Thursday's with Story: Taking a Breath
It's high time we remembered the important stuff.
"What a dramatic airport."
-Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke, High Anxiety
2008 has been a nutty strut as the new world order redefines itself.
Regardless of the spirited sprint off last week's lows-not to be confused with a bottom-nothing comes easy in this day and age.
There is no one reason for the disarray. It is, in many ways, a manifestation of the tension that's been building under the seemingly calm financial surface for oh-so-long.
Indeed, as I offered at the end of 2006 as the markets pushed to all-time highs, my greatest concern was that nobody really felt like we were at all-time highs.
As the excesses unwind and the past catches up with us, social mood has taken a turn for the worse.
Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of dining with Pete Moses, the CEO of The Children's Aid Society. We spoke about societal fabrics and the necessity of giving during a time when many people are struggling to take care of their own.
Stimulus packages and government policies are Band-Aids on a broken bone. Think about it for a moment-these are the same bureaucrats and politicians that sat idly by as the cumulative imbalances built.
Can we be certain that they've got our best interests in mind now?
Assuming they do, should we blindly bet they can suddenly find a cure for a disease that has now spread throughout the world?
We can certainly hope but just as hope isn't a viable investment vehicle, it alone won't set us on a course towards a positive solution.
As Gene Wilder said in Young Frankenstein, "Only love will save this monster."
Indeed, if there was a singular theme to come out of my dinner with Pete, it's that love-of ourselves, for our children and for each other-is the only savior for society.
I started The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education to honor my grandfather and affect positive change. We aligned with The Children's Aid Society for last year's Festivus and continue that alliance to this day.
Bad seasons define good fans.
Bad times define good friends.
Bad markets define good partners.
As I said to Pete as we finished our food, "We've got to go through it to get through it."
Times are tough, Minyans, but every little bit helps.
We will get through it together.
Market breadth remains constructive. Yesterday was the third day in a row that the bulls were positively posturing under the volatile surface.
It's not so much the twice daily live Buzz TV segments that scare me-I'm actually sorta getting used to them-it's the fact I forget to turn off the camera in my office. I'm quite sure there's a room full of FBN producers having a heckuva laugh as they watch my daily chainsaw juggling impersonation.
Did I ever mention that I used to know a girl named Candice Mintz. We called her Candy. Seriously.
The WaMu (WM) action yesterday stood out through the lens of "reaction to news is more important than the news itself." After a "close your eyes and throw a dart" rally, the market is started to again dissect the winners from the sinners.
"Since July 10, oil has fallen $20 per barrel giving the impression that consumption will pick up. During the same period, long rates have risen 30 bips. In my view, that is much more damaging to the economy than the $20 discount in oil from those high levels." Mr. Practical on yesterday's Buzz.
I was chewing through some old vibes last night and came across the following classics that I thought newbie Minyans might enjoy.
Have a great day Minyans and remember to breathe!
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 email@example.com.
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