Freaky Friday Potpourri
...the greenback may very well emerge as the driver of all things financial.
Good morning and welcome back to the Friday track. It's been a long week as we dug in our heels and chewed through alotta flickering meals. As we digest the earnings avalanche, economic releases, expiration influences, metal whippage and Chinese food for thought, I will again invoke my literary license and end the final fifth of our weekly riff with a spate of Random Vibes and a personal tribute to boot.
I had dinner last night with a fella who I respect as much as anyone I've met in our business. He used to be the top dawg at a big ticket house but has since slipped to the buy-side to run multiple B's. I've known him for many years and he's as pragmatic a thinker as I've come across. Indeed, he was bearish into 2000, quite bullish into 2003 and, utilizing a bottom's up approach, maintains that alotta companies remain in giddy city. Still, what caught my ear was a comment he made as we dipped our chips in some guacamole and chatted while we chewed. "I'm more cautious now than I've been in a really long time and I can't quite put my finger on why."
Succo, who was at the Mexifest, swung by Chez Harrison afterwards for a beer and some noodle. We've been doing these weekly gigs for a long time and we've crystallized alotta thoughts in the process. The "theme" that seemed to resonate? That we're in a "dollar generated" market. In other words, the greenback may very well emerge as the driver of all things financial. If it rallies, the markets likely get hammered. If it devalues, the tape can rally (but rates will likely run as well, which adds some spice to the mix). This fits with my recent string of thoughts but last night, for whatever reason, seemed to cement my vent. At the end of the day--or night as the case may be--we arrived at the vibe that a window exists to "get out" of the greenback. Whether that's a year, two years or five years remains to be seen and it will likely be determined by the velocity of money.
As Succ scooted, I got a call from my good pal Jeff Saut of Raymond James, who wanted to shore up his MIM3 travel plans. The savvy soothsayin' sommelier was enjoying the evening breeze on the front porch of his Tampa digs before heading north for our Sunday night Sushifest. He was kind enough to share some vibes from Justin Mamis and, as it's brilliant prose, I want to humbly share it with thy faithful.
"Everyone kept saying 'a top is not in place yet.' They persistently pointed to the 'normally reached' levels of this or that statistic that were not yet there to reinforce their desire to remain bullish….Apart from statistical measures of increasing blindness, this unwillingness to acknowledge what they themselves were already feeling revealed a comfortableness, a confidence, a conviction that whatever was happening – short-term survivable dips – would continue…until 'the top,' like a strip tease artiste of our youth would with decorum appear on stage, bow, and then, accompanied by applause from all the bulls eager to cash in on their excitement, would begin to twirl its statistical tassels in front of everyone.
I've gotten so old I can't remember the names of those ladies at the Old Howard, but I can remember that all you got was a flash of this or that, before they waltzed off. Stock market tops are like that. You know it's there somewhere if you squint hard enough, but you never quite see it, so you keep waiting for more. And then, in the end, as the curtain comes down on the bull market you realize that the one rule about tops is not that they provide this or that signal, but that they come before anyone is ready."
And finally, I would like to take a moment to remember my grandfather and best friend, my soul and spirit, who passed from this earth five years ago today. Old school Minyans remember my weekly treks to Rubyville to sit by his bed, hold his hand and soak in his energy. It's hard to believe it's been five full years since his eyes closed for the last time but I can say, with absolute certainty, that I feel as close to him now as I ever have before. I've long believed that the greatest tribute you can pay to a lost loved one is to live your life in a manner consistent with what he or she would have wanted. Ruby taught me how to be a man. He taught me the value of truth and the integrity of the spoken word. He was a man of honor and dignity and, through the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education, we continue to pay tribute to his good name. Rest easy Grandpa and know that your beautiful wife is surrounded with love and your kids and grandchildren are doing great.
Good luck today.
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