4.6 C
New York
Wednesday, March 29, 2023


TGI Fed – Help Us O-Ben One Bernanke – You’re Our Only Hope!

This is so exciting!

The Futures are up, Europe is up, the Dollar is down – despite the fact that the last Fed Statement, the last Fed Minutes and Bernanke's last speech all said, VERY CLEARLY, that there will NOT be any more QE UNLESS the economy worsens.  We just had the new Beige Book on Wednesday and, thankfully, the economy is not worsening.   Therefore – one may conclude – no easing today.  To do so would make the Fed seem capricious and inconsistent and erode their future ability to steer the markets with rhetoric.  

Of course, this doesn't matter to the robots who are jacking up the Futures after the foolish humans sold all day yesterday – and the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that.  But not last Friday – although last Thursday was terrible too and last Wednesday wasn't so good and last Tuesday was awful – so how about that rally?  

As you can see from our Big Chart, we're getting exactly the sell-off we've expected but, as I've pointed out to Members, things are much weaker than they seem as the Dollar, at 81.50, is down 2.5% from where our levels were drawn (83.50) and that means that each set of lines on the chart – including the 50 and 200 day moving averages, need to be moved up one notch and that means the Dow failed it's 200 dma yesterday (at an adjusted 13,100), the S&P dropped below it's must hold line (adj 1,400) and needs to break back over the 50 dma (adjusted to 1,414) in order to get back momentum.  

The Nasdaq is still above it's adjusted 50 dma at 3,037 but now need to get back over the adjusted Must Hold line at 3,075.  The NYSE has failed all of it's support and has to take back 8,000 for any rally to be taken seriously and, finally, the Russell is right on the adjusted 200 dma at 804 and failing to hold 800 would be a huge sell signal.  

For now (8 am), none of that is an issue as the Dollar has fallen another full percentage point (81.18) as the Euro climbs back to $1.26 because ECB Executive Board Member, Benoit Coeure said: "ECB bond purchases in the sovereign debt market must be subject to strict conditionality."  What?  What do you mean that doesn't sound bullish to you?  The man said BOND PURCHASES!  Don't you see?  It's a code – the code means the ECB is planning to buy bonds – if someone asks for them (which Merkel is actively discouraging) and if they meet "strict conditionality."  See – IT'S IN THE BAG!  

Fortunately, as we learned yesterday, reality is only what you say it is and Mitt did a much better job than his VP in wowing the crowd yesterday with his Reaganesque vision of America and I was particularly impressed by this documentary on his life:  

With all this love in the air and the great news out of Europe, we decided to go long on the Nasdaq Futures (/NQ) in early morning Member Chat to lock in yesterday's gains on our bearish positions.  Most likely, we'll be back on the short side before the market opens as we're still just a tad skeptical of all the rhetoric but nothing that happens at the open really matters until we get Bernanke's speech from Jackson Hole at 10am.  '

We have our long hedges that we discussed Tuesday, and the Tuesday before that and the Tuesday before that (in case you missed it), but our short-term $25,000 Portfolios are skewed 70% bearish and we added more downside protection to our Income Portfolio, in anticipation of some disappointment from Bernanke this morning.  

As I said earlier this morning to Members, I don't think they can get the Dollar below 81 and it's already (8:50) at 81.05 so we're going to be cashing out our Futures longs already and shorting the Dow (/YM) at 13,100 and the S&P at 1,410 as these are both lines that should be easy to bail out of if they break but this is simply stupid at this point – erasing all of yesterday's losses in the Futures based on an optimistic interpretation of a statement made by a guy we never heard of.  You can mess around with the Futures all day long but once you begin to try to push Forex past resistance – you'd better have something more substantial than an out-of-context statement by a minor official.  

Jens Weidmann is not a minor official – he is the President of the Bundesbank and he has threatened to resign if the above-mentioned bond-buying program is put into effect by the ECB.  Sounds like strong opposition to me…  In Berlin, a government spokesman said Chancellor Angela Merkel supports Weidmann but declined to comment on the report, which lays bare a deep rift within the ECB over the bond scheme that is increasingly being played out in public.

