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Freaky Friday Potpourri: The Eggshell Mindset


Step carefully out there.


Indians scattered on dawns highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind

(The Doors)

Minyanville is a community that stretches to 110 countries throughout the world. German Minyans. Brazilian Minyans. Costa Rican Minyans. Australian Minyans. It's like the Bubba Gump Shrimp offering with human capital taking the place of crustaceans!

While we're all different, we share a common DNA. Folks that believe there's a right way to live life, surrounding ourselves with people we trust and trying to serve the greater good. It's a noble goal but one we embrace. Sometimes you need to believe in something, particularly the notion of each other.

The reason I bring this up is that I continue to field email after email and call after call from frustrated folks. Some are looking for jobs, others are tired of them. Many are at the end of their proverbial rope, tired of fighting the good fight. It's tough to stomach as many of these people are "friends," good people with a forthright moral compass.

In 2000, I penned a column called "The Long Hard Road" that spoke to the looming liabilities of Wall Street. We followed it up through the years, monitoring societal stress and keeping our fingers on the pulse of the Street. We spoke to the risks in the system while marching to new highs, asking the same questions that politicians have finally arrived at.

I don't profess to have answers but sometimes sharing fare alleviates angst. No, you're not alone and yes, it'll likely get harder. That's the world we live in and the hand we've been dealt. Tenacity, perseverance and resolve were the hallmark of yesterday's success and they're the road map to tomorrow's survival.

I continue to feel like we're gonna see a massive move and, gun to head, it'll be lower. There are two sides to that trade, however, particularly if further socialization leads to continued hyperinflation. In that scenario, "good" markets don't necessarily equate to better times. It's an unnatural concept to digest but one that is becoming all too familiar with time.

Capital preservation, debt reduction and financial intelligence remain three things we'll need to know as we find our way through this fragile fray. I offer this without vice or virtue and in the interest of mutual benefit.

I, like you, have a lot on the line and we'll find our way step-by-step, day by day and Minyan by Minyan.

Random Thoughts

  • For those keeping an eye on the credit-equity disconnect-and that should be all of us-CDX spreads closed at the wides of the day after the largest move ever from close to close in index history (139 to 154).

  • Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood tore down Madison Square Garden last night and it was humbling to be in the presence of such greatness. After Midnight and Dear Mr. Fantasy were superb but Little Wing, my favorite tune ever, made me smile so hard my face still hurts.

  • Bloomberg is reporting that U.S. municipal bonds are headed for their worst month in more than four years after collapsing demand for securities with rates set at periodic auctions sent debt costs for states, cities and hospitals as high as 20 percent. Minyans, once again, were ahead of this curve.

  • Ben Bernanke told the Senate panel yesterday that the Fed and other regulators are "doing a lot of stock taking" following heavy losses at banks. Hey, I thought that was Hank's job?

  • The S&P, if it closed here, would be up five of the last six weeks.

  • Raise your hand if it feels like the last month has been a bullish phase?

  • What the heck happened to the bond bailout package? I know I'm A.D.D. but I don't think this thing ever printed to the tape.

  • Do you think that eHarmony guy would get in a steel cage with me and would I need to disclose my kick-boxing training?

  • Can you imagine if he got into the ring and proceeded to beat me to a pulp, taunting me the entire time by reciting his compatibility matches across 29 different dimensions?

  • The CRB is up 13% in February. Hyperinflation? What hyperinflation?

  • Is the fact that equities haven't equities tagged along a stealth negative divergence?

  • When the switch is flipped to deflation, energy and metals will have the type of slide that will be a house of pain for Hoofy. They may out-perform relatively (vs. stocks) but they'll absolutely decline.

  • Are Jimi, Stevie Ray and Clapton--in that order--the best guitarists of all-time?

  • Sleeves up, shoes off and eyes wide open, Minyans. We're less than seven hours away from our requisite respite! I'll see YOU over on the Buzz.


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