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Round one goes to the bulls. Round one went to Foreman in Zaire.

Just like Foreman, the Fed has come out with guns blazing: tax cuts and massive liquidity have breathed new life into the consumer.

Just like Ali, the bear is patient, fending off blow after blow while his opponent spends all his energy in a frantic attack.

Just like Forman, the bulls make progress, but at what the cost? Debt is being accumulated like lactic acid in the muscles of the economy.

Just like Ali, the bear is taking heavy blows, but with the foreknowledge of the inevitable. He is waiting for the right time, just when his opponent is weakest to launch his attack.

He knows that his opponent can still win the fight. He is not underestimating him. Just like Foreman, the Fed could get smart. It could slow things down. Then the tactics would change. The fight would get fierce as the bear would have to go on the offensive. This would be nasty and unpleasant, something Ali knew that Foreman did not have the guts for.

Does our government have the guts for it?

So just like Ali, the bear waits for the later rounds, waiting for his opponent to punch himself out; when the muscles just won't work anymore.

I have a friendly bet with a Minyan: that 2Q 2004 GDP will be below 2%. I think by then we will be in round 8.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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