Sunday, September 14, 2008

The darkest hour is just before dawn

How dark is DARK?
So who knows if this is the darkest hour or the second darkest hour or the third darkest hour...etc. Bottom fishing is a dangerous game to play. We can agree that it's dark but should be careful about beyond that.

There is a ground swell of Wall Streeters who point out how dismal everyone is and how overdone is the pessimism. Is it? Is that view wishful thinking or treu insight?

NO MAS! to quote Roberto Duran. Sugar Ray Leonard was beating the crap out of him in the ring and he had had it. His fists of stone shielded a stomach that couldn't hack it. In his case it was all over because he had control. 'NO MAS' were the magic words for him. In the case of the markets they can't quit and go home to stop the selling. 'No Mas' doesn't cut it.

Perhaps the selling is over done. But its always hard to tell.

Buyer beware! Reality bites. And in our reality the financial crisis that has been brewing may be overcooked but the problems in the REAL SIDE of the economy are threatening to cave it all in. If that jump to 6.1% in the rate of unemployment and that weakness in retail sales and that downward revision to July sales constitute new news of weaker weakness, then a bleaker take on financial bleakness is warranted. And if so, we ain't hit bottom yet: hold back on that fishing trip, that bottom-fishing trip.

Central banks are braced for the wrong threat
The Fed says its next move is up. The ECB is guarding against an inflation rate that is so far over its ceiling rate that the ceiling looks foolish. The Bank of England alone seems really prepared to deal with reality: ceiling be damned.

Fluid situation with fluid rumor-mill
In the US we expect flexibility from the Fed but we can't be so sure of the recognition lag, especially if the Fed is looking in the wrong direction. There are so many odd rumors afoot that they confuse the risks. Is B-of-A really trying to strike a merger/acquisition with Merrill Lynch? Or is that more market BS?

Welcome to the rumor du-jour club- time to play that old Fleetwood Mac album...what else? RUMORS. Stevie Nicks twirling and spinning - but not spinning rumors. but somebody is. And reality still bites.


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