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Walking on Quicksand

Courtesy of Andy Dufresne at Zero Hedge

“So why have you not written anything lately?” Deadhead asked me on one of our “groupie” chat sessions. Those NC-17 chat sessions are da bomb. You get to see Cheeky Bastard in full force ODed on caffeine and the rest—Lizzy36, thurWopr, TitanTrad, nopat, LesterB—with occasional pokes by Marla. That all would change as the chat goes mainstream, but it was fun while it lasted.

“Because I have not had anything to say”. “ This “wash, rinse, and repeat” cycle as Robo likes to describe it was getting a little boring. When Tyler tells you that bots are trading this market, he is not making it up. The bots seem to have surrendered this week (or gotten instructions to sell mercilessly).

Last week we made a high of 1101 on the S&P 500; on Friday we traded down to 1033. We had a huge down week and closed near the low of the day. This is also a low-tick Friday close that happens to mark the end of the month, meaningful in my book. The VIX went from 20 last week to over 30 this week. Volume is exploding to the downside… Sometimes when the market speaks the market screams. Right now, it is screaming.

Yes, I know every dip has been a gift to buy in this bear market rally. But what has rallied the most is the biggest garbage—AIG, Citi, FifthThird, Fannie and Freddie. Some of those idiotic moves are now unwinding. They will unwind more…

In my opinion, banks should lead this market lower. The relative performance against the S&P 500 is rolling over (above). Throwing a TARP over an insolvent banking system may create a spectacular bear market rally, but that is as far as it will go. Bear market rallies tend to unwind, completely… For an example what a bear market rally looks like in a particular stock see BAC. It will break 10, again…

No one can tell you with precision when S&P 500 at 666 will be retested, but it may be in 2010. I don’t have high hopes that 666 will hold. The US economic model was built on rising leverage ratios for consumers and the banking system is dependent on credit growth for excess profits. This game is over and the end result is deflationary. The helicopter pilot knows this, but I don’t believe he has the intellectual capacity to solve the problem. No one has that. The excesses have to unwind.

(spur of the moment channel brilliance from LitoKey last night)

Expect the type of market environment that Japan had since 1989. It is not a perfect example, but it is the only one we have… The Nikkei traded at a good discount to book value last fall breaking marginally below 7,000. Given a book value in the 500s for the S&P 500—book values are not kosher with insolvent banks—use you imagination how low the S&P could go.

We have another 10 years of this madness, and yes, it could get a lot worse. There will be big rallies, but don’t forget to sell them, like this one.


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