Tag Archives: morning notes

Hugo Chavez the Peace Maker - Give The Man A Nobel

The Peace Maker - HedgeFundLive

Hedgefundlive.com - Once again I find myself staring into a delusional market. I awake to hear that Hugo Chavez is the world savior. That is like saying Stalin would have been the best guy to convince Hitler that the Jews aren’t all that bad, and he should give them a chance. Have we all lost our mind? We sold off and then rallied yesterday and apparently are seeing follow through today. But we will, if not today then tomorrow, fail. We will break 1300 during the next bunch of session and eventually test 1290 on the S&P futures. Nothing has changed on the geopolitical front. Our economic numbers continue to be a look back to prior Libyan events. Chavez has only one thing on his mind, “is it possible that this could occur in Venezuela”. He hates the USA. Chavez is a pendejo. If Hugo cannot make progress, I am sure Kim Jong is available. But then again let us not forget that big oil has a lot of money riding on Chavez. CVX has a big investment in Chavez. It would not surprise me if Big Oil were behind this as opposed to The Arab League, though they really are the same thing.  There will be no peace in Libya until Kaddafi is dead. Yemen coming to terms with its rulers opens up a new training facility for al Qaeda. Bahrain will not end quietly, and Saudi Arabia is nervous.

For a moment I will back away from pontificating on the Middle East and the market’s ability to ignore the severe impact it could have on our economy. I will focus on inflation and the fact that QE2 is coming to an end. Do I need to recap how many of the pundits referred to the rally of the last 3 months as the QE rally? Then we will see the first real inflationary cycle in this country that we have seen in many years. This is not some fictitious fear, it is happening as we speak. THE CONSUMER IS GOING TO TIGHTEN THE PURSE STRINGS. The consumer is the driver of the economy. The divide in this country is no longer Main Street and Wall Street; it is the local municipalities vs. Main Street. The Labor issue in this country will grow as many local municipalities will feel empowered to battle the local unions eliminating decade of achievements over collective bargaining. It doesn’t matter what side of the line you stand on; what matters is that the country is divided. Gold is hitting new highs, why? Because people are nervous. There is a fascinating dynamic going on in the market, the smart money is short, and they are getting squeezed, but my perception is that they are not covering, actually I believe they are beginning to feel empowered, because they see that this is not a battle of fundamental but rather ignorance vs. informed. We continue to ignore an unresolved European sovereign debt issue; Greece will step up protests and riots as they see a weakened government. Have we all forgotten that the EU has until March 25th to reinforce their bailout plans which I still have not met anyone who can explain exactly how it works anyway. One last thing on our domestic front, Alabama’s Jefferson County will brobably be the first major municipality bankrupcy of the year, though there has been a number of smaller ones. Perhaps Chavez can solve our municipality financial crisis, he seems to have the Midas touch.

I have not changed my opinion: I did take my book to zero, but I have shorted 50 S&P contracts at 1318. I hope to cover them at 1300, today.

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Libya downgraded? The Rating Agencies are a Joke.



Quote from Jack Starman Shuman: “I encourage you all to Check out both of Jeremy Frommer’s blogs over the weekend, as he is consistent with the astrological cycles that are currently going on (in trading).”


Genocide for Fitch to downgrade Libya

I am simply in a state of shock. The financial community must insist that the ratings agencies reform themselves. It took a day of genocide for the following action.

“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded Libya’s credit rating, saying the move “reflects the eruption of political risk evidenced by the increasing momentum of the popular uprising aimed at ending Muammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.” The rating agency downgraded the oil-rich North African nation to BBB from BBB-plus and warned a further downgrade could come without political resolution to the crisis that has reportedly left hundreds dead. Libya is the sole Fitch-rated sovereign that has no government debt, the agency noted in a statement.”

What do you think has to happen for a BBB-minus? There is mass genocide in the streets. This day has been brewing for months. The rating agencies are a joke. They missed the sub-prime mess, missed Europe, they are missing our own domestic municipalities’ problems, and they have zero understanding of how the events in the Middle East will affect the credibility of every emerging market capital structure. What value do the rating agencies serve?


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Libya downgraded? The Rating Agencies are a Joke.

I am simply in a state of shock. The financial community must insist that the ratings agencies reform themselves. It took a day of genocide for the following action.

