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Random Thoughts: Animal House


A little levity goes a long way.

Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter. It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also Conversation With Mr. Practical, Storm Clouds? and Engine Room, More Steam!

I'll never forget that Sunday night while I was in college at Syracuse. Our fraternity--Zeta Psi--was holding our weekly chapter meeting and a particularly prickly subject was being hotly debated.

In the midst of the screaming, Brother Chris Renault cracked a joke and broke the tension. Afterward, he looked at me, smiled and said "A little levity goes a long way."

Indeed, there's nothing funny about what's going on and we're not making light of the situation. We've done our best through the years to draw attention to the cumulative imbalances and now that the perfect storm has arrived, we've shifted our lens to how we can move forward.

How we must move forward.

If we can do that while sharing an occasional smile, more power to us all.

Some Random Thoughts:

  • Once upon a time, Research in Motion (RIMM) down 25% would be the lead story of the session. I haven't heard it mentioned once in the mainstream media. That speaks to the abundance of information competing for mind share.

  • What am I thinking about? The notion that capital preservation could very well mean capital conversion. A higher dollar was one of my ten themes this year but the game changed when Wormer dropped the big one.

  • Years ago, I offered that we should create the Minyanville Schnitzel (gold and silver coins with Hoofy and Boo on them). Once again, I shoulda listened to my instincts.

  • And no, that's not to be confused with this Minyanville Schnitzel.

  • Minyans far and wide continue to put US Bancorp (USB) on my radar as a winner in the new world. Duly noted.

  • I know two things for certain. People on ludes should not drive and politics and derivatives don't mix.

  • Don't screw around. They're serious this time.

  • With a conscious nod that there is massive two-sided risk given the seismic structural shift, I will (again) note that 1) tapes that are heavy all day (with 2:1 negative internals) tend to end that way and 2) the double whammy of stock buy-backs halting and redemption notices hitting desks (at 3:30 EST) looms large.

  • Watching this--much less trading it--requires Steely nerves.

  • There be HUGE opportunities on the other side of this process. Our goal, once again, is to arrive there in one piece.

  • Yes, I think there will be a plan announced by Monday.

  • No, I'm not particularly happy about it nor is it a magic bullet.

  • Yes, I understand the cataclysmic consequences if nothing is done.

  • No, I don't think mainstream America appreciates the magnitude of that risk.

  • Yes, the point of recognition is slowly arriving.

  • No, that doesn't mean we should just jettison a trillion dollar package through on the fly.

  • Yes, I believe the devil is in the details.

  • No, I don't think Hank should be granted immunity.

  • Yes, it'll be a long, hard road.

  • No, it won't be easy.

  • Yes, we will get there. And how are we gonna get there? Together.

  • Jeezums, I feel like Madaline Kahn.

  • The "other side" of politics is that select members of Congress are defending the Constitution of the United States of America. That's a good thing.

  • Noice Minyans continue to pour in love and support for the RP Foundation for Children's Education. Mahalo Minyan Duke, Mucho Gracias Minyan Raul, Donke Minyan Tom and so it goes. The upside of anger. The other side of societal acrimony. THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL YOU DO.


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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

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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