Random Thoughts: Regulate This!
The world revolves around reform.
It's Turnaround Tuesday in the 'Ville and I awoke with a burning question seared into my frontal lobe: Which of the following is the most frustrating element of my overnight session?
A) Spending hours at MVHQ last night working on my syndicated column (for tomorrow) and awaking this morning to find all sorts of news on my chosen topic? Thanks Chancellor Merkel and Jean-Claude and Papa G -- you couldn't wait one day to paint the tape?
B) Migrating from my office to "other evening efforts" and missing most of 24. A week without Jack is like a year without football.
C) Waking up late, rushing through my morning routine, hailing a cab and hearing a loud RIP as I sat down; the tear extended from the "zipper region" to the knee area. Noice.
D) All of the above; it's cumulative.
I'm gonna go with D -- all of the above -- but I'm not gonna let it color my mood. While many believe your entire energy is defined the first moments of each day, I'm gonna put that theory to the test, shake it off and turn the tide. I must first communicate, however, that I did change my jeans before coming to work, lest there are any bad visuals floating around.
There's a lot jockeying for mind-share this morning so let's hop to it. Before we unleash those hounds, I will as ye faithful to chew through these two articles, in front of my missive mañana, for they help paint the landscape we've dutifully monitored the last few months.
- A Europe Bailout Fund Gains Backing; WSJ.
- Merkel Urges Regulation as Greece Takes Pleas to US; Bloomberg.
Some other random yet related vibes:
- "Europe and America must say 'enough is enough' to those speculators who only place value on immediate returns, with utter disregard for the consequences on the larger economic system," Papandreou said yesterday in a speech in Washington.
- When did "speculator" become such a dirty word?
- Right after "banker"?
- Is that similar to when "recession" was considered anathema?
- Or it was "unpatriotic" if you weren't bullish following 9/11?
- Rhetoric is a powerful -- and manipulative -- societal tool.
- Proponents of the IMF-Style bailout fund hope to have ideas put forward by midyear. That creates "chasm risk" between a prolonged political process (as the great debate of Moral Hazard evolves) and the dynamic, fluid nature of financial markets.
- I continue to sense that a ban on "naked" CDS speculation (read: institutions would only be able to use them to hedge underlying exposure) is the single biggest headline risk in the market.
- If such a measure were to be adopted, the knee-jerk reaction will likely be a "melt-up" in the marketplace, such as we initially witnessed when short sales in the financials were banned in September 2008.
- "It's the single biggest default wave in the history of municipal bonds."
- We've been monitoring credit spreads for obvious reasons and, as discussed in real-time, they've tightened across the globe the last week or so. Newsflash on last night's action? The largest widening spread (read: greatest credit deterioration) was the good 'ol USA (+14%).
- Yesterday we touched on the disparity between big cap technology -- Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Baidu (BIDU), Research in Motion (RIMM), Amazon (AMZN) -- and the semiconductor stocks.
- Just as the piggies (financials) used to lead the (broader market) poke, the Chip Shtick was good and thick. I'm unsure if we can "read" anything into this, but it's most certainly worthy of a mention.
- Have you seen Minyanville's Dawn of the Decade video series?
- Is there a technician out there that isn't targeting S&P 1200 (so long as past resistance and current support remains in play)?
- What does The Great Firewall of China mean for the globalization of media?
- And how awesome was it to see The Dude finally holding a statue?
- Long "experience," short "stuff"?
- Finally -- Happy Face! -- we'll be hosting our annual Minyan March Madness Tournament starting next week. The winner will have bragging rights for the next year, as well as a slew of snazzy schwag on behalf of the critters. The "non-winners" (there are no losers in the 'Ville) have the right--but not the obligation -- to make a donation of your choice to The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education. It's fun, free and at the end of the day, for the kids!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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