Phearless Phinancial Phorecasts for Us Pigs' Own Year: 1995.
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 95 18:46:15 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Phearless Phinancial Phorecasts for Us Pigs' Own Year: 1995.
[To put this in perspective, remember what idiocy accurate forecasts of last
November's events would have sounded like... -psl]
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
IN A PIG'S YEAR: PHEARLESS PHINANCIAL PHORECASTS FOR 1995 Jan. 6
Commentary by Norris Parker Smith, Editor at Large HPCwire
In the Chinese calendar, 1995 is the year of the pig. Pigs get more respect
in China than in most other places.
China is a country where (even with today's regional prosperity) there is
not much to go around and very little is wasted. Pigs are valued because they
are adept at processing bits of fodder, food scraps and other rejects into a
reliable source of protein.
Pigs are also considered to be smarter than most other animals (a
reputation endorsed by this reporter who, while a college student, spent five
months as a part-time apprentice swinekeeper).
Hence, it was only natural to place more than usual credence in an email
from a source identified as <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The subject line
read, "Phearless Phinancial Phorecasts for Us Pigs' Own Year: 1995." (Pigs
are clever, but they are not always good spellers).
The content ranges from possible through speculative to trivial and
downright irreverent. The text is nevertheless excerpted below. This column
generally does not attempt to make financial predictions, but who would have
a better understanding of the stock market than a pig? Especially in a pig's
Prudence Pig's phorecasts follow:
o Cray Research, not content with only four different product lines, will
announce that it has licensed the Macintosh software and plans a fully-
equipped, multimedia PC based on the 620 version of the PowerPC chip,
for a list price of $1232. Cray stock will rise sharply on this news.
o After a bitter political battle on Capitol Hill and an extraordinary
series of appearances by leading legislators on Larry King Live, Congress
will compromise on a reduction in the capital gains tax to 3.38 percent.
While pretending to look the other way and talk to Chelsea and her cat,
President Clinton will sign the bill.
o Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, who have been eagerly awaiting this step
that will assure even larger gains from initial public offerings of stock,
will launch an unprecedented 103 new publicly-traded companies within six
By the end of the year, 78 of these new companies will have filed for
bankruptcy, 16 will have been absorbed by firms from South Korea, Taiwan,
Hong Kong and Indonesia, and seven will be moderately successful or
teetering on the edge. The officers of the remaining two will abscond to
Myanmar and the Malagasy Republic.
o High-tech stocks generally will rise sharply when these results become
known. The Federal Reserve will increase interest rates yet again; the
prime rate will settle down just under 10 percent.
FISHKILL & ARIANNA
o In what will become known as the Fishkill Case, lawsuits filed by
environmental groups will force IBM to suspend its plans to go operational
with a 4096-processor version of its SP2 scalable parallel system. IBM
will intend to claim that Teraflop performance has been reached at last.
A substantial part of the flow of the Hudson River was to have been
diverted in order to cool this machine. The environmentalists projected
great loss to the river's fish stock, which, it would be feared, would be
drawn into the IBM installation and poached prematurely.
o IBM stocks will drop sharply as a result of this news.
o In a related development, an impressionable astronaut aboard the new space
shuttle Robert E. Lee will see apparent evidence of beings from outer
space in unearthly glows arising from buildings in Massachusetts.
Investigation on the ground will determine that these buildings are
development laboratories operated by Digital Equipment Corp. After
conflicting rumors, it will at last be revealed that the otherworldly
glow came from experimental versions of the Alpha chip operating at 850
MHz. Digital will be rescued temporarily from financial difficulties as
Arianna Huffington and tens of thousands of New Age enthusiasts bid up the
prices of Alpha chips.
One buyer will achieve brief immortality on TV news as she smilingly waves
an Alpha chip on a platinum chain and says, "It channels much better than
ordinary crystal, and it's cute."
A Digital senior officer who will refuse to be quoted by name will neither
confirm or deny reports that the company had made large sales to an
unnamed Asian ginseng czar who planned to grind up the chips into a fine
powder for use as an aphrodisiac.
"We're not in that line of business," the anonymous DEC official will
state, "but then it is safe to say that right now we welcome any sale we
o Stock prices for IBM and Hewlett-Packard will decline sharply when this
news becomes known. Digital stock prices will rise as a Wall Street
analyst comments, "Any niche is a good niche."
o In the latest of its long series of disappointing adventures in computing,
AT&T will announce a sale of its struggling AT&T Global Information
Systems (formerly NCR, formerly Tera Data, etc.) to Singapore Telecom.
The Singapore stock exchange, where the publicly-owned portion of Singapore
Telecom accounts for a substantial part of total trading, will then close
early due to a frantic sell off of the company's shares. Singapore's moral
arbiter, Lee Kuan Yew, will deliver an immediate compulsory lecture on the
Confucian virtues of patience and perseverance, specifically, holding onto
stocks for long-term benefits.
