mitch to see his client Bill Maher at the Apollo theatre. After a quick meet and greet afterward Mitch and a couple other Hollywood biz biggies and I took a car downtown to some incredible hidden gem of a classy Italian place. It must be a Hollywood secret hangout or something because not only did we meet Jennifer Anniston (I smiled and have to admit I found myself a bit addrenalized as we chatted) but we also sat next to Brad Garrett at the bar while we waited for our table.

I sure thought Brad was good in Everybody Loves Raymond. And 'Til Death, which I've seen a few minutes of a few times and found pleasant enough that I didn't immediately switch the channel, seems like, if given a chance, might develop into a decent enough family sit com. But why is Fox intent on killing it with immediate overexposure before the show, the characters, the plotlines, the nuances and inside/recurring jokes that make a sitcom are even revealed, much less developed?

I mean, I think I've seen the show multiple times every night I've flipped through the channels on the television for the last two weeks. I'm sick of it already.

Looking to Leave Blogger

So, I'm so sick of Blogger because:

1. You have actually program the html when you post from a Safari browser on your Mac.

2. My blog is oft-slow to load.

3. The log-in pages from which you post are too often unavailable.

4. There are more, but mainly, I'm sick of Blogger because it won't let me tag posts and then categorize them by subject.

So we've exported my blog and all the archives and comments from posts past to typepad. We're beta-testing it right now, but I'm loving typepad relative to blogger right now and am about to point this site and the URL TheCodyBlog.com to http://thecodyblog.com.typepad.com. I'm afraid my RSS subs will have to re-subscribe from the new site's feed, if and when we make the move official.

I like the idea of being able to categorize by subject matter though, as I think some readers come here for my personal stuff, others for music, and others for stocks. or whatever. I also get a lot of emails from random posts asking if I've elaborated on the particular subject in past, so now readers will be able to find that with just one click. Anyway, before I make the official move, I figured I'd float it out there for readers to check out and give me some feedback.

Post a comment or shoot me an email with your thoughts and comments.


Friday, September 29, 2006

The Cody News Video Edition September 29, 2006

Click here for a high quality, downloadable version in quicktime. (right click to save, left click to play in the browser)

Click here if you would like the podcast version (right click to save, left click to play in the browser)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CW on RM: Big-Cap Tech Is Back

Big-Cap Tech Is Back
09/26/2006 9:18 AM

The market snapped back from the red yesterday morning to rally into the close with some big gains. And those gains once again were led by tech, as they have been since the market bottomed (at least in the intermediate term) in late July. Even the semiconductors reversed and ripped higher, closing up 2% on the day.

The rally from the July bottoms has been broad and strong, with the Nasdaq up more than 10% from its lows. And, despite being written off more times than an oil man's Enron investment on his tax return, the biggest leader in the market has been big-cap tech.

Yes, big-cap tech has been in full-on bull mode. Oracle now up more than 40% on the year. Microsoft is up more than 20% from its recent lows. Cisco is up nearly 30% since it reported its most recent quarterly results. So much for big-cap tech's exaggerated rumors of death.

To be sure, the whole group is not exploding higher. Intel has crawled back from its lowest points of the year, but it's still bumbling along just about 10% above its recent bottom. Dell, of exploding-computer and failed-MP3-player fame, is also about 10% above its summer lows.

Even recent qualifiers for "big-cap tech" status, Apple and Google have bounced strongly from recent lows. Apple has been really smoking from the mid-$50s to the mid-$70s since summer, with a 30%-plus rally.

With the retail and bank indices each up single digits from their summer lows and with energy and commodities in free fall, big-cap tech is back. "Is" is the operative word in that sentence, because if Microsoft's Vista spurs any meaningful upgrade cycle in PCs, if Intel's new chips rock at a low temperature, and if Cisco keeps enjoying the fruits of accelerating enterprise tech spending -- well, multiples can continue to expand and estimates can go higher. And that would provide a double-whammy to fuel these stocks further.

I won't chase these names right now, but I continue to hold Microsoft as my biggest position, and I'm holding my more recent addition of Cisco steady, too.

