Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.



Just the facts, Man!


The stage was set. It was Wednesday night in New York City and that could only mean one thing. It was time for Succofest, the weekly treat with John Succo that has become a staple of my existence. We've been through a lot together, having met each other on the Morgan Stanley derivative desk in 1991, and our connection delves deeper than the flickering ticks. Our time together is therapy for the soul, a center channel of truth in a complex world of corporatocracy and disinformation.

I've met a lot of smart cookies during my 15 years on the Street but there are few people that I respect more than John. He ran some of the biggest derivative desks on Wall Street and was, in many ways, a pioneer in the development of structured products. While he remains one of the most respected risk managers around, however, the crux of our discussions rarely center on levels or idea generation. We talk about the universe, theology, politics, sports, quantum physics, Entourage and, yes, the specter of invention in the marketplace.

To be clear, the risk/reward of publicly sharing my thoughts on this topic are somewhat skewed. My grandfather taught me that all we have is our name and our word and I take great pride in both. The very last label I want affixed to my skin is that of a conspiracy theorist although I believe that perception should never serve as a censor. Still, I've stopped short of sharing I'm not sure that Princess Diana's death was an accident or that I openly wonder what really happened with TWA flight 800.

I offered in my Ojai speech that the only difference between intervention and manipulation is communication. This is a subtle yet incredibly powerful point as we edge through one of the most interesting junctures in American history. While there have been detailed reports that attempt to uncover a laundry list of back channel deals, I'll honestly offer that I have no clue as to the particular mechanism that may or may not be in place. I'm equally certain, however, that alotta unforeseen strings are tugging at this Minxy marionette.

Succo and I often shake our head at the masterful moxie of our Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The newswires are constantly being sprinkled with rhetoric and assurances aimed at crafting the collective psychology and they've achieved their desired result. The widespread acceptance of their stated agenda concerns me as the mindset of the masses builds a perceived immunity to an unavoidable reality. I'm certainly no economist, Mr. Greenspan, but I find it hard to believe that inflation remains "well behaved" with the CRB flirting with all-time highs and crude pushing $65/barrel.

While I can already see eyes rolling throughout Matador City, I share these vibes with benevolent and selfless intentions. Our goal in Minyanville is to provoke (rather than shape) thought and we need to see the other side of the ride. The combination of psychology and credit make for dangerous bubble bedfellows and performance anxiety will be hollow solace if the schvitz hits the fan. Should this dynamic dictate your trading directive today? No shot. But it's food for thought as we edge forward and balance the risk that inevitably waits on the other side of reward.

Good luck today.


No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Featured Videos