PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, AUG. 9, 2011) — Domino effect, anyone? See what a little panic will do.

Lenders, who were all too eager to loan money as long as they could do so essentially without risk, once again are acting as they did three years ago. Skittishly, they are demanding more collateral from investors.

To meet these fear-driven margin calls, investors have been dumping stocks faster than a kid can make an Oreo disappear after school. Traders also caught the bug, dumping corporate bonds and industrial commodities as if they were at the landfill after cleaning the house of a world-class hoarder.

Best Thing to Do Right Now is “Buy”

Typically, almost cartoonishly, the furiously-flipped money — electronic blips on a screen, really, and nothing of tangible value — went to gold, foreign currencies that look good next to the dollar (such as Swiss francs), and Uncle Sam’s Treasury notes. The latter, you might recall from ancient history — that, going back as far as this past Friday — were the very products the Standard and Poor downgraded to begin The Scream.

How funny this all strikes us. On Friday, investors pulled away from Treasuries the way Dracula recoils from a mirror. Today, they’re rushing back kissy-kissy.

So what’s a billionaire to do? THE PLANET is not only staying put with securities but increasing our position following the  strategy of “Buy when everyone is selling. Sell when everyone is buying.” We’re selling gold and buying mid-cap stocks. The worst thing you can do now is pour dollars into something like gold, which will be the next bubble to burst (or the one soon after the next).


Fire Department Stalls on City’s Four Percent Pay Hike

THE PLANET heard from a reliable source that the Pittsfield Fire Department’s unionized employees rejected a four percent pay hike offered by the city in exchange for random drug testing. According to our source, Mayor Jimmy Ruberto got so tired of the union’s hemming and hawing that he withdrew the offer.

Our source well familiar with fire department procedures, protocols, and personnel said that “if the city pulled random drug testing, half the department would fail.”

So, are up to half of Pittsfield fire fighters druggies or substance-dependent? Is Mother Nature in the air and steroids in the punch? It seems so, after our not so random pool of internal sources. We will be more than willing to hear the other side of the story, even if it involves many clouds of sweet smelling smoke pouring through the door when it’s opened. We’re sure it won’t be a fire.


Flavor-of-the Murdered-Child-Month Law

Megan’s Law … Caylee’s Law … Flavor-of-the-Month Law? Gimme a break, says The Stooley, THE PLANET’s avatar of common sense. Following Peter Finocchiaro’s leads in, we agree that some of the most stupid laws are the ones named after murdered children.

Congress, of course, has nothing better to do that to pass another law  — as Finocchiaro points out — that would require the creation of a gigantic new database rounding up the more than 670,000 Americans convicted of sex offenses. Some of these “heinous” people were kids caught having sex and drunks urinating in public.

This idiotic push to Congress comes from more than 1,000,000 air heads, mostly busy-body bimbos who live their lives on Twitter and Court TV, who want to make it a crime for a parent to wait more than one hour before reporting the death of a child to the cops. They went boo-hoo over the Casey Anthony acquittal. This revenge-seeking mob wants Congress to get involved. It’s not like our legislative heroes have any more urgent business, such as figuring out how to un-botch the economy.


Pittsfield ‘Beauty Queen’

What’s up with all the trash in downtown Pittsfield? The town, we guess, isn’t ugly and uninviting enough with the empty storefronts, the Creepy Creature People who inhabit the environs, the crime, the the other assorted and sundry inconveniences.

It must be that people don’t care about themselves or their public places. It must be that dirty is the new “clean,” a kind of outside milieu for a class of people for whom body art is a four-letter word tattooed on a five-fingered female. You’ve seen her.

She pushes a baby carriage down the street, a carriage she no doubt got from taxpayer money. She just got up at noon from her taxpayer-financed apartment. She’s not with the father of this child (she’s lost count of the number of children and the number of different dads). She smokes a generic cigarette ($8 a pack, paid by taxpayers) down to its nub and doesn’t care that her child, who will grow up just like mom, takes it inside her little lungs.

She’s the one who just finished a sugar-laden soda, walked right past a taxpayer-provided trash can, and has dropped the soda bottle on the ground, in the sidewalk. THE PLANET urges that we bring public humiliation in the stockade, Park Square.






  1. Pittsfield Jake
    August 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Come on Dan, I expect a little bit more from you. First off, the Pittsfield Fire Fighters did Not reject the cities contract offer. The Right Honorable Mayor pulled it off the table. The Union Membership just wanted clarification on several issues. The terms of all newly negotiated agreements where painted with a very narrow brush. The wording was scribbled in the margins. We as a Union asked for clarification on several issues.
    As for your comment that over half of the Pittsfield Fire Department are Drug Users, that just goes to show how low you will sink to raise your stature among those who matter most to you, yourself. Man up and name this so called “reliable” source. Our Union bargained in good faith a drug policy. The terms of which were extremely vague. We as a collective bargaining unit simply asked of a detailed policy. It was a scant two weeks from when the contract was proposed until the Mayor yanked it. Several members were on vacation and unavailable to read the contract. But Dan, You stirred the Pot as you do so well. Unfortunately your Pot is empty so go back in the kitchen and fetch a new batch of Grizzle……..

    • danvalenti
      August 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback and information. I asked my source if I could use the name, but the source declined, as too often happens in the claustrophobic politics of the locality. Of course, I won’t “out” a source. Again, thanks for the union perspective.

  2. San Simeon
    August 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Then the next day, the Dow jumps 400+ points. Emotion is running wild. Best thing to do is stay put and don’t try timing the larkets. Do like the advice of buyinhg when everyone is selling and selling when everyone is buying. That’s how Warren Buffet made his money.
    Also, sad but true portrait of downtown Pittsfield. That girl is everywhere in the street

  3. Eric Vincelette
    August 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Sound investment advice Planet…mid cap and large cap if ya got the stomach to stay in

    • danvalenti
      August 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      Thanks for checking in! THE PLANET’s view is that anyone who wants to get into the market in the first place must have the stomach. When everything kept going up up up, it attracted a lot of new money but immature investors, who seemed (and seem now) to be caught flat-footed when “what goes up begins to come down, and fast.” Panic selling = Buying opps in mid- to large cap. That will work in the long run, unless one wants to take the extreme view (we we don’t, btw) that the United States as a country will go flat belly down. Then it won’t make a difference what you do or don’t do.

  4. Shakes His Head
    August 10, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Does anyone in Pittsfield government understand collective bargaining? It would appear not from observations between the Teachers’ Union and the FD contract debacle. Nice to see that we can continue to fund management ineptitude and raises for the workers. I wonder how many people in Pittsfield received a 4% raise last year? Of course, voter apathy may not change course with the opportunities the election presents in November.