It takes genocide for Fitch to downgrade Libya

“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded Libya’s credit rating, saying the move “reflects the eruption of political risk evidenced by the increasing momentum of the popular uprising aimed at ending Muammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.” The rating agency downgraded the oil-rich North African nation to BBB from BBB-plus and warned a further downgrade could come without political resolution to the crisis that has reportedly left hundreds dead. Libya is the sole Fitch-rated sovereign that has no government debt, the agency noted in a statement.”

What do you think has to happen for a BBB-minus? There is mass genocide in the streets. This day has been brewing for months. The rating agencies are a joke. They missed the sub-prime mess, missed Europe, they are missing our own domestic municipalities’ problems, and they have zero understanding of how the events in the Middle East will affect the credibility of every emerging market capital structure. What value do the rating agencies serve?

Thursday Market Expectations - Reasons why the market doesn’t go down, for now.

NFLX - "Is it time to buy?"

Is this the beginning of the small correction I have been looking for?  Probably, but given the fight the bulls put up yesterday, they are not going to back off quietly. One might argue, buy the dips but sell the rallies more aggressively. I do not have the patience for that. I have too many other things to focus on. Either I am right and we will test 1300 in the coming days or I am wrong and we are in a fever driven hyper bull cycle that refuses to be broken.

But why? What are the positive catalysts? An improving economy. Yes things are slowly getting better. Perhaps you believe that there is still a great deal of cash to be put to work. I am not sure I agree with that one. Last I heard hedge funds were at near pre financial crisis levels of leverage and no matter how hard I try I cannot seem to get my credit card bills paid down, it is something that my wife and I are forever battling over. So near term, the catalyst for moving up is simply greed. “It worked yesterday, so I will try again today” seems to be the motto for the bulls.

As I write this it is 7:45am on Thursday and while futures indicate a negative opening on the heals of CSCO’s earnings (CSCO is trading down 10%) AKAM’s earnings (AKAM is trading down11%) TQNT’s earnings (TQNT is trading down 14%), I am amazed that the futures are not down more significantly. We await a weekly jobless claim number that should not move the needle. So here is my thesis, people have very short memories. I for one do not remember what I had for dinner when I came home last night, though I do remember polishing off a bottle of cabernet at the wine bar with a buddy, before I headed home for dinner. For some reason I think it was lasagna, but I really don’t remember. We as a species have short memories. Our memories are even shorter when it comes to recalling pain. Pain is the memory we most often repress, very logical. The traders, investors and financial spectators of the stock market, the greatest arena since the Roman Coliseum have repressed their fear, they trade with abandon as they rip the futures up 5 handles in the last 5 seconds of a day. They ignore the fact that we have not even tested the breakout “psychological levels” as support.

But I believe the time is upon us. The catalysts are not to be ignored. As I said earlier this correction will be a battle between two strong opposing forces. Leverage vs. Common sense. Fear vs. Greed. And finally a battle between the lessons of history vs. a brave new world where there is a new playbook, and perhaps my copy got lost in the mail.

Negative catalysts continue to be those I mentioned in yesterday’s Market Expectation blog. But let me add a few more. Unexpected developments in Ireland and Portugal. Forex spread gouging by major institutions. Bernanke under further attack over QE2. Our municipal bond infrastructure in jeopardy as the ratings agencies were once again, late to the game. I believe yesterday was the first right-handed body blow to the feverish bulls. Today will be a follow up cross to the left side of the jaw, the type where you hear a slight crunch, and tomorrow will be a right hook that will for the first time in months put raging bull to the mat, even if it is short-lived, at least he will remember that lost feeling of pain and markets will have an opportunity to normalize.

By the way my Aunt Beverly called me again last night, she wanted to know if i thought NFLX was cheap, needless to say i will be shorting NFLX.

Wednesday Market Expectations - 10 reasons the maket is at a near term top.

