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The Bachelorette

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Mark?s Market Commentary ? February 20, 2003


Anybody see the melodrama on The Bachelorette last night? Anyone notice that body of hers? None other than spectacular. The flat stomach. The ample breasts. Doesn?t get any better than that. But that voice? The nasal screeching and shrieking is almost as bad as Maria?s on the NYSE open. The bombshell shrew from St. Louis had to decide between the Hermosa Beach stock anal cyst and the Vail fireman. After both contestants met the parents and had various test drives in the hotel room, she had to decide.


Which one?


Maybe the stock picker. Because we live in a service economy dominated by financial exotica. That?s where the action is. There is no future in fighting fires. The big money is to be made by delving into Kopin Tan ? styled options strategies, pointing and clicking from within the Paper Pyramid, gaming charts and screens, competing with millions of other Arena Participants. Dealing with U.S. Dollar ? denominated debits and credits. Buy this, sell that. A market for everything, anytime, any day, 24/7 as long as the Speculative Globe keeps the faith in Uncle Buck?s ability to maintain ?strength? as the reserve currency of choice.


But Trista chose the safer route. The fireman. The guy who would be ready with the duct tape, plastic sheeting, and the bio mask.


Anybody notice how Trista and her two lovers were chauffeured around in extended limos and private jets? Stayed in luxurious hotels? All expenses paid. Including the exotic overnight vacations.


Now the pressure is really on. How will Trista react when she leaves the fancy hotel Garden of Eden and return to Ryan?s econobox apartment in a back alley in downtown Vail? How will Ryan the fireman foot the bill to keep up the high maintenance requirements of Trista? The heavy makeup budget. The shoes. The fancy lingerie. The ?lifestyle? she?s grown accustomed to by growing up in an upscale home.


How about those hefty payments on the 2003 Ford Expedition and $2.25/gallon gas? How many credit card balances will he have to inherit? How can he pull it off on a $24,000 fireman?s salary? Living in Vail where starter homes are going for $750,000? How long until the financial train wreck occurs?


Maybe they will get a large cash wedding gift from her parents. Maybe he takes it and calls Bob ?Mr. Clean? Froelich at Scudder to pull together a ?financial plan?. A few ?Hail Mary? HeatMap plays pulled off. A few miracle trades and fantastic speculations. Jesse Livermore style. After all, isn?t this the ?fresh cash? the 27-year old fund managers desperately wait for each month so they can ?put the money to work? by tape jamming some tech stock with a 3.40 beta coefficient?


Who is more desperate? Ryan, the fireman trying to live up to Trista?s expecations? Or the 27-year old fund manager stuck in the Apocalypse of a 4-year bear market trying to HeatMap his way to bonus land so he can avoid seeing his girlfriend slip into the clutches of someone wealthier?


Who knows?


Enough of that drama. Entertainment for an evening, but nothing outperforms Wall Struck. Who would have known that this bear market soap opera would have lasted this long? No soap opera infidelity has exceeded the duration of the current bear market.


Who would have ever dreamed that the Multilevel Marketing Pyramid would be able to pull off such a fantastic Ponzi Scheme while accumulating a $44 billion trade deficit at the same time? Not only were they able to multiply Herbie Homeowner?s Mortgage Loan 1000 times, but they pulled it off by going into debt with the outside world at the same time. Incredible.


How can a Reality Dating TV show compete with this drama?


All the players.

All the lies.

All the predictions.

All the emotion.


So much giddiness during the 30% hysteria rallies. All prior declines quickly forgotten.


So much despair during the bear raids, followed by desperation PreMarket futures jamming, Repo Blasting, Options Expiration Racketeering, and economic data revision.


So many trillions of dollars at stake.


So many leveraged households relying on Charles Schwab?s deep breathing commercials.


When will it end? Not until Joe Sixpack gets caught in Hypertiger?s debt deflation visegrip. So far, the spending continues. Just look at AutoNation. Gapped up on 10x normal volume, taking out 6 months worth of highs. Auto Erotica continues unabated, as documented here yesterday. Europe?s DAX in blastoff mode in the AM, fueled by yet another sales record at Daimler Chrysler (DCX). And what about those chain store sales from Target, Penney?s, and all the rest? Still going up. No slowdown yet.


As Hypertiger has illustrated with his charts, we are now in the longest era of prosperity in recorded history. A record run in housing sales. A record run in retail sales increases. A record run in auto sales. All on borrowed money. Thanks to all the Structured Exotica produced by Wall Struck, packaged by U.S. bankers, sold off to hapless Europeans, with all risk baskets stripped off, but lurking in every money market account like a hidden virus. Superfluous assets accumulated with ease, on borrowed money, with no payments due. Yet that debt is considered today as ?money?. Supposed safe money market accounts are really a garbage dump of derivative exotica, offloaded from Bermuda, secured by a Chain Letter of promises and guarantees stretching worldwide among a myriad of Pyramid Players.


The Cheat Street hucksters, touting the Supermodels, based on ?trough valuations? and the ?imminent recovery? because ?semiconductors lead? and the AMAT train is leaving the station. Probably the 10th upgrade during the bear market and the hopers are still buying. What a horror show.


