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Monday Morning Quarterback: Hope Springs Eternal


If one thing became clear last week, it's that America demanded change.


If one thing became clear last week, it's that America demanded change.

Citizens cast votes with a vengeance and when ballots tallied, our political direction set sail on a new and historically significant course.

Andy Dufresne once said that "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." Hope has always been part of the human condition but alas, it has never been a viable investment strategy.

The mere specter of change was enough to spark a 20% rally in the six sessions prior to the election. As reality set in and exhaled, the following two days saw the sloppiest supply since 1987. Add an edgeless Friday following "horrible but not as bad as some whispered" employment numbers and here we are, ready anew for a fresh five session set.

As our president-elect was quick to remind us, the slippery state of the union wasn't his fault and it'll take hard work and collective sacrifice to move the needle in the right direction. That process of discovery will take time and price as we digest an economic contagion that rapidly spread throughout the societal spectrum.

It'll be interesting to witness the order of prioritization set forth by the new administration. The government has massive deficits with prickly partners, corporate America is choking on toxic paper in a finance-based economy, university endowments are exposed to deteriorating alternative asset class exposure and the consumer is running scared as credit stretches, foreclosures mount and unemployment ticks higher.

And there's healthcare, the climate, energy independence, two unpopular wars and an increasing number of states and municipalities on the brink of bankruptcy. It's a pretty pickle and it won't be solved with a wave of a wand, no matter how much we hope, hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

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