You always want to know what the person on the OTHER side of your trade is thinking.
Note: Our goal in Minyanville is to remove intimidation from the financial markets and encourage an interactive dialogue among the Minyanship. We share this next discussion with that very intent.
The bear case sounds really well reasoned and smart but what of it? I've been reading stuff like this for 27 years and they all sounded smart. Julian Snyder, James Dines, Tom Holt, Prechter, Richard Russell, Paul Ehrlich etc etc. What purpose does it serve? Your long term thesis is quite clear and to be respected--you've earned that--but I don't see the need to pepper your missives with these clowns just because they agree with you . Better you should put in stuff that disagrees to challenge your well thought out views. Through history perma-disaster predicting bears (Marx, Malthus etc) always sound so smart & seductive but the only disasters that usually befall them is to their own finances.
Minyan Billy Dratel (certainly not a perma-bull,has been net short numerous times, but fed up with bearish clowns who think the only way to true prosperity is to first have calamities & depressions)
Your point is well taken and validated by the price action during the inflated bull runs--and yes, they've historically outperformed their bearish brethren. The difference this time, in my most humble opinion, is that we're coming out of a historical outlier in terms of price action. In other words, there was never a bubble 'that' big and the resulting dislocations will likely ripple through the asset classes for years to come. I think the Fed sees 'it' and they've tried--and continue to try--anything and everything to avoid the necessary medicine.
Unfortunately, like a drunk that prolongs a hangover by having another drink, the markets will inevitably wake up with a headache. There is no way to tell when or how it'll unwind--some have suggested that the 'hand' will hold us together until the next mountain of debt is due to expire in 2006--but every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And when the actions are exacerbated with leverage and derivatives, sometimes the reactions multiply in kind.
Take me at my word when I tell you that I sincerely hope I'm mistaken about what I believe the future holds. And I certainly try and paint both sides of the picture (although I was admittedly too cautious in 2003). Remember, however, that most folks are drinking the mainstream Kool-Aid and are conditioned to believe that profits are a right rather than a privilege. And that's alright--as long as they see both sides of the picture and understand the considerable risks that litter the landscape.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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