NEW STREET SIGN – WHAT’S THE MESSAGE? (“anecdote” 2 for J. Murray)

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 14:48.


    Last week when I walked by the post in the photo above there was a street sign on the post.   Today the sign is gone and the two bolts which had fastened the sign to the post are laying in the grass at the base of the post.


Is the missing sign a random, unimportant “anecdote” or is it evidence of a crucial societal trend nearing a critical tipping point?

One aspect of being a good investment manager or good hedge fund manager is to recognize the early stage of yet unrealized critical trends.  A proficient investment manager or hedge manager would hope to distinguish among  and between what seems to be apparently random array of  “anecdotal” events (those events which appear random but are steady in occurrence over time) from “trends” (early stage events which may appear apparently random but which are increasing in occurrence over time). 


The latter events portend a statistically verifiable “trend” around which investment and hedge opportunities exist on the up side and down side. 


So what about the missing street sign….


What type of sign was it anyhow? 


Was it a STOP sign at an intersection through which your wife might now sail without stopping and be broad sided resulting in death, damage, or hospital bills?


Was it a “ICE UNSAFE” sign without which your kid may try to rescue the dog off the frozen pond this winter and drown in the process?


Is the sign missing because of the fact that wealth is so disproportionably distributed in  our society?    


I say yes.


 I also say  that – at least to me and Ed -  the situation is getting more and more out of control because the wealthy and their “philanthropies”  and their government social services aren’t effective in allowing all citizens a reasonable modicum of education, housing, work, and food.


Street signs across  the world are made from anodized aluminum because they don’t rust and are light and easy to handle during installation. The signage face is either painted on or a printed mylar adhesive.   The aluminum in STOP signs, NO PARKING signs, etc. signs is about one eighth inch thick and weighs about 2 pounds per square foot. Painted or mylar covered aluminum sheet as scrap is downgraded from clean extruded aluminum such as window frames or screen door frames.  For the painted aluminum todays market in less than truck load (LTL) quantities is about 25 cents per pound.


That means that the sign which used to be on the post in the photo above (the sign was about 2 square feet in surface area) brought about one dollar to the person who removed it and presumably scrapped it.   For that one dollar your and your family's  and neighbor's lives are at real risk, today, in your community.


I am convinced that the increase in poor persons stealing and otherwise collecting  metals – aluminum signs, brass water meters, cast iron sewer pipe, cast iron man hole covers - from our metropolitan infrastructure is a real TREND which endangers everyone under the "bell" curve – the billionaire Hedge Partner in the investment firm driving his Boxter, and the neighborhood kid riding his bike and the homeowner who loses his aluminum siding or his life like Joe Krasucki


These civilian metal collectors are a sign of desperation in our society.  We know where in the bell curve they are...but where do pirates fall in the bell curve? ...and is today's wealth/population curve really the same balanced geometry like a conventional bell?  Or does it look asymmetric?


The disproportionate concentration of wealth at one end of the "purported bell" curve is largely responsible for the desperation – all we need to do is open our eyes and be honest with ourselves to see the results of the concentrated wealth in some areas with poverty all around us in other areas.


Frankly, if your “bell curve” was made out of brass or bronze it would be pilfered too very soon  in NEO...more "anecdotes" coming soon...











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Or it could be in a clubhouse

Some Gates Mills kids and their parents got in trouble for having lots of stolen signs in their clubhouse, a few years ago, so they could be out of the big house and back on the streets feeding their habit for excitement.

I'm sure it is illegal for a scrap yard to accept street signs - are they ever prosecuted? I'd love to see a prison full of scrap dealers and pawn shop owners, making street signs for 10-15 years! For Fungible Ed life is hard time.

Disrupt IT

Safe House

  Some one tried to pry off the Safe House sign in front of the library this week.  Ironic.  It's still there, for now.