Freaky Friday Potpourri: Darkness Before the Dawn

By Todd Harrison  MAR 06, 2009 9:00 AM

Take a deep breath and a step back.


It still feels foreign to step away from the fray during market hours yet that's precisely what I did yesterday afternoon. Between a dizzying array of e-mails, incessant information assimilation and the flickering, bickering ticks, my head was spinning. I got up, went downstairs and walked around the block.

Interestingly enough, the sun was shining and people were alive. Heck, some of them were even smiling. I took a deep breath, looked up at Ruby and gave him a wink. Alas, he's the moral mentor who taught me that no matter how bad things get, even at the darkest hour, this too shall pass.

It's easy to get caught up in the malaise—the all encompassing, engulfing malaise—particularly when we make our hay in the nuts and guts. I'm not sugar coating how bad things are or how risky this juncture is through a historical lens. I'm simply saying that perspective is necessary, now more than ever.

We offered that time and price were the only true arbiters of our financial fate as this social bubble built and we'll remind you of that now. As discussed yesterday morning, one of two things will happen: A game changer on the regulatory front or... well, game over.

I've shared my view on where I stand and it's out there for all to see. And should S&P 600 arrive, I'll transition 25% of my long-term nest egg into equities. That doesn't make it right; it simply makes it one man's humble opinion.

Where you stand is a function of where you sit. Play within your means, only risk what you can afford to lose and above all else, if your head is spinning, take a walk around the block.

Sometimes a ray of sunlight can go a mighty long way.

Random Thoughts:

Minyan Mailbag


I heard you on Yahoo! Tech Ticker making bets on a big rally going into March. I've been expecting the S&P to drop to 660 all along and expected a big drop going into Q1 earnings.

You have long positions, I have short positions. And I have to say it's a bit frustrating to see so many headlines from Minyanville suggesting that there will be a rally or that the bears have run out of steam.

It's one thing to make a bet, and it's another thing to attempt to manipulate the markets with clout in an attempt to be right and make money.

Your articles may have no influence, but please, let the markets run their course.

Minyan Ryan


My friend, please click through the links in this article. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, always honest.

We (at Minyanville) were very bearish for a long time. If you read, watched or listened to the tech ticker piece in it’s entirety, it spoke of a looming binary event.  While my gut was higher, the stylistic approach was trailing stops (which made money on that initial pop).

I put it out there, all day, every day and always with the caveat that this is what I'm doing—for better or for worse—and it's not advice (I don’t know the risk profile or time horizon of my audience). I've never been accused of attempting to manipulate markets (all I have is my name and word) and please, let's be clear, nobody is bigger than the market, most certainly not me.

Alas, March ain't over yet, my friend. Stay tuned.


Answers I Really Wanna Know...

Society is a sum of the parts. As such, as we strive to be part of the solution in the 'Ville, I'll humbly ask each Minyan to call someone they care about this weekend "just to say hi." I don't do it nearly enough—time management has never been my strong suit—but it's never too late to start and you never know how far that pebble of kindness will ripple in the proverbial pond.

For all ye Ambassadors in the Minyanville Underground Railroad, we’ll be melding next week to assimilate next steps and will send out correspondence in kind. With over 700 like-minded individuals in 50 states and 30 countries banding together to affect positive change—in the two weeks since we’ve hatched this plan—there is indeed reason for optimism.

As a wise man once said, this too shall pass.


Position in FAS, GE