“Though man loved his fellow [man], yet man is a money-making animal, which propensity too often interferes with his benevolence.” ~ Herman Melville, Moby Dick
I can’t remember if the weather was bad that day or if my memory of the event is just foggy. What I can recall is a long street. On one side, a brick wall runs as far as the eye can see. The brick is a dark, almost ominous brown. If ever a construction material could represent the atmosphere, it is this, here. A shadowy sepia tint colors the scene. There is some kind of a statue or monument way ahead in the distance, on the other side of the avenue — it is the only thing that I can remember from the non-walled side of the street. It sort of looks like a golden calf of some kind.
In the middle of the street, there is a line of people patiently waiting to see a vendor who is set up for business. I mindlessly follow the herd. I am not sure what I am waiting for. I want to ask the others in line; however, they all kind of seem like mindless drones — human-shaped specks of dust just following the pack and floating aimlessly through the air. That is to say, it does not seem as if they would be of much help to me. It seems as if that they don’t know what they are waiting for either. I try to look to the front of the line to see what it is we are all lined up for.
At first it is hard to see past all of these brown dusty specks, but then I see him. He is the most concrete thing in this otherwise abstract atmosphere. He is more of a brick wall than the brick wall, more of a monument than the monument. His face is hard to make out from this far back, but even as a distant blur his features look prominent. There must be at least a hundred people between us. It looks as though he is a mustachioed man wearing a bejewelled psychic’s turban. I am reminded of the wizard in The Wizard of Oz — well, not the wizard per se, rather, the man behind the curtain. And not when he’s behind the curtain either, but rather when he is back in Kansas, gazing into his crystal ball and seeing the tornado coming. I can see the chain of what looks to be a pocket watch in his front pocket.
After staring at him for what felt like hours, minutes, I notice something peculiar about this man. Well, there were many peculiarities, but the one that jumped out the most to me was that his arms were of two distinctly different lengths. The first one was short and slow, and the second hand was long and quick. With his fast, long right arm he would take whatever the dusty human offerered and give them something in return, of what I can only assume at this point is commesurate value.
His booth, kiosk, store, vending table, or whatever you want to call it, had three items on it that never moved. A candle on each side, and a marble bust of someone on the left that I could not distinguish from this far away. The vendor held a tablet to his chest with his short hand, and as I just said, with his long hand he dealt with the exchanges between customers (if customers are indeed what we are). I have seen him interact with dozens at this point, yet I still feel as far away from him as I did when I first got in line.
Hearing a shrieking noise breaks up the monotony of the scene. It appears that an old woman at the front of the line is upset about what the vendor deems to be the value of her offering. I cannot hear her words from this far back. From here all I can hear is SHRIEK! SHRIEK! SHRIEK!
I roll over and hit the snooze button on the alarm. I don’t need the nine minutes it gives me until it goes off again. I hit “snooze,” not because I need to do as its name suggests, but rather because it is the quickest way to make the terrible noise stop. I sit up and then turn the knob on the side of the clock with all the wakefulness and dexterity it requires.
I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I wake up this early because I have to get ready for work. My friends think that my job consists of rolling out of bed just before the market opens and then just clicking my laptop haphazardly until I either make or lose a whole bunch of money. To tell you the truth, when I first started doing this, it was very much like that. I started doing this because I didnt want to have to wake up early and go to work everyday like everyone else. How one could throw away forty or more hours a week, every week of one’s whole adult life, doing something that they more or less hated seemed absolutely crazy to me. Now, ironically, I am willing to bet that I wake up earlier than most of my peers, and the stress of my job is much more intense than they could even imagine.
The first couple months of doing this, I nearly quit half a dozen times. It was just so difficult, I was beginning to think that someone like me — which is to say someone of meagre means (or “humble beginnings” as biographers might say to add mystique) — could never do this professionally. I didnt bring enough to the table, as it were.
I began to just think I was destined for the same fate as so many others of my class — my best friend Danny the truck driver, for instance, who consistently works a grueling 50 hour a week schedule. Run the rat race until your time is up, and that’s it. It seems like such a waste.
I wanted to climb the ladder of success, the ladder to the stars, and get out of this God-forsaken rut. One thing you must remember about a ladder though, sure it can be a means of ascending, but falling from such heights can leave you worse off than when you started. After the fall, you’re back on earth just the same, except now you are broken and damaged. I say this from experience, for I, too, was left broken and damaged by a couple of brutal falls at work. And there was no worker’s comp either. It was incredibly hard to pick myself up, dust myself off, and climb back up.
