Lessee, Now...
Entry for 2017-07-19


Excerpted from Landlord Rights
The last time I was a tenant, it was in a building where the elevators occasionally stuck between floors, shutting in one or more occupants until the repairman, an avid fisherman, could be retrieved from Tionesta. While trapped in the elevator shaft, the tenant would sometimes receive a parking ticket because the meter had expired during his imprisonment. For this offense, according to the lease, he could be evicted.
Such powers are not often exercised. They are like paintings or music, there to be enjoyed by the owner rather than put to practical use. Then too, rights and powers are tempered by the duties they carry with them. Imagine what awesome responsibilities a landlord must be willing to accept in exchange for his monarchical authority. Does he not take on the solemn duty to provide for the comfort and well-being of his tenants? Well, it's like this:
3. It is agreed that the Lessor shall not be liable for failure to furnish heat, hot and cold water, or elevator service, nor shall such failure suspend the rent.
Does the landlord not provide his tenant with a home, a place of personal dominion and privacy?
6. Lessee agrees to permit the Lessor or his servants, agents and/or employees and/or any other person authorized by the Lessor to have free access to the premises hereby leased... either in the day or night, for the purpose of examination of the same (the same what? The same Lessee?) ... with or without Lessee's consent and whether or not the premises are occupied by the Lessee.
If not privacy, surely the landlord provides protection for the tenant's property.
7. (i) Lessor shall not be held responsible for the loss or damage of any such property, notwithstanding such loss or damage may occur through the carelessness or negligence of the employees of the building.
Oh.



The Corporate Work Ethic
Entry for 2017-07-13


"The Good earn,
The Better save,
The Best invest,
and screw the rest."


(Later)
Entry for 2017-07-07


I'm the eight-thirty appointment,
asked to move back to nine.
I didn't intend to disappear,
leaving this note behind;
but it felt so good, wings unpinned,
that I kept on moving -- ten,
eleven, twelve, then off the clock
and out in the blue again.
I was always a good appointment,
punctual, had, and done.
But the world has so many other times,
I'd hate to lose my one.


Stunning Reversals
Entry for 2017-07-04


Excerpted from Contrary to What You Might Think (filed under "The Skeptical Investor")
What the major market analysts finally realized was that there were people out there who invariably did exactly the wrong thing. It's as if no scientist had ever been able to develop a compass that would point north, but some bumbling amateur had managed to make an instrument so defective that it pointed unfailingly to the South Pole.
For stock market technicians, just such an inverted divining rod emerged in the hands of the odd-lot short seller, possibly the most cherished and least respected financial mind in the long history of going short.
The odd-lotter, the impecunious small investor unable to buy round lots of 100 shares, is presumed to be not only under-capitalized but also under-informed, ill advised, panic-prone, and non-logical.
When these chronic bunglers sell short in great numbers, staking their meager assets on a decline in the market, sophisticated investors smile knowingly and proceed to buy with a vengeance. (I'm using the word "sophisticated" here the way it is used by Wall Street advisors: if you are rich, and if I make my living by advising the rich, then I'll probably call you sophisticated. You, in turn, will prove me correct by hiring so perceptive an advisor. This is the kind of logic that utterly escapes the odd-lot short seller.)
How well does this contrary indicator work? When big investors see the odd-lotters selling short and they plunge into the market with billions of dollars, sure enough the market rises. It works splendidly.

They may, it's true, be confusing cause with effect, but that's just another illustration of the power of reasoning in reverse.


High Anglican Physics
Entry for 2017-07-01


In a carefully orchestrated collision near Chicago
at 300 billion electron volts, dashing about,
a neutron, once part of Bishop Berkeley's umbrella,
met a proton, some say from a tooth of the Venerable Bede
(others insist from Samuel Johnson's sinuses, exhaled
and later enrolled in a drop of London rain)
met and, in that agitated state, botched everything:
fused, let fly one tense, ephemeral particle of truth
and failed to make a particle of difference
Johnson and Boswell