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Random Thoughts: Sifting Through the New World Order


Time to start picking up the pieces?

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 Martial Law For the Markets.

Gate Sniffage - 10:17 am
  • While I've put on alotta brave faces through the years, I can honestly say I've never felt such a deep need to dig deep. Old school Minyans can appreciate the magnitude of that statement.

  • Why? I feel like an old friend died. An old, close friend I've spent 17 intimate years with. It is profoundly sad and truly historic, despite what mainstream America will say when they turn on the tube and see the Dow 1000 points higher in 24 hours.Minyanville's Why Wall Street Will Never Be the Same

  • What am I doing? Nothing, in part because my trading systems are down, which is unfortunate considering I was gonna take a stab on some S&P puts up 60 for a pure trade. I suppose it's symbolic.

  • While in the shower this morning (where I always have my best thoughts), I wondered how Hank could do this. It would cripple the option markets and freeze the system.

  • Then it hit me. That is precisely what he's trying to do. He knows the derivative machination better than anyone. Why? He helped create it while helming Goldman Sachs (GS). Nice sale on that stock, boss. Tax free to boot.

  • Focusing (I'm trying), lemme again offer to ye faithful that the consumer non-durables--one of our ten themes from January--are vulnerable after hitting 52-week highs in recent days. Those are names like General Mills (GIS), Coca Cola (KO) and Campbell Soup (CPB).

  • I just said to Pep, "I'll tell you one thing, bro. They BETTER hold 'em today." I think they will, so you know, but profound consequences--structural, financial, societal consequences--are building.

  • Breathe. And yes, I'm talking to myself.

Bye, Bye Ms. American Pie - 10:53 am

  • The SKF (proshares ultrashort financials) has been halted down 22%. It'll be real interesting to see how they're gonna mop that one up. They can't simply pretend it's not there and make it disappear. Oh wait, they can. I forgot--they can do whatever they want.

  • Do I sound bitter? It's not a function of losing money. I respected the magic hat into expiration and discipline saved me. I am profoundly saddened with what we are seeing, however, to a degree that it's probably a good idea for me to hold my tongue until I have an opportunity to digest and synthesize these historic events.

  • The most curious thing on my screen (which is saying a lot)? The dollar, which I would have expected to be lower on this news.

  • The "easy" trade today was the first fade (sale), which I couldn't capture due to a system outage. That's the second time this week that trading systems blitzed on the opening, costing me an opportunity (the other was AIG (AIG) $1.60).

  • All this... and we're back to Monday's levels. I can't decide if that's really bullish or extremely bearish. When in doubt, sit it out and let the dust settle.

  • Gotta hop, President Hoover is on television. I'll be back.

Answers I Really Wanna Know... - 11:24 am

  • Is sub-prime still contained?

  • How can you assess risk given the unforeseen fallout from the hedge fund community?

  • Will funds simply avoid the financials and trade other sectors?

  • At least until they start declining?

  • If you left last Friday and came back today, there would be zero net change on the S&P?

  • Am I the only one who thinks that's insane?

  • And Mercury Retrograde begins on Wednesday?

  • Will I have to listen to Cowboy Mouth before I smile again?

  • How many financial insiders--CEO's and so forth--will be selling stock into this artificial lift?

  • Are they gonna take our third Sunday in a row?

  • I mean, seriously, I've been so busy that I don't even know who the Raiders are playing?

  • What has this world come to?

  • Was that the last bullet?


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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