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Random Thoughts: The Old Bovine Try


Bulls try to make a stand into the weekend.

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 Nucking Futs!

Gate Sniffage! - 10:31 am

It's funny--in a Tommy Devito sorta way--how schedules commingle these days. I had this morning's 9:00 AM meld on the calender for a month and was on the fence whether or not I should cancel. In the end, I deferred to "all you have is your name and your word" and kept it in kind.

The opportunity cost? Making partial sales in my upside exposure in front of the inevitable probe lower, consistent with my "buy dips to sell blips" stylistic approach. In lieu of that, I'm venting to you as I strap in for the Friday spin. Hey, work with me as we're all in this together.

Some Freaky Friday top-line thoughts:

  • The first thing that jumped off my screen? Citigroup (C) (-20%) and JP Morgan (JPM) (-10%). I've been vocal in my view that financials are value traps and should be avoided by ye faithful.

  • At these levels, I'm intrigued by the Citigroup Infinity Zero Call for $3.75. Who needs option lottery tickets when the entire organization is a lottery ticket? Small potatoes, natch, with an immediate mental write-down to nil.

  • As discussed this morning, there's no crying in baseball and no hiding in the 'Ville. I was early on my bull costume appendage (two legs, or 50% conviction) but that continues to be my honest feel. Vehicles include Sears (SHLD), Google (GOOG), Weatherford (WFT), USO, a snivlet of Goldman (GS) and my "did you really need that" odd lot "synthetic call options" that are Dryships (DRYS), DXO and now Citigroup.

  • The little angel on my left shoulder is whispering "Lawrence, we often see Friday rallies in bear markets" while the red devil on my right shoulder is warning that a failure today will pave the way for all sorts of Black Monday chatter." While you know how I'm positioned, I'm most certainly allowing for both as we edge forward and chew through the dew.

  • Lemme get this out there, Minyans. I'll be back before you can figure out if Carly Simon was a narcissist. Good luck, and remember to breathe.

Aunt Bunny Takes a Spin - 11:23 am

  • When I first started at Mother Morgan way back in the days of T-Accounts and Quotrons, John Brett said to me "If you're selling when they're buying, you'll be laughing when they're crying. If you're buying when they're selling, a cardboard box will be your dwelling." As I dined last night with my ol' buddy, I was reminded of that axiom.

  • The upside of anger? A probe lower was a necessary precursor for (but no guarantor of) a rally.

  • The not so hot shot? You mean, other than moi? Breadth is 2:1 negative, social mood and risk appetites are in shrinkage mode and the BKX (-9%) has been a fantastic leading indicator of the overall market. See both sides as we find our way.

  • We've been talking about the potential for a seismic readjustment in the marketplace. Without "admitting or denying a view" on the subject, the suspension of mark-to-market accounting could conceivably be announced at any given moment.

  • Unless, of course, Hank & Co. punted this problem to the new administration and is spending his time pricing property in Tahiti. Do you think he has an interest in adopting a 39-year old Jewish writer-trader-philanthropist? Nah, forget that--I've got no interest in sitting across the breakfast table from the man.

  • Never lose your sense of humor, Francis. A little levity goes a long way.

Answers I Really Wanna Know... -12:35

  • Assuming for a moment the Mayan Prophecy that "the grand cycle of evolution will culminate on 12-21-12," actually happens, would you live your life any differently?

  • Would you be more mindful of our blessings?

  • Would you be good to others and better to yourself?

  • Are you viewing each day as a P&L unto itself or trying to make up for lost ground in one fell swoop?

  • Which was the best NFL interception of all time: Sehorn or Polamalu?

  • If you didn't have ANY risk on right now, would your opinion of today's action be different than it currently is?

  • What if your shorts were long and your longs were shorts?

  • Absent a "seismic shift" (such as the suspension of mark-to-market), doesn't it feel like there are sellers all the way up the supply ladder?

  • Why hasn't regulation of the credit default swap market been introduced yet?

  • Or years ago, for that matter?

  • Is everyone in the world (outside Minyanville) reactive?

  • What are the sum of the Citigroup (C) parts actually worth?

  • Why the heck can't I get Carly Simon out of my head?


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.)

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Positions in C, SHLD, GOOG, WFT, USO, GS, DRYS, DXO
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