The world is showing signs of coming together in very strange ways. Here are IFO’s examples:
* Estonian music – the long and winding road to this subject came via the Ukrainian situation, which in turn reminded us vividly of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which caused us to think way more deeply than usual about the Met Opera in HD production of Prince Igor.
Keeping all those balls up in the air required us to check in periodically with the Neue Zurcher Zeitung , the NYTimes of Switzerland and Zurich’s main newspaper, to get their perspective on Ukraine.
And what did we see in yesterday’s NZZ? A picture of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, always identified in Switzerland as the Kremlin-critic, and his wife, Nastya. Also in the picture are the stunningly gorgeous Estonian, who conducted the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Anu Tali, 41, and the composer of the work she led a few nights ago – the famous Estonian composer Arvo Part and his wife, Nora. The last man, Sergej Nakariakov, is a young Russian virtuoso trumpeter.
Just a little while before the Winter Olympics opened up in Sochi, Russia, Khodorkovsky had been suddenly let out of prison, where Putin had put him for 10 years! on trumped-up charges. His real mistake was to oppose Putin. Khodorkovsky then went to Switzerland, where his wife and children were staying.
The picture in NZZ stimulated IFO to Google the conductor and the composer. The NYTimes had a good story on the composer published in 2010. Must have gotten past the liberal censors, because the author makes no bones about oppression in Russia, before and after the Fall of the Wall.
Here is a snippet from the NYT article about Part:
He dedicated the Fourth Symphony last year to Mikhail Khodorkovsky; … since 2003, Khodorkovsky [had] been imprisoned for fraud and tax evasion. And after the murder, in October 2006, of the outspoken investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, whose articles embarrassed both Putin and the pro-Moscow government in Chechnya, Pärt declared that all concerts of his music that season would be performed in her memory. He volunteered to me that he knew that in making such gestures he was venturing outside his recognized bailiwick. “But this is the normal thinking of people who came through this Soviet hell,” he said.
Take that! you moral equivalencers. As you can see, the US and Western Europe are seen as bastions of artistic and economic freedom. The Soviet Union and Russia, not so much.
* Biotech thread – We mentioned the thread that got started on a post at Stock Gumshoe almost two months ago. Well, it is still going and has more than 2000 original posts, plus many more replies.
It has been one of the most gripping and fascinating learning experiences IFO has ever had. It is definitely not for beginners. The main theme is penny biotech stocks. Penny stocks are those that trade for less than $1.00, though people on this thread are following many that go for more than a dollar a share, and some for much more.
Arcane trading techniques like options trading are discussed, chemistry, biochemistry, stem cell research, fundamentals of Hepatitis C, HIV-AIDS, methods of pharmaceutical drug delivery, prostate and other kinds of cancer and more! About half of the regular posters have a wealth of knowledge which they freely share.
IFO is learning a lot of inside trading lingo which she probably won’t be able to use anywhere else in her life. She has decided to broaden her investing scope to these highly, highly risky stocks. Her hopefully fail-safe method is to trade 1/5 of the value in her Roth IRA. She can’t load it up with any money until she actually has some earned income and the account is quite small, so if prices of those stocks fall, it will not be a disaster for her.
We’ll let you know how it goes. We won’t, however, share the names of any of the companies. She doesn’t want to get in trouble with you if you decide to buy one that tanks. And it could happen.