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Mess with a bull and you'll get the horns Mister!


Well the music's thunderin', restless and hot
You keep firin' me glances across the room
And I can't stop wonderin' just what you got
Get the feeling I'm going to find out real soon

(Grateful Dead)

Good morning and welcome back to the slithery shack. The Hump has arrived in the land of the 'Ville as the flickering ticks stand seemingly still. While earnings have shaken off some of the dust, the rest of the Minx is starting to rust. "It's summer, it's quiet and folks are confused," said Sammy the snake sounding somewhat bemused, "with pressers and guessers both getting used, it's really no shock that egos are bruised." Will we mix it up in the city of critters or simply slide through some more sideways jitters? It's sticky and hot so jack the A/C and dig in your heels for a new jubilee!

It was an interesting journey last night as the critters and I made our way around the big city. The first stop was our monthly meeting at the Business Leader's Alliance, a group of respected professionals hosted by our friends at UBS. The guest speaker was Jonathan Golub, US equity strategist at JP Morgan Funds, who immediately vibed with Hoofy as soon as we walked into the room. I listened intently as he walked through performance figures from the 2002 low and opined that equity inertia will likely remain in place.

As I've had some practice Buzzin' and Banterin', it didn't take long for us to engage in a spirited discourse. "I'm assuming we can chop 25% off the top of those returns?" I queried, pointing to the dollar devaluation over the same time frame. He noted that his returns were "dollars vs. dollars" and, as such, applicable for purposes of our discussion. "But if we live in a global economy," I asked, "isn't it true that our basis of our investment has deteriorated in kind?" He pointed to the recent rally in the greenback, a Snapper I quickly attributed to a confluence of EU confusion, pressy hedgies and a technically oversold condition.

The conversation shifted to the US consumer as the engine of global growth and I could see Boo lickin' his lips. As we walked through a series of colorful charts, I heard myself talking without realizing that I had again engaged our esteemed speaker. "With total debt dwarfing GDP, following years of historic monetary and fiscal stimuli, isn't there a danger in projecting past habits as the driver of future growth?" Jonathan and I continued our verbal badminton for a bit before I was respectfully asked to open the floor to other interested guests.

As he prepared to leave, I thanked him for his time and the "continuing education." I genuinely enjoyed the intelligent discourse as I always strive to see the "other side of the trade." With foreigners holding mounds of our debt and hints of isolationism in the air, the winds of change seem to be blowing in the distance. The question becomes one of acceptance, for when perception shifts from perception to reality, the tide will surely turn. Until then, the onus is on us to get inside the minds of the buyers and I was glad to have had the chance.

We ventured east to meet with the folks organizing the upcoming Minyans in the Mountains Festivus. As Daisy and Winnie chewed through menus and agendas, Succo, Depew and I shared a gaggle of geese and some quiet peace. As I filled them in on my previous spin, we mused on the market and the seemingly ever-present bid. "There sure seems to be alotta cash out there," said Pepe, slowly nursing a Stella . John, without missing a beat, leaned back and smiled, "who needs cash when you have unlimited debt?"

Good luck today.


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