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Randoms: A Devil of a Level


A rally that began at S&P 666 rallies 66.6%

  • Where there's smoke, there's Geithner?

  • The recent FASB board meeting was on the 11th and the main topics of discussion surrounded concerns and implications of 167 ruling, and improving disclosures about Fair Value measurement (mainly focusing on Level 3 disclosures).

  • Any time an accounting standard can take down an entire capital market construct, you have to ask how stable the capital market construct is to begin with.

  • But Minyans know this already, right?

  • A little historical perspective on the magnitude of the current U.S Dollar carry trade.

  • When the home of the Dodo bird starts taking down physical gold, you gotta wonder if we're at the beginning or the end of a large move for the yellow metal.

  • I've referenced 2003 for many reasons this year, mostly regarding the lessons learned. I can't help but wonder if the final fray of 2009 will follow a similar script.

  • Do I foresee a similar stretch of higher asset classes? The big stinkin' variable is the US dollar, which is almost 40% lower than it was then. The elasticity of the carry trade is correlated to the patience of foreign holders of dollar denominated assets.

  • Speaking of which, note the greenback, which is quietly tacking on 80 bips; while 'asset class deflation vs. dollar devaluation' is a big picture dynamic, we would be wise to watch the reaction to a stronger greenback, particularly given any signs of sustainable strength.

  • While the year-end melt-up gains mindshare and performance anxiety percolates, I'll reiterate a variant view shared yesterday:

    If I told you the tape would run 66.6% directly into the downtrend from the 2007 top-which happens to be a 50% retracement of the entire decline that begin at S&P 666-what would be you're preferred positioning?

  • S&P 1120 is the line in the sand-one lens, mind you, but a worthy one for purposes of risk definition-and where you stand is a function of where you sit.

  • Losing faith?

  • Going for broke...and back? Check out this effort from Minyan scribe Jessie Smith, who shares her journey from deep debt to financial freedom.

  • This is an amazing piece of film. Please see John Mack's discussion of the dire situation that Morgan Stanley (MS) was in 14 months ago.

  • Five full court games of hoops isn't as easy as it once was, particularly if you're game is cleaning the glass, setting picks and manning up on D.

  • A quick sniff of today's tea leaves finds breadth 3:1 negative, beta bunk (with the exception of counter-tell Research in Motion (RIMM)) and the financials funky (ex-American International Group (AIG) and Citigroup (C)) following Meredith Whitney's back-handed slap yesterday afternoon.

  • The year-end bender cometh! I'll be at The Trader's EXPO tomorrow through Friday and hosting a Town Hall Chat at NYU Monday afternoon. From there, I'm laser focused on our December 4th Festivus, followed by a few weeks of labor intensive year-end initiatives before taking a much-needed break (of a different kind!) for the holidays.

  • I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to refilling my mojo tank; my goal, after all these years, is to practice what I preach and work to live rather than living to work.

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.


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Position in S&P

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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