IBM? - "You think I should tuck it away in the IRA

I cannot believe I have turned so bearish, but as I continue to watch the over-the-top activity of the last week, I am left with limited alternative. I cannot say this enough, I am looking for a solid 18% S&P performance for the year. I can even buy into a 20+% performance under the right circumstances. But as I always say, “Do the math”. We cannot sustain this pace. It is illogical. We would be tracking for an up 55% year.  If you believe that, I have some land along alligator alley for sale. Yesterday was the most blatant example of “Air trading” or trading on greed and fear. There is nothing wrong with a day or two of greed and fear, but weeks worth of it do significant damage to the sustainability of market levels. Fundamentals and technicals are seemingly ignored in this kind of market. I was taught along time ago to sniff out the exogenous risks that tend to reveal themselves at market tops. They are as follows;

  1. Egypt – I would love to see Mubarak go quietly, but he won’t. Have you not been reading the ongoing abuse of basic human rights? Have you not seen the crowds growing? When they do prevail, what do you think they will do to a regime that has stolen nearly 100billion dollars from its people? 70billion of it going directly into Mubaraks pocket. He makes Madoff seem like a piker. Madoff got life. Mubarak will retire to a villa in Saudi Arabia. Do you not see the insanity of this?
  2. Middle east downgrades by the ratings agencies. As continued pressure mounts to reform multiple governments, and protests spread, the transition process will not go smoothly. There is too much at stake for the wealthy demagogues. They will not go quietly.
  3. Terrorism – the confusion of the moment will provide platforms for terrorist organizations to legitimize themselves.
  4. Iran – Their subdued activity should not be taken lightly. They are waiting the moment to interfere, perhaps even provoke Israel and America with renewed nuclear debates.
  5. North and South Korean talks ended as quickly as they began.
  6. China raising rates – Inflation fears are no longer fears, they are realities. Grain prices are soaring, Oil is creeping up to 100, and silver has become the new gold.
  7. Insider Trading – It won’t go away from Raj to Steve. Investors are losing confidence in their hedge fund oligarchs, perhaps they should be. The oligarchs have grown fat with wealth and irresponsible with management.
  8. Obama – Somebody tell me what he stands for, who he represents, what his agenda is. He is killing our global credibility. I have referred to this as M.A.S.S. – the Minimizing of America’s Super power Status.
  9. The Republicans – refer to my Obama comments.
  10. 10.   The bottom line is that we are in an improving economy, but we are not creating jobs at a rate that will sustain the recovery long term, Over 1/3 of home owners are probably underwater (more debt then equity) Consumers may be spending, but they are going back to the old habits of racking up debt. Why not? We have been trained to believe over the last couple of years that if your debt gets too high, you can just walk away from it. Government spending is out of control. And finally I know we are at a top, because my Aunt Beverly wants to know if I think she should buy IBM.

Market Expectations Wednesday , Egyptian crisis will get worse before it gets better

Hedge Fund Live says "This is a tepmorary top in the market"

My market expectation for the next few days is pain. Typically I am 99% Bull and 1% Bear. But that 1% is now. The bottom line is this; Institutional buyers are going to step away from the market. Exogenous risk far outweighs systemic reward. Egypt will not transition quietly. Fast money will start to play the market from the short side. Inflation is starting to be a seriously overlooked problem. I look for a downward trend tomorrow to repeat itself and gain strength on Thursday and culminating in a sell off on Friday. If you

Hedge Fund Live says "It is time to short the market"

read my last 2 blogs, we did in 2 days what I thought should take 2 weeks. That has always been a very strong signal for me to sell. I am short S&P futures and DIA (the DOW) as well as QCOM , IBM , LULU and BAC as well as a few other high flyers of the last month. I am long CREE , YHOO , THOR , BBY and a number of other beaten up names. I will be short 2:1 in value. The complacency in the market develop at high level where there appears to be a barrier. Let things unfold, as they will in the Middle East. Mubarak has let his thugs into the street hoping to create a volatile situation that will green light the military to react aggressively. He is hoping to break the military’s passivity.  This will backfire on him. He is not the leader of Iran. It is 10:30am as I write this the S&P futures are up at 1303. I do not believe they will be there when I publish tonight’s blog.

