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Chew On This

Jim Griffin

: About

Tech-Driven Productivity Gains=U.S. Surplus=Tax Cuts, the Thinking Goes

Found what has been gnawing at me all the while. It is what I call the 2nd scenario and is crystallized perfectly by Mr. Griffin. Flies in the face of all of the talking heads and Guru's, even those I respect. Mr. Griffin's scenario should be considered if one is a long-term investor, same path slightly different slant. Food for thought and worthy of consideration; it means the easing may not last as long as thought by the multitudes out there. Not bearish, just may realize the other side of the valley sooner than thought.

-- John Swallow

(received 1/29)

Tales From the Front Lines

Tim Arango

: About

Questrom Pinches Costs, but Penney Shares Keep On Loafing

After reading what you had to say about restructuring some major companies, I can tell you from experience, that when revamping in the management areas, some of these companies need to take a hard look at whom they are trusting with major decisions. When people sit behind an acre sized desk and hand down directives that not only impact hundreds or, sometimes thousands of people, these directives also impact sales, what they are really looking at is nothing more than what their bonus might be

I have been employed by one of these national retailers for more than twelve years. And one of the biggest mistakes company executives make is hiring " Straight out of college" kids who have no idea what goes on in the real world of retail.

I have seen people put in positions of authority and then must rely on those of us who have been around for a while to tell them what's going on. It is a sad state of affairs when hourly employees have to train their boss, and in twelve years, I have had to train my share of them. They make the big bucks and take credit for some hourly employees ideas. In the words of a very wise man, (one who had a third grade education) Your company wants you from your neck down. And most of them think that we do not have enough presence of mind to know this. I'd just like to see one of them do my job and do it half as well. Not only that, but to accomplish what is expected of me in about half the time that it really takes.

Major companies need to be listening to those people who do the work. In retail, I am on, what is considered, the front lines. I not only deal with customers but also merchandise. And in the eight hours that I'm on the job, I'm expected to do twelve hours worth of work. I'm good but not that good.

You'd be surprised to what retailer I work for. Considering all the hoopla they preach about the company culture. Sorry to have bent your ear but I just needed to vent this on some one. You were handy.

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TheStreet Recommends

-- Bren Wilson

(received 1/25)

On The Contrary

Barry Ritholtz

: About

Even More Contrary Indicators

This was a well balanced well thought comment from the author's perspective. I also give credit to some of the inputs "like Monday quarterback" glib commentators. There are so many of the glib Monday quarterbacks that they dilute objective comments like yours. Those quarterbacks state the obvious over and over until they qualify themselves single handedly as they know all future forecasters. This article was true yesteryear and will remain true next year. But publish it more often lest we forget. Emotion, a defensive mechanism, makes us forget!

Thanks again for the reminder.

-- Khalif Ahmed

(received 1/25)

Swimming with Sharks (In Fine Print)

Jamie Heller

: About

Fund Fees at Online Brokers -- What's Too Much?

Thanks for the informative article comparing online brokers and their fund trading policies. One very costly problem to fund traders is the issue of short-term trading fees assessed by the fund one is purchasing, not the online brokers short-term fee. Hidden deep in the prospectus, but not easily available to traders (the discount broker will not apprise you if there is a short-term fee that may be imposed), is usually a statement that the fund may impose a short-term fee. I have found that this fee can be as much as 2% which is nothing but gouging the customer by the funds. Clearly, these funds are given too much largesse in what they can charge, and the information concerning what they charge should be easily available. It's absurd that one has to dig deep into a prospectus to discover if there will be a "special" short-term fee.

-- WM McDermott

(received 1/25)

Chartman's Condition

Gary B. Smith

: About

For Critical Path, It's Critical Condition

Just a brief e-mail to say thank you for your informative and regular articles on


, also for your articles in

Active Trader


Stocks & Commodities

, which I always enjoy reading.

Coming from Liverpool, well the rural outskirts to be exact, I agree with your comments about


"Top Albums of All Time". While I am very much a Beetles fan, I am also a Stones' fan, and yes - they were missing! Hmmm, maybe it's something to do with who watches VH1, and a much younger generation, etc.

Anyway, I know that your busy and don't want to take up any more of your time. Keep listening, and keep writing.

Once again, my sincere thanks for your articles, and wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery.

-- Barry Norris

(received 1/24)

In a League of His Own

Bill Meehan

: About

Let's Go Wireless

So far Meehan has been the most accurate person out there. A lot of what he says is based on old fashion common sense and street smarts. I also remember him back a couple of years ago when he was correctly bullish; so he is not one of those guys that are always bears and look good when it finally happens. Thanks for having him on the


-- George Finch

(received 1/23)

Chip of the Block

John Raess

: About

Pulse: Chipmaker LSI Logic Climbs on News of Licensing Agreement With IBM

I just read your article and would like to cheer the clear delivery of information presenting what appeared to be the good and the bad. Even more importantly, I appreciate reporting the interests the various analysts interviewed have in the companies they were commenting on. Investors and traders want real information, not propaganda. This article seems to have the elements of the former. Thank you and keep up the good work.

