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House of Straw

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Please take a moment and read Bank One's comments.

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We used to play for silver
Now we play for life
One's for sport and one's for blood
At the point of a knife


(Grateful Dead)

How could I possibly watch the British Prime Minister on television and NOT quote Jack Straw? I mean, honestly--do you think his parents shook their bones at a point? That's fantastic! I wonder if he's got an uncle named John or a wife named Bertha? Does he have a buddy named Jed who lives in Tennessee? Does he pray to Saint Stephen? Somebody call Casey Jones!

I've been having a town hall meeting in my mind and I wanted to invite you in for a discussion. This is my dilemma: There are two (potentially three) overnight unknowns. Intel will color tomorrow's tech tape, Beeks will have a huge impact on the broader market and everybody's running around saying that Dubya's gonna announce that we've got Bin Laden (at his press conference). If our goal is to identify advantageous risk/reward, can I justify two paws in my bear costume?

The honest answer is--probably not. I hate the way the internals act, the banks scare the sprinkles out of me, I "feel" as if the pennant formations will resolve themselves to the downside and the geopolitical landscape, if anything, is becoming more muddled. However, there is significant gap risk both ways and I've long said that the mechanics of the swing are more important than the results of the at-bat. As such, I'm going to slip that appendage out of my bear costume into the close.

Why am I not doing it now? The breadth, mostly, and the fact that Snapper couldn't get his groove on with any zest. I'm unsure if the Minx will let us "break" in front of Intel and, more importantly, the jobs data--that would almost be too easy and in this market, nothing comes easy. She'll probably let both camps sweat it out overnight and roll the dice if they wanna play. So you know, I have (and will) cover my undefined exposure and my short bias will be limited to defined risk April puts.

This has been an extremely long day already and it's showing no signs of slowing. Still, exhaustion is no excuse for mental errors so I will once again ask you to shake out the cobwebs and remain lucid. If you're cossing toins on your bias, that's a sign to flatten a bit and take a step back. The weeding out process continues to suck out the industry overcapacity and our goal is to find our way to the other side.

Wasabi!

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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 todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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