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Friday Tubthumping


If the clock were moving slower today it would already be going backwards.


Blowing off steam at the end of a high-pressure week...

"Oswald was a patsy for Castro, the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex and Lyndon Johnson!!!"

I obviously wasn't the only Minyanville contrib (do I have Professorial tenure yet?) a little bothered by... something about the Conspiracy Debate on the Buzz yesterday. Here's my last word on it, for now if not forever.

It adds reader value to know that a significant portion of the professional stock-picking and trading world truly believes that the government occasionally (at least) manipulates the markets. We discuss it amongst ourselves quite frequently. We know it makes us sound loonier than a rat in a coffee can to "outsiders" and that's a big reason why it's something of a secret.

Whether or not it's true simply doesn't matter. The important thing is knowing that the belief is out there. The belief leads, inevitably, to traders trying to front-run the manipulation. Thus, if enough traders believe the markets are manipulated, "critical levels" are defended without The Secret Powers That Be lifting a finger.

Put it this way; when I fulfill my Arthurian destiny of General Zod-like authority over markets foreign and domestic I won't manipulate markets but I'll want (neigh, demand) that traders believe I do. (If it should happen that no days such as Tuesday, where stars seem rather "fortuitously" aligned, came along to keep traders honest, as Zod I will reserve the right to create one. I mean... of course.)

Pretty crafty, huh?

Fungal Life-Style Eve

With clocks "falling back" this weekend except in freaky outlier states Arizona and Indiana, today is the last day of the year the that many traders, particularly on the Left Coast, will see weekday sun.

While bashing my head on my keyboard last night in response to Gateway removing "restructuring, transformation and integration" charges for their non-GAAP numbers* it occured to me that I was mentally ill-prepared for the darkness to the point that I was looking at full-blown Mental Rickets by Thanksgiving.

I'd encourage all to treat today's closing bell the way Fred Flintstone treated the whistle at Slate Quarry; leave the second you hear it and get outside while you can still see the outside without a miner's helmet.

(NB: Fresh air isn't a panacea; I took myself golfing last night and I'm still 50/50 to go sniper-in-the-clock-tower nuts the next time I see the term "non-GAAP")

My Own Rules

As I wrap-up my first fortnight in the 'Ville, trying to fit in with the other kids and not seem like hands-down the biggest (only) moron to write here, I've been 'rasslin with how best to fit my particular brand of linguistic and trading stylings into the mix.

My conclusion, reached last night while lining up a tricky putt made all the trickier by a cart-full of empty greyhound cups, is that the best way to add educational value is laying it out there in terms of how I'm thinking, and address the ever-viable contrarian-view, as plainly as possible. Everyone gets to figure out who's right in real time.

That last part is important. What makes Minyanville a special place is that to contribute here is not only to try to advance financial education, it's tantamount to a confession that the contributor himself is still learning. If you think owning up to a lack of omniscience is "normal" in professional circles, particularly in finance... well... to be blunt you either haven't been paying attention or you just got here.

The Sub-Rules:

  • I'll be wrong frequently.
  • No matter how strongly I opine, it's ALWAYS an OPINION. What's more, my opinion changes (often pretty quickly).
  • I respect those on the other side of my opinions. Without people who disagree there could be no markets of any sort.... that doesn't mean we have to get all puffy about it. We're all learning as we go, folks. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something you shouldn't buy.

As Cyrus asked, shortly before being shot by a gang that wasn't the Warriors, "Can you dig it?"


With that I wish you all a great weekend.

* Similar in spirit to backing out "footwear, athletic shoes and dress shoes" as three separate items on your non-GAAP ("fake") credit card bill.

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