Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blowing off a Bit of Steam...

Greetings Readers,

Again, I took a hiatus from blogging due to a number of technical difficulties with my computer and then my monitor. They were remedied by the purchase of a new tower from Later, I discovered that I needed a new monitor as well. This purchase was made at Dell where I was able to find a 19" flat screen monitor for $94.00 with taxes. Shipping is always "free."
It is good to be back, as I have missed updating this blog.

The market has been simply amazing. But, the economic data that seems to be fueling market sentiment is even more amazing...almost as if it is too good to believe. I do believe that a portion of that data has been manufactured... or at best analyzed through some of the rosiest colored glasses that are available. But who am I to argue at this point. I have taken a few lumps on the short side of things, and can truly appreciate the education I have received via Wall Street University.

I have a few shorts that expire in January... I will continue to see these as the "downside insurance policy" for the next three and a half months or so. I had at various times convinced myself that this rally was too good to be true, and in some regards have had to pinch myself when companies like AIG rally $11.00 in one day. I need not remind readers that this one was and still is on government life support. At best, this is a clear indication that Wall Street sees the worst is behind AIG... and let's face it, if there is another meltdown to come, Uncle Sam will be there to plug the hole of this sinking ship with more taxpayer money.

Hey, who am I to complain? I did make a few plays to the upside in C (currently up 50% from my purchase price). I also scored well on SSO... and let a couple of down days in early August spook me out of some even more significant profits... but heck, as the old saying goes, profit is never a dirty word.

Now, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the 9/9s on SSR and the 9/23s on FAZ puts can finish strong for me. In both cases I actually looked for some of the most volatile and financially sensitive ETFS, and saw opportunity with low risk loss... and possible home run potential upside. I will need a bit of help... Maybe Congress will back off the plan to audit the Fed... maybe anther Wall Street darling will have "better than expected earnings" or better yet, "narrower than expected losses."

President Obama may suffer his first political setback as it appears that his Health Care Bill... or whomever this bad boy belongs to these days could be in some serious trouble. All along my position has been one of economic responsibility... sure up Medicare and Medicaid... and help create a more efficient medical community. I am concerned that Pandora's Box will be opened with the current attitude in Congress. In one of his town hall meetings, Representative LaTourette admitted that the political climate in D.C. is the most frustrating he has encountered since becoming a Congresssmen over 10 years ago. He specifically noted the TARP, CAP in Trade, and now the Health Care Reform bill as points of frustration... and that the momentum of "Get-er Done" politics has been both irresponsible and outright dangerous. Additional amendments to bills of 1000 pages (see TARP) and a over 300 pages (see Cap in Trade) echo pork barrel spending in its most vile form. It is kind of funny to write about ridiculous spending bills. This evening I sat down with my daughter to read a school story about the Statue of Liberty. There was actually a collection between public and private owners taken to pay for the pedestal. Something that all Americans joined hands together to accomplish. When is the last time we have heard a whisper of working together... or saving in Congress?

Enough pontificating for now. I will return by Sunday with another article. I hope to return to a more scholarly format of quoting sources and analyzing economic trends.

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