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Freaky Thursday Potpourri: The Blame Game


What will fingers wag at next?


"Hit me again Ike, and this time put some STANK on it!"

Good morning and welcome back to the slippery pack. As I'm traveling tomorrow and out next week, we're gonna shake it up and hit it hard.

There's a LOT going on, even by my standards, so grab your helmet and let's leave it all on the field.

Tag, You're It!

Are you really that surprised that a Florida pension fund is suing AIG (AIG)?

We've been eyeing The Blame Game for some time, wondering when tempers would flag and fingers would wag. Not to stir the hornet's nest but nobody asked questions when financial engineering inflated bottom lines.

I'm not saying it's right, I'm simply saying that it is what it is. It's been going on for years-I know, I was there-and this is the other side of that ride.

Swallow Hard!

Remember when you were a kid and mom stuffed nasty tasting cough syrup down your throat? Taking medicine is never fun but it's a necessary and inevitable evil.

Admitting we have a problem is the first step towards recovery. We're seemingly there, we simply need time and price to see it through. One of three potential paths await so see all sides as we find our way.

Love is a Battlefield

Seriously, whatever happened to Pat Benatar? She was pretty bad ass in her day. Wait-can I say that?

Speaking of battlefields, I had no idea Memorial Day would have such a profound implication for my P&L. I'm always early, as Old School Minyans can attest, but this particular poke in the energy sector has been high profile and painful.

The Minyanville mission is to provoke, rather than shape, thought. That's the genesis of shared learning and why we discuss positions in real-time.

With that in mind, I continue to "trade around" the short side in select drillers (such as Halliburton (HAL)) and the US Oil Fund (USO) and keep powder dry for the first fail. A lower high, when it arrives, will be an opportune time to press the bet.

The papers? I pared enough Gannett (GCI) into the 3-handle such that I can nibble anew when the time comes (you always wanna be in a position to use price to your advantage).

As far as McClatchy (MNI), I've got nothing to say other than 1) this dog has fleas and 2) the Trading Gods are once again correct in that I shoulda, coulda and, in hindsight, woulda made a disciplined sale after the 20% jump.

Random Thoughts

  • I heard yesterday that a large hedge fund was in the process of a forced liquidation (covering a crude short). It's unconfirmed, natch, but it certainly makes sense from a pure price action standpoint. Take that for what it's worth as mis ojos son tus ojos.

  • American Airlines (AMR) is charging for luggage? Neal Page has nothing on me as I ready for a four city, eight-day journey.

  • Fed minutes? Inflation in things you need, deflation in things you want. Clowns to the left, jokers to the right. You get the picture... here we are, stuck in the middle with you. We've been talking about the Fed pushing water with a fork for years. Welcome to the future, Doc Brown.

  • Fund managers who bought the four-corner breakout (S&P 1405, NDX 2000, INDU 12800, Russell 735) and are now trading sans catalyst. That, my friends, is why we view technicals as a context with which to define risk.

  • And then there were two... percent between current levels and BKX 75.

  • Fear? Not so much. The VXO remains a confused teenager.

  • Ford (F) down 7%? The whole "short autos because who the heck can afford to drive?" vibe seems sorta obvious with the benefit of hindsight. That, and the fact that it-and General Motors (GM)-is a financial in drag.

  • Has anyone ever seen Professor Ryan Krueger and the New York Times in the same room at the same time?

  • My Gawd-look at the time. I'll see YOU on the Buzz & Banter.


In the Emerald City on May 27th? Join us at 4 P.M. at Revolution Bar & Grill (at the Experience Music Project) to mingle with your fellow Minyans!

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Positions in GCI, MNI, HAL, VXO
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