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The Yukka Plant


Been Dazed and Confused for so long it's not true
Wanted a Minx, never bargained for you
Lots of people talk and few of them know
Soul of a Minx was created below

(Led Zeppelin)

Looking around my trading desk, it occurred to me what a sorry looking bunch of men we are. Seriously-after five straight days of waking up at 4:30am and battling the Minx, it takes a toll! Junior's sweater is tattered at the elbows (oldest trick in the book-dress in torn clothes around bonus time), Bucky is slouched in his seat rubbing his (ample) belly and JJ, well, JJ is mumbling something that may or may not be English. For my part, I'm staring at the dry action and wondering if the macro funds are gonna come in and squeeze the marbles out of this tape. Paranoid? Me? ME?!?

I've been making some calls around the street and the common thread is something we've been actively discussing: performance anxiety. This is a tenuous time for many fund managers as, quite simply, they can't afford to be left behind-both figuratively and literally. We've witnessed this perpetual angst before and know that while it will eventually exhaust itself, there are no signs of abatement yet. This, of course, is the crux of our current dilemma as we debate the merits of our timing.

With next week promising to be even thinner than today, the powers that be will likely have their way with the tape. Despite my alliance with Boo, we must acknowledge that the path of least resistance seems to be to the north side. That's not to say we can't (won't) use higher prices to our advantage should they arise, but we should always remain objective when viewing the action. Map out a game plan for each potential scenario, identify the time horizon of your exposure and remain proactive in your approach. And above all else...think positive.

After the holiday passes, the first week in December is shaping up as a doozy. The CS First Boston Technology Conference will highlight the agenda while a few bellwether tech companies will have analyst meetings and mid-quarter updates. There will also be a retail conference, a banking conference, a paper conference, a chemical conference and more economic reports than you can shake a stick at! In other words, it's put up or shut up time for corporate America and the economy and everybody will be listening.

The poll and Czech results continue to flow in and thus far, Bugs is holding a marginal lead over Homer and his crew. Other notables include Rocky & Bullwinkle, the Road Runner and Tom & Jerry. Surprisingly, not one reader voted for The Jetson's and I find that rery rierd, Astro! Also, it's been a surprisingly paltry showing for the Flintstones and South Park. Who woulda thunk it?

As always, my friends, I sincerely hope this finds you well.

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