Stepping up the pressure to attach conditions to the plan, fellow German ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen said late on Thursday the ECB should only buy sovereign bonds if the International Monetary Fund is involved in setting the economic reform programmes that should be demanded in return.  "Opposition from Weidmann and reservations from some other Council members will mean that ECB bond purchases would be highly conditional, be focused on the short end and would not aim to bring yields down quite as much as Italy and Spain might like to see," said Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding. 

Ah well, enough talk – let's see what Uncle Ben has to say….


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Phil, file under learn something new everyday…Lately I have been having a lot of problems with fills at OH. I see people here getting filled but my orders stay open. Followed up on my erroneous stop, the OH guy's answer did not make sense, so I called the Schwab guys and they found it was a routing issue. The trade went through BATS as the only trade of the day, at the lowest price. While we were watching, BATS was quoting a price .50 less than the other exchanges. I did not think was possible but evidently NBBO is not guaranteed….there is a reason for the low trade costs, switching soon.

AMZN/CMG – Ok, well I was not a member for the CMG rolls and DDs, but I was when they had their big earnings miss, and thought most of us played it well.  Personally I went along with the earnings trade due to their guide down/10% pullback/trend break of the previous month, which set up nicely for the run-up then a really big drop on earnings.  I see something similar happening here…eventually…also no idea when, but I will get much more aggressive when I get some type of sell signal.  If we repeat last year's AMZN action, that should be very soon

PS – I do very much like the DD and 1/2 out even strategy for keeping costs manageable.  That is something very valuable I have learned from this chat.  Thanks!

AMZN/AAPL / FLAN – There has to be a pair trade there somewhere: short AMZN, long AAPL.

Bird:  On the long side, maybe Texas Instruments.

Sat at the kitchen table this morning. Saw the five empty chairs around the table. Felt a bit outnumbered, but like Eastwood, threw caution to the wind and debated the whole damn lot.

I just got back the the US from Nicaragua and went out to run some errands and I couldn't believe how packed MCD was.  The drive through line stretched around the parking lot and this was the case with the 3 of them I passed.  I was really shocked.  I went there last night around 11pm after some drinks, and again there were 20people in there getting late night food.    
I think I'm going to start selling puts on them as I think they will be around for a long long time and would make a good 20yr hold.  Just my 2c.  

MCD- this is a very , very well run company. I have been doing business with them off and on for years and have said so before- i have been always been impressed with not only the quality of people but their mgmt. systems and training are excellent. That said, I don't find the stock at current levels particularly cheap. In fact, I would put it in the fairly valued category. Personally, I would not be a buyer here primarily because of market conditions which may offer better entries but this one continues to be on my radar on a significant correction. It remains an excellent long term holding.
Have you considered ARCO? They are the Latin American master franchisor. Certainly riskier but worth a look. Would be interested in your take on McDonalds in your neck of the woods as I believe you are a full tme resident in Central America?

Well, such a week full of drama, anticipation and excitement. No, not the Republican Convention although I am sure you all will agree it was a stunning success. The Dems now will get their dog and pony show on the road and I look forward to the same snarky and breathless punditry herein. Much fun to be had the next few months.
I have not had time to scour the news as is my want since I have been rather busy building my business. I apologize if that violates the new groupthink as I now know it was not me but after years of  slugging out 80 hour weeks, month after month, old thinking habits are hard to break. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have been put straight with the "you didn't build that" lecture. Indeed, it opened my eyes wide along with many of my fellow travelers.
No, the really big shew was Mr. B.  and the congnescenti now seem convinced QE is in the offing but is already fully baked in. It is a long holiday weekend and my plans have been rained out so I am hoping to hear from others on their take of the great QE question and the outlook for next and coming weeks?

pstas/80 hours   Congrats * pat pat pat * on your success! *pat pat pat*……
Now about this "groupthink"  You think like a "conservative" (not groupthink?) I think more like a "liberal". We don't agree on many things. That does not make….well me, part of a "groupthink"  Again, we just don't agree on MANY things…..
To me, "groupthink" is when you have to "sign up" with others, to a belief…..
Have a restful weekend.  🙂

