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Freaky Friday Potpourri: A Break from the Shake!


Parting thoughts before my much needed respite.

It's t-minus two days until I pull the plug on 2009, and I'm quietly looking forward to it.

It's been some year, one that in many ways encapsulates this decade. While I didn't trade to my potential on the back nine, there isn't a day that passes when I'm not genuinely grateful for the many blessings in my midst.

I'm thankful for our tremendous team and their steadfast effort.

I'm thankful for the excellent professors and their insightful acumen.

I'm thankful for the investors who share our vision of what will be.

I'm thankful for the partners who put their chips next to ours.

I'm thankful for the lasting legacy of Bennet Sedacca.

And I'm thankful for all the Minyans that have chosen to share this journey and for being very good at what they do and better at who they are.

We say things like "All you have is your name and your word" and "Honesty, trust and respect are the foundational constructs of any successful endeavor." Those aren't marketing campaigns or public relation ploys; they're an ethos that ties together our community and affects positive change.

Some people don't "get it" and that's OK. When President Fish returned from a conference earlier in the year and lamented, "Half the people there didn't know what Minyanville was," I smiled and said, "That's 100% growth, my friend."

That lens-the ability to view obstacles as opportunities-has been our lifeline in the 'Ville and now more than ever, it's a necessary perspective as we navigate our ever-changing and increasingly difficult world.

So I'll say it again; thank you. Without you, there would be no us.

A Snapshot of the Market

We've discussed the coincident big picture resistance in the S&P and NASDAQ.

We've monitored the S&P uptrend since the March lows, which has quietly broken without much fanfare or discussion.

We've layered some structural influences atop this contextual risk, including the stronger dollar, the situation in Greece (and other sovereign situations) and percolating tension throughout the world.

We often say the destination we arrive at pales in comparison to the path that we take to get there and every journey is comprised of single steps. Putting one foot in front of the other, our eyes are focused on S&P 1080-1085, which is the bottom end of the recent sideways channel, and S&P 1120 should Hoofy get his groove back.

At the end of the day, the question is this: Have the last six weeks been a bullish basing (that worked off the overbought condition as a function of time rather than price, storing the necessary energy to push through deep rooted technical resistance) or a bearish churning (precisely at resistance with everyone bulled up into year-end, paving a perfect path of maximum frustration)?

If we break below near-term support, the market will have spoken.

The question remains, how many folks will be listening?

Random Thoughts!

  • Here's a scenario to ponder: Let's say Israel strikes Iran. The knee-jerk reaction in crude is to the upside (on fears that the Strait of Hormuz will close and supply from the region will be squeezed shut). Next, we see a sharp rally in the dollar (safety play), which would force institutions (that have the carry trade on in size) to unwind their bets, putting massive pressure on asset classes-including crude.

  • Sorta like the irresistible force vs. the immovable object paradox, eh?

  • Seeing both sides, as we like to do, Minyan Sol from Israel shares this article written today in the Ha'aretz–Israel's most prestigious paper, according to him-that makes the case that Israel won't attack Iran. Thanks MS and as always, prayers of peace to your entire region.

  • Could a conflict between Iran and Iraq spark the final phase of our tricky trifecta?

  • Market moves this year have a tendency to "over-shoot" and if that again proves true-if the dollar gets sticky to the upside-institutions in the carry trade will be forced to unwind those bets by selling asset classes. It's a big if-then, but I'll ask you to keep it on ye radar.

  • Oh Snap! Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao snubbed President Obama?

  • Congrats to "my brother" Pete Moses on his retirement after 40 years as CEO of The Children's Aid Society. You wanna talk about the meaning of life being a life of meaning? This dude talked the talk, walked the walk and is the definition of class. Please help us send him off with some Minyan love by clicking on the CAS banners and donating something, anything-a finski!-as our community shows heartfelt appreciation for who he is and all he's done.

  • Bad times define good friends, bad seasons define good fans and bad markets will define the viability of the European Union.

  • Professor Jeff Cooper wrote on yesterday's Buzz: "You wanna see your tax dollars in action? This is an actual picture from Congress."

  • While having dinner with my mother a few nights ago, she handed me a folder of letters that readers sent after my grandfather passed in 2001. They hit home and took me back to the roots of our community. I'll one day publish "The Ruby Chronicles" and share those stories, some of which are truly amazing.

  • Finally, make sure you spend a few minutes absorbing our Hoofy & Boo Holiday Finale. While I was somewhat surprised by Hoofy's reaction to children in need, he assured me he was simply acting and pointed to our philanthropic efforts this year, which raised a six-figure size for the kids!
Answers I Really Wanna Know…

With that-and some of this-I'm gonna humbly excuse myself for the rest of the year. Before I do, I would like to take a moment and wish the very best for a healthy and holiday stretch to all ye faithful and their families.

Take some time to appreciate the little things, focus on the important stuff and whenever possible, "Do Something Joel" (a random act of kindness). Society is simply a sum of the parts and you never know how far a positive pebble will ripple in the proverbial pond of life.

I'll be back on the other side of 2010 with fire in my belly and sand in my shoes. Until then, may peace be with you.

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