“Wait a minute I owe you what? What’s a margin call?”
Increasing your credit limit
to improve your credit score
to score some more credit
will leave debt at your door.
So when I first started doing this job I would roll out of bed, open my laptop and start clicking haphazardly. Well, not exactly, but I might as well have been; the results were the same. I wanted to do this so that I could make money and not have to slave away at the daily grind; yet here I was, without a clue, watching my money disappear faster than I could ever imagine. This seems to be the exact opposite of why I started doing this. I’m sure my friend Danny doesn’t go to work and lose money. It’s less of job at that point, and more of a bad habit.
For day traders the best time to make money is the first hour of the market day, 9:30–10:30am. It is when stocks are their most volatile, which is just a fancy market word that means a particular stock has big swings either positive or negative. It is the day trader’s job to follow the volatility, which is to say follow the big swings. The goal is to see a big swing to the upside coming, buy in, ride the swing upward, and then sell out quickly. Your profit is whatever you were willing to risk that that swing was going to continue its upward trajectory. Remember, it can just as easily stop going upward and take a big swing to the downside. POOF! A brutal fall from the ladder. All your money is gone.
So what’s a margin call? To buy something on margin is to borrow money to buy an asset, such as a stock. In other words, it is spending money that’s not yours to buy something that could rapidly decrease in value. Another way to look at it, it is a debt that keeps giving, because it increases at the rate of the stock’s depreciation. A margin call is when the one who loaned you the money demands their payment. This often happens when the stock depreciates so much, that the debtor realizes that they need to get the money from you while it’s still possible to get it. All of this is to say, if you are buying on margin and what you buy doesn’t pan out, you’re screwed.
The fear that occurs when you lose massive amounts of money in seconds is debilitating. It paralyzes you, and makes you become desperate — desperate enough that you effectively say “double or nothing” to your debtor and borrow even more against your already devastating losses. The whole picture becomes foggy. It’s like there is bad weather around the brain. It all becomes very dark.
Different people seem to have different reactions after leaving the vendor. Some, like this one particular old woman, who was the epitome of a dust speck, looked very content when she came walking back in this direction, past those of us still in line.
Why no one walked in the other direction, down the street past the vendor (instead of returning back past those of us in line), didn’t make any sense to me. It seemed as if it was a clear path to walk; perhaps I am wrong. I’ll see when I get nearer to the front of the line. I imagine by the time that occurs, however, the two candles on the vendor’s table will be down to nothing.
Waning, yet waxing poetically.
So the old dusty lady looked happy, a full moon of a face; she was nothing like the earlier lady who shrieked. The shrieking lady wasn’t as old, but she looked equally aged. Her skin was sallow and sickly. The happy old lady, on the other hand, seemed vivacious. Well, as vivacious as one could seem in this foggy atmoshere.
How much longer am I going to have to stand here in this line? I wonder if any of these other drones are thinking the same thing as me; or did they all somehow get here before me and have a much better understanding of what is happening here. I wonder what would happen if I just got out of line and either walk up to the front of the line and cut everyone, or just walk away entirely?
What will all these mindless drones think of me? Do they even think? I wonder.
Either way they will see me as “out of line.”
This is, of course, just pointless pondering. I remain in line, trying to see over the shoulder of the gentleman in front of me. What is taking so long? If this many people are waiting to see the vendor, he must be worth waiting for, right? I mean, who has time for this?
I realized the hard way that this was not some roll out of bed job, where I can simply open my laptop, click randomly, and make a ton of money — and thus save myself from wasting my time running the rat race. From the outside, it may appear as if I began to take this job seriously. I was waking up very early, eating a full breakfast, showering, shaving, dressed and ready for the day like I was working any other job. The truth is, I didn’t get serious; it got serious, and I just had to follow suit. I learned the hard way what a margin call is. Nonetheless, I figured I might as well go double or nothing, I was already in too deep and desperate. I didn’t have the time (or patience) to pay off a debt this large. I couldn’t just roll out of bed anymore and gamble away my future, I needed to figure out the mechanics of how the market worked or I was done for.