-- Larry Arsenault

(received 1/21)

Ahead of the Game

Jim Seymour

: About

Bottom-Fishing Journal: Recalling the Most Dangerous Words I Know

Timing is everything. You were two months early with your excellent bottom fishing articles! While you talk about

fabs and

America Online


, bottom fish are tripling. Every other stock on my "speculative" list is going up 50% a day. It's nuts.

I love your articles, but in general, I find that you are too early and by the time the event you correctly predict occurs, everyone has forgotten your great analysis. Cramer spit out a bunch stuff when the

Cap Ex

stuff hit the fan, and I could think was Seymour wrote this exact analysis two months ago. And that's what I thought when




When the climate ripens for your analysis and predictions, say something :)

-- Alan Groff

(received 1/17)

Shocking Humble Pie

Christopher Edmonds

: About

To Keep the Lights on -- for Now -- SoCal Edison Suspends Several Payments

Many thanks to Chris Edmonds for his series on California's deregulation woes. It's uncommon to see grandstanding politicos backed into a corner and forced to pay a price for their political pandering. It appears the voters in California may yet learn why a profit motive and short-term rate increases are needed for successful deregulation. The state has lost credibility with the generating companies and will have a hard time attracting the investment it needs unless: it allows an increase in consumer rates, the purchase of long term contracts by the retail suppliers, and fast track permitting for new generating facilities.

President Clinton

may yet jump into the grandstanding arena with an 11th hour fix that will only prolong the inevitable. That would be a shame because an opportunity for accountability in self-governance such as this should not be missed.

-- Vicente Ramirez

(received 1/17)

Unique Point of Quality

Jim Griffin

: About

Over Before It Began?

I wish to express my pleasure in reading Jim Griffin's latest article. As a

Morgan Stanley

portfolio manager with over 35 years in the business I find it seldom that unique points of view are expressed. And even less often do they appear to be right on the money as I think Jim's article was. Quality articles do appear here and there on

and that's why I subscribe. Nice job Jim and TSC.

-- Howard Coleman

(received 1/14)

Can't Cook the Books

Gary B. Smith

: About

Fundamental Differences

An important point I also thought you missed in your article is one can not "cook the books" in technical analysis if you are watching. Even with

Buzz and Batch

doing their thing, or a



there are clues before the bad news comes out (usually in the form of volume).

The other thing I find disturbing about the "fundy only crowd" is their unwillingness to combine the two. Can't one learn to use TA on a long term basis suck as a weekly, monthly or yearly chart? I remember your article from the first part of last year talking about after the draw down, from '99,


stocks were at long term support. Wouldn't a weekly chart gotten you out of many of the stocks that lost you over 50% last year long before that? Maybe we even take the stock the made the

Motley Fool's




would not a sell off the weekly charts save tremendous amounts of their lost profits?

Keep up the great work. And hold the faith.

-- Jeff Gerber

(received 1/14)

Nabobs of Nullity

Joe Bousquin

: About

Ariba Calms Investors but Some Concerns Remain

Given the recent strictures imposed on publicly traded companies in matters of guidance, various analysts are practically accusing Robert Calderoni, CFO of



, of telling lies about company prospects. As to breaking out exact sales figures, they appear to expect to be given information which is properly their job to root out. The analyst community seems to be falling all over itself in competitive condemnation, apparently to justify a lot of recent bad calls on tech stocks and to justify its role in overselling the market. We're going to see things sorting themselves out in the ear future, and I hope that includes pink slips for some of these nabobs of nullity, as a former vice-president might have called them.

-- Peter Clarke

(received 1/13)

A Great Find

James Brooks-Avery

: About

Years After the Hype, Superconductors Ready to Deliver the Goods

Your article on Superconductors was very timely. It should have been on


, rather than the street, or at least one of the columnists should have made reference to it. Apparently they all missed it. I bought a basket of these stocks and two of them have done extremely well.

Intermagnetics General


is up 57% since I bought, and

Superconductor Tech.


is up 111%.

American Superconductor


hasn't gone up yet, and on re-reading the article, I find that it is the one that Momentum Investing owns.

There is so much to read on RealMoney that I sometimes miss good articles like this on


-- David Allen

(received 1/13)

Sugar-Free Lepri

Tom Lepri

: About

Gateway, Hewlett-Packard Offer Little Hope for PC Investors

I enjoyed the article on






very much. I like the fact that you didn't try to put a sugar-coated spin on what's happened with these companies.

