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Waiting for Intel to Surprise to the Upside


"Will the other Critters make fun of me if I ask what Greenspan said?"


I'm physically unable to flat-out lie.

I can "sling it", "BS", "babble", "spin", or "confuse everyone, including myself" but I'm something of a sissy when it comes to even the most well-intentioned of socially condoned lying. My eyes get shifty... my voice starts to sound a bit "disembodied". Anything out of my mouth starts sounding pre-packaged and utterly unconvincing. The mere effort churns up murky self-loathing, making me feel like I'm the embodiment of the cheapest, most cynical, of PT Barnum "suckery". I feel as creepy and phony as the Tom Cruise / Katie Holmes romance.

This is a personal malady, not a variant on the perfect interview self-criticism ("I'm a workaholic and a bit of a perfectionist"). If the Emperor asks me how I like his new clothes I'll ask him if the cold is causing the shrinkage. More frequently, if Grandma looks me in the eye and asks how I like the casserole, the one she slaved over all day which is now stuck in the back of my mouth while my uvula/ gag-trigger makes repeated "kick-saves" to keep me from swallowing... well... I'm probably going to be forced to awkwardly nod at her and try to change the subject to the kid.

She wants me to love the casserole but she'd settle for a fib. I desperately want to love the casserole and lavish praise on it. I am unable to to fake it; even for Grandma.

My personal issue is why Greenspan's testimonials annoy and fascinate me so. I am invariably shocked at the collective time wasted but I can't help but admire the mastery of self-serving darkness required to, say, waste 20-minutes of the world's time making a speech designed to look like a question.

I am baffled and obsessed with why Elmer would want to waste his time not answering questions in such a wordy way. He has to be messing with us, right? I mean... he spoke for 2 hours (8-days when measured in tedium) and I just saw CNBC's Ron Insana and Pimco's Bill Gross trying to decipher what it was that Greenspan said. Those are two pretty sharp guys and I don't think they were pretending to be confused. They genuinely had no idea what Greenspan's answers had been; even for the real questions.

The whole exercise is so openly silly that everyone involved should be suspected of playing an ongoing, existential joke. There isn't anyone who understands what Greenspan is saying because he is never saying anything!

Get it?

Neither do I, actually. But if it isn't a joke then it's sort of lie to never (ever) actually seek the truth during hours of testimony, isn't it? I mean, it's either got to be a kind of performance (like pro-wrestling before they admitted it was fake) or they are trying to fool us, right?

Either way, I've got a lot of grudging respect for the discipline of the players involved. They stay in character while looking us straight in the eye the whole time. It's like earnings estimates and Enron all rolled into one and it's been running longer than Cats (which, come to think of it, didn't make sense either).

I could watch it again and again.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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