Tuesday Market Expectations, How To Trade An Egyptian Million Man March


Odd that in my blog yesterday I compared what was going on in Egypt to the civil rights movement and the next day they announce a million man march. As I said yesterday, the place to be is the NASDQ.  I am expecting the S&P to drift a bit higher as things work themselves out in Egypt. Perhaps the 1292 + level. But any quick attempt at 1300 - 1307 should be met with selling. Without a week or two of consolidation I cannot have confidence in another leg up driven by fast money. The weekend was filled with talking heads predicting a 5 to 10% correction. Where did they all go? Why doesn’t CNBC call them back and ask them “What they have to say now?” I actually expected today to be a bit quieter. We did the down 5 handles thing pre-dawn and from there drifted up. But I did not expect the NASDQ to be as strong. I continue to look upon the movement in Egypt as a positive process. The military is clearly not taking authoritative action, and I see a reasonable probability that they take the side of the crowd and bring a quick end to the Mubarak regime. If the demonstrations continue to remain peaceful, the market will move higher. The vacuum of information will be replaced by something more powerful that can move markets. HOPE. Real hope that we are at a positive tipping point in middle east geo-political history will drive the S&P market through 1300. Here is a simple rule for how to play the day; The more things remain quiet, the more things feel stable…continue to add to you high beta long positions and short DIA – The Dow and perhaps some S&P futures as a hedge against exogenous shock. I am long YHOO , BBY , CREE , CTXS , AKAM ADBE , IMAX , STX , GME , LULU QCOM as well as Home Builders and the game makers TTWO , ATVI , ERTS. I am short DIA and S&P future. Tune into our broadcast tomorrow and I will let you know how it turns out for me. HEDGEFUNDLIVE.COM

The Day The New York Stock Exchange Almost Died - Thats How I Came To Hear Of Ron Shear

The article arrives.

All the mail was in a bundle. The envelope itself had taken on a commanding presence in the pile of mail.

I entered the apartment and dropped the keys on the kitchen table. I let the incidental mail drop, everything other than the grey envelope slipped to the tabletop. As I strolled to the second hand couch and cheap wooden coffee table I examined it. Not very heavy. Felt like a bunch of papers stapled together. I would need to smoke something before I opened it, my Dad’s office address was in the upper left hand corner.

Ten minutes later, a bag of chips in my lap, a glass of wine in my hands. I was ready to read.

“A month ago today the New York Stock Exchange died.”  The article was dated November 20 1987, “but within an hour or two, it was raised from the dead.” Ahh, my Dad had sent me some light reading,


recapping the events of the day after black Monday. But it was more than just a recap. This was a seminal market event. Those participants who would ultimately be responsible for the actions that would chart the course of the day, would set precedent for future generations. There perception of financial meltdowns had been shaped by stories of the great depression. But like many movies the great depression had become a classic. Great to watch but in practicality not relevant. Philosophically one can appreciate the lessons we learn from a classic. But time and progress ultimately limit the value of classics as a relative concept. The great depression was a classic , but the nightmare of ’87, to those who stood strong on that scary Tuesday, still in shell shock from the previous day, was reality. Their experience on that Tuesday would shape them and those they would influence for decades to come.

James Stewart and Daniel Hertzberg wrote the article. Titled: How the stock market almost disintegrated a day after the crash.

Stocks, Options and futures trading all but stopped during a crucial interval on Tuesday” October 20th. This was not some metaphoric statement or exaggeration for dramatic affect, these staff reporters for the wall street journal were stating the fact. “The stock market and by extension all the world’s financial markets faced one of the worst crises.” The article went on in great detail to describe one of the most frightening days in financial history. As I read it, I was amazed not just as to the events of the day, but the power this Industry held over the world. There were rumors through out the day that the Big board would close. That the powerhouses such as Lehman, (bankrupted), Kidder Peabody (sold at discount after Trading scandal Joe Jett), Morgan Stanley (ravaged by the credit crisis of 08) and Banker Trust (sold to Deuthce Bank after derivatives scandals and severe losses on Russian bank debt.) were rumored to be buying up bankrupt specialists who could not meet their debt obligations and collateralization needs. These same firms had all but stopped extending unsecured credit. The Arbitrage community, the predecessors of the 90’s macro hedge fund community had lost untold fortunes.

'87 Crash

Rumors flew that some of them were contacting the SEC to temporarily close the exchange, something that can only be done by the President or the exchange itself. “some big investment banks were facing catastrophic losses if the market panic continued”

The specialist firms are responsible for maintaining liquidity. On that day the New York Stock exchange that can trace its history back to 1792 when traders gathered under a tree in lower Manhattan, faced extinction. The specialist, the last line of defense could no longer support the market. There was no liquidity, just one side of the market was there. Sell. Offers. Sell at marketkt. Not held. Stock to go. Just get me out. Get me the F out.