Phil / Otherworldly:  Since it's the weekend, I figured we would be back to scouting out alternative places to warehouse billions of Earth's resource-profligate population.  You'll be glad to know that the Chinese has come up with a new candidate — as well they should.  Now if people could only afford the gas to get there:  
BEIJING — A potentially habitable planet has been discovered orbiting the star Gliese 163, 50 light-years away. The planet is bigger than Earth — roughly seven times as massive — and resides near the inner edge of the star’s habitable zone, Thierry Forveille of France’s Observatoire de Grenoble reported on August 30 at the International Astronomical Union’s general assembly meeting. Depending on its composition and how insulating its atmosphere is, the planet could be capable of supporting life." http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/343418/title/Another_potentially_habitable_world_emerges

"pat, pat, pat* Ah, much better. A little to to the left now……………

pstas – I do live in Nica full time (although I'm back for a few months for business in CA).  We don't have any franchises where I live other than Pali and MaxiPali, both grocery stores and both I hear owned by Costco partially.  Other than TipTop Chicken, which is really awful, street chicken is so much better, I don't have a take.  I hear you about MCD valuation, I'm just going to start selling puts for a small stake, maybe 5% to keep it in front of my face.  Then continue to add on the way down.  

As I find politics the most abhorrent and least interesting form of addiction extant in the deli menu  columns of potential fucked up human choices.. ..I seldom discuss them BUT as I have derived a modest living the last 30 years defining risks (ah..so the rationale is boredom!!) I am gong to make a prediction: Willard Romney in a romp. I can't believe that in my adopted home state CT that the President leads by only 7% points. That Linda MacMahon is leading in the Senate polls. That my friends who were such fervent supporters of the President no longer go to bake sales or town party meetings to get out the vote. I doubt the result will even be close. I watch Axelrod and Plouffe and wonder why they are continuing to direct such a horrid campaign. Unless something changes fast its over. Maybe we need a less polished persona in the white house I am not sure but I do know Mitt didn't hire me when i was looking for a job at BCG in 78 so I clearly question his judgement (lol) people who were transfixed four years ago are leaning apathetic. I told Phil last year I was looking for a reason NOT to vote to re elect. I am begginning to actually have a strong conviction that Romney might be no worse than GWB or BO. My Euro short at 1.46 and China short 24 months ago felt dreadful for a while. I am hoping I am wrong but doubt it. The C team is running the world. SIGH

Angel- while I appreciate your political commentary – since you are experienced at risk mgmt., I am much more interested in your current take on the great QE question how you may see it playing out near term?
BTW, thanks for the NTE info- watching for a pullback to add and I am still holding MIL- a good story- will add short puts further out as appropriate (now short 13-Jan 7.5's).

QE sounds like soooooieeee to me. It has had none of the desired effects and done nothing to broadly resolve the credit needs of small business borrowers; it has a direct correlation to inflated gas and commodity pricing (FOOD) and has been used almost exclusively to the benefit of providing more liquidity to hidious risk on bets by the i banks…last year when Board Royalty and others were certain that QE was directly around the corner I was attempting to chasten that view with the thought that bernanke would never launch qe from such lofty ES levels..as i believe Romney wins easily Bernanke may be less interested in attempting to assuage Axelrod's impression management techniques by continuing to spray the economy with a fire cannon of liquidity..i think the chances are 30%..its going to seem pretty tendentious if it happens…what a wasted four years..both parties should be scourged..where are the Borgias when you need em!

Here we go!

The French government has been forced to rescue a distressed domestic mortgage lender, the latest example of a European state stepping in to prop up a bank brought to its knees by the financial crisis.

It said it would seek approval from the European Commission for its bailout of Crédit Immobilier de France, which follows the €90bn joint rescue with the Belgian and Luxembourg governments of the collapsed lender Dexia, which is still under negotiation with Brussels.

More here.

FRENCH "BAILOUT"  Nut watch for Hollande is on…Already nuts: DSK is chasing his Japanese chin around with a tin of le lube in his hairy mitts and: Ready nuts: Sarkozy is trying to fait d'amour avec his brother's girlfriend MK Olsen while Well waffled nut: Carla B is trying to get back to Mick J..'you can't always get what you want…"..meanwhile Les Invalides looks like Jim Morrison is buried there rather than France's greatest hero.
Time to get back to West Peru Maine…AYUH!