I knew it was possible
to save my own hide
There’s no easy way out
It’s about time I tried
I thought: if there were day traders who could consistently make money, it means that they are either the luckiest people in the world, or rather, more likely, they are just people that did their homework and figured out how to play the game effectively.
Already in debt, and up against the proverbial wall, I decided to go all in. I purchased two big computer monitors, a few highly-rated day trading books, and an online service that monitors stock movement. I did this all on credit.
I turn off the shrieking alarm, and sit up in bed and begin my day by counting my blessings. I do this even though, based on my current account balance, my blessings seem to be in the red at the moment; it is actually at moments like this when reflecting on what you do have is of the utmost importance.
I turn on CNBC’s Squawk Box at 7:17am. This financial news show has three anchors, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernan, and Becky Quick. When I first started watching these three, I got very annoyed by their interplay, thinking, How did these three get this highly-coveted job? Now, I get it. The constant tension between Sorkin and Kernan is priceless; and Quick, who is like the middle ground between the two, does an excellent job balancing them off; politically, she often seems more like Joe, but she has a definite soft spot for Andrew. Looking back, the irritation I felt watching this show was never about them; it was about me. I didn’t want to be up this early, and the fact that these three were already going strong, sharp as tacks, and epitomizing the elites aggravated me immensely. Again, it was my issue, not theirs.
It’s like the old adage reminds: it’s darkest before the dawn.
The show plays in the background as I start my morning routine. I make my bed, turn on the coffee maker, and pour myself a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. From cereal to sink. From sink to sink; toothpaste follows. From shaving to showering to dressing to sitting back down in front of the squawk box with a second cup of coffee. I turn the show way down as I look to my stock checker. I follow the volatility indicators. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice it looks like Sorkin and Kernan are arguing again. It’s usually about taxes — who should be paying them and how much. Taxes are for people who earn income and own nice things. At the current moment, neither one of these are much of a problem for me. I decide to leave the show at a near mute, even though I admit I’m intrigued by the apparent volatility. When Sorkin calls Kernan “Joseph” and when Kernan calls Sorkin “Andy” you know they are both really angry.
I remain focused on the volatility that matters. This is a major difference in my “serious” approach to this job — I ignore the outside noise. I look to see why these stocks may be jumping or falling: mergers, acquisitions, new products, earnings, scandals, etc. Basically, what is the business’s big news? I then figure out if the news is good or bad, and decide when I should get in (if I should get in) and when I should get out (as a day trader you always have to get out). Much like looking into a crystal ball, it is by no means an exact science; nevertheless it is based on educated deductions and ever-increasing experience. It’s a formula that pays dividends. Not literally, of course. Day traders don’t actually earn dividends; we don’t hold a stock long enough to qualify for them.
At 9:30 am, when the market first opens, the swings in stock prices can be drastic. One of the most important tools in the day trader’s toolbox is his or her ability is to interpret candlestick patterns. A candlestick is a type of mark on a stock graph that denotes where the stock was at a particular interval in time (minute, hour, day, etc). It is called a candlestick because (as you might guess) it looks like a candle. One who is skilled in reading candlestick charts can tell whether a stock has hit a point of resistance [a place where it keeps stopping on the graph], and as such he or she can predict that it is then going to go up or down from that point.
There is an important issue that must be addressed here. One might think: how could someone predict where a stock price is going to go simply based on a chart; doesn’t a business’s underlying fundamentals (its products, services, earnings, etc.) determine the success or failure of a stock? The interesting thing is that stocks move based on both fundamentals and chart patterns. It is understanding when it is one and/or the other that is the day trader’s bread and butter.
Let me give you an example. Say a pharmaceutical company is awarded FDA approval for their new diabetes medication. Their stock is likely going to go up because of this aparent boon to their business. As the day trader, you need to figure out how much it is going to go up, and at what point does the company become valued at what it is now worth based on the new approval. What is important to keep in mind is that approval of the diabetes drug is not a guarantee that the company will be successful; it is merely a good indication that it could be successful. That being said, there is a clear point at which the stock price could get ahead of itself and become overvalued. Needless to say, the goal is to sell your stock shares before other traders and investors realize that that has occurred.
