…reflections on 68 years

…reflections on 68 years

 

From The Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx and…

“What’s one advantage of electing a woman president of the United States? We wouldn’t have to pay her as much.”  

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*Home-Price Gains Accelerate Most in Two Years as U.S. Real Estate Rebounds

*FDA Advisors Received Early Tip on InterMune Rejection Tied to SAC Probe

*Yen Weakens Past 85 to Dollar on Jpan Stimulus Bets; U.S. Futures Advance

*U.S. Holiday Sales Increased 0.7% Amid Fiscal Impasse, SpendingPulse Says

*Tobacco Rally Is Seen Slowing After 32% Advance Beats All Other Muni Bonds

*Corporate Bond Ratings Cuts Advance to Fastest Pace Since 2009 on Slowdown – ???

*Grand Bargain Shrinks to Fig Leaf as Obama Returns Before Budget Deadline

*Iran Says Gulf’s Military Coordination Heightens Risk of Regional Crisis

*Snowstorm Heads Toward East Coast After Spawning Killer Tornadoes in South   

Today is the last day for (T+3) settlement in 2012…which means hedge funds will have total control for the remainder of the year since due to their leverage they have to close year on completed trades, not actual trades to avoid distorting balance sheets. One reason? Rebalancing of index funds on last trading day of the year…hedgies will make them pay to do so! January is now up (or down) for grabs!

Monday’s shortened session produced the lowest NYSE volume of the past 12 months at just 1.24B shares vs 4.74B on Friday’s quadruple witching. Trades executed on the floor of the NYSE (or should we now say ICE?) also plunged to 286M shares vs 1.08B – highest since 11/2, also a 12-month low. All indices were down about 0.3%. Advance/declines and Breadth were also negative about 1.5x.

The bond market was about even but up slightly overnight. The 10 yr note remains at 1.76%, and the 30 yr at 2.93%. TIPS are also steady at 0.33% but still a far cry from the 0.22% record low on 12/6! The big story remains the problem countries led by Greece where the yield has fallen to 11.32% – high on 5/31 was 29.88%, 18.13% on 11/1!!! No worries!

Gold was off slightly closing at a weak $1659.00 -$1.10 after the lowest close since 8/22! It remains way below the 40/50 day moving averages and now the 200 day – $1668! – Overnight it is up $4.40 to $1664.00. Crude was up slightly closing at $88.84, still above the recently attained 40/50 day, overnight it is strong at $90.45 +$1.84.

– – –  . . .  – – –

…Tb never thought he would get there…remember when 40 was old and 60 ancient? Time flies when you are having fun…or even if you aren’t.

The disturbing thing to TB though is the lack of civility in our daily lives. Did it all begin in San Francisco with ‘casual Friday’ being introduced by Levi Strauss and thus selling more jeans? It is now casual ‘everyday’ there…can’t say for NYC but now you can go in any restaurant in the ‘city’ – Baghdad by the Bay as Herb Caen used to call it., and see few jackets and fewer ties. It is much easier to lower yourself when you aren’t dressed up…that comment is arguable when you observe our elected officials though. Right?

TB cannot recall a worse state of affairs in our government in that period of time. There is no leadership and any effort to do so is hampered by some small splinter group who it turns out has more power than the majority. Makes you long for the days of the ‘smoke-filled rooms’ and power brokers. We are told that it was worse…much worse…but not in our lifetimes. Meanwhile spending on campaigns has reached epic proportions and those people expect something for their money…while the people suffer for it. The number one job of any politician is getting re-elected and that begins on day one after the election.

TB has also spent a lot of time bashing the GOP and it is well-deserved…pundits on both sides are doing the same. True conservative, Peggy Noonan wrote an op-ed warning the GOP to get its act together or it will lose its majority in Congress and possibly worse. That is not good for America.

The two parties…three if you count the Tea Party…created the fiscal cliff which is now a fiscal ‘bluff.’ It was about creating a crisis where none existed and comparing us to Greece when cool heads could sit down and work out a compromise to fix it…hell, we have a decade or more! But no…and now even the Dems have broken into two groups, one saying no cuts to Medicare whatsoever. That is as of this morning…and the markets are paying for it…and it could get worse.

The Arab Spring has turned into a tornado and the entire Middle East is swept up in it and it is spreading. That can’t be a good sign for 2013…can it? Sure doesn’t seem so to TB.

Well, enough of this drivel…hope you all have a wonderful day as TB plans to do!

TB

No detailed analysis today…it can wait!

 

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