ZeroHedge is jammed to the gills with stories and commentary about what's going on in Cyprus. Here are the headlines from four consecutive stories:
It would seem that all the bears are itching for the Euro and e-mini markets to open so they can watch the blood start to flow. The whole Cyprus fiasco does seem like awfully big news.
But a glance at MarketWatch, where Ma 'n' Pa Kettle get all their market information, seems to yield a different picture of the world:
There's a huge article on the "10 Happiest States" (Jesus........), and a car review, and an article about how Apple is at risk of ending its streak (Streak? What streak? Is AAPL some kind of big winner now that it stopped its plunge after losing a mere 40%?)
But if you look really, really closely, you'll see a tiny headline (I've courteously provided an arrow) that makes mention that depositers will be taxed for the bailout, which sounds like the most boring and innocuous story on the planet. The kind of story that no one would bother clicking, because who the hell is Cyprus, and is she related to Mila Kunis?
I just returned from the barber (I don't like my hair getting even somewhat longish, and I find getting a haircut surprisingly relaxing). While there, I thumbed through the Palo Alto Daily Post. In it was a tiny article whose headline was "Dine and Dashier Gets Jail Time" It reads as follows:
A man who dined and dashed at a San Carlos restaurant was sentenced yesterday to 120 days in jail, prosectors said. Patrick James Higgins, 43, pleaded guilty yesterday to commercial burglary for skipping out on a $70.24 check at Sneakers Pub and Grill on March 1, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said. After ordering the hefty tab on his own, Guidotti said he ran out of the restaurant to the rear alley, leaving the check behind.
He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, ordered to pay back the tab as restitution, and will have three years of supervised probation, she said.
So let me get this straight. As a society, we have decided to let people like Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Jon Corzine, and everyone else involved in the financial crisis (including that complete douchebag from AIG) not only get away with murder, but also get breathtakingly rich while doing so, but if some guy has a meal and runs away, and he pleads guilty to the crime, we decide:
(a) he needs to pay the tab (fair enough!);
(b) he needs to be locked up for 4 months;
(c) he needs to spend three years - at significant taxpayer expense - being closely monitored by a probation officer.
Excuse me for asking, but what in the name of Jesus H. Christ is wrong with us? Oh, I forgot. If you're rich, you can do anything you want. If you're poor, you have the be the apotheosis of rectitude. And talk about swift justice! This incident took place not even two weeks ago! And yet Blankfein, a man who torture is too good for, smirks and leers his way to mega-riches.
Speaking of financial criminals, Congress is going to go through the motions of pretending to hold the leadership of JP Morgan accountable for their own misdeeds. The star is going to be Ina Drew, who is closely associated with the "whale trade" of last year. Ms. Drew, of course, is the massively successful former CIO at JP Morgan. Flying in by jumbo jet tomorrow, Ms. Drew will confront some weighty charges, having to carefully balance the voracious appetite of some legislators for explanation with massive amounts of hefty evidence.
Cognizant of the gravity of the situation, Ms. Drew will hopefully not sag with the colossal amount of pressure on her. The room will be thick with anticipation, but let us collectively hope no blubbering will take place on Ms. Drew's part. Tons of people will be watching, and the implications, perhaps, could be enormous.
I am, more than ever, vox clamantis in deserto.
The Jim Cramers of the world are saying two things now: (a) buy, buy, buy; (b) we all know this is going to end badly, but you might as well make money now.
Part (a) they've said all along. After the market collapsed in 2008, and the Cramers of the world all looked like completely inept assholes, they realized they needed some insurance. So they added (b). This way, whether the market has topped out today, or it tops out three years from now, they can always jab their chubby little fingers at the past and say, "See? See? I told you this would end badly! I told you so!"
You can't have it both ways. You are either buying, selling, or on the sidelines. The Cramers and Roubinis and CNBCs and USA Todays of the world are saying "buy." And that is what they need to defend in the months and years to come. As for myself, chart after chart after chart tells me that anyone buying equities these days is utterly oblivious to history and, for the eight billionth instance, believes that this time it really is different.
While somewhat painful (for bears, at least) to observe, the past four years have been, in some sectors, an easy-as-pie, buy-and-hold, any-first-grader-can-do-this bullfest. Look at the consumer staples ETF below. Place a ruler on your screen if you like. It just keeps going up. Steadily. Resolutely. Unfailingly.
I guess I was naive in underestimating how Americans love to buy crap and how they will never stop buying crap. Ever. Because it's what they are good at.