QE3 Pastas
It will not happen before the election. That is short term and I have issues with anything happening in January when operation twist ends.
Even after twist ends prudence is waiting for effects to set in.
QE is proving to be worse than all extend and pretend by increasing the BET with a bad hand.
The solution as it was before is equality. Banks must start making money by charging interest that makes a profit on all customers and the most on the biggest customer borrowing the most money. The money being attracted by offering an attractive return to savers as well as investors
Presently banks are a function of a disfunctional goverment. The Fed is not blind or unable to do math. This is not compicated, banks are no longer a business based on profits. Bonuses are based on accuring funds from the goverment and its financial entities includiing the Fed and treasury. Money must come by profitable ppractices.
Those who preach set the markets free must start with the megabanks. Some have to fail and it will not end mankind.
Those wanting to be unregulated have to get off the welfare rolls, Banks and Corporations first.
I believe more QE is unlikely but by neccessity can''t be. Bernanke has been saying for over a year the government must start doing their part. Balance requires priming the pump and collecting more of the flow. If most flow is at the top that is where it must be collected. The Fed knows but has no power to do the obvious. That is raise the burden on those that can best bear it and stop cutting the pump priming. Raise taxwes and cut waste, the biggest waste is all wars foreign and domestic.

Tons of data next week:

PMI from around the word – China, Euro-Zone, Great Britain, Canada and the US. All showing contraction except for the US. We will also get GDP indication from Europe and Great Britain. And on Friday, the job numbers. Could be an interesting week!

Romney / Angel – Just like Phil, I can't believe that you could put Obama in the same league as Bush. I understand the disappointment from many (I am as well), but when you look at the overall situation, who has done better with the hand they were dealt? Private employment is actually up under Obama and it was down under Bush. What saved Bush and is killing Obama is the public sector. Bush inherited a much sounder fiscal situation and made it much worse. Yes, the deficit is up but what is the overwhelming factor – tax cuts and wars (as well as the crisis)! Whose fault is that? And how many countries did Obama invade needlessly? How many catastrophic terrorist attacks have we suffered – Al Qaida is arguably much weaker now than 4 years ago. Companies are sitting on tons of cash and the market is up (a lot). Overall unemployment is still bad, but look around the world – it's a disaster everywhere and as Phil pointed out it will take some time to get resolved. We gave Bush 8 years to mess it up, would it make sense to give Obama 8 years as well? Read the Paul Ryan plan (I have) and tell me how it can make this country better – it's great for the top 1% but a disaster for the middle class and I can't see how you can have a strong country without a strong middle class which is why we are in the bind we are now.

Here is PM Carpenter on the Roosevelt/Romney comparison made by Douhat:



That has to be the most inept, inapt comparison it has ever been my horror to read. No two politicos could ever have been more philosophically divergent. While Roosevelt was a profoundly non-ideological pragmatist on behalf of the greatest good–a personable pragmatist who abhorred his own party's extremists from an elegant distance–Romney is an utterly charmless opportunist from the economic-royalty class who is willing to sleep with the devil and lie with the rankest of self-serving ideologues.

Romney is being vague because he knows precisely what he wants do as president–which is whatever the far right wants him to do–and he knows "that something" is scarcely anything most voters would want. Roosevelt was vague when running in '32 precisely because by "bold, persistent experimentation," he meant it. Roosevelt stood on two powerful legs of principled leadership and genuine concern for the strong  middle class he was about to build; Romney is a crippled kowtower to whoever might do him some good.     

Next time, Mr. Douthat, you'll find more suitable Romneyesque examples in the presidencies of, say, James Buchanan or Franklin Pierce.

