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Answers I Really Wanna Know: Is Merrill Good or Bad?


News of selling from the troubled financial hits the tape.

  • Would "personal reasons" include not wanting to be on the board of a bank that might go under (not saying they will--note the "might") while your dad is running for President?

  • Was Merrill Lynch (MER) the definition of "you can learn a lot just by watching" yesterday?

  • If other banks mark their holdings to market at 22 cents on the dollar-which they seemingly have to do-how many toe tags will we see?

  • For those that survive, doesn't that leave the door open to "mark-ups" once a whiff of positive news waffles through the mortgage market?

  • Is the most significant element of the Merrill news the fact that foreign buyers have awoken after a long-and costly-slumber?
  • Or is it the fact that, hidden in the fine print, we learn that Merrill will be financing 75% of the purchase price of it's CDO portfolio to the affiliate of Lone Star Capital (and it will be the only holding in said affiliate)?
  • In other words, if the value of the CDO holdings melts even still, isn't Merrill still on the hook?
  • What will President Tyler have in store for us today?

  • Do we have to see a probe lower before a try higher (given yesterday's action)?

  • If she and Stella can get their groove on, wouldn't that be a strong first step towards a technically significant higher low?

  • If and when that arrives, will you remember to view the dew through the appropriate frame of reference?

  • When will the mainstream media figure out credit problems-not car problems-are what ails General Motors (GM), Toyota (TM) and Ford (F)?

  • What'll come first-the fingers or the dike?

  • How come I think of Uncle Buck every time I see the stock Molex?

  • Is anyone else ready for the "other side" of the prolonged period of socioeconomic malaise?

  • Will Redemption Songs play one year after the fact?

  • Is this the most outrageous moment in television history?

  • While I see the credit default swaps percolating in Washington Mutual (WM), what does it say that the stock is green in the face of short-sellers everywhere I look?

  • Too smart to buy it and too scared to short it?

  • Has it really been 42 years to the day since Adam Harrison was born? (Happy Birthday brother and enjoy the Boss!)

  • Are they holding the equity-wide short-tick rule in their back pocket for when they "need" it most?

  • Or is that what they want us to think?

  • Him doesn't like it when we talk about this, does him?

  • Are 10-20% intraday moves in big cap stocks bullish any way you slice it?

  • Am I dreaming with the Silver and Black Favre thang?

  • Is anyone else amazed, simply amazed by how quickly time passes?

  • When's the last time you "Did something Joel?"

  • Can you please circle Thursday, December 4th (not yet locked) for the Minyanville Festivus for Children's Education?


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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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