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January 03, 2009 – Comments (12) | RELATED TICKERS: BWLD , GM

Unemployment 10%  25%  30%  75% 

We are broke from sea to shining sea.  Starting with California, our states are bankrupt and falling like dominos.

Our industries are imploding, exploding, faltering, crashing into each other, giant pillars taking each other apart as they go down in the dust.

Stocks are falling, dividends are cut.  Retirees develop a taste for Ramen noodles (ask your college age grandkids for the recipes - 9 cents a pack).  Fixed incomes are the bane of our new existance.


Let's shake things up a bit in a few ways.  First, to blast out of the box in one direction -

We have provided to other countries foreign aid, and we have done so for decades. Time to pay the piper for aid, for food, for medical supplies.  With interest.  We accept cash, minerals, lumber, natural resources, any valuable commodity up to and including government buildings that can be sold to pay our debt. 

Don't like that one?  How about this - Before WWII, we had the Lend-Lease program.  We supplied Great Britain (mainly) with weapons to continue fighting while we waited to enter the war.  They were supposed to pay us for the "loan" but it was understood (wink) that they didn't have the money so they wouldn't be able to come up with the funds.  Other countries also owed huge debts to the good ole US of A.  Debts so large that the governments of those countries would have toppled if we had held them to the loans.  So we "forgave" the debts.  Gosh we're swell like that.  Do any of these countries hold paper on us now?  Wouldn't it be nice if they returned the favor?  Well, Do it or we brush off the loan papers, adjust for inflation, penalties, and interest and see how the compounding works out.  Even if we do not end up coming out even, we sign our loans over to the nations that we now owe.  China gets the debt owed by France.  Germany gets the bill for putting their country back together again  --  TWICE.  Plus the bill for the Berlin airlift, of course.  Japan gets the bill for providing military services for the last 60 years (they have no military.  A term of WWII surrender. We provide their military protection.  Aren't we just so gosh darn nice?  And my uncle, who spent 14 years there doing just that currently resides in Arlington on a hillside.  He was   special  to me)  Sorry, forgot to be sarcastic for a moment there.  And please note that this is all to be taken with a strong dose of sarcasm.

Really blasting out of the box we are thinking inside of?  We Have Bombs!!!!!!!!  Nice Shiny Bombs!!!  Other countries have Oil, Gold, Emeralds, Timber, Minerals, Artworks, All manner of wonderful expensive things that can pay off debts.  And not nearly as many Bright New Big Shiny Bombs!!!!!!!!  Cancel our debts like the swell countries we know they are  or we cancel them!  Or we take their stuff and give it back as "cancelling the debt."  Either works.


Because we are better than that.  We choose to draw a line and say this is good and right and we will do these actions.  Those actions are wrong and harmful and we will not choose them.  Not we cannot.  We will not.

I have read increasingly fearful, doom and gloom prophecies on these CAPS blogs by people that I respect.  I have watched as the tone got more and more bleak.  You are trapping yourselves inside a very small box of what can be done, my friends.  Brainstorm.  Think the truly insane.  Then look around and see people who are surviving by thinking outside the box in some not so insane ways.  Find them and share them.  Share them here if you will.  We need to remember that we are innovators and that is not so very bad.  We are where we are, in positive ways, because we are not willing to stop and quit.  Do not quit.  Look for others who have not quit.  Then share the positive.

Think outside the box

12 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 03, 2009 at 8:00 PM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:

A sign on the marquee of a large GM dealership last night -

                         H 3 -- 50% OFF 

Clothes, toys, even furniture 50% off - But a Hummer?  Definitely worth a look if you are in the market at all!

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#2) On January 03, 2009 at 8:32 PM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:

Disclosure - I have owned Buffalo Wild Wings stock for some time but until tonight have never actually gone there to eat.

Whoa!  When I bought this stock, the final deciding point was actually the website.  It was down to two very good stocks, so I logged on to see what the consumer would see and BWLD made me want to go to the restaurant.  I figured they had some idea of their target market.

