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S.O.L. - 13 Days Away


Standard of living worldwide could still rise.


Naturally, I am referring to the Standard of Living, the primary reason the world shows up to work and invest - both before and after disasters interrupt.

Lately, we've had every reason to forget this un-level playing field for disciplined longs, which I define as those who use cash, not leverage, to buy stocks and then refuse to let small losses become big ones, regardless of the reasons.

We don't use sentiment indicators at my firm, but perhaps you can calculate your own with this: how many folks who clicked on this article's title do you reckon assumed S.O.L. meant something else, and were looking for the schedule of arrival for a crash? Maybe we get one, but how many crashes were so easily recognized and carefully scrutinized?

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I wanted to share a different perspective (recently shoved in my face) along with a view through our lens from inside the market, instead of looking at the market.

Thirteen days ago, Hurricane Ike ripped across the Texas coast, and tore right through Houston where I have lived all my life and seen many storms - but nothing like this one. Folks from other parts of the country may not realize that the fourth largest city has been nearly unlivable for almost 2 weeks.

My partner and I decided the morning after the storm that while everybody was cleaning up and hoping for the best, we needed to clean out and plan for the worst. We headed out to one of our back-up trading bunkers 200 miles away, ironically on the beach, which was un-scratched by Ike.

Meanwhile:Minyanville's Why Wall Street Will Never Be the Same

  • Dow loses 504 points in one day, the worst drop since after 9/11.

  • Stocks rally for biggest one-day gain in 6 years.

  • Stocks' volatility readings hit levels that have not been seen since October 1987.

  • S&P has largest gap open higher in history.

  • Standard & Poor's pulls Fannie Mae (FNM) out of the S&P 500

  • China cuts rates for the first time since 2002.

  • The yield on the US Treasury 3-month note fell to 0.01% (averaged 3.44% last decade)

  • The oldest money market fund in the country falls below $1.

  • The majority of bank stocks hit 52-week highs.

  • A 158-year old firm, Lehman Brothers, files for bankruptcy.

  • The largest broker, Merrill Lynch (MER), is sold and finishes up +73% in one week.

  • The largest insurer, AIG (AIG), bailed out by the government and falls (68%) in one week.

  • Goldman Sachs (GS) plummets the most in one day in its history days before Warren Buffett buys some.

And as I recorded those headlines, Congress was spending several hours deciding the fate of the world's economy as we know it in the same room in which it investigated Roger Clemens' whereabouts during a barbeque at Jose Canseco's house.

Strange year? That all happened while my power was out over the last 13 days alone.

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No positions in stocks mentioned. Long: A Buzz & Banter subscription.
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