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First Annual Boo Bear Awards

By

Wishing you all a Safe and Happy New Year!

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Somedays the market is a full immersion experience, like a good video game. The week between Christmas and New Years, on the other hand, tends to be a better time to watch it like a movie.

The combination of light volume, hidden agendas (mark-ups and markdowns) and who-knows-what in terms of collective tax planning always leads to a few issues with extreme price action but, having sung "Wait 'Til the Sunshines Nelly" a few times, in my experience these moves are simply too random to play proactively.

So today I'm doing what I typically do on the last day of the year; hangin' out watching the tape, ready to act should opportunity arise but not exactly expecting much. The focus level is akin to fishing with a bobber and, as WC Fields noted, there's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.

Given that I am fully afflicted with the inability to remain mentally or physcially still (after "stress" the #1 professional hazzard for we Fund Monkeys) I'll go ahead and dive into the over-trod journalistic waters of the Year End Awards and throw a few randoms in there, if only by force of habit.

Without any further ado, I present the first annual Boo Bear Awards (because he's had a harder year than Hoofy):

Top Scandal That Should have Mattered but Didn't

The mutual fund "late trading" scandal. Even calling it "late trading" is a grotesque understatement. This was systemic stealing of mutual fund client money. After briefly trying to blame the hedge funds, the mutual fund gang realized that they didn't have a leg to stand on and quietly paid the fines. Your checks are in the mail, the Boo Bear statue is on its way to Richard Strong's house.

The "I'm shocked... SHOCKED that there is gambling at Ricks" Top Scandal that Shouldn't have mattered and Didn't

Gifts over $100 to commision generators. Here's your Boo Bear, Governor. Enjoy Albany.

Gutsiest Demonstration of the Steely Resolve Needed to Become an American Corporate Leader.

25 Boos go to the board of the NYSE, to a person unaware, shocked and outraged at what they had been paying Dick Grasso.

Most Likely to Be a Catalyst for a Horrible 2005

In a tremendous come from behind victory, Vladamir Putin edges out North Korean dictator and noted Elvis Impersonator Kim Jong Il. Rather than sending Vlad his trophy we're just going to take it public on the Russian stock exchange. Same difference.

Vlad hasn't "mattered" in a market sense yet but he's an up and comer with unlimited upside potential as a bad guy.

Most Head-Whacking "It seemed way TOO obvious" Rally

The post-election rally. Just a year after the invasion of Iraq put up seemingly unassailable numbers in this category, the rally off the "certainty created by the election" trumps it. It's like Barry Bonds beating McGuire's record after the previous mark stood for a generation. Depending on who you talk to, it's just as legitimate.

Boo's going to deliver this one himself... brace yourself for delivery, Rally.

Best Quote from a Famous Dead Guy who woulda been a GREAT Minyan:

"... ours is a useful trade, a worthy calling; that with all of its lightness and frivolity it has one serious purpose, one aim, one specialty, and it is constant to it: The deriding of shams, the exposure of pretentious falsities, the laughing of stupid superstitions out of existence; and that whoso is by instinct engaged in this sort of warfare is the natural enemy of royalties, nobilities, privileges and all kindred swindles, and the natural friend of human rights and human liberties"

Mark Twain, you have a standing invite to pick up your Boo Award.

Best Rumor that was "out there" all Year, played out exactly the way the conspirators predicted but didn't really matter

"George Soros is going to jam the price of oil higher as part of his sworn commitment to get Bush out of the White House".

George, your Boo Bear is waiting for you at President Bush's family ranch. Stop on by for some light chat and porkrinds!

And finally, the last Macke Gimmick Infringing Random Thought of 2004:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly received the most gifts amongst justices yet seems to have gotten nothing from the ingrates at Coca-Cola (KO)

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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