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Random Thoughts


Life is short-let's make today count. If we can make some coin too, that's pure gravy.

  • The case for commodities is, in many ways, the case for equities--global demand fueled by China and India. If stateside stocks are dependent on the consumer-the same consumer that is lugging eye-popping debt and dependent on home equity-we'll have to put our shades away.

  • If, by chance, China or India busts, that's when the Phantom will arrive. And deflation knows no allies on an absolute price basis.

  • Of course, given that China is gonna roll inexpensive cars off its cheap labor assembly lines-not to mention that China is building more roads than it currently has-one could make the case that the demand for crude lives in a world of its own.

  • Particularly if the hedge fund liquidation has abated.

  • Further to that, the need to feed the world-along with the race for alternative fuel sources-should keep a bid under the agricultural commodities.

  • So, through these lenses, you understand why I wanna find "plays" in things we need and avoid producers of things we "want." There is a huge difference between commodities and commoditized products. It's called pricing power and profit margins.

  • Life is short-let's make today count. If we can make some coin too, that's pure gravy.

  • The FOMC will meet this week to announce their fresh bent on interest rates. With psychology skewed to hopes of accommodation, any hint of hawks could roil the tape. Why would they remain hawkish and-gasp!-potentially set the stage for further hikage? This we know.

  • Minyan Michael Santoli-in his mighty fine Barron's column-draws the comparison between the static, complacent nature in December of 1993 and today. Back then, when men were men and the tape wasn't nervous, the FOMC blindsided the tape with a rate hike the following February.

  • The headliner last week? Nope, not Jack Bauer or Meredith Grey. It was the return--however nascent on an absolute basis--of volatility. Expecting it and proactively preparing for it are two separate endeavors so please keep its potential uptick in the back of your crowded keppe. If Thursday's 1% decline sparked a 20% pop in vols, imagine what a real correction would do.

  • After all, this is the longest stretch in history without a 2% down day in the S&P. And history is a mighty long time.

  • Nationalization-a theme we've been expecting in the 'Ville for some time-is getting louder in the mainstream press. The NYT Magazine had an interesting article on Hugo Chavez over the weekend and Barron's highlighted the "New Latin Tango" in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

  • What's new? Not much--what snew with you? The Monday Minx is a mixed bag from both a price action and "tell" standpoint. While market breadth remains favorable (3:2), the emerging markets are starting to sink in sync (EEM -80 bips, TRF -1%, Brazil and Mexico both off 80 bips).

  • A face for radio? Not President Fish! He'll be on CNBC at 3:50 EST today offering his take on telecom. The founder and former CEO of the digital division at JWalter Thompson, Kevin is as sharp as it gets when it comes to the new media landscape.

  • If I were a Hussman, Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum…

  • It's not you, Minyans-it's the Mondays. And look on the bright side-it's not February 14th yet!


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