Monday, March 2, 2009

Or Nothing: How low can this market blow?

About 6 months ago, I once asked a smart manager and trader what he thought of the market. He laughed at the question because he had been shorting the markets cleverly for some time. He said, "You know what I think. That's not the question. The question is, do you want it fast or slow?"
It's early in the polls but the Jounal has a poll for how low will the markets go? 29% say below 5000 and 30% say 6000.
The acceptance of the markets breaking through the psychological barrier of 7000 was so odd. It was so dead fish, orderly. It's almost like there is a resignation by finance folk. Lots of statistics agree with this orderly sell off. Walking through the banker and trader packs having their smoke break in the late afternoon, it was a hudled mass just listening. What's usually fuck this trade, there was a stony silence. And the guys are smarter than your average banker. These are after all, the survivors of multiple job cuts. They know their job and there was no fear, no greed, no emotion at all. These brave warriors giving the stiff upper lip; I almost saluted them and wanted to thank them for their noble service to capitalism. Their endurance is admirable and anyone can understand their mental strain. With options being bought more and more for the next two years, people are prepared for the worst yet to come.

The result of the housing being weak is banks. Since we apparantly cannot face the truth about all our assets needing to drop in price, we try to solve the banks. Are the banks insolvent or illiquid? Insolvent, if youre a realist. So nationalize then? How do you nationalize just one bank? You can't; short selling GS sharks will go to the next pool of blood. How do you sell the assets? You can't; this country is broke and Americans will be damned to have another country buy our banks. I'm not going to lamant that these questions are not ones that can be answered easily. That's for a failure history professor who sucks and cannot make it in the real world. The answer is let's see what happens when you drop Citi and AIG and whoever else is weak out the window. If I were to fall out, gravity would not be called systematic risk. But it's a fools hope. Cronism is too strong.

Well, the big dogs opted for slooooooow.

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