Until he retired last year, my father, Justin Mamis, used this mamis.com url to promote The Mamis Letter, his weekly musings and analysis of the goings on of the stock market. My father was a technical analyst, and for most of my life he was inseparable from the charts he kept that graphically displayed the ups-and-downs of the stock prices of an untold number of publicly traded companies. He didn’t need the jibber-jabber on the business pages to indicate whether a stock price would rise or fall. As he used to say, “the tape tells all.”
What was unique about The Mamis Letter was that he managed to weave in cultural and political observations, the kind more comfortably at home in a magazine or on a well-edited op-ed page.
I grew up in a household where the soundtrack was the clickety-clack of typewriter keys. The New York Times and The New Yorker were well-read by all of us. My brother’s high school underground newspaper, first called the Flea, and then commandeering the New York Herald Tribune moniker when that legendary publication folded, was birthed in our apartment, and putting it together seemed like so much fun I was determined to follow in his footsteps.
Newsrooms are now silent: some, of course, because they couldn’t navigate the transition from print to the instantaneous 24-hour news cycle of online publishing. Some, like the Advocate newspapers of old, have been dimmed because national mega-corps were so distant from the communities they were supposed to be serving they had no idea how to keep a product vital and meaningful while the business model was changing so quickly. And that’s being charitable.
Those newsrooms that are left seem adrift without the din of excitement that comes from pounding out a hot story on deadline. No matter how fast and hard you type on a computer keyboard it’s still basically quiet, and you don’t make any noise doing interviews via text and email, as this generation seems to prefer.
When my father retired, The Mamis Letter had been running out of steam. Like print media, the business model of what we used to call Wall Street had changed as well. I don’t know for sure, but it seems to me that old-school technical analysis may have lost its charm in an age when billions are made overnight with the help of high-tech computer modeling.
This is all a long way of saying: If you’re looking for The Mamis Letter, it has, unfortunately, ceased publication. The good news is that Justin is no longer tethered to his charts, and seems to find tending to his orchids equally gratifying.