I'm trying to do a monthly post that contrasts the ads with the other content in Harper's. The February 2008 issue is a Cynic's Disneyworld, so I'm having to break it into smaller chunks.
Mr. Janszen's thesis is fairly simple:
1) We've had stock "bubbles" in the past. Market bubbles are just that. The price swells and swells because of people wanting to be in on the next big thing. The Wise Men sell their stock when the price hits a level somewhere around "Freakin' Ridiculous". The Foolish Among Us are left holding worthless shares of pets.com.
2) Certified, Pedigreed, and Registered Stock Experts like Mr. Janszen have studied plenty of bubbles. Mr. Janszen thinks the next one is as predictable as an eclipse.
3) There is only one market segment that fits the bill for the next potential bubble.
That's enough of my amateurish ramblings. Allow Mr. Janszen to describe the next bubble....
"(Al Gore) has joined the legendary venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers....to oversee the 'climate change solutions group', thus providing a massive dose of Nobel Prize-winning credibility that will be most useful when its first alternative-energy investments are taken public before a credulous mob."
"The candidates for the 2008 presidential election....now invoke "energy security" in their stump speeches and on their websites."
"More valuable than campaign rhetoric, however, is legislation. The energy policy act of 2005....contained provisions GUARANTEEING LOANS FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY BUSINESSES." (Those are my capital letters; Janszen doesn't type in outraged screams.)
"How bad will (the alternative energy bubble) be?.....we can expect to see the creation of another $8 trillion in fictitious value, which gives us an estimate of $20 trillion in speculative wealth, money that inevitably will be employed to increase share prices rather than to deliver "energy security". When the bubble finally bursts, we will be left with yet another devastated industry."
I can't tell you the sense of relief I'm bringing to this post. I've been all alone, banging my little pots and pans together in the middle of the street, raising hell about Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins. Even my surrogate Father-figure, Gary, dismissed my previous ravings by saying "Interesting conspiracy theory you have there, Allen."
But now I'm validated. Vindicated. It's now confirmed in Harper's Left-Wing Liberal Holiness Monthly, and by Eric Janszen, no less. You can click here and see my similar predictions from a month ago. The same predictions that Gary pooh-poohed.
Gary W., you are hereby dismissed from all surrogate father duties. Eric Janszen and I not only feel the same way about Al Gore, but Eric has also run venture capital firms, and has more money than you. He's my Daddy now.
Noah probably felt this way when it finally started raining. (I don't think there's a word in English that means "the joyous feeling you have upon realizing that millions of people will be destroyed, but your predictions were correct.")
So what remains to be done? Republicans aren't likely to go along with this scam, and Hillary and Al Gore hate each others' guts. That leaves Obama as the only likely candidate to fully embrace this farce. I'm totally pumped about possibly getting to witness this - I'm seriously considering going out on election day and getting drunk enough to vote for a Democrat. It's just so beautiful. From now on, I hope all of you get a warm fuzzy feeling every time you see an advertisement with the word "green" in it.
So here's The Whited Sepulchre strategy for investing in the Al Gore/Kleiner Perkins con job. Please remember that I can barely allocate my 401K funds properly.
1) When these alternative energy stocks and funds (guaranteed by government loans) are floated in front of a gullible public, buy all you can.
2) When you have doubled your money, take half of it out. It's yours.
3) Leave half of your
4) Remember, this is a bubble. According to my Daddy, Big Eric J., this is going to swell and swell. And it ain't through swelling yet. Throw half of what you've gotten in step 3 back into the pot. Don't include anything from step 2. That's yours. Let the step 3 money double. Remember the dotcom boom and bust. Remember the Tulip mania. It's going to be huge. Repeat until it stops doubling. Remember you're playing with house money when it all blows up. And it's all done to (sniff, sob) save our planet.
5) This is very similar to The Whited Sepulchre blackjack strategy. Hey, it works.
So what's a piece of practical capitalist advice like this doing in Harper's magazine alongside all the other anti-free market crap?
Harper's readers might generally be Big State Collectivists. They might be buying smaller SUV's to reduce their carbon footprint. They might be irked that we're not part of the Kyoto protocols.
But they're watching their wallets and their retirement funds just like everyone else. Just because they're all of the above doesn't mean they're stupid.
Eric J., I know I'm putting a lot of words in your mouth. Let me know if I've misquoted you or your opinions. And send me next month's allowance ASAP, because there's a Renewable Green Energy Alternative Holistic Energy Renewer startup (with zero carbon emisions) going public soon, and I want to get in on the ground floor.