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Minyan Mailbag

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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.

Dear Toddo,

Having a contrarian to the contrarian view could have made money in the past year. Having said that, things have become very murky. Now I have to think not once, not twice, but thrice about whether my current views on the market are they with the crowd, with the contrarians or with the anti-contrarian views.

Take a look at Carrie. Although I firmly believe she will have the final say, I'm no longer sure which view is correct. Are there now too many eyeballs looking and positioned for Carrie to unwind over the short/intermediate term? Or is this thinking getting too cute (anti-contrarian). Or does this logic suggest potentially one more marginal new high, as the '71 to '73 period suggests would be needed to annihilate the bears before an uglier down turn.

Thanks for your opinion.

Malta Minyan George Grech
Contrarian Wannabe



Minyan GG,

Wouldn't a "contrarian contrarian" be conventional wisdom? Yes, 2003 was the revenge of the herds and an accommodative Elmer finally caught the tiger by the tailwind. It was also a year that lotsa folks--yours truly included--outfoxed themselves by over-thinking and reading between the lines.

"Selling hope and buying despair" had been the money "trade" (and I still think it applies to the macro landscape) but the rising tide rendered reliable trading tools useless. And while I'm fairly certain that this will ultimately usher in the exact same dynamic (and confusion) the other way, it's difficult to ascertain when an invisible catalyst abates (or creates). Respecting the fact that it exists, however, will put you way ahead of the herd when things get absurd.

Meanwhile--where the heck is Malta? I can see it now....The Maltese Minyan! Thanks kindly for writing and have a fantastic weekend!

Toddo


R.P.

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