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Randoms: Media Planners!

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Take your financial flavor with a grain of salt.

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  • Societal acrimony? What societal acrimony?

  • Is October 12th the next date with destiny as we watch the Financial Accounting Standards Board soap opera?

  • In a moment of mutelessness, I overheard someone being interviewed on financial television offer that this is a bear market rally. The host literally laughed in his face. I'm serious-he laughed in his face!

  • That's not today's business but file it away for a rainy day. I recall a conversation I had with a television producer a year ago-almost to the day-when I tried to warn viewers that a cancer or car crash was waiting in the wings.

  • She asked me what my source was and I replied, "I'm the source," leading her to spike the segment. I countered with "Retail Therapy," the notion that retailers would need therapy by the time holiday season arrived. That too, was deemed "too negative."

  • A few months later, we discussed the sorry state of retail-after a 40% drop as I was buying that sector for a trade-I finally said "Do you want me to discuss what happened or what I believe will happen-they're too entirely different lenses."

  • That, to me, is the future of media-where news intersects with opinion-and where incredible opportunities reside in the space.

  • And remember, there's no such thing as a financial pundit.

  • The here and now? The dollar (session lows) and NYSE internals (3:1 positive) are pointing the critter compass north by northeast but seeds of sorrow in the financial realm are keeping the door open for Trapper (the evil twin cousin of Snapper).

  • My game plan remains the same, with discipline over conviction. As discussed in my opener, I dipped a toe in the short-side pond late Friday while wearing my metaphorical Nurse Ratchet costume. I added a layer of Powershares (QQQQ) puts and S&P puts into this morning's hot popper with tight trailing stops, using last week's highs as my cut-bait level and "trading around" the exposure, selling blips to buy dips.

  • I also snuck in some Goldman (GS) puts with the stock trading at $166 with a very tight stop on the other side of $167 (don't blink). Why? The action in Wells Fargo (WFC), American Express (AXP) and American International Group (AIG) at the time, which have since been joined by Citi (C) and Bank America (BAC) as relative laggards. This, more than the others, is a pure trade.

  • The theme of "all of the above?" A tight risk leash for a few reasons
    .
  • I've officially added Mad Men to my list of "must watch TV shows" after logging the first two seasons (24 hours worth!) this past weekend. It joins Californication, True Blood, Entourage, 24 and Monday Night Football (does that count?) on the list and I've removed Lost to make room for the newcomer.

  • Timmy Geithner said at the G-20, "Our objective is to reach agreement by the end of next year on a new standard that will raise capital and liquidity requirements and dampen rather than amplify future credit and asset price bubbles."

  • If the market is a forward-looking discounting mechanism, when will psychology wrap its paws around a Treasury Secretary whose express goal is to dampen future credit and asset price bubbles?

  • And finally, I know that "almost" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades but snaps to the Syracuse Orange football team for taking the Golden Gophers to overtime before finally succumbing. It's been a long time since there's been gridiron excitement on the hill and the storied program -- Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, Art Monk, Marvin Harrison, Donovan McNabb -- is seemingly heading in the right direction. I, for one, look forward to returning to my Alma Mata next month to "give something back" to the leaders of mañana.

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.


R.P.

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