The new place has been open for about 6 months (this is the one NOT on a campus with 32,000 college students).  It is great food and sensory overload.  On one wall, my conference's football team was winning, on another, a conference basketball team was losing (bummer).  Trivia was going on a smaller screen beside the basketball (I will ask for a playmaker next time as I would have been coming in a solid second among the 12 or so players - at least until the food got there.)  Texas Hold 'Em was on another screen or two.

The food was great. Burgers, wings (okay, I have never had buffalo wings before tonite - I like them.)  And no, I wouldn't have wanted to go to a fun restaurant with lousy food.  As it was, we tried a little of several different things.  Almost all good (fries were a throw-away).

There was so much going on, it felt like being at a party.  I can't wait to go back and this time I'll bring more friends!

More Stock.   MORE STOCK!!   MORE STOCK!!!!!!!

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#3) On January 03, 2009 at 8:44 PM, ContraryDude (38.55) wrote:


Good post. Thanks for the positive thoughts.  Try reading some other investing sites for other good ideas - SeekingAlpha is a good one. I also like Zacks. Not all the investing sites are as full of gloom and doom bears as this one has been lately.

Interesting comments on BWLD. I have thought about looking into it but cannot convince myself that any restaurant is a good long-term investment. The business is too cyclical for me.  Good luck to you!


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#4) On January 03, 2009 at 10:48 PM, johnw106 (< 20) wrote:

How does that saying go...when pessimism peaks is the time to go all in.

I look at it this way. If the world is ending I want to go out in style and partying, not hiding under the bed cowering in fear.
When I mentioned buying dry beans and salt in one of your other threads I was being a bit sarcastic. The company I work for? We are expanding our business this spring and by the end of the year will have added 70 to 80 people to our payroll.

The world is not ending. It is simply changing. As it always does. It would be a very boring planet if everything and everyone stayed the same year after year would it not? The only thing I worry about is the governments using this rough time to exert more control over the people and cramping our libertys.

I enjoy your posts. And I am glad to see you enjoying some of lifes small but ohhhh so sweet pleasures.

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#5) On January 03, 2009 at 11:30 PM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:


Another first for the night - I finally figured out the links at the top of these ^$#^ comment boxes. (I am rather fond of 'profanity' marks in typing because I am not that good at typing and I don't really have to be to just hammer keys, so I insert them even when I wouldn't use the language!)  (plus they look neat)

It is always fun to read your comments, and partying is much better than stockpiling salt and dried beans. My New Years Resolution is to find a cruise to someplace I have never been, apply a crow bar if necessary to pry my husband away from work for a few weeks (I may have to apply it to the heads of a few folks that think he is indespensible) and sail away.  The world can wait to come to an end until we return! 

I am very much in favor of as many sweet pleasures as possible.  May you have many of all sorts and sizes this year.

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#6) On January 04, 2009 at 1:28 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

May I suggest any crusie.....and never leave the ship.  The BIGGER the better if you are prone to sea sickness.  Try to get a cabin in the middle, it is less reactive to the ship's movements.

If you can afford it and want to show off, a suite at the front is  where the beautiful people hang out.  You will  find me at the bar or in the casino.

Regarding BW3 wings....I myself have find them too boney.  But many seem to like em.....and as an investor... if people like boney wings....they are cheaper to buy and margins are higher.  Since food costs have fallen recently, if they can keep sales up, profits should do just fine.  Life is OK when you can eat your way to fun and profits.

As far as thinking outside the box, what are your thoughts on recycling?

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#7) On January 04, 2009 at 4:31 AM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:

Recycling outside the box?

Ideas - The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution - especially the Bill of Rights need to be dusted off, reread, and recycled back into the schools, the government, and our lives.  I believe these great documents may have gotten swept into a dusty corner somewhere because we are certainly not living by them.

Books - The good ones, when recycled, are called reprints.  If you have books that you do not want, please consider a library or other place to donate.  As an idea, libraries in tornado, flood, or hurricane ravaged areas cannot replace out of print books at market prices.

