Thursday, December 4, 2014
Launching A New Blog by Frances Madeson: Apple Epistle
On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged a thousand points in an hour. The event has come to be called the Flash Crash and was explained as a likely "technical glitch." I didn't believe that then, and even less so now. It felt like an announcement of a new era and a warning, not to me personally, but to those who were clued in and spoke that language of control, power and greed. I felt that drop as if I were a helpless passenger on a commercial airplane, and the sadistic pilot, for laughs, took a nosedive just to see who would puke and who would cry and who would pray and who would thank him for getting us there safely.
That very day I took all of my money out of the capital markets, which I have never much understood or believed or trusted, even as I profited. I had participated because I realized early on the absurdity of living in Capitalism without capital, and the dangers too. God bless the child whose got her own is not just hyperbole, and the unspoken message is that the child who ain't got her own is not just unblessed, but cursed. Being damned to poverty in America is no joke.
But it was and remains a matter of personal pride not to be jerked around like that ever again. At the time of the Flash Crash, the DOW was at 9,862 and is now close to 18,000. My retirement account has been in cash all this time and without regret I have missed out on all the ensuing riches. I needed to step back and rethink my passivity about money-making.
In the interim, by focusing elsewhere, mostly on social justice activism, and not thinking very much at all about the stock market, I have come to understand it as the mechanism by which power shares the crumbs from its feast. Its vast apparatus is as effective at ensuring free markets as the US electoral system is in delivering fair elections. In other words, for the most part it is what it appears to be, except for when it's not.
Before the Flash Crash I did what I was told--I contributed regularly to my account and always the maximum allowed by law. I diversified among sectors, nations, cap size, instruments. I was in mutual funds and later funds of funds
Today I reentered the equity market and placed a very sizable bet on my perceptual capacities. Can I read the world as it is, not as I'd like it to be?
My new blog Apple Epistle is meant to chronicle my correspondence with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. as together we--seasoned CEO and newbie Apple shareholder--move Apple towards a market cap of $1,000,000,000,000 (that's one trillion dollars in case the zeroes make you dizzy).
The target date is August 2016.