I think it's particularly interesting that these companies continue to blame everything on December when truth be told, PCs have been weakening for several months. Companies just can't hide it anymore with all the BS and financial engineering with balance sheets and income statements.

I also get a kick out of Gateway with their beyond-the-box business. They were very successful (before November, that is) in convincing those that wanted to believe that the PC slowdown didn't matter because of the beyond-the-box business. The fallacy here is that the BTB strategy is based on selling PCs. How can you sell Internet access and teach PC classes if consumers aren't buying the PC any more?

Thanks again for an excellent article.

-- Chuck Caputo

(received 1/11)

Biotech Battle not Babble

Lissa Morganthaler

: About

Note to Cramer: Buzz Off on Biotech!

Thanks for running an organization where staffers are not required to agree with each other's views all the time.

Lissa Morgenthaler

disagrees with


on biotech and says so out of conviction, not just because an editor thought a point/counterpoint page would be nice. Some swear by TA, others see its limitations. This integrity is part of why I spend more time at


than I do with the


. Media with a monolithic worldview are less challenging and I don't feel I comprehend issues as well.


-- Alan Majors

(received 1/10)

The Light's On But Nobody's Home

Christopher Edmonds

: About

California Governor May Flip the Switch on Generating Companies

What a farce!

A "crisis" is when something happens that you do not foresee, so this cannot be called a crisis. This is planned failure, pure and simple. California has caused their own problem and nobody else. If the news media are going to give a story, they have a responsibility to tell it all. Not a single article tells how they got there.

The environmental movement has it's home in California. Most other liberal movements do, also. The people of that state have, for years, supported laws that restrict building of new power plants by requiring overly strict emission laws that cannot be met economically. So, if an industry can not produce it's produce at a price that can compete, they just don't build it. Guess what happens. The product that is presently produced there demands a higher price. Its a law as old as time, it's called "Supply And Demand". Rather than recognizing the problem, now the state passes a law that limits the price that existing industry can charge for it's product. They did! The first move was dumb, the second was just plain stupid. Now the existing producer gets a price/cost squeeze, can't pay it's payroll or it's debt and nears bankruptcy. It gets worse. The next move is for the state to take over the power producing industry to produce power more economically. You cannot show me one single thing a government can do more economically than private industry. The only thing the federal government does well is print money and provide for our national defense, and that record is not perfect. Now it really gets crazy.

Gov. Davis

, in his great wisdom, wants Federal help to make the transition.

I have traveled in California for pleasure and business and the overriding theme you hear is how great it is, how nice the weather is, how much they have, how high their income is, it goes no as long as a person will listen. They bore you to death with it. Good. If a person chooses to live there that is fine with me. But they should be willing to pay for it themselves, not yell for my money, taken at the point of a gun (Federal taxpayer money), to pay for their good time. I don't live there for many reasons, one of which is I don't feel that I can afford it. Why in hell should my tax money go there to help them afford it?

-- Dave Hester

(received 1/9)

Laugh Out Loud or Laugh At All

Richard Cline

: About

Laugh Out Loud With Cline

I don't get it, where is the humor in this column? Not many things more irritating than incomprehensible humor. I know I don't have to read it and I won't, just thought I'd let you have my take.

-- Forrest Markle

(received 1/8)

Still Bring Good Thing to Life?

Gary B. Smith

: About

After Wednesday's Rally, Thursday's Action Was Profoundly ... Inconclusive

I just finished reading your current article in which you cited



. You may be right, but it seems extremely risky to analyze current data against the last 30 years or so.

Secondly, GE has been blessed during its history with extraordinary leadership. That has not been shown to change in quality. I believe


will make his mark very strongly on the company.

Thirdly, GE has been most affected over the years by the quality of the economy in general. If the new administration pursues the same policies as the previous


administration, you will probably be right. Recessions will affect the stock price. You must admit though that they are on that track.

I guess we will have to wait to see who is more correct about GE's future. We can both agree though that how GE performs in the near future will have a great impact on the economy at large. Thanks for your take on it.

-- Fred Eckart

(received 1/8)

Keep Your Shirts On

John Rubino

: About

The Mother of All January Effects Won't Give Birth to a Baby Bull

I liked your article because it tells us to keep our shirts on. I agree that the rate cut is not the real solution. The economy needs an infusion of products and services, a reduction of over investing by 401K funds, a tremendous reduction in the deficit and any new deficit spending, a reduction in credit spending, an increase in saving, a minor reduction in the trade deficit, a few global wars and about a million new hydroelectric dams (either that or we let people start burning eco-freaks for fuel). On top of this--companies need to find ways to save on resource consumption (because resources are fewer) while reducing costs (and providing financing without running out of collateral). It's a big job and hail to the new Chief (who has the right mindset for it).

-- Jeff Dunham

(received 1/3)