Recycle your large items that you cannot use by taking them to your favorite charity or offering them to a family in need that has suffered a fire or other loss.  If you need to sell, try free newspaper ads or Craigslist.

Our ancestors bought tools and household items from the estates of those who had died, providing a record of who was left behind, what was left, and who bought what.  They didn't think of it as recycling.  They called it surviving.

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#8) On January 04, 2009 at 1:50 PM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:

More very positive thinking from two new CAPS members - worth a look and a comment!!  (Wish I was that smart)  - Survival Economics AKA Chicken Little Economics    and - Water based infrastructure bids

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#9) On January 04, 2009 at 7:46 PM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:

Thanks, Alstry!  You are absolutely right!  A cruise with a suite at the front it shall be.  I suppose that I must in true Motley style add the following however:

Disclosure:  I have planned a three week cruise as a New Year's resolution, anniversary, Christmas and any other excuse I can think of idea for several years.  Hasn't happened yet.  But the fun is in the imagining.

Think positive. 

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#10) On January 04, 2009 at 9:38 PM, leftfield4sure (< 20) wrote:

First of all thanks for the plug I need all the help I can get....Perspective is a wonderfull thing to roll around in:When challenging times come your true character becomes quite evident.So yes Mary good stewardship not only sets people apart but nations at least the ones I want to be a part of.Give me a company ceo with a positive can do attitude and i will show someone who not only is outside the box he is spinng it around to gain futher insights;The American economy is the greatest one the world has ever seen ;it was because of the people;we just forgot who we were.Boils down to a nasty word accountability.Bwld hmm bought them in Oct longterm good value there is what i see.Never been to one....yet ;but glad to here that establishement is as i pictured and read of Im a Buffalo NY native(east coast now) so vested interest there makes for good brand distinction.Cruise wise:have a good aspect from the male perspective;my brother just went on one.left from the west coast went through the Panama canal(theres the guy aspect)into the carribean ended in Puerto Rico and flew back(sky miles)like 3 weeks im still stuck on the panama canal part:cruise ship 81 feetup going thru all that history,machinery like wow

                                 Regards leftfield


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#11) On January 05, 2009 at 8:55 AM, DaretothREdux (53.84) wrote:

BWLD is great! I am leary of food industry stock right now but if I had to buy one it would be up there (w/ McDonalds and maybe YUM...). If you want to try a lot of their flavors for cheap you should go on Tuesday, my BWW has a forty cent wing night every tuesday night and you can order 6 at a time and still save money.

As for your original post, I have heard someone argue that we should take oil from Iraq as payment for putting their country back together. I know we would never do it because it wouldn't be politically saavy, and possibly would destroy their only means of restablization (if that is at all possible).

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#12) On January 05, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Mary953 (84.54) wrote:

Leftfield - My folks spent their "retirement" taking cruises, including the Panama Canal.  Apparently it is every bit as amazing from a non-mechnical perspective - sort of like looking at a huge airplane and thinking - "This thing moves through air?"  This is the source of my obsession with cruises.  I want to take as many as possible, starting as soon as possible.  For retirement, I want money enough for food, shelter, clothing, pets, and cruises - not necessarily in that order!

DaretothREdux - I told leftfield that I tried to think outside the box and dropped an atom bomb on it instead.  My satire style would be along the lines of T Swift "A Modest Proposal" except it just made me so sad that I could not stick with it.  I'll never be a satirist, I guess.  I was already losing it when I hit Uncle Joe and the satire angle just fell apart from there. It's hard to keep those going - you do good stuff. Most wouldn't appreciate the difficulty.

As to BWLD, I bought at $25 in Apr, missed a sell point of $45 in Oct, (Sound effect- Maniac screams in dungeon) then watched it slide to $19 on rising prices due to high gas and chicken prices.  Fuel and chicken prices have stabilized and it is headed back up.  This is the best single stock in my portfolio as a growth stock.

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