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The Double Dead End

By

Sammy in '08!

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Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
The subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure

(Sting)


Good morning and welcome back to the yawning. Yesterday's dribble was a two-sided scribble where Boo held his ground and Hoofy just nibbled. "I held the herd down despite their sheer size," the bear offered scared with fear in his eyes, "But they'll soon return with numerous tries that stress and retest my crew from Red Dye!" Will the bovine design a script so divine that Hoofy will walk on a minxy cloud nine? Can a frustrated Boo chew through the new clues and prove to the world the upside untrue? It's freaky, it's Friday, it's time to fulfill as we ready anew for our romp through the 'Ville!

A new poll, released late yesterday, found that for the first time since the start of the war in Iraq, the majority of Americans believe that we made a mistake in sending troops to that country. This is a very sensitive topic and one that I rarely discuss because folks tend to have deep rooted opinions on the matter. Still, with the election certain to have massive financial implications, we would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the potential impact on the collective sentiment.

It's important to note (and I've said it before) that there is a huge difference between supporting the war and supporting our troops. Those disparate thoughts are often commingled in the mindset of the masses and adds further stress to an already fragile dynamic. I bring this up not to start a heated debate--this is an educational financial forum and not a political arena--but rather, to identify an evolving disconnect between perception and reality.

Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can agree that our next President will have a full plate at his inauguration dinner. The global economy is juiced on simulative steroids, our debt and deficit remain unpaid bills and our foreign affairs policy is being held to task. The choice we face, as Americans, is whether to remain with the man who led us to this dire dance or place our bet on a newcomer who has yet to exhibit any meaningful signs of leadership. That's a huge decision with unimaginable ramifications and it's ticking closer with each passing minute.

If we juxtapose those (and other) uncertainties against the eight year low in volatility (read: eight year high in complacency), we begin to sense that something is amiss. The palpable optimism seems secure with the view that the market will be alright into the election (regardless of who emerges as a front runner) as neither party wants to cool the world's largest thermometer. But what if support continues to wane just as the prospect of a draft heats up? What if sentiment turns and many people feel forced to choose between the lesser of two evils? What if the psychology bubble pops with everyone positioned for the inevitable rally into November?

I offer these scenarios with the singular goal of planting a seed for ye faithful to sow. This isn't about what I think (to be honest, I'm somewhat confused)--this is about climbing into the collective mindset and identifying where potential potholes exist. If we've learned anything in the past few years it's that the Minx likes to travel the path of maximum frustration. And with everyone standing on one side of the trade, it sometimes makes sense to take a peek over our shoulder.

Good luck today.

R.P.

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