The Matrix Agents blaring on their bullhorns and loudspeakers, spitting out government data, constantly massaged, revised, amended, and twisted. Jobless recovery? Mini-recession? Or the next Great Depression? Which is it, Mama San?


Notice the 26% interest rates and attendant inflation in South America. Rio and Buenos Aires, the former epicenters for Emerging Market Exotica. That wheelbarrow economy should be good for some acceleration in thong sales before the currency becomes worthless.


Gold, anyone?


Anyway, I?ll let Buddha finish up with a summary of the week?s market action and what to expect next:


?Crack operations proceeding effortlessly. I spend most of Options Racketeering Week (OE) in yoga class now and just lay low until Capone and henchmen leave town by Thursday afternoon. May even consider monthly visits to Zen monastery during OE. This is a strategy David Carradine has used to some effect in the past after repeated bingeing with Thai stick and Jimmy Beam.?


?When coast is clear and machine gunnings have raked the docks from both sides leaving the waterfront knee deep in shell casings, that is my cue to re-enter short positions and fade the first gangland moves of the previous Thursday which were all countertrend, option sweeping ploys. Note with Simpleton charting analysis that ClearStation stochastic is now topping into overbought. This happening as we enter today's important timing cluster is fortuitous and Kodiak friendly.?


?Weekend Yosemite campers garbed in ridiculous Leiderhosen and packing only Evian and Mt. Lassen Granola had best beware. By Wednesday of next week, park rangers will be finding remnants of limbs and shredded torsos strewn about the floor of the great canyon. Chief Dan George himself is doing the Bear Dance in a pow wow before a circle of fire to summon the huge beast from its snowy cave. This is omen enough for me. I will not trade against the Chief.?


?Time to add to BEARX and then cash in come April with the first croppings of snow flower. Then I will move North to riverboat my wampum in one of the many Sioux Casinos that sprinkle across the Dakota reservation. There I will share my wealth with my real friends and they will introduce their squaws to my manhood. I see another timing cluster coming with the new moon on Feb 28th. This may mark the gathering madness of the Blue Coat armies in the East. I cannot say yet. Until then it is best to respect the Western Grizzily. He is most in his fury when fools prod him with sticks as he lay sleeping in his Winter den. Now back to my contemplations?.?

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Fantastic post, Mark. That's it, exactly. It's all fun and games at the moment. No one is having to deal with reality.


FinancialSense has posted part 2 of that article, "CEOs As Central Bankers":




Just like your example, how are some of these option-abusing companies going to survive once they have to start footing the bill?

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That's very interesting, Mark. Now tell us how you feel ;)


A great read as always.


Sometimes I step back and wonder if I'm making a big deal out of nothing or is the world of finance as surreal as I think it is. And heading for a fall.


Buddhadrops contribution reminded me of The Doors for some reason.


"The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)":




The Negroes in the forest, brightly feathered

They're saying "Forget the night

Live with us in forests of azure

Out here in the perimeter there are no stars

Out here we are stoned, immaculate."




Remarkable how their sound never sounds dated.

And is immediately recognizable.


I first heard the Doors when I was in public school.

Forgot about them until I saw the opening scene of "Apocalypse Now".

Then wrote my thesis in grad school powered by

"Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine" ;)

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Thanks, K Wave.


I was unaware that a blown up software stock like RTNL would be replaced by a Bubble Stock destined for certain failure when car sales go to zero in 2004.




Stock traded at $18 in 1995. Amazing the growth in FRE and FNM the last few years. Poor Franklin "Mr. Potato Head" Raines has tripled the size of his balance sheet the last 3 years yet his stock has gone nowhere......

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In which HRFF throws PHAT on the FUR...


"differing value assignments is the primary reason we see different bradleys - proprietary 'bradleys' abound"


oh WONDERFUL. Sounds almost ass BAAAAaaaadASS the seemingly endless number/shadings of Elliott wave practitioner permutations!!!


And to think all this time HRFF thought Bradley interpretations more consistent/uniFURm than they evidently are.



Is there any TA orthodoxy remaining?

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Buddhadrops contribution reminded me of  The Doors for some reason.


"The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)":

DBS - Why does this sound better when The End deejays?



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FNM bid $1.30 lower AH.


No wonder the put premiums exploded at the close. ;)



If the homebuilders follow along tomorrow, that will be the final crack that breaks the branch, and we will be on our way to a relentless decline.

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The SWUP (capitalstool and the Bearish Beat) Tanks machinehead.



I wanna tell you "bout Capitalstool and the bearish beat

I comes out of the Florida swamps

Cool and slow with plenty of precision

And a cycle narrow and hard to master


Some call it heavenly in it's brilliance

Other, mean and ruthfull of the bullish dream


I love the freinds stool has gathered together on this thin raft

We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping

This is the land where the poodits lied


The brokers in the forest, brightly feathered

They are saying, forget the slide

Invest with us in forests of azure

Out here on the perimeter there are no sells

Out here we is stoned- immaculate



There is more. I just don't feel like typing. :grin:

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Buddhadrops contribution reminded me of ?The Doors for some reason.


"The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)":

DBS - Why does this sound better when The End deejays?



Probably because he's much better at "deejaying".

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