Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Panic of Correlation

Monster traffic issues getting home today. On top of the "students move in to the city" seasonal distortion of traffic data for September's first week, a huge truck also caught on fire on a highway I use to get home! How is that for a double header? After an annoying ride home I thought it best to relax and write a blog along with a cool brew or two. Spellcheck is a good thing.

Apple Shows New Products
A friend of mine thinks I am an Apple (AAPL) hater because I find it comical that a company that makes little cheapo electronic gadgets will be bigger in market cap then US GDP in a few years time. Call me crazy. As far as AAPL stuff goes, I have no idea. I have a PC that was a cheap buy and with it I write this blog, read Wikipedia endlessly, and watch old fights on YouTube. How much do I need for that?

Anyways, today Apple had a big unveil show and supplied magnifying glasses to the audience so they could see the next generation of AAPL products.

Think AAPL products but smaller. The newest item was a tiny TV that you can watch movies and TV on. Wow, what a breakthrough. I think I heard of this before:

Ok, I am kidding! The new AAPL TV is HD and streams stuff you can rent if you are near an internet connection. This will come in super handy when you are at home and want to watch HD movies but do not want to be bothered going to the living room to watch them on the monster HD TV you have with the surround sound and 20 foot picture because it reminds you of the HELOC you blew to buy it all. The new mini TV only costs $99! No problem!:

There was other stuff but the pictures were too small to see much. When will the Apple Femto line of products come out? I could think of better uses for the billions in revenue these time wasting, eye sight killing things will generate but at least they all have touch screens.

Disclosure: No position in AAPL and only picking on them as they were in the news; my grind is about the general love affair with silly toys in general.

Fall Mortgage Mega Refinance Plan Rumor?
All rumors for now, or early leaks, depending how you see it. Number 5 on the Yahoo search this morning was "Mortgage Modification" for what it's worth:

Which was beating "Apple Rumors" at number 9!

My Kind of Article
I have to admit I was having a great time reading this article this morning:
A Termite-Riddled House: Treasury Bonds
Now the title suggests the whole thing is about the treasuries market, but really there is much more. What made is super special to me was the all out assault on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) which is something I really cannot stand as it requires a certain distance from any real world to make it believable. Another classroom book theorem which if true would have ushered in an unending era of full blown prosperity the world over by now had it any merit. It does not. On Zero Hedge, guest writer Gonzalo Lira minces no words and pulls no punches when he writes:
I think this MMT theory is full of shit, propagated by fucking idiots.

MMT is just a clever way to justify insurmountable levels of fiscal debt—it’s a rationalization of this insurmountable debt, using a veneer of economic terminology to cloak the purveyors’ political ideology of spend!-spend!-spend!-your way out of a recession or depression: In other words, Keynesianism-redux. Keynesianism on steroids—Keynesianism gone fucking in-sane.
Hard to beat that!
The whole thing is well worth a read, even on a mini screen. Heck, I even printed it out.

The Panic of Correlation
A monster move up in the markets today, and it was all over in about an hour. Get the job done and go home early, words to live by in my book!

I am not even going to talk about an ISM that at any point is the history of the world was terrible, it managed to beat "expectations" and many ascribed the whole rally to that alone. Why not just "expect" next time the ISM to be 10, have it print 55 and declare recovery victory? At that beat markets should be at old all time highs and all would be well. Via Pragmatic Capitalism, who checked out a Credit Suisse presentation we have this graph that shows how this recovery fits many others from history ISM wise:

The headline of "Markets Cheer 16 More Months of Flat ISM Rating and Rise 3%" just does not have a real ring to it. Is the market correctly priced for 16 months of the ISM print being 55-59? It must be, it is forward looking after all. (SNARK on high)

The ADP jobs number was bad, but who needs jobs when manufacturing is making more stuff for people to buy?

I was looking for the "what" this morning, as in what would have caused this panic buying? Clusterstock had the best answer:
Obama's September Surprise: A Shock Reversal On Tax Cuts?
Now we have something! As the article reads (which refers back to Reuters):
If it’s a one-year extension of all expiring tax provisions (including extenders), it would be a very smart political move for him.

He would triangulate his base and appeal to swing indies. It also undercuts one of the main GOP arguments. The stock market would surge. It’s a total no-brainer, unless you are just that ideologically-addled not to do it.
No we have something!

A minuscule ISM beat was not the reason for a ramp up in the markets so just stop trying on that line. A extension of the "Bush" tax cuts, now that has some teeth.

There were plenty of market player friendly tax breaks that were set to expire, as well as many fat cat friendly ones. This was the reason that almost the entire move up happened at the ring of the bell. This also fits nicely with what I wrote last night about serious efforts for give aways to commence right at the get go in September.

As an aside, the President would be risking whatever credibility he has left with a move like this. After railing against Bush tax cuts as "benefiting the top 1% of the people and helping no one" it's a long road back to "extending these tax cuts will help the economy". I am not trying to make political points here, it is just hard to square. That said Economic Disconnect is for any and all tax cuts where ever they may be! How about all of them? Ok, I will settle for the 15% flat tax and I am even open to a VAT tax if you can believe that! See, I fit no pattern.

In the end I feel more confident than ever in my words last night. It has already begun. With asset classes now correlated almost 100% every day is a move up or down and not much in between. Panic buying was seen today. Who knows what tomorrow brings. What should be clear is if the mere mention in a small WSJ piece gets rebounded on Reuters which makes Clusterstock and this moves markets 3%, then the situation is a powder keg. That swings both ways in case you did not figure that out.

I could be wrong; maybe the better ISM (better than all the regional ones, that's for sure!) was the real reason. Maybe the old "oversold" meme came out to play. Maybe there was no reason, it was just Wednesday. I will stick to my call on this one. I should think we will not have to wait long to find out.

Have a good night.


Stagflationary Mark said...

Monster traffic issues getting home today.

Check out what's going on in the Seattle area today.

Fleeing armed suspect completely shuts down I-5

Check out the pictures.

Oh, and let's not forget this event moments earlier.

Man falls to death from Pine I-5 overpass

Traffic in the area is backed up in the three right lanes of northbound I-5 and Metro buses are being re-routed to surface streets.

There appears to be an event happening.

getyourselfconnected said...

Ok, that has me beat by a long shot! Dang, tell me you were not in that mess, or the one responsible....HA!

watchtower said...

"Green Acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me"

: )

I did get caught behind a tractor pulling a bush-hog on the county highway yesterday though, hee hee.

getyourselfconnected said...

I just see rib BBQ

Jeff said...



Missed the tax chatter today. That could have triggered some buying.

I think most of the action is now in bonds. I spoke to my credit trader buddy today. I responded to your post with his talking points.

They sound much like ours.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Not in the mess. Not responsible for the mess. Had none of the mess fall on me from the sky. Never left the house. Girlfriend never left the house. Wasn't shot at. Did not have car hijacked. Did not have car wrecked. It's been a good day, lol.

Perhaps bonds were responsible!

sedintary state said...

How about that Verison ad showing a woman in some public place staring into the thing (their version of this).

If you didn't know she was watching tv you'd think she was stoned on heroin. Just what we need, more stoned sheep.