This example shows you how business fundamentals can play a part in a stock’s movement, however, like I said, a stock’s chart (i.e. the candlestick pattern) completes the stock movement picture. There are certain chart patterns that indicate what is likely to happen next. For instance, say a stock is bouncing back and forth between $90 and $95 a share. These are the stocks two points of resistance. It is when the stock breaks through either ones of these particular points that it indicates its short term trajectory. In other words, the candlesticks help to show which way the price is leaning. So if it gets to say $96 or $97 a share, it might be safe to assume that it won’t go as low as $90 again for a little while; and if it does, that is your cue to get out and cut your losses. This is how a successful day trader mitigates his risk and increases his chances for success. This is what it means to take the job seriously.
Inching ever forward down this walled street, making my way closer to the enigmatic vendor. I see the people in front of me recieve a vast assortment of trinkets from the short armed, or should I say long armed proprietor. I want to ask this one lady what she got from the man, but much like getting out of line, I didn’t have it in me to do something that would draw attention to myself and make me stand out from the crowd. Nonetheless, as she walks past me, it is as if we communicate telepathically or something, because as I see what she is holding I realize what it is, almost as if I am looking down at the item in my own hands in wonderment. It is a kaleidoscope. I then wonder what it must have cost her. Still telepathically connected I realize it cost her seven years of her life. Surely one’s time is worth much more than something as useless as a kaleidoscope. How could she be smiling about it when she knows what it cost her to get it? The thought baffles me.
I was so lost in the poignancy of that realization that before I know it, I am next in line. Just in front of me, the table, the melting candles, the bust. It is all so haunting. It is at this moment that I put it all together, and understand who the vendor is — he is a time merchant. I used all the aforementioned clues to come to this conclusion; well, that, and the fact that the man is wearing a pin on his lapel which reads “Time Merchant.” I wonder what he is going to give me in exchange for my time.
I can only vaguely recall what our interaction was like. It was like walking home during a storm, it was foggy and cold — just keep your head down and plow ahead, you tell yourself. Before I know it I am walking back up the line, looking down at what the time merchant had just given me. I remember that I had wanted to be different and walk in the other direction, away from the vendor, down the street toward the golden calf. Nonetheless, I am too wrapped up in what I was just given to think clearly. What am I supposed to do with these anyway?
Another person in line wants to know what it is I was given in much the same way I was curious about the lady with the kaleidoscope. As if he were in my mind for a moment, he looks down and thinks Magic beans? I wonder how much that cost him?
I don’t know how long I was waiting in line to see the time merchant, but it felt like a really long time. I traded all my time for this? I look down with disgust and disappointment.
I roll out of bed, sweating. I think I just had a nightmare. Either that or I am waking up to one.
I turn on Squawk Box. I don’t even sit up in bed to do it. “Listen, Joseph…” “No you listen, Andy…”
The market is way way down. The anchors who aren’t shouting at each other are conspicuously silent. No one seems to know what to make of what is going on. Is it interest rates? Is it inflation? Is it an inversion of the yield curve? Is it all of the above?
You would have thought that war had broke out across the world.
I just want to go back to sleep. I turn the volume down on the squawk box, and roll over, sheets still sticking wrinkly to my body.
I’m looking at this pack of magic beans in my hand. The time merchant did not explain what these things were good for. He just took my time and handed them to me. No discussion, no explanation, nothing. All I know of magic beans is what I learned from the old folk tale “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Jack trades away his family’s cow (at least I think it was a cow — whatever it was, it was supposed to represent something of value) in exchange for the magic beans. Magic beans are supposed to be symbolic of something that is seemingly worthless. Beans are in and of themselves a cheap food staple, and then when you describe them as “magic” you diminish them even further. After all “magic” is not real (or so we are taught) and thus to believe in it is just plain stupid. When Jack’s family finds out that he traded the family’s cow (something valuable) for magic beans (something cheap and stupid), Jack is made to feel ridiculous under the weight of their ridicule and disappointment.
How could I be so gullible? I traded something of value for something that is essentially worthless…
The thoughts become dark for some time.
Maybe this is my opportunity to prove everyone wrong.
Jack plants the beans in the ground, and before he knows it there is a giant beanstalk that can take him to incredible heights.
In this foggy atmosphere, now blocks away from the walled street, I find a patch of dirt to call my own. I fall to the ground and reflect on my interaction with the time merchant. I feel like I just fell from an incredible height. I buried my dark thoughts, and sat up. I took the beans in my hand with a reluctance to accept my own stupidity, and with an I’m-going-to-prove-you-all-wrong attitude I planted them in the dirt all around me. This is where the magic begins, I think with an implacable certainty.