Angel:  Well, I'm a betting man.  Romney ain't gonna win, so we're on for a bottle of wine or champagne.  This has nothing to do with political sympathies; my guess [which is was it is] is based on:1/ incumbents are always hard to beat, 2/ Romney is stiff, from a "likeability" standpoint, and not half the speaker Obama is [strange he doesn't do more of it], and:
3/ — now this is not even a stretch — 99% of the people, more or less, would not benefit from Romney's election, and it strains even my active imagination to believe that all the less well off, or young, or unemployed, or poor, or Black, or "Hispanic/ Latino" [read: brown; nothing to do with speaking a Latin-based language, since Spaniards and Italians don't call themselves "Latinos"] are going to vote for a White Upper Class Venture Capitalist.
For me, the surprising Fox Critique of the Ryan speech was the clincher.  If even Fox's gorge is starting to rise at the thought of their great majority of their viewers getting shafted by cuts in social programs and even lower taxes for the very few [trust me, very few of the 1% tear themselves away from the WSJ, FT or Forbes to spend much time watching Fox], my bet is that  that at least 51.5% of the 99% go for Obama.  This bet, Angel,  will like taking a bottle from a baby, [albeit one filled with an excellent European or California  vintage, none of that Oriental Nam Tai rotgut].  Are we on?

Phil /habitable:  As more and more Americans approach 1,000 pounds, having more room to spread out on Gliese will look better and better.

Politics QE3
It is too bad all the money that will be spent on a non-race. I agree with zero' on the outcome simply because  Romney Ryan is so bad for so many.
I came back hoping to read about other QE views and not even Pastas has logged a word.

Shadow:  My QE view is this:  the last thing people tend to lose is hope.  The prospect of QE gives it to them.  Actual QE will likely dash that hope, given that banks will not lend to the people who need it most at any rate of interest right now.  They've got their bailout, dammit, they intend to keep it, and their jobs along with it.  So Bernanke's going to run that mechanical rabbit in front of the hounds for as long as he can get away with it,  perhaps only when he's fired and someone else put in to take the inevitable fall.

Incumbent / Zero – I think that there is something to that. When undecided voters get into the booth they are more likely to pull for the incumbent than the challenger because "the devil you know…". It happened in the last elections in France where Sarkozy was down 6 points in the last polls and lost by about 3 points! And he was not well liked!

QE3 – I find the answer to question 12 from House Rep Issa to Bernanke telling, specifically:
Maintaining credibility and confidence is critically important to the maintenance of the Federal Reserve's effectiveness.  To that end, the Federal Reserve acts in ways that are transparent, predictable, and readily understandable in light of the duel mandate given by the Congress--to promote price stability and maximum sustainable employment.
If "The Bernank" wants to be predictable…he will QE3 sooner than later.  Not only is it the only thing he knows…it is the only thing left to give us "hope" by giving the top 10% a 5% stock boost.  If he doesn't, the market goes down barring any open ended Euro Bond surprises.  His window is closing fast, and "maximum employment" is the ultimate excuse to keep both his job (by ensuring an Obama win via a temporary strong stock market and economy boost ) and his self absorbed legacy/ego (QE God who saved the planet…..temporarily…)  What is exciting for me is we will finally know if Obama is in bed with the Bernank…as Obama will need to talk the oil markets down with oil reserve release chatter (due to Iran sanctions, honest!).
Should he…or course not, and he even knows that.  But desperate times call for desperate measures…and the most powerful man in the world is going to play God with our global economy a little longer.  Unfortunately that leaves no bazooka for a black swan event, like Iran getting bombed after Obama wins the election (or perhaps right before the election as Israel would rather have Mitt in office).
Exciting times indeed! 
P.S.  Is JR still providing his levels and pivots?  His last "yellow post" seemed to end in mid April…
P.S.S.  Where is the Mad Matt-er..the "red post" guy?  =)

I am going to town and will return tomorrow as I plan on drinking whatever but not koolaid. I will be back tomorrow to check in. What do you think about getting QE, if you checked my post I give it slim chances until 2013. Anyone else? Nothing bad about being wrong not placing an opinion is simple chicken and it doesn't make you right. A big consensious may be perfect and will effect your investments.

