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Random Thoughts: Big Ben Hikes to the Hill


The American grandstand begins.

The Hump Day Cometh as Big Ben hikes to the Hill for his semi-annual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee. The American Grandstand began around 10:00 AM EST and Wall Street has an ear to the ground for hints on policy shifts and exit strategies.

Mr. Bernanke hit the wires on cue, offering that "demand is growing at a moderate pace," the job market "remains quite weak," housing debt purchases will likely end in March, "financial market improvement continues," inflation will likely remain "subdued for some time," the key (interest) rate is likely to stay low for an "extended period," the US economy is in a "nascent recovery" and the Fed will need to begin tightening "at some point."

There comes a time in every child's life when they attempt to ride their bike without training wheels. Sometimes they fall and scrape their knee, other times they coast with an ear-to-ear grin, seemingly impervious to the lurking pain beneath their feet. Such is the time for the US economy and the world will be watching in wide-eyed wonderment.

In a finance-based, derivative-laced, interwoven global economy, they know we're all in this together. From the out-of-work stateside college grad to the striking Greek construction worker to the fisherman who can't afford petrol on the coast of Spain, there has perhaps never been a time in world history when our collective fortunes were so closely aligned.

Take a deep breath, think positive and always remember -- you're a Minyan!

A while back, Hoofy and Boo got a chance to interview Ben Bernanke in person. Watch it below!

Random Thoughts:

  • When tens of thousands of people take to the street and clash with police over austerity initiatives, is it safe to say we've officially arrived in the second phase of our tricky tri-fecta of societal acrimony, social unrest and geopolitical conflict?

  • As per my steady stream, I've been trading with a negative bias and S&P 1120 as my ursine backstop (those with a longer risk leash can use the other side of S&P 1150). S&P 1080 is a huge level on the downside, and Hoofy will channel Kenny Rogers (the gambler, not the roaster) if and when we test it anew.

  • I wrote an article in 2000 discussing how the residual effects of the technology crash would manifest in unforeseen and unfortunate ways, and that the entire market dynamic would be "A Long Hard Road." Ten years later, that point of recognition is percolating anew, as evidenced by this recent column in The Atlantic.

  • The Upside of Anger? In order to get through it, we needed to go through it and we're going through it now, lest you haven't noticed. While I foresee several more years of trying times (please don't shoot the messenger), there will be profound opportunities for those who are proactively prepared, steadfastly lucid and genuinely intent on being part of the solution.

  • If you believe the next big move is down you'll want to read Ron Coby & Denny Lamson's latest, Slowly Implementing a Short Side Strategy, and even if you don't it's always good to see both sides of the trade.

  • Is Hank getting Moody? With alotta eyes cast across the pond -- Thailand, Portugal and Spain were among the largest overnight sovereign wideners -- we should keep Cali in sight after they just delayed a muni bond sale.

  • We've spoken about the "real underemployment" rate of roughly 20%. A recently released Gallup Poll finds that 61% of those underemployed are not hopeful they'll find a job within the next four weeks. We can only hope this proves to be a contrary indicator.

  • Get Isaac Newton on the iPhone! While it won't "trigger" for another $10 or so, he should definitely note the i-Dandruff forming in Apple (AAPL).

  • Hot Dog, also known as Home Depot (HD), traded particularly dry yesterday. Maybe something, maybe nothing, may be worthy of a squirt of mustard.

  • You see the hoopla over the coup plot?

  • Would it be fair to say that a picture says twenty trillion words?

  • Listening to the Toyota (TM) hearings on television, I'm waiting for the smoking gun. You know, that smoking gun. Between Notorious American International Group (AIG), the bonus backlash and the Greek Swap situation, would you really be surprised if the Saved By Zero campaign originated at Goldman Sachs (GS)?
Answers I Really Wanna Know:


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