It’s just after 9:30 am when I wake up again, soaked. I sit up. No breakfast, no shower, and not dressed for the day, I roll out of bed with a seriousness about this I have never before had. I become lost in my work. I figure if the market is going to go down, then I might as well find a way to benefit from it.
In many markets around the world short-selling (or “shorting”) a stock is against the law. In fact, Elon Musk has recently called for such a law to be applied to the US markets. Nevertheless, shorting is very much legal in the US, and it can be very lucrative if you know what you are doing. The usual argument against short-selling is this: traders and investors should not be able to make money off of the misfortune of others. The argument in favor of short-selling is two fold: first, one should be able to spend his or her own money as he or she sees fit, and second, it is oftentimes the research done by short-sellers that uncovers flaws and/or corruption in a business, which should be brought to light for the good of the whole investing community. It was short-sellers who uncovered the Enron scandal after all.
What is also important to know is short-selling is much riskier than regular investing, and brings with it a commesurate money hazard to its (debatable) moral hazard. With regular investing a stock can only drop so much, meaning, zero is furthest down a stock can go, so your losses are limited by the amount you have invested. Whereas with short-selling, a stock could, in theory, go up indefinitely (e.g. Berkshire Hathaway’s stock is currently priced at hundreds of thousands of dollars a share), and as such, there is no limit to what one could potentially lose short-selling. I believe this is the tradeoff the US stock regulators have struck. It’s like: we understand that short-selling is seemingly underhanded, and as such, you deserve what you get. In other words, if you want to bet against people, it could really burn you in the end, and if it does, too bad. Shrug. Karma’s a bitch.
So back to my point: I think to myself, if the market is going to go down, then I might as well find a way to benefit from it.
After deciding to prosper from the downfall of society, I made more money by noontime than I usually did in a month (and believe me, since getting serious about this job, I have had some really successful months).
I was shaking with disbelief and euphoria as the market plummeted. The further down it went, the more I made. I was sweating as much, if not more than when I first woke up. “Andy…” “Joseph…”
I admit it was jarring to still hear the CNBC anchors speak in ominous tones about what was happening in the market; I was having the best day of my life.
Ha! Best day of my life — hunched over my computer, dripping with sweat, and benefitting from the losses of others — what a low bar I have set for myself. I have traded it all away for some magic beans…
I showed them, I think to myself. I see my beans, for which I traded so much of my time, start to sprout.
Within a couple of months the beanstalk was as tall as a house, within six months it was a yacht tipped up on its stern. And before I knew it, it looked to be touching the clouds.
Once one person in line noticed it, all of the dusty, foggy specks followed suit. These stone-faced, rat-racing, time-traders encircled the beanstalk like they were imitating stonehenge or something. At this point I am painfully aware of how different I am. They are all looking suspiciously at me and my beanstalk. I made something out of nothing. This should be celebrated, not ostracized, I think stubbornly.
It wasnt that long ago that I was just like them — a stone-faced monolith looking at something I didn’t understand.
I grow weary of their judgmental gaze and decide it is time for me to make a break for it. Since they have me surrounded on all sides, I realize that the only way out of here is straight up. I begin to climb the beanstalk to heights that these people could only dream of.
It was a Monday holiday that stops my story in its tracks. The market is closed, and my friends are off from work as well. “I haven’t seen you in forever. What do you say we get together on Monday?”
I agree. “Come by and see my new place. I got the top floor in the new apartment building they just built in Downtown Providence.” Danny sounds impressed when I say this; I relish that. Not as much, however, as I thought I would.
“So this is where the magic happens,” Danny says congenially as he steps out of the elevator, which opens right up into my picturesque hardwood-floored apartment. “I knew you were doing well, but I had no idea. Maybe I should quit my job and do what you do — roll out of bed, click my laptop for a few hours a day, and bada bing bada boom, I’m chilling in a penthouse suite in the clouds.”
I wish I could explain to him how wrong he is. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
”So how’s your work been going?” I ask politely.
“You know, same ol’ same ol’.” It was as if Danny had said these words a million times before.
