See--don't be--the ball.
You almost gotta laugh.
We look around at the world and feel a sense of worry and disconnect. And then we look at the market--the brokers are at all-time highs with Fannie Mae, General Motors and Delphi spitting smoke. Transportations at all-time highs with $60 dollar crude and pension problems. Fed Governers jaw-boning that there's no inflation despite education and healthcare costs through the roof. It's a perplexing conundrum indeed and one that's gonna land in the hands of a man called Boom Boom.
And they say I was crazy for building a world with critters.
We say that perception is reality but we've lost sight of which is which. In a world where news is shaped by corporatocracy and folks are conditioned to believe what they read, see and hear, it's no worder that we're confused. Money is cheap and life is good as long as we live in the moment and find zero percent financing. Plus we've got our home equity with adjustable rate mortgages. No worries as long as rates stay low and no questions are asked.
Is this bearish? Not so long as the market continues to lift. And after the recent rally, you can bet that alotta nervous fund managers are trying to make for up lost ground in short order. This isn't trading--it's musical chairs. Or chicken. Or rock, paper, scissors with risk. But you can't hate the player, you gotta hate the game. And the game itself has issues of its own, mired in overcapacity and rooted in the perception that profiting is a given right.
Will there be a year-end rally? It's possible, as the only thing worse than bird flu or macroeconomic malaise is underperformance. If the tape continues to shrug, shoulders will follow and capital will begrudgingly tag along. But don't for a moment confuse a strong tape with a healthy one. The government is deeply indebted, consumers are getting squeezed and corporations are dependent on cheap capital. And all the while, our service based economy is being buoyed by a conditioned psychology that seems to be saying "thank you sir may I have another" with each and every headline.
I wrote a recent column that talked to the growing chasm in mainstream society. The "haves" and the "have nots." The red states and blue states. The bulls and the bears. There seems to be an ingrained perception that we gotta pick a side or stand aside. The truth is that the evolution of the new world order is an assimilation, not a subjective or absolute affiliation. You don't have to be a bull to trade from the long side. You don't need to be a bear to acknowledge the fragile fabric.
You just need to be conscious, lucid and unemotional while preserving capital and staying in the game.
Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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