Thursday, October 10, 2013

With apologies to Kansas - "Rally on my wayward son"

The (silicon-based) powder keg that is Wall Street was lit up today when word began leaking that a temporary debt ceiling deal looked to be in the works.  Unfortunately, tonight it sounds like any deal is still in the "negotiating phase".

As I mentioned before this has a very 2007 feel to it when we'd have huge explosive rallies on rumors only have those rumors denied later.  My concern is that the complacency on Wall St and around the US is really startling.  If you read the press around the globe you'll get a sharply different view of this shutdown.  In particular, it seems that many around the globe are very concerned that our government has moved to a point where it can no longer effectively govern by making any hard choices.

The volatility in the markets around the press releases coming from both parties is disconcerting.  However, I don't expect it to end any time soon.

The markets will breathe a huge sigh of relief whenever a deal is finally reached but if it is merely a short-term financing deal with many conditions, then I'll continue to worry about a death by 1,000 cuts.

Markets jumped 2% during the day and fell 1% after hours when it was reported that a deal had fallen apart (later amended and markets jumped back up 1%).  The point is that someone is probably making their entire year based on this volatility.

By the way, just in case you get the crazy idea that the powers that be in Washington will be able to figure this whole mess out consider this story.

"Linn’s Stamp News reports that the US Postal Service will destroy the entire press run of a stamp series aimed at getting children to be more active

According to Linn’s reporter Bill McAllister, three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series raised safety concerns among sports figures on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet. 

The unsafe depictions came to light after USPS Marketing chief Nagisa Manabe asked Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. That was apparently the first time the stamps had been reviewed by the Sports Council."

A) Who in their right mind thought that a set of stamps would motivate children to be more active?  I would love to see the kid that was sitting in front of his XBOX playing Call of Duty but suddenly decides to go do a headstand because his mail came with a "cool" headstand stamp.

B) What in the !@$% is a headstand helmet?

C) I think most kids would be hard pressed to understand what you even do with a stamp. 



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