I always felt sorry for Danny. He was everything I never wanted to be. Oddly enough, however, it is at this particular moment, when he thinks I am on top of the world, that I kind of envy him. He didn’t have the same day-to-day stress I have. He always knew when his next paycheck was coming. And most of all, he wasn’t constantly looking over his shoulder for karma to come peeking around the corner.
What was more, when he complained about his wife Catherine and their newborn baby Abigail, who wasn’t sleeping through the night, I understood that it is men like Danny who actually create things in this world. Day traders are essentially worthless; we create nothing.
“So what’s your secret?” Danny asked, looking up at my high ceilings in ostensible awe.
I bet against people for a living. Is what I want to tell him. “No secret, I just do my research and then put that research into practice.”
Even though this was my Monday off, here I was still short-selling. I couldn’t help but look down on Danny. Not because of his regular rat race job, but rather because he mistakenly envied me. Danny had a family, who loved him and counted on him, and he was as reliable as his weekly paycheck (which as we already said was very reliable; he had been with his company for years). Here I am, up here all by myself looking down on everyone, which if they understood what I really do for a living and what really happens on Wall Street, they would be looking down on me.
So I look down from atop my beanstalk to see if anyone has decided to follow me up here. Not a one. They still have the stalk surrounded, but none of them seems brave and/or reckless enough to take the risk. I risked it all to get here — I traded all my time (and in all likelihood my reputation) for these magic beans.
I spend my days up here just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know there’s a giant who lives up here [fee-fi-fo fum…] who is going to destroy me one of these days. I don’t know how much longer I have left, but it can’t be long now. He must know that I don’t belong here.
The melting candles on the time merchant’s table suggest diminishing returns.
The candlestick patterns on the dual monitors suggest my time is running out.
The time merchant put the hand of his longer arm on the statue’s head and said, “You never know when you might go bust.”
In my foggy recollection, I can see all these human-shaped specks of dust standing in line, waiting to find out what their time is worth. I hear a woman in the front shrieking. The atmosphere is dark, despite the flourescent lights humming antagonistically overhead.
It is not difficult to see here how betting against the fortunes of others is a sure thing. In this case, it is those in charge who are selling us short. This unemployment line is the stuff of nightmares; it is almost as scary as doing something you hate for living.
Danny lost his job, that is why he is here standing in line. Part of me thinks that it is a blessing in disguise. I mean, working your ass off day in day out, loading and unloading trucks, seems like a terrible way to spend one’s precious time. No one on their death bed wishes they spent more time at work, and I’m willing to bet that there are many people at work right now who would rather be on their death bed than have to go on working just to live. This is all, of course, my lazy and cynical way to rationalize things in order to be able to sleep at night. And speaking of which, since Danny lost his job, it wasn’t only baby Abby that was crying through the night, Catherine had been shedding tears of her own. The fact of the matter is Danny was laid off because his company had to cut back on expenses. It appears a bunch of short-sellers bet against his company in order to make a quick buck, and the downward momentum of their actions took the stock for a ride needlessly to the ground, all the while disregarding the company’s sound fundamentals, such as hard workers like Danny.
I descended the beanstalk, this ladder to the stars, to the ground, at breakneck pace. I know I should be careful, falling from this height would put me in worse shape than if had never climbed at all — but at this point I don’t care if get hurt. In fact, I feel like I may even deserve it.
The view through the kaleisdoscope is distorted and fictitious. There are time merchants everywhere; it is they who are the day-traders. They are the ones who trade you silly trinkets in exchange for your valuable time. To them, you and your family are nothing but commodities — just points on a chart. They don’t care if you are burning the candle at both ends to keep up. To them, just as long as you are sweating to earn a living, and getting mad at the television screen all the while, the world is as it should be.
The point is this: how ever you spend your days make sure you spend your time wisely so to speak, and make sure that whatever you get in return for your efforts is not only magical but can take you to new heights, away from all the sheep to the land of giants.
As I roll out of bed, at my leisure, I look at the screens in front me. All my friends are lined up before me, telling me what their time is worth — just candles on my table.
Very few people walk past the time merchant’s table, down the other side of the street, in order to better see the golden calf monument. Well, I have broken through that invisible line of resistance and I have ventured to Wall Steet’s other side, and I can tell you this, when you do finally see the bigger picture, and you look very closely at what is actually there, you will see that it is really just some bull —