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Shorting the Market and Buying Gold


But does this imply financial anarchy is upon us?


President Obama shamelessly draws parallels between himself and the Great Emancipator. You can't cite the Civil War effort as an example of American will in the same speech you take potshots bankers and fat cats "in their private jets."

If Lincoln could leave it to God to levee judgment against slave-trading rebels in order to "bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne in battle and for his widow and his orphan," isn't it possible to ask and expect our young, ambitious president to refrain from yet another moan about W. leaving him a deficit? It's a tired point made in the wrong forum.

Other than that, we have a president reclaiming control of the moment; a Fed chair who seems to have discovered Xanax, scotch or leadership in the last 6 months (whatever it is, Mr. Bernanke, make mine a double); and some level of restraint on the bailout spending coupled with an argument for understanding and compassion towards the regular citizen - who would, and will, bear the brunt of a class-warfare backlash and looming low-level cutbacks.

Deduct points for President Obama not having a good last edit. Add points back for his having Leapin' Nancy Pelosi, as opposed to Angelo Dundee, backing him up last night, and I'm giving the speech an 8.5. Better than good enough, at least to push back the growing panic and, to my horror, good enough to make me deeply concerned at my falling in lust, if not love, with the one type of person still socially unacceptable for a man like me: a president who wants to raise my taxes and quasi-nationalize my banks.

I don't see a lot of great set-ups but I'll be trading it today just to keep my mind off my shame (and to try and stay in front of a looming 95% tax rate). Here's the playing field as I see it and the names I'm watching:

  • Got an email from a new Minyan last night expressing displeasure (in a polite, reasonable way) with the nanosecond timeframes underlying my flip-flopping trades in the SDS ETF and Morgan Stanley (MS) yesterday. It raises at least 2 points worth mentioning again:

    1. This is an extremely fast-moving market, and 2x levered ETFs and banks stocks are leading the way. Keeping the SDS on a very tight leash is something I've discussed repeatedly. Yesterday, when the market bounced off the intra-day lows of November 2008 and shot 1% higher, I saw a trading shot that not only wouldn't last long but would beat me senseless if I wrote first and traded it later. I prefer to stay in front on ideas, and really loathe the idea of coming across as a "magic trade" guy, but feeding the kids is job #1 with communicating the message a distant second.

    2. Morgan Stanley moved nearly 20% yesterday. I was long going in, and added at $20 and change, so I'm not claiming I caught all the move. But in this tape, I'm apt to take any gains on a trade. I'd rather hold stocks forever in a bull market but we've got to trade the tape we have, not the one we want. Until I start shouting otherwise, just assume I still consider buy-and-hold dead.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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