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Animal House!


There's little doubt that these amusing subplots are masking a much broader dynamic...


But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
(The Animals)

It's a spotty morning at MVHQ as many of our trusty systems have decided to sleep late. While we're not completely in radio silence, I've decided to shelve the witty bits of rhythmic hits in lieu of a leaner morning column. We are, after all, on a strict timeline and if I've learned anything during the last sixteen years of trading, it's that the Minx waits for no man. So, without further adieu....

"Tell me Ambassador, just who is in charge of your armed forces?" -National Security Advisor Jeffrey Pelt, The Hunt for Red October

It was just another manic Monday until Maria dropped the bomb on CNBC. Evidently, and according to her version of a cozy chat she shared with Boom Boom at a White House state dinner, she said he said that he felt he was misunderstood by the popular press following his congressional testimony last week. She said he said? That wasn't even a good Kevin Bacon flick, much less a compelling financial plot line, but traders shot first and asked questions after. The end result was a heavy close and, quite possibly, a handful of fast money trapped shorts.

I've got a few questions and comments following the frazzled late day fray. And, as long as I'm invoking my creative license as a function of my spotty systems, I'm gonna borrow a familiar format from the Buzz & Banter and ponder aloud some

Answers I Really Wanna Know.....

  • Isn't the real issue here one of credibility?
  • If Bernanke did confide in Maria, how can we have faith in his "total transparency" mantra?
  • If he didn't change his story and Maria misunderstood him, how can we have faith in the mainstream financial media?
  • And wasn't he ambiguous enough to placate virtually every angle of the financial spectrum anyway?
  • Was there wine served at the state dinner?
  • What are the chances that it was Kosher?
  • If the markets are discounting mechanisms and it takes six to eight months for rate increases to impact the market, how can our FOMC base policy decisions on month-to-month coincident economic indicators?
  • Who "knew" about this story before it was broadcast to the world?
  • Who do you have to hug to get an invitation to a White House State Dinner?
  • Isn't the whole point of a prepared text to remove interpretive misjudgments?
  • Does anyone remember the last time CNBC moved markets like this?
  • Why did they wait until 3:00 PM before breaking the story?
  • How many jaw bones dropped to the ground when they heard the news?
  • Do you think the approval rating on the veal tenderloin was higher than 34%?
  • Does anyone really believe that the FOMC is still in control of our financial future?
  • And, more importantly, when does the investment community wake up to that fact?

We jest, yes, but we do so to put a smile on your face as we provoke thoughts in your mind. There's little doubt that these amusing subplots are masking a much broader dynamic, one that involves dollars, debt, interest rates, home equity, perception, compression, digestion, isolation, wars, scores, S'mores and so much more. We'll dig a bit deeper on today's Buzz but, for those who don't chill with the 'Ville during the day, please allow a good hour or so for the late day positioning to unwind. We're still bound by S&P 1295 and S&P 1300 and the financials continue to dictate the pace of the race (note that Wachovia punted the brokers today).

Good luck today.


Position in financials
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