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The Buccaneer Smear


They're named 'piggies' for a reason!


Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.

(Bob Marley)

No, Minyans, the above verse is not a reference to my beloved (2-7) Raiders. The only shot they've got at a Redemption Song is playing spoiler to their division rivals. Investors, however, may have a bigger role in the minxy year-end playoff race. With the daily headlines painting an ugly mutual fund picture, further redemptions will put a serious crimp in the supply/demand equilibrium. Stay tuned...and keep that kicker warmed up on the sidelines.

Alliance Capital (AC:NYSE) is the latest to cough up casualties as two senior executives were booted this morning (amid the improper trading investigation). The shake-up is the second such blemish in as many weeks (Putnam removed their CEO of 18 years) and, if nothing else, it warrants a mention. Psychology is the most subjective (and fragile) metric and if (big if) confidence begins to erode, it'll ripple through still waters like a hot knife through buttah.

Unfortunately, the only way to know (for sure) if it matters will be to gauge the level of impact. While assigning reasons to the hindsight rhyme is the teletubbie way, it does little to help those involved in a real-time dynamic. In and of itself, these situations may not matter (they've been shrugged off thus far). However, with the financials tickling various resistance zones, the specter of higher rates looming and liquidity already in the tank (perhaps), the potential exists that the catalyst tag will be assigned after the fact.

Written in stone? Of course not. But our job is to scan the horizon and identify issues or items that could alter the prevalent tide. The financials have been the horse (fed with stimulus) that's led the minxy cart. Any carrot that could lead her astray is worthy of analysis and discussion. As we're apt to say, you always want to know the information even if you deem it non-consequential.

Good luck on the opening.
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