When the Singapore exchange re-opens, one third of the remaining value of
the company's stock will be wiped out in 68 hectic minutes of trading. With
great relief, the exchange will close for the Chinese Spring Festival, aka
Chinese New Year's Day.
AFTER CAIRO, ROME
o Microsoft, its appetite for acquisition stimulated by a 1994 hoax report
that it was acquiring the Catholic Church, will come close to carrying out
a deal with the Vatican. Microsoft boss William Gates, posing in full
regalia as Archbishop of Virtualia, will explain, "Nothing else remained
that was worth taking."
o Toward the end of the year, the world will be scandalized when Gates
cancels the deal on the eve of its completion. After days of contradictory
reports, it will become known that the pre-finalization due-diligence
investigation, expected to be a formality, discovered serious bugs in the
o Speculation will then shift to a possible purchase by Larry Ellison,
pontifex maximus of Oracle. For Oracle, of course, tolerance of bugs is
company policy. After a few weeks of ambiguities, Ellison will be quoted
as denying the report. "In any case, I have my own religion already; c'est
moi. And, besides, they wouldn't listen to my well thought-through,
perfectly reasonable ideas about redecorating St. Peter's as a Zen temple."
On the Rome stock exchange, stocks generally associated with Vatican
investments will decline substantially.
o Enthusiastic support from Texas Governor Bush and the entire Texas
delegation in Congress will make it possible for IBM to move its Fishkill
project to the hole in the ground left over from the erstwhile
o IBM stock prices will decline sharply when this is reported.
$49.95 PER MFLOP
o Seymour Cray will make an unprecedented appearance on Larry King Live,
announcing that representatives of Kendall Square Research, Thinking
Machines and Cray Computer have been meeting secretly in one of the
caverns in the old Space Command superbunker under a mountain near
He will reveal that the three companies have pooled their technology and
will soon begin to ship an entirely new joint product, known as the Cray
Thinksquare, that will be infinitely scalable, be fully compatible with
the products of Cray Research, and will have a list price of $47.95 per
MFLOP ($39.99 at WalMart).
o Cray Research stock prices will rise sharply after this announcement. Cray
Computer stock prices will remain flat.
o Following noisy and prolonged debate, Congress will decide to cut $12
billion out of the federal budget over a five year period by dismantling
the Department of Energy and squeezing sharply the appropriations for
DARPA, the National Science Foundation and the technology development
programs of the National Institute for Standards and Technology.
o Prices of high-tech stocks will rise sharply on this news, primarily
because the Republican leadership in Congress will explain that these
reductions will unfetter private enterprise.
o A few weeks later, Congress will pass another bill awarding an additional
$13 billion to a revived Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI -- which will
become known as "Newt's Wars") over a five year period. Prices of high
tech stocks will go down on the presumption that the new SDI will bid up
the now-depressed wages for engineers and programmers.
o The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates once more; the prime rate
will go up to 11.4 percent.
SALES DOWN, STOCKS UP
o Within a few months, tight money will mean that the burgeoning mass market
for PCs collapses rudely. Compaq, IBM, H-P, Digital, Gateway 2000, Packard
Bell, Acer America, Sun, Silicon Graphics and other manufacturers will
reveal that they anticipate unprecedentedly severe losses for the final
quarter of the year.
At the same time, Singapore Telecom will announce that it has accomplished
an unparalleled turn-around. It will be revealed that sales of their
computer subsidiary, acquired from AT&T and renamed Singacomp, are booming
in Asia and Europe as well as in North America. A substantial profit will
be forecast for the final quarter, followed by superb results anticipated
The impact of financial catastrophe for all other computer companies will
nevertheless extend to Taiwan, Japan and most nations of Southeast Asia.
Under this stress, many nations, including the United States, will raise
protectionist barriers in a rush to preserve jobs.
On the day after Christmas, the World Trade Organization, successor to
GATT, will collapse under these pressures. A severe world-wide depression
During the course of December 29, the last trading day of 1995, prices of
financial markets around the world, led by the New York Stock Exchange,
will head upward in the greatest year end rally of history. This rally
of course will be led by exceptional rises in high-tech stocks, especially
in computers. The general jubilation will contrast with one thin voice,
"Doesn't nobody here know how to play this game?" The source of this
comment will not be identified.
o Late on December 31, while all of Japan is busy with New Year's
festivities despite the obvious prospect of economic disaster, it will be
announced that the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after years of fruitless effort
to regain its artificial highs of few years ago, has become a branch of
the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Lee Kuan Yew, the head of the Bank of Japan, and the Japanese prime
minister of the moment will appear on all Japanese TV stations with
lectures on Confucian virtues.
President Clinton and Newt Gingrich will separately telephone Lee in
Singapore asking him to fax them a copy of his speech. Lee will remind
them politely that the text is already available on the Internet.
© 1995 Peter Langston