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Random Thoughts: Is Paulson Really Feigning Ignorance?


The real causes of the secretary's about-face.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter. It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also Is Paulson a Lame Duck?

Gate Sniffage! - 10:02 am

  • It's Turnaround Tuesday, Yo. Keep that in mind as Bonnie typically has counter-trend cards up her sleeve on days like today.

  • I too saw the curiously sudden underlying pre-open bid in the master beta plays (Google (GOOG), Research in Motion (RIMM), Apple (AAPL), Baidu (BIDU)). While some of that bloom has faded from the rose, I continue to sniff these as potential "performance anxiety" vehicles into year-end.

  • I did, so you know, nibble back at an ever-so-small snivlet in RIMM and no, it has nothing to do with my sudden infatuation--ok, addiction--to my new BlackBerry Bold. I'll again use $40 as the underbelly of defined risk.

  • It's always great to get Mr. Practical's current take, eh?

  • As go the piggies, so goes the smoke. In that vein, keep close tabs on the Citi's (C) JPMorgan's (JPM), Goldman's (GS) and Merrill's (MER) of the world as they field the first wave of supply.

  • Is Hank laying up?

  • Is this the best interception in the history of the NFL?

  • Wasn't the financial crisis writing on the wall over a year ago?

  • Do I have a fiduciary responsibility to communicate that my "Sleep-O-Meter" redlined last night, particularly since it typically precedes something massive in the marketplace?

The Straight Face - 11:25 am

Tuesday's are my trippiest days, particularly when I'm eating Tim Tams all night (they're from Australia, and they're unbelievable!) and I've put my syndicated column (4 pm column) on hold (to watch MNF and chow sushi with Professor Adam Katz) and juggle the struggle that is our ever-changing world. Still, as I listen to the Berries lob grenades, I feel compelled to share some fare in no particular order.

  • Did Ron Paul just ask about the "transition" away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency? It sure seemed like he was alluding to a seismic shift of sorts.

  • With all due respect, Hank, a "game changer" didn't cause your about face. Seriously bro, we've highlighted these risks in Minyanville for five years, from the sub-prime contagion to the debt and derivative machination to the "other side of zero percent financing" that is now the focus of your consumer-oriented approach.

  • Are you really going to sit there with a straight face and feign ignorance, particularly given that you were a head coach as the game was being played?

  • Trading wise? Smaller, as a function of time management (or lack thereof). In addition to the Research in Motion (RIMM) swim, I nibbled on a snivlet of Goldman (GS) calls when Coops DeVille woke me up on the Buzz. Tight stop, small steps, just trading and always honest.

  • Didn't Barney Frank fight for the deregulation of Fannie (FNM) and Freddie (FRE)?

  • Don't get saucy with me Bernaise! Can you tell I had (maybe) an hour of sleep last night? I'm feeling frisky today.

  • I think I put my therapist in therapy.

  • Other vibes I can't shake? Close your eyes and buy 'em when General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) get fitted for toe tags. That, and a retail rally, are hanging in the back of my crowded keppe.

  • OK, I took a (very) small upside flier in Google (GOOG) with a stop on the other side of recent lows ($280).

  • Gotta hope, deadlines loom. As always, I hope this finds you well.

Quickie From Kenicke - 12:26 pm

I'm slammin' and jammin' but wanted to offer some quick shots from the front:

  • Consistent with my "hit it to quit it" approach, I've sold halvsies in my Goldman (GS) and Research in Motion (RIMM) upside schnitzels (and I'm trailing stops on the leaves). The single(s) life has been berry, berry good to me and I don't need to swing for the fences.

  • Google (GOOG)? It's up small from where I bought it and I'm tightening my stop to the other side of a new session low ($290). You can learn a lot just by watching and the inability to rally with the tape speaks of looming supply (check out Baidu (BIDU) as well, which is a fly in the paid search vibe).

  • Sears Holding (SHLD)? Discipline over conviction in selling that puppy yesterday (for a loss). I don't know nuttin', Honey, but word of an Eddie Lampbert margin call certainly wouldn't shock the schvitz out of me. Remember, Sears is as much a hedge fund/real estate play as it is a retailer, the fact that President Fish likes to buy his suits there notwithstanding.

  • Gotta hop--the hamster wheel beckons. As always, I hope this finds you well.

The Shake and Bake - 12:59 pm

Note how quickly market internals fripped the switch (2:1 negative) with the market at the flat line. Maybe something, maybe nothing--maybe a pterodactyl--but it's enough for me to book my trades and take my gains in the Todd-lot trading tries. Hey, I can always buy 'em back if I so choose, right?

I still have some DXO on my books, but it's smaller than George Costanza after a dip in the pool.

Maybe right, maybe... yeah, you get it...


Did you know the doors to Festivus 2008 are officially open? Have you yet locked your spot for the critter trot as last year's soiree sold out? (This is our annual event to commingle our professors, partners and Minyans while chowing down and listening to live music. The very best part? It's for the kids in the good name of my grandfather.)

Position in RIMM, GOOG, GS, DXO

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.

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