So I guess the threat of a miniscule, spit-in-the-ocean cut in our bloated federal government has everyone's panties in a bunch. As if the pitiful slowdown in the growth of spending this year will make any difference.
Frankly, the entire government aparatus - federal, state, and local - could completely shut down, and I couldn't care less. For an independent fellow like myself, the government has provided one and only one service my entire life: it has stolen money I earned.
I've never been saved by the police. I've never been rescued by the army. I've never received any government aid. I've never been given good service by any government entity. It has been a parasite, and nothing more.
Personally, I'd have preferred keeping the millions of dollars I've handed out over the years for the benefit of folks like the trolls I saw ambling around the DMV a few days ago.
So the government's going to cut back a teeny bit on a few services? Big deal. Shut it down. Shut it all down. I'm fine.
And, on that jolly note, let's tear it apart in March. This market deserves to be carpet-bombed. You may fire at will.
Here are some snippets from an interview from New Yorker magazine with the queen of trading on the cusp, 16-year-old Rachel Fox (as in Stocks; it rhymes, get it?), the shoeshine girl of the modern age. Emphasis added by me.
How did you even get involved in stock-trading?
So, like, what's your strategy? Do you have a Bloomberg terminal?
Well, I don’t like trading stocks that are very news-dependent. I trade on the technical analyis of stocks. (Lord in heaven, give me strength - Ed.)
Do you trade penny stocks?
OH GOD, OF COURSE NOT. No, I go to Yahoo Finance every morning, that's my thing. And then I go to my trading platform [Scottrade] and do the technical stuff in there. (Because, like, ScotTrade is, like, so awesome. It has, like, the best charts, y'know? - Ed.)
And this is fun?
Definitely. There are certain things making it easier for common people who work and have a day job to do this as well. I'm not just a typical guy who has a suit and goes to Wall Street. My point in writing this blog is not trying to compete with the finance professionals. It’s more just to inspire people to trade.
Who do you go to for investing advice?
Well, um, really ... nobody? I mean, I'd have to think about that.
Any people you really look up to? Who's your investing idol?
I heard a story about Warren Buffett, that he has none of his college degrees hanging on his wall. He only has his certificate for public speaking, which is so awesome and inspiring. (Buffett. Naturally. Although I'm not quite clear on why hanging this particular certificate on the wall would give anyone an emotional boner. But, then again, I'm Tim on a Whim, not Fox on Stocks - Ed.) If you can learn public speaking, you don't have to have a ton of education to do well.
You couldn't let go, huh?
It’s hard to master the psychology. You’ve got to know when to step out of things. (Not true, Ms. Fox. You simply have to wait for people who have absolutely no business engaging in a particular vocation professing to be an expert. It's a cinch. - Ed.)
I bet you got a lot of calls after your CNBC appearance.
I'm going to keep those confidential, but there may or may not have been some requests. (Very shrewd, Ms. Fox, very shrewd! Keep those cards close to that chest that the men of America are scrutinizing - Ed.)
So when do you start managing other people's money?
[Laughs.] Maybe I’ll start a hedge fund.
So - - look - - I've got nothing against sixteen year olds. I was one once myself, and at the time, I wrote my first book - the first of a couple dozen, actually (and that first book, incidentally, argued for the importance of computer-to-computer communications and how it would transform the world, way back in 1982 - so thank you very much). But, having done charting for a quarter-century now, I'd rather not be told by a doe-eyed girl how to draw a trendline........or what stocks to buy (errr, short) for my own hedge fund.
Accomplished traders know that the news has little to offer other than occasional context, and mostly entertainment value. This chart is our latest installment in the category of you-just-can't-make-this-stuff-up.
Look at the two articles published by Bloomberg recently. Then, compare the dates the articles were published to a daily chart of WTI futures. Oil was getting ready to launch for the moon. The orange arrows point out the specific days that Goldman and Barclays issued their bullish reports. Sure, the odds are pretty good that the light, sweet, and sometimes crude stuff will hit $100 this year. But for now, all we have is entertainment value.
For your reading enjoyment, here are links to the full articles:
Brent at Nine-Month High on Chicago; Goldman Sees Tight Supply - Goldman Sachs
Oil May Head to $100 With Two-Year Support - Barclays
Apple's Quarter Was Lousy, But Stock Still Headed To $1,000 - Forbes (sorry,couldn't resist)
Originally published at Trade Flight Plan.