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Random Thoughts: The World According to Ben


Fed Chairman sees inflation slowing.

  • An encapsulation of the middle class?

  • There is speculation swirling that SWF's (Sovereign Wealth Funds, not Single White Females) would like to renegotiate the terms of their already announced capital infusions into Western banks. We know some of the deals had "ratchet protection" but if this were to happen, this would be a clear (and dilutive) negative.

  • Last night on the tube, I had a conversation with someone in Washington regarding SWF's. 28, Jewish, looking for long-term relationship... wait, different conversation!

  • My question, in response to his commentary on the transparency of these transactions, was: "It's my understanding that the wants to avoid foreigners imposing their political will. My question is, did the government impose its political will to trigger the wave of investments in the troubled banks?"

  • As if we didn't have enough to worry about?

  • I can't say I'm shocked by this witch-hunt. If only politicians and policy makers had the foresight to proactively avert a crisis rather than reactively blame others for it.

  • There sure are alotta homeless people in NYC. More than there were, not as many as there will be. I have empathy for obvious reasons. I just wish there was more I could do to avert what seems to be an obvious societal deterioration occurring in slow motion before our very eyes.

  • Remember Charlie, Remember Baker. They left their Fedspeak, on every acre...

    The world according to Ben Bernanke? Lets take a look:

    • The Fed will provide adequate insurance (translation: they'll hyperinflate as long as we can).

    • It's important to note downside risks (thanks scoop!).

    • Credit markets still under considerable stress (one way or another, we'll get find ya, we're gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha!)

    • Demand for labor has slowed further of late (not for those of us trying to earn a living it hasn't!).

    • Short-term inflation expectations rose somewhat (Geez Ben, ya think?)

    • Data since January indicates sluggish growth (You're going the wrong way!)

    • The economy has entered 2008 with little momentum (Challenge!!! It's got a lot of momentum, it's just not "up").

    • The Fed will closely monitor prices in the months ahead (Great, I can chuck my Ambien).

    • He's actively pursuing ways to help stem foreclosures (He's reading up on FDR and the New Deal).

    • He sees inflation slowing as energy costs flatten (It's finally happened, he's contradicted himself in the same statement!).

  • What's all this mean for today's tape? I have absolutely no idea. Prolly nothing, although the media will positively portray the action either way to today's testimony.

  • For my part and with my money, I'm Winky, right? Jab jab, duck duck, make it to take it and keep ten fingers on my hands by the time thy closing bell tolls.I'm not smart enough to know "what," I can only hope I'm seasoned enough to know "how."

  • Patience has never been my middle name. It's Danger. Or Andrew, as the case may be.

  • Either way, I will continue to feed the ducks in my China plays. It's not so much a function of the action (Baidu (BIDU) +7%, FXI +3%) as much as the coming-up-quick resistance in the S&P and DJIA.

  • Premature evacuation? Perhaps, but I'm down to stems and seeds, both of which have trailing stops. Trades are made to be taken in this environment if I'm to remain consistent with my stated slate of "hit it and quit it."

  • Of course, that doesn't mean we stop on a dime, especially if that dime hyperinflates to a nickel. I'm just trying to respect the process and protect capital. It's how I'm rolling these days, for better or for worse.

  • Sisyphus had nothing on my inbox. Seriously, it's N-V-T-S Nuts!

  • The most bullish thing on my screen? Aunt Fannie (FNM) as she steps off the earnings scale to find herself six percent higher (albeit more than 50% lighter than she was in October).

  • I sure hope Elmer is enjoying supper at Del Boca Vista. That's for mutton, Allan!

  • For the record, I know the dudes that built the Great Wall of China were gone by the time the Wright Brothers did their thing. I haven't gotten so many emails since I asked "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"


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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

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