October 17, 2008
Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say good-bye.
So wrote former hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde as he opened his farewell letter to his investors after hitting the jackpot shorting often talked about but little known financial instruments with acronyms like RMBS, CMBS, ABS, etc the public would later know as “toxic paper”. This wasn’t just any farewell letter though as Ladhe would later make clear as we continue:
So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voice mails within normal time frames or at all.
So it is clear Andrew is done. He gives us a hint as to his future plans as he closes his letter:
Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant – marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So,why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous.
Thus when I saw this story by Cathy Hughes at the Times Picayune I naturally thought of Andrew:
Stoked by advancing legalization efforts, pot smokers across the country lit up in public parks, outside statehouses and in the posh confines of a Hummer parked outside a pot gardening superstore to observe the movement’s annual high holiday.
Those who weren’t within whiffing distance of a college campus or a reggae concert may not have realized Tuesday was 4/20, the celebration-cum-mass civil disobedience derived from “420” — insider shorthand for cannabis consumption.
Advocates from New Hampshire to California trumpeted marijuana’s rising commercial and political acceptance while producing collective clouds of pungent smoke — often under the watchful eyes of law enforcement officers who for the most part let the parties proceed
The legalization of cannabis is a topic we’ve touched on a few times here at Slabbed the last time in a post where we hosted former Attorney General Ed Meese at our “Warren Suite” here at the Do Slabb Inn.
However it is the business end of the marijuana trade that continues to intrigue me. Along those lines I think this WSJ story by David Luhnow will wear very well with the passage of time. I featured it once here on Slabbed late last December but is well worth the revisit in light of Ladhe resurfacing. 😉
Along those lines I’ve also embedded Luhnow’s companion video report.