Random Thoughts: The Quiet Riot

By Todd Harrison  SEP 09, 2008 11:15 AM

The streets are filled with acrimony.


What actions speak louder than words? Societal acrimony.

I speak to alotta smart fund managers and market players. They're edgy, frustrated, angry, tense and snappy

Why does that matter?

Social mood and risk appetites invariably shape tapes.

Adding to that dynamic, I've noticed a lot more homelessness.

On my seven block, three avenue walk home from work yesterday, I counted a dozen--12--beggars or cardboard box homes.

That's in midtown Manhattan , my friends--I can only imagine what it looks like is "less affluent" areas.

In 2006, I spoke of "something entirely more depressing than a recession" at MIM3 in Vail.

When I finished, there was considerable consternation as my words lingered and thoughts drifted throughout the audience.  It's not a happy message—it's not something that one would wish for—but it is what it is and we'll do what we must.

There will be a recovery—it will be "outside-in" just like the prognosticators offered early last year.  But just as the dot.com prophecy didn't prove true before the tech crash, globalization won't happen until after the debt crash.

How we get there--via credit cancer or car crash--remains to be seen.

My point is this--take a breath.

It's an angry world as societal acrimony percolates.  We spoke about this as one of our ten central themes of 2008—stateside into the election and globally as the imbalances permeate—and it's coming to fruition.

Think before acting, breathe before snapping and appreciate what you have rather than lament about what you don't.

It will get tougher before we recover—that much is assured—and lucidity, patience and perspective are critical, not only for success but in some cases survival.

I write these words for myself as much as ye faithful for its easy to forget.

Appreciate your friends—cut 'em a break!—reach out to your family, give something back.

If you're not part of the solution, chances are you're part of the problem.

And this world, as we know, has plenty of problems already.

Random Thoughts

No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at todd@minyanville.com.

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