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April 2, 2023 | To Hell in a Handbasket

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Well, they finally indicted the proverbial ham sandwich last week, adding to our long list of worries that the world really is falling apart. It’s as good a time as any to trot out William Butler Yeats’ The Second Coming as a reminder of where things are headed. This is arguably the most powerful poem in the English language, so let your imagination run free as you read it:

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Opinions differed as to what the criminal indictment of our former president might mean politically. For The New York Piece of Shit Times, it was “a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges.”

The Zapruder Awakening

For fully half of the nation’s voters, however, the Manhattan grand jury’s decision to charge Trump with paying hush money to a former mistress was just more Theatre of the Absurd from the same people who would have us believe Hunter Biden was framed. But there were no allegations of Russian disinformation this time, so perhaps the nation is making progress, however tiny, toward restoring civility and sanity to public discourse. Both last obtained in the early 1960s, before the Zapruder film raised questions about who killed JFK.
​For better or worse, the stock market’s wildly erratic brand of sanity held constant last week as shares rallied strongly into simultaneous threats of global war, a run on regional banks, a drag-queen putsch in the nation’s cafetoriums, and an increasingly woke military leadership that may have to welcome the Avon lady in order to drive recruitment. On Wall Street it was business as usual, demonstrating yet again that make-believe money will continue to change hands at a brisk pace until cockroaches hold dominion over Earth.

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April 2nd, 2023

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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