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Monday Morning Quarterback


I've long offered that the only difference between intervention and manipulation is communication...


Well the music's thunderin', restless and hot,
You keep firin' me glances across the room,
And I can't stop wonderin' just what you got,
Get the feeling I'm going to find out real soon.

(Grateful Dead)

Good morning and welcome back to the flickering pack. On the heels of the turkey trot, we return to reality up to our eyes in holiday pride. Yes, 'tis the season for cheery reason, a time to take stock of ourselves and give back to others. That's particularly apt in the 'Ville as we ready ourselves for Friday's upcoming charity Festivus. T-minus four days until the best and brightest offer an outlook for '07 while raising money for children's education. That's how we roll in these parts and you're welcome to join us as we fit together the pieces of this ever-changing market puzzle.

I spent a fair part of the weekend chewing through themes and topics for the content portion of the event. In particular, there are several answers that I really wanna know. For instance, a column appeared over the weekend in the Los Angeles Times offering that "Conspiracy theories have cropped up on investing websites such as Minyanville, questioning whether stocks are being manipulated by hidden forces that aim to suck more money into the upswing."

Now, I've long offered that the only difference between intervention and manipulation is communication. As such, and as the stock market is the world's largest thermometer, the simple question I've posed is whether the powers that be have become a bit more proactive and a tad less communicative? That's not conspiratorial as much as it's subjective interpretation and it's a separate discussion from the obvious performance anxiety. I look forward to hearing the opinions of guys like Steve Galbraith, Jeff Saut, Michael Santoli, Jonathan Golub and others on this matter.

Other missions on my mind? Given the sheer magnitude of debt, with $4 now owed for each dollar earned, I would like to know if there's a solution that can ween us from our immediate gratification mindset without disrupting the financial machination. I've heard from the Matador Crowd that the cost to service our debt isn't alarming. But, as Wayne Gretzky once said, we should never skate to where the puck is-we should skate to where the puck is gonna be. In that vein, I'm curious where these fine folks think the blue line currently stands.

I'm curious to know the macro thoughts regarding the great rate debate. While the FOMC attempts to toggle between the higher rates necessary to appease foreign holders of our debt and lower rates needed to combat increasing signs of a global slowdown, the true conundrum in coming to bear. At what point will that decision making process be jettisoned from the Beltway. In other words, will we soon see the other side of the globalization trade as greenback holders schvitz or get off the pot?

I'm also looking forward to hearing about their vibes on the 2007 winners and sinners. Will it be energy and metals, as it once was and seems to be anew? Or will consumer non-durables and drugs sing the safety dance despite the perceived political influences? The clearest thought in my crowded keppe (and the biggest weighting of my current equity holdings) are the metals, particularly given the fresh breakdown in the dollar. But that's not a panacea-few things are-and I'll be looking for fresh secular themes where I can park some coin.

I've learned alotta things over the course of my career with perhaps the single most salient thought being the benefits of community. We all have a handful of folks that we like to listen to, those whose skill-sets complement our own and help shape our investment outlook. That, in a nutshell, is why Minyanville was created and it's what we try to achieve each and every day. This Friday, that virtual mission will spring to life and send ripples through our philanthropic pond.

After the afternoon of financial acumen, we'll strive to thrive with the other side of the Minyanville mission: Balance. We've got a heckuva humdinga planned for the evening portion of the soiree at Country Restaurant. On top of the five-star food and open bar, we'll be honoring Trent Tucker with the first annual "Ruby" for creative education. A host of Trent's NBA, NFL and MLB buddies have given us the RSVP "wink" and they will join Minyan faithful for a casino night featuring auction events, live entertainment, professional networking and, with 100% of the net proceeds benefiting the Ruby Peck Foundation, alotta white light for better tomorrows.

Good luck, my friends, and I'll see you on the Buzz.


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