P&G, McDonald's, Campbell's Look Safe...
But may drive lower in the near-term.
Hello from New York, where I'm officially starting to get flat-out hostile towards both parties working in Washington, DC. I understand the Kabuki-theater nature of politics. I both forgive and have a grudging appreciation for a well-turned political barb.
But when demonstrably clueless folks come into my house and start bringing "daughters" into the argument for doing nothing while financial markets seize; I get a little revved up. "Wall St. versus Main St." is a lie. Pitting Wall against Main is akin to starting a blood feud between your right leg and your left leg; neither side can actually win, and engaging in the fight guarantees you'll wind up on your ass.
I can't stop politicians from milking this crisis dry. DC is now central to the workings of financial markets. Pragmatically, this means 2 things: 1) The market is too sick to trade, long or short; 2) We're about to see a batch of stunningly ineffectual and ill-conceived notions passed into law.
I can do nothing to stop the passing of these laws. What I can promise is this: Folks coming into my line of fire and pretending 780-point drops are in the best interest of our children are going to get called out with some aggression.
It's not much, but it's keeping me sane. Here's what else I'm watching to distract me from the rage:
- Bank deposits need to be guaranteed. No limit. Both the Irish and Mr. Practical have it right. It's not a matter of saving fat cats. It's a matter of stopping runs on the banks. Forget the noise about "raising the FDIC guarantee to $250,000" etc. It's lunacy to think people of better-than-moderate success need to open scores of bank accounts when those very banks are being run out of business almost daily.
- If yesterday's sell-off caused you to stay up all night clutching your knees to your chest and weeping like Paulina in that Cars video, you're over-exposed. Use today's rally to sell until you can sleep better - and update your musical taste and references in the meantime.
- What else will help you sleep? How about a portfolio full of Proctor & Gamble (PG), McDonalds (MCD) and Campbell Soup (CPB)? Been hyping 'em all year, and I'm sleeping like a baby (eg: waking up every 2 hours, shrieking).
- Do I think the bailout will actually "help"? Sure; just like Sarbanes - Oxley eliminated criminal activity on Wall St. On the upside, a bill passing will get the folks in DC to stop talking. Honestly, I'd vote for Smoot- Hawley if it meant silence from the Beltway.
- I'm still short Toyota (TM). The United States has monopolies on neither recessions nor stupidity.
- We may have hit a near-term nadir in the tape - and the societal acrimony Todd-O has been preaching. Down-777 days tend to do that kind of thing. Regardless, we're too close to Christmas for me to be betting money I could spend on a kung-fu GI Joe for Superfly. Real recoveries give you ample time to buy. If you're chasing 'em today and were puking them up last night, you're playing backwards, my friends.
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