P.S. Speaking of Enron, can you imagine how big and powerful that firm would probably be if it had managed to hide the corruption long enough to enjoy the huge energy boom? That's a scary thought. Or perhaps a beautiful thought, because they did get busted and justice was served.

"A Way to Deal With Your Blog Trolls?"

A friend of mine sent me this article with the comment “A way to deal with your blog trolls?”. One of those trolls, er, readers of mine gave one of their usual barrages of always-anonymous comments in three or four of my posts last night. My favorite of the night is, “ Saw you....besides your hair looking all greasy, as usual, you added nothing!”

I think I love these folks who care so much about me that they catch my appearances on TV and keep coming back to read this blog...and read my stuff from other outlets to boot....and even care so much that they help me generate traffic with their funny comments on my blog.

But I guess I could go this route:

Director takes swings at critics -- literally

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Tired of the criticism of his films, controversial German film director Uwe Boll took on four of his critics in a Vancouver boxing ring, and ended each bout with a knockout.

The director of the vampire flick "BloodRayne," based on a video game and starring Kristanna Loken and Ben Kingsley, issued a fight challenge to his critics several months ago. Fifteen responded.

"I like now the critics," Boll told a news conference after the fights on Saturday. "Everybody who was in the ring showed (guts). Nobody dived.

Hey, latest anon, got the guts to meet me in the ring? ;)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jonesing For But Leery About Dylan's Concert

I'm pretty jazzed to have some great tickets to go see Bob Dylan for the
first time ever in a few weeks. Even though I'm pretty jaded by
his Apple endorsement (that reminds me how my good friend Joe used to scream "I'm jaded!" along with Garth's cover of Billy Joel's hit "Shameless" instead of "I'm shameless". Gawd, did the corporate playlists ever kill that song back in 1991/2 in Texas). And I'm still banning music from post-1982 too, so I can't speak to his newest album (though I will listen to it before I go to his show...).

At any rate, I had to pass on this review from my favorite music
critic/analyst/whatever, Bob Lefsetz wrote up:

So now plagiarism is the FOLK TRADITION?

The reviews of this album are demonstration of why you can no longer trust
print/reviewers. To look cool, to be a member of the club, to remind you of
the way things WERE, you've got to dig deep and give a good review of this
record. Whereas you've got to listen to it almost a dozen times for it to
reveal itself, and almost nobody's gonna give it that time and should you
have to TAKE the time? Isn't that like saying if you're alone on an island
with a member of the opposite sex for three months you'll grow close?

This is not a bad record. But it could have used an outside producer, the
sound is anything but revelatory, never mind ear-pleasing and Dylan could
have used a Jacques Levy.

If you consider this to be classic, you've never listened to "Blood On The
Tracks", never mind "Bringing It All Back Home", "Highway 61" or "Blonde On

Now if you were alive back then, if you weren't looking at the past through
rose-colored glasses like the aforementioned writers, you'll know that Bob
Dylan released a turkey, "Self Portrait", and after the reviews were
SCATHING, he went back into the studio and released the almost classic "New
Morning" within six months. Maybe if they gave this guy BAD reviews, he'd
come to his senses and make something more accessible.

Oh, don't tell me "Modern Times"' virtue is its INACCESSIBILITY. "Anna
Karenina" isn't inaccessible. And if inaccessibility is the criterion,
"Trout Mask Replica" is the best record ever made, maybe challenged by
"Metal Machine Music".

This is not a word of mouth record. These same worthless print writers are
selling this record. Getting baby boomers who want to look cool and in the
loop to buy it. Because if you heard it at a friend's house, you'd NEVER
buy it!

PS. Tune in Friday -- New Music Friday (with a twist) returns!

Friday, September 22, 2006

CW on RM: 10 Market Thoughts

10 Market Thoughts
09/22/2006 4:28 PM

It was an intense week of action in the markets, and there was a lot of macroeconomic news flow to blame it on. Here's what's on my mind as we close out the week.