“The Federal Reserve issued an extraordinary statement affirming its ‘readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system.” Sounf familiar? Its chairman Alan Greenspan had been made chairman only 3 months earlier. I had never heard of him. I certainly had never heard of Gerald Corrigan the New York Federal Reserve president trained by yet another foreign name to me, Paul Volcker. How little I understood. It would take nearly two decades for me to understand that these men held all our lives in the balance. That at that moment, the positions they occupied were more powerful than all but the president of the United States. This was no ordinary article and these were not ordinary people. There actions have reverberated for decades. Volcker is still hanging around making a mess of things.

The article went on to describe other key players that day. John J. Phelan was chairman of the Big Board. He was the link to the Fed. It was he who would spread the gospel of the Fed throughout the lines of Wall Street. It was he that would sigh relief as the exchange opened up 200 points regaining nearly 40% of its previous days disaster. And then watch in frightening awe as it gave up all its gains losing an additional 80 points and adding over another 5% of losses to the battered average by noon.

It was Phelanwho would have to explain how the stocks were just not trading and one could not properly value the index which meant one could not accurately value the futures.

Chairman Karsten Mahlmann, also known as “Cash” was the chairman of the Chicago board of trade. His exchange was still trading futures contracts of the MMI, the Major Market Index, the other leading index of the Day. The MMI was a blue chip indicator of 20 large cap stocks created by the American Stock Exchange in 1983. It was often referred to as the XMI, which was the ticker for the underlying cash index. It included stocks such as General Motors, Coca Cola and General Electric. He listened in astonishment as representatives from the big board alerted him to the possibility of a close for the New York Stock Exchange. They had moments earlier notified Leo Melamed, the chairman of the Chicago mercantile exchange, who at 12:15 halted trading in S&P 500 futures contracts on the MERC. Cash watched as the “relatively little used” futures on MMI dropped to their deepest discount to the cash value of the MMI index in its history, triggered by the news that back in NY on the floor of the American Stock Exchange trading in Index options on the MMI was halted.

His voice was one of authority, he was 46 and perhaps on of the most seasoned veterans on the floor of the Amex. “Trading in MMI related options is temporarily halted, no more orders.” He was Ron Shear and he was the senior specialist for the MMI on the American Stock Exchange. He was a cross between a Jewish Wall Street Godfather and your local old world Italian grocer, who sends you home with an extra bag of fruit and regards to your mother. One shadow casts the guy who sweetly offers up fruit as a gesture from a service to long-standing family customers, the other depicts a gleaming smile, which makes you wonder why your mom spends so much time at the grocery store. Ron Shear is a dichotomy. Objective/subjective, hard as stone/soft as a feather, your greatest friend/your worst enemy.

It was 10 years later that I first met Ron Shear. I would be one of the few who would come to understand him (just a bit), but it would be 16 years before he and I would make a real connection, and in doing so make some money and I would earn a seat at the Big Boy’s table for a little while.

Here, embedded in an article copied from the wall street journal, stapled together, yellow post it on the front, “Read This!” from Dad” was the description of a man that would play a big part in my movie. Coincidence? Fate? Pretty F’n crazy.

He couldn’t sleep the night before. He smoked a fine cigar as he walked the streets at 4 am. Brasserie, a 24-hour French restaurant in midtown was already crowded with other suits whispering to each other as they sipped hot coffee, eyes red, and shirts ruffled. You could hear only a few words from the huddled groups. “Disaster, wiped out, panic, what next?” Shear paid his bill leaving a 15% tip. Not a penny more , not a penny less, that is his way. He perked his lips as he often did before he entered battle. His coat was of fine cashmere, aged but in a vintage sense. He shuffled out the door and hailed a taxi.

By 12:15 as he made his way to the microphone to make his announcement, other traders on the floor turned to him in fear looking for any words of comfort?” Ron, have you heard Merrill was taking over a number of defunct

Gerald Coriiigan

specialist?” and “Ronny, I heard they stopped trading Du Pont, Merck and Eastman Kodak” “Ron, is the SEC closing the exchange?” and “Ron, are we going to be ok?” The floor supervisor approached shear

Howard Baker

confirming that over 20% of the underlying MMI stocks had stopped trading, in fact Shear believed nearly half of the underlying stocks had actually stopped trading.  After his announcement, shear turned to a number of traders standing beneath the podium, and with a grimace that both exuded confidence as much as it did submission, “It is what it is” he said. With that he sat down and lit another of his small cigars.

