Friday, September 19, 2008

Teaser or Parlay?

It doesn't matter which, because it's all gambling. Our government has decided this week to put our world renowned financial markets on par with those of Pakistan and Russia, where stocks were either prohibited from trading down or markets were not allowed to trade all-together. This is why I sold last week. Yes, I lost potential gains. Yes, I flinched. But what happened over the last 2 days is what I feared might be announced on Sunday and that would've erased completely a very nice year for me. Case in point is GNW. Shorted the stock around $16, sold at around $13, went down to $4 yesterday (owee) and back to $16 today (when it was put on the no-short list). Pure madness. As my brother pointed out to me, when we have a bunch of non-elected officials making financial policy decisions, we've lost the game. And to answer my boss, who asked me what the difference between the stock market and gambling is, there is none. Place your bets.

As Nassim Taleb points out, the banks have managed to lose more in 1 year than they've ever made in the history of the wolrd. Ironic that the SEC has allowed for the very thing they claim to rail against, market manipulation. Ironic too, I think, for companies like GE to beg onto the no-short list as a financial company when Immelt has screamed for years that they deserve a higher non-financial like PE. My favorite stock to short, COF, was conspicuously left off of the list and they too, are trying to get on before the 10/2 expiration. Let's hope it goes to $70 so we can get back on board.

The market is now a sham. The wealth of Wall St. has been temporarily buoyed by extraordinary and criminal measures. Even Larry Kudlow insists short-selling is a perfectly healthy check against runaway stocks and that a new stock bubble will emerge from this. Hedge funds are considering suing the SEC as their business has been reduced to nothing. Two days ago we were talking about the end of investment banking, now Morgan can make it. Two days ago we were purging the excess, today we created a toilet for America's future. Our financial strength should be that of junk, no better.

On to games that hopefully aren't fixed. My lack of football discussion is embarrassing, and I apologize. There's much to celebrate in the AFC as the Colts and Pats now both stink, but for different reasons. The Giants still look damn good, and Boys do too. Still not sold on Rodgers, but I guess we'll find out a lot more this weekend. My Browns stink, and Braylon Edwards hasn't seen a pass he'd like to catch all year. This week's games look horrible, but I think we can round up some winners. College is going to be the appetizer this year, as I think there will be a lot of weekly churn at the top thanks to the SEC and at the bottom, thanks to the pitiful Big 10.

Oakland is gross. The Bills are very good at home and will stomp Jamarcus Russell into a 2 for 18 performance. Give the points. All of them.

Dallas is better than GB. I think at least 3 points better.

The Steelers are getting 3.5 points. They will blitz McNabb to death or injury, whichever comes first.


Tiger Coach said...

Ax...And what a sham Wall Street has become...expect more turbulence next week...this story is faaarrr from over. I want to see these crooks paraded down Wall Street in chains with ordinary folks throwing rotten vegetables at them! Now that is justice Middle Ages style.

The Whiz Kid...a student with photographic memory made two selections: Philly -points...Florida St.-points

Maybe this is what we should have been doing least you can spot a fix in football and the refs get fired... the refs. on Wall Street are accountable to NO ONE!!!
Check out when you get a chance... I submitted this one to SA

AX said...

Turbulent indeed. Our govt. is plotting our downfall as we speak, creating a bottomless pit for Wall St. debt. As if that will save this economy or the working man who is watching his home value shrink and his coworkers getting laid off....