Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lesson of 2007: Don't Panic

Sorry for the light blogging folks. I'm spending Christmas vacation in our great nation's heartland - a place where it is common to see numerous men and women in uniform lounging about the airport awaiting flights home, unlike back home. My daughter took special notice of this, asking me why so many "army mans" were at the airport. I didn't have an answer fit for a six year old at the ready so I just told her to pick one and go up and say thank you.

So, we are just a few trading days away from the end of the year and the markets are up handily, looking like a nice cherry on top December rally is close to being in the bag. As in most past years you had to be ready to make one macro call in order to make decent money in the stock market this year. And this year the macro call was to be prepared to ignore the constant drumbeat of pessimism that prevailed post August in the MSM and the kooky bearish theories that popped up overnight in response to the subprime debacle. In other words, one needn't have panicked. Gee, stunning lesson. is also a safe bet that we will go into 2008 with the conventional wisdom telling a pessimistic story, or a cautious one at the minimum. I think that conventional wisdom, once again, will prove not wise at all.

On a few miscellaneous notes, Mr. Instapundit notes something that I noted and expressed thanks for a good while back. Also he notes the faulty logic behind focusing on negative externalities without considering the attendant positive externalities. That's worth reprising an oldie but goodie.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"...Whether They Like It Or Not."

These people REALLY scare me, more so given that they are almost certainly going to be proved wrong in the end.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Economy for the 16th Century

While New Jersey continues to shed high-tech jobs, I am happy to see that my home state is cultivating a leadership position in other key industries.

"Tapped Out" I Tell Ya'

Remember folks, the consumer is tapped out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bernanke: Only a Little Heroin This Time

When a heroin user has been mainlining double doses in succession, if the next hit is a mere single dose, the body will not be satisfied and will recoil, revealing the extent of the addiction.

Ben Bernanke & Co. have been creating an irredeemable junkie of late and their latest attempt to wean markets slowly off the stimulant is not meeting well...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Try A Little Priest...

If you had told me that I would achingly anticipate a film (n.b. I see maybe 5 movies a year) where wooly-headed Hollywood freak Johnny Depp sings and affects a ghastly a cockney accent I would've called you insane. But I know what I'll be doing on january 11, 2008, and that is not just because my all-time favorite bad guy actor is the bad guy in this one. It just has AWESOME written all over it.

May You Live Long...

These are Donny Baseball's rules for a long life:
1) Wear your seatbelt.
2) Don't smoke.
3) Drink 3 glasses of red wine a day.

Looks like I might have to add rule, anybody?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What CNN Hopes Trumps What We Know

See this extensive report residing on the CNN/Money homepage today that establishes an undeniably negative view of the economy based on speculations about this upcoming Friday's jobs report, which, quite obviously, we know nothing about. Contrast that with this fleeting blurb buried deep within the bowels of CNN/Money's sprawling website about an actually released jobs report with actual numbers that was released today. Granted the ADP report has given strange signals once in a while and it is not a "mainstream" economic report, but its reputation is gaining and it is hard to ignore data from such a source as entrenched the economy as ADP. It is enough to make you think that CNN wants us to think the economy is in terrible shape!

Kudlow thinks the recession debate is over and here is a money quote from a bull:
``It's time for the people who are telling this recession story to put up or shut up in terms of the data,'' said Robert Stein, senior economist at First Trust Advisors LP in Lisle, Illinois, and a former Treasury deputy assistant secretary for macroeconomic analysis. ``If you look at the labor market, if you look at consumption, nothing is falling off a cliff in the way you generally see at the beginning of a recession.''

And Stephen Roach is bearish...what more do you need?!?!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Idle Speculation

US foreign intelligence is a Chevy and Israeli foreign intelligence is a Lexus. We say Iran isn't working on a bomb (actually we say that as of right now, this very moment, we don't know if Iran is working on a bomb) and the Israelis say Iran is. Israel tends to be right on these things and they have the most to lose if they are wrong, so who you gonna' believe? And what does it all mean? Nothing really. I said way back when that the US would quarterback Cold War style tactics to undermine the Iranian regime and that if a strategic bombing was necessary it would be Israel that would do it. And I think they will. I am just surprised that Iran hasn't softened its rhetoric since the Sept. 6th bombing of Syria's mysterious facility. I guess they thought that Russian software engineers could work them up in short order a patch to whatever dummying mechanism Israel used to penetrate Syria's anti-aircraft defense totally undetected. Maybe they can, which means that Israel has to come up with another subversion trick to penetrate into Iranian airspace. They also have to have a defensive plan in place for the guaranteed Hezbollah/Hamas reponse to bombing Iran. That is alot of preparation, plus I don't think the US would be keen on any strategic bombing in winter. That is why I think Spring/Summer 2008, it's game on.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Good Weekend...

Sooners win, Giants win, Chavez losses...although let's be honest about this, Chavismo wasn't defeated, only slowed down. Chavez's socialist dream (or nightmare depending on which end of the gun you are on) will continue to move forward by other means. All Sunday's referendum did was absolve the Venezuelan people themselves of blame for their own imprisonment and deny Chavez the cover of democracy to answer his international critics. Chavez will have to resort to bolder moves now that unchecked power has not been freely given over. Unfortunately, brute force is the most proven method, which means the battle between authoritarianism and liberty in Venezuela will likely get bloodier.

It's Official, Global Stocks are a Buy

We have the money-in-the-bank Stephen Roach buy signal - global downturn in 6 months! Load up my friends. Background here.