1. If spiking energy didn't matter to consumers while they kept spending over the past few years, why should we think energy's collapse will matter in our consumer outlook now?

2. Is there any, any, any remote possibility that housing will actually strengthen again?

3. What if, now that even DaimlerChrysler has all but thrown in the towel and that the Philly Fed and who knows what other macrodata are being hit by Detroit's problems, Detroit's fundamentals have finally bottomed?

4. What if it turns out that the automakers actually roll out some products that consumers really dig?

5. Why can't the automakers become "tech" companies and innovate in ways they used to in decades past?

6. Was it too obvious to buy Google on Yahoo!'s warning? Sure was a lot of commentary on both sides of that bet.

7. Is it time to bet that Nokia will be OK this quarter and guide fine for next?

8. Should I pair that idea with a Motorola short because the market has deemed that Moto can do no wrong lately?

9. I complain all the time about the fallacies of stereotyping, er, grouping stocks by market cap and sector, such as "big-cap tech." That said, is the strength in Cisco, Motorola, Microsoft, Apple and Oracle a function of money flowing into "big-cap tech" as a sector because the rest of the world doesn't see it my way?

10. What if the Zune does bomb as badly as most all the world thinks it will? Does that present downside risk to Microsoft? Probably not. Would a Zune boom present upside to Microsoft? Probably so.

I am going to get outside and hit some tennis balls on these last days of summer-like weather here in New York City. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

The Cody News Video Edition September 22, 2006

Click here for a high quality, downloadable version in quicktime. (right click to save, left click to play in the browser)

StockPickr.com Takes Off...

My boy James Altucher, oft-mentioned in my adventures on these pages, has just launched his new stock-referral service at StockPickr.com. It's pretty interesting stuff, as you enter in your favorite and least favorite names and the site generates new ideas for you based on hedge funds and super investors (Buffett, Icahn, Soros, Miller, etc) and individuals who have similar stocks. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

All Wet, But Having a Blast on CNBC Squawkbox

Last Thursday I had a 7am spot on the Squawk. I was up at 5:30ish and got cleaned up and ready to rock n roll. Armani leather jacket in hand, I stepped out into the misty rain and ran across my bricked street and hopped in the back seat of the Town Car waiting...the driver was surprised to see me and said I had the wrong car. Uh oh.

No other cars were waiting outside, and it's now 6:20 so there was no sense in wasting any time trying to track down the right car. Now being a cowboy from NM, I'm an utter umbrella incompetent. I lose them all the time (no shocker there, right?), and I don't currently have one that I know of. So I wrapped my jacket inside of my WSJ and after a few minutes found a cab on Houston. To the studio in a skyscraper in midtown then, and I find the doors locked. Sloshing through a giant mudpuddle and I get inside through a side door, rather soaking wet (as noted by a commentor here). No hairdryer (and no handdryer in the bathroom for me to pull a Desperately Seeking Susan)...what can you do? Was still a blast to get on there and talk Revolution.

A Cody News Spot: Life is Better?!

Life Is Better; It Isn’t Better. Which Is It?

Published: September 20, 2006

When the first snow falls on the North Shore of Chicago this winter, Robert Gordon will take his Toro snow blower out of the garage and think about how lucky he is not to be using a shovel. Mr. Gordon is 66 years old and evidently quite healthy, but his doctor has told him that he should never clear his driveway with his own hands. “People can die from shoveling snow,” Mr. Gordon said. “I bet a lot of lives have been saved by snow blowers.”

If so, most of them have been saved in the last few decades. A Canadian teenager named Arthur Sicard came up with the idea for the snow blower in the late 1800’s, while watching the blades on a piece of farm equipment, but he didn’t sell any until 1927. For the next 30 years or so, snow blowers were hulking machines typically bought by cities and schools. Only recently have they become a suburban staple.

What an awesome "Flip It" this one is -- the world is better for most Americans (really?!)...and also -- after all the whining about hedonic adjustments by our bureaucrats understating inflation, Leonhardt explains how they might be dramatically OVERSTATING inflation. Provocative ariticle.