Interview with a Day Trader

The Daily Reckoning PRESENTS: A DR Classique originally broadcast on October 15, 1999…

I left Baltimore last night and took a cab down to Dulles Airport in Virginia. The following is the actual conversation with the cabdriver. It began as the cab crossed the Baltimore beltway, and the driver suddenly remarked:

"There are a lot of Russians out here."

Yes, I replied.

"I can spot them."

You mean, you can tell if they are Russian?

"Yeah…I can tell. It’s a gift I have. "I had two of them in the cab yesterday. They were Russians all right. I tagged them right away."

I guess you can recognize their accents.

"No…I can tell right away. They don’t have to say a word."

Day Traders: Russian Agents


"They were agents. Russian intelligence."

How did you know that?

"It’s a gift."


"A lot of them out here. One of them was a double agent. Russian intelligence and CIA. Or maybe NSA. I wasn’t sure.

"There are so many…I get confused sometimes. I see them all the time."

You mean, you take them to the airport?

"Sometimes. But I see a lot of them in the mall. A lot of double agents too. Whew…a lot of them. Sometimes triple agents. I had one guy in the car the other day who was CIA, Russian Intelligence and British intelligence.

"He said he was English…but I could tell. They’re pretty good. All kinds of disguises. No way to tell, unless you can tell…heh heh.

"I had one woman on Tuesday. Nice green eyes. Reddish hair. And a thick Irish accent. She said she had lived in Ireland all her life. Even had an Irish passport. But I could tell- Russian Intelligence.

"I haven’t had sex in 12 years. Not with woman, child, man or beast…"

[I decided to let that pass…]

Day Traders: You Can Tell by Looking

"Another guy with a southern accent…great accent. Said he was from Georgia. Russian intelligence."

Hmmm…there are more than I thought. You can tell just by looking?

"Yeah…sometimes I can tell from a picture. I saw a picture of Al Gore in `The Washington Post’ yesterday. British Intelligence. It really struck me. No doubt about it."

I would have guessed it. How about Bill Clinton?

"British Intelligence."

And Hillary?

"Ah…British Intelligence. But you see a lot more in her. Wiccan. Satanist. Some Muslim. Some Buddhist. She gives off a lot."


"Yeah…she’s a witch. Lot of them around too. Especially in the suburbs.

"I call them Satanists in suits. Not the same as black witchcraft. They’re all over the place. Especially in Silver Spring [A suburb north of the city]."

[I’m not making this up…honest…]

"I was a Christian. I put leaflets under windshield wipers for Operation Rescue [an anti-abortion project]. But I didn’t want to kill anybody. Went to church every day. That’s when I got the gift.

"Yesterday they wanted me to train a new driver. He sat in the cab with me for five hours while I showed him the ropes, you know. Well, I knew. I could just tell. So I said, `Okay…I know you’re a Satanist. And Russian Intelligence.’ He said, `Yeah…how’d you know?’ It’s a gift."

What do you think of Jesse Ventura, I asked. [I couldn’t resist.]

"Don’t get me started…The guy is really bad news. I saw him on TV.

"Russian Intelligence. How do you like that? And a governor! Wiccan. French Intelligence. And military intelligence. A little bit of Satanism, too."

I figured as much. What do you think of the stock market? [What the heck…maybe Alan Greenspan is a double agent. I had to know…]

"Oh…I don’t do that any more. I used to be a day trader. But I kept losing my money. Then I got compulsive about it. I’d stay up every night until 3 a.m. studying the stock market. I guess some guys are good at it. Not me. I still owe money."

It’s a gift, I said.

Bill Bonner
Russian Intelligence
November 26, 2004

Well, er, we were going to have the DR for you as normal today, but lo and behold, Bill’s computer suffered some sort of melt down and he may have lost everything, including today’s already-written edition of the Daily Reckoning.

The techies have the laptop now, and are eagerly ripping at her innards, we’re told. The memory is recoverable…though they say she’ll never function again.

Bill will be back on line as usual on Monday, and be sure to watch out for your weekend edition as normal, including an outlandish prediction for the dollar/sterling exchange rate…(Clue: It’s not Chuck Butler’s!)


Tom Dyson, from an empty office building in an empty city…

The currency markets are running amok just at the moment.

We’ve been covering the Russian’s forex diversification program in depth…you could have read about the speech by Oleg Mozhaiskov to the London Gold Bullion Association in last Friday’s edition of the Rude Awakening, and on Wednesday, we published anti-dollar comments by Alexey Ulyukayev, Senior Deputy Finance Minister of the RCB.

This must be the clincher:

On Friday, Deputy Chairman Konstantin Korishchenko said the Russian Central Bank was moving away from the ‘dirty’ float of the ruble against the dollar.

What does it all mean? Let’s ask China’s central bank…

A report from Shanghai-based newspaper, China Business News, said Beijing had cut the proportion of foreign exchange reserves held in dollars. The bond market swooned…

Chuck Butler has the full report…

"At one point in the Asian session it was reported in the China Business News that a Chinese Central Bank Official (Yu), had said that China had cut their U.S. Treasury securities holdings… And the euro went flying into the 1.33 handle! That’s right! 1.3320, and looking like there was no stopping it… But then, Mr. Yu, decided to come clean, or probably more likely got the bejeebers scared out of him watching things go crazy, and denied ever saying those dreaded words…And BANG!"


And still in Baltimore:

*** A reader from America’s heartlands:

"As a friend and I were overhauling an engine on a farm tractor, another friend stopped by.  During the talk that followed a comment was made about something troublesome the friend had just done.  My mechanic buddy asked how he got by his wife with that.

His retort:  "I reminded her that at 70 years of age, she didn’t hold near as big a hammer as she did when I was 40 or so!"

*** Chinese President Hu Jintao spotted buying raw materials in Brazil!

Raw materials will be so essential to China’s future that the president of China decided to visit Brazil in person…and set up trade deals.

Brazilian exports to China have risen by 30% this year, reports the BBC, and 500% in the last 5 years. "China’s appetite for resources is expected to quadruple over the next 15 years or so," the piece concluded.

The Daily Reckoning