Monday Morning Quarterback: Friend of the Devil

By Todd Harrison  MAR 09, 2009 8:15 AM

The markets react to S&P 666 and GE $6.66


“How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?” --Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects

All in all, last week was just another brick in the wall. The question we must now answer is whether it's a wall of worry to be scaled to the upside or a thick brick ready to hit us in the head.

We pride ourselves on seeing both sides in the 'Ville, particularly when the implications are this massive. Never before in history have we sat at such a critical crossroads with the very survival of "free market" capitalism at stake.

Make no mistake, there are two sides despite the one-sided action of late. Therein lies our task at hand, survival first and foremost in the form of Financial Staying Power, and prosperity in the shape of profits trailing closely behind.

It's a one-two punch, but you gotta be in it to win it.

Friday morning, Pepe Depew noted the importance of S&P 705 on a closing basis. Despite the late-day Miracle, that stone was left unturned, introducing the specter of a further flush, and one that must be respected.

For my part, I’ve been operating from the long side with one eye on discipline and the other on the six-handle of the S&P. Perhaps being "early" in seeing this mess has clouded my judgment (as the point of recognition permeates the societal structural) but I've always tried to use price to my advantage.

Simply put, you need to operate within your comfort zone while allowing ample margin for error. I'm there—or, at least I think I am—with upside exposure in my nimble short-term account, plenty of dry powder behind and my finger on the trigger with a longer-term lens. Again, it's not for everyone but I’ll always share my fare with truth and care.

One day, I'm sure we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny but for now, it's time to dig deep, shoot straight and march forward. Tomorrow is promised to nobody but today is in our hands. Let's start this week with a smile on our puss and some jingle in our jeans.

Random Thoughts:

Have a great week, Minyans, and remember that profitability begins within!


Positions in DRYS, FAS, GE, SSO, WFC, YHOO

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

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