The white house chief of staff Howard Baker, pressed Mr. Phelan to keep the exchange open for as long as possible, knowing that the country might not sustain the trauma. The loss of confidence in our financial system would ripple through the globe. Mr. Phelan was heard to have said, “If we close it, we would never open it.” It would be 2 decades before the financial community and the greater world would once again stand on the razors edge, teetering toward the brink of disaster.

“At 12:38 with the closing of the big board seeming immanent and the market in disarray, with virtually all options and futures trading halted, something happened that some later described as a miracle. In the space of about six minutes, the major market Index futures contract, the only viable surrogate for the dow jones industrial average, and the only major index still trading, staged the most powerful rally in its history” (pre ’87). The MMI rose nearly the equivalent of 360 Dow points. The Dow ultimately rebounded nearly 10% from its lows, “setting the stage for the salvation of the worlds markets.”

While conspiracy theories abound, it is believed that a small group of the most powerful firms on Wall Street, banded together and risked it all to save the market. With trading as thin as it was, their buying, together all at once, created an upward thrust in pricing the likes of which many seasoned veterans on the floor had never experienced.

Ron shear was still enjoying the taste of a spicy small cigar as he strolled back on to the battlefield, his instincts were heightened, as he began to feel the commotion on the floor, something was happening. The blood in his body warmed, he felt the thrill of the game and just like that, the defeated army of capitalism experienced a moment of redemption. A seasoned warrior like Shear, smells that moment of opportunity and moves quickly for the kill. Momentum was his weapon and with it he and his cohorts would prevail. He bolted for the loudspeaker and announced that he would open the MMI options market in 15 minutes. I am sure he went on to kill it that day, that is, to make lots of money that day.

As I put down the article, I realized that somewhere about midway through reading, the weed had kicked in and I was baked. I thought, that’s was one F’d up article. I cannot wait to get to that battle. Ahh to be young and naive, what bliss…………In January of 2007, Ron Shear and I sold Carlin Financial Group to the Royal Bank of Canada.  My Movie Continues.

A Wall Street Trader’s New Year’s Resolution 2011

Trading, Stock Market and Wall Street = writers block

I have had writers block for nearly a week. I had decided that my first Blog in the New Year would not be a traditional New Years Resolution blog; I could not find a single thing that I want to resolve. I did not want to put some silly list of humorous resolutions, such as I ”I resolve to not mix my Meds”.  I didn’t want to put a list together of common everyday resolutions such as “I will try having

Wall Street - A New Year

more date nights”. ……….With my wife or Marc Schwartz.

So………After hours of meditation…………………

I have a single New Years resolution, I am resolved to live each day in the present. I expect to experience 365 unique days. Too many of my mistakes from the last year were because I believed I could control tomorrow.  More importantly, they were because I arrogantly believed I had a clue as to what tomorrow had in store. Now before you stop reading, because you think this will be some self-reflective sappy shit blog, think about how this applies to your investing and your trading. For 6 months I have been bullish. I called for a 1275 2010 year end close on the S&P cash; I was off by about 25 points and one day, as we hit my level January 1st. And while I continue to be Bullish on the overall market as well as optimistic about the direction the world is going, none of that has anything to do with tomorrow’s trade.

Willian daley - Obama's New Year's Resolution

One of the most important objectives in this game, is to stay objective. Last year I was not objective. Objectivity is reality. My perception may be very different than the market, but it is the market’s view that is reality. I may believe a loss I have may turn into a gain, but reality is, it may not, and I must adhere to my risk limits. I can have an educated opinion, but only time will tell if it is reality. Truth be told, there is no such thing as an objective opinion, It is an oxymoron, moron. When you make an investment with a time horizon, what exactly does that mean? Who is to say one earning’s multiple is too high and another too low. Why did so many believe the euro was going to parity? Why did our market spend so much time in 2010 worrying about Europe? The sky did not fall. CDS spreads continue to fluctuate. The Dow is 17% off its all time high. That is just a few Flash Dashes away from a new high. And what about that Flash Crash thing? How can any trader believe they have an idea of what tomorrow holds in store when the concept of a flash crash exists? Every currency impacts the bond market, which impacts the equity markets, which impact the masses of IRAs 401ks and pensions, which impact all of you, which impacts the politicians. And what about the politicians? How can any trader be comfortable with “tomorrow”, when the president thinks he can change the rules on a daily basis? No more proprietary trading. No more shorting? Oh, just not in the shitty stocks. And what about