QE- from a trading perspective I don't care if it comes or not- only interested in likely market impact and how to play it.
From a policy/political perspective I vote no as it is more market meddling which is having and will have many unintended negative consequences. Left alone, markets tend toward supply / demand equilibrium. For too long, we have had marketplace tinkering and manipulation across the board with predictable results  Imbalances and inequities exist everywhere- stocks; bonds; commodities; housing; health care; autos; banking and on and on. The central planners and Lords on High have forever thought their wisdom superior to billions of daily individual decisions and it always ends in weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829#ixzz25MaYIErM
Take a typical Bain transaction involving an Indiana-based company called American Pad and Paper. Bain bought Ampad in 1992 for just $5 million, financing the rest of the deal with borrowed cash. Within three years, Ampad was paying $60 million in annual debt payments, plus an additional $7 million in management fees. A year later, Bain led Ampad to go public, cashed out about $50 million in stock for itself and its investors, charged the firm $2 million for arranging the IPO and pocketed another $5 million in "management" fees. Ampad wound up going bankrupt, and hundreds of workers lost their jobs, but Bain and Romney weren't crying: They'd made more than $100 million on a $5 million investment.
To recap: Romney, who has compared the devilish federal debt to a "nightmare" home mortgage that is "adjustable, no-money down and assigned to our children," took over Ampad with essentially no money down, saddled the firm with a nightmare debt and assigned the crushing interest payments not to Bain but to the children of Ampad's workers, who would be left holding the note long after Romney fled the scene. The mortgage analogy is so obvious, in fact, that even Romney himself has made it. He once described Bain's debt-fueled strategy as "using the equivalent of a mortgage to leverage up our investment."
Romney has always kept his distance from the real-life consequences of his profiteering. At one point during Bain's looting of Ampad, a worker named Randy Johnson sent a handwritten letter to Romney, asking him to intervene to save an Ampad factory in Marion, Indiana. In a sterling demonstration of manliness and willingness to face a difficult conversation, Romney, who had just lost his race for the Senate in Massachusetts, wrote Johnson that he was "sorry," but his lawyers had advised him not to get involved. (So much for the candidate who insists that his way is always to "fight to save every job.")

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829#ixzz25MZrZrBS

pstas: The impact of QE or no-QE at any given point in time will largely be a function of what the Germans and the ECB do, and when they do it, because if there is a European slip-and-fall on the Spanish [or other] bailout — and the head of Bundesbank is already threatening to resign over "foreign" bond purchases — the Dollar will soar [Yuan, anyone?] and it's anybody's guess what happens next.  
A massive flight to the dollar could boost, or trash, equities, since most of the money will be directed at the U.S. long bond.  Phil's general approach — "don't bet on the event, wait for it, then bet" is the only sane approach, given the potential magnitude of the moves.  Only my two cents, obviously.

Lightweights ALL..maybe i should have said that..i don't want to get into a harangue about whether bush was worse than the president..i am a professional manager..my view is the president is woefully inadequate as a manager..of both perception and the operation of the government..i  certainly appreciate people's views and more importantly i respect them..i will take your bet zero or 100 dollars the wine or champagne of my choosing will exceed that number so i am going easy on you..i may take up to 50 bets of 100 dollars that romney wins..its sad but i believe the president is going to lose..PHILon second thought i agree bush was worse..but seriously when you describe mediocrity who cares what the shading is..not quite ready to put the president up there with FDR..but of course he won the NOBLE PRIZE and FDR didn't cousin teddy did tho..how completely strange our world has become..i am not sure who is going to win i am quite certain the american people will get screwed whoever it is

Phil or Savi – I can't attend the PSW conference for the allotted time, but I will be in Phoenix for some work related things the week prior and would like to do dinner and cards or at least cards if you guys don't mind.  I would have to fly out of vegas on sunday depending on what flights are going back to hawaii that day but would be willing to chip in some cash if I can make a little of the sunday morning meeting.  If you guys don't mind though at least I would like to play cards.  Let me know so I can change my departing flight plan if it's ok.  I

Angel:   Dead right, Obama is a woeful manager, and it's quite possible that Romney is better at it.  But how many voters can assess that aspect of a candidate?  It's all about symbolism and icons, and Romney is a wealth icon, which won't play to a larger percentage of the votes.

IRA strategies- I seem to recall some write ups on covered calls, etc. in IRA's but no luck finding them. Anyone have links?

1 3 4 5

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x