Shit, Shit, Shit, and Goldman Sachs

the word shitty? During the senate hearings villainizing Goldman Sachs, Senator Levin referred to Goldman as “Shitty, Shitty, Shitty”. Maybe he doesn’t realize that some of us like to watch C-span with our kids. And what about C-Span and the 1,000 other channels, Internet, and numerous other media outlets? We are bombarded with information. None of us can actually decipher it. The technology changes so rapidly that it is impossible to know which one will be in business tommorow. One year ago, I thought “THE CLOUD” was where God lived. And what about God, is he out there? You know what? I wont go there. I wrote in an early 2010 blog that I thought the market had systemicly changed. I was wrong. The market never changes, only the players change. I am a changed man.  Shit, that really sounds cliché. For many years I believed people couldn’t fundamentally change. My one new year’s resolution is to fundamentally change. Yes, I now believe that a person, given the right discipline and enlightenment can change fundamentally. My new year’s resolution will

Cloud Technology - Where is God

manifest itself in both parts of my life. The only two parts a real Wall-Streeter has, family and business. And for many a Wall-Streeter the line is particularly blurry. I expect to see every day with my family as both a blessing and a testament to all that I have accomplished. I expect to live every day of the business as a new challenge in the game, a new scene in an unseen movie or a new chapter in an unread book. I guess I am going cliché. Very sappy, I apologize. But I believe that the player has changed. I can no longer rely on skills honed during bygone years. It is time to embrace a new style of living and a new strategy in the game. Day by day. Moment to moment. As we survive, we grow stronger. As we embrace the moment, we secure the future. I can no longer waste a day thinking about tomorrow. I need to end the day thinking about all that I accomplished. I need to see a day as a building block for the future. I need to see the trade in the moment and the business as it is today. Maybe a time will come when the future can be planned, but that is not today and more importantly it is not tomorrow. Play the game like you are in the midst of the battle and then hopefully the war may ultimately be won. I once believed  trading was a long-term strategy. I now understand it is a series of short-term battles in an ongoing war. I once believed a business was methodically built over an extended period of time. I now understand that business is “ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will. Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain and a hundred percent reason to remember my name”. (Fort Minor – Remember the Name) I now understand that I am in control of neither but capable of succeeding at both. My new years resolution is simple, I will truly embrace the moment, I will let go, and I will fundamentally change.

My First Impressions

My name is Tom and I’m taking part in Cornell University’s Freshman Externship Program (FEX) at Hedgefundlive.com and the Frommer Group.

I came into the office today and was immediately impressed by the office’s extremely up to date technology and the informal nature of the office.  I was placed at a computer station like every other employee, making me feel as important and equal to the other members of the Frommer Group.

After that one of my duties as an intern was to tweet financial news through hedgefundlive’s twitter account.  I had never done twitter before as I personally feel my life isn’t interesting enough to make everyone aware of my actions and feelings.  It would be pretty uneventful, as it would read like this:

As you can tell, my tweets would be the same as all other college students.  However, in my opinion the use of twitter for a business, especially one like Hedgefundlive that prides itself on the openness of its operations, MAKES SENSE.  People following @hedgefundlive will be updated of all the operations of the business on a minute by minute basis.

I also used hedgefundlive’s facebook account to post comments on other news stories.  This was fun, as I didn’t only have to post on financial stories, but ANY stories.  My first post was on a news story about Jersey Shore’s Snooki writing a book.  It’s not necessarily the writing you’d expect to be doing as an intern for a finance business, but the fact that I posted helps get the name of the website out on the web.

As I finish this, I’ve been here for an hour and fifteen minutes and I’ve enjoyed every second.  I’m happy I’m actively participating and not just watching over someone’s shoulder, which has happened to friends with other FEX opportunities

-Tom W.