Friday, March 15, 2013


This producer and creator of Jeopardy! also invented the show's iconic Double Jeopardy theme song.

Who is Merv Griffin?

I got to thinking about the nature of the markets this afternoon.  Conclusion:  The market is about pricing companies until values and the environment are right to do deals.  This lead me to understand the credit creation cycle a little more clearly and finally decide that in 2H13 deals should be coming.  I think we are entering an estuary from the rapid river of cheap money toward a more staid, buoyant interest rate era.  Like 2011 when the spectre of not extending Extended Unemployment Benefits caused a sudden drop in Joblessness, the idea of a coming interest rate rise can be the final spark that gets people off the fence to do a deal.  Whether a small business loan, a home refinance, or a leveraged resource base acquisition, ZIRP is hitting the streets, and it will not last if Bernake leaves at the end of the year.  Personnel changes obviously lead to policy discussions.

I like the idea of:
  • space
  • IPOs in general
  • bitcoin adoption
  • electronic medical records
  • legitimate takeout targets, especially a select group of junior miners
  • AAPL - to me, the products are ubiquitous like PCs still are to the desktop market
  • AMX - hard time thinking Carlos has to sell under duress if this is, indeed, a deal making env't
  • AIG - I think it's tracking for 60s, don't sweat this one until you start hearing Berkowitz's name
  • FSLR - early in the game for this trend, it's a growth stock in a strong market env't
  • JCP - see post here, I will be irate if they go to the revolver, but they're going back to what works
I feel that the case for long HLF erodes daily.  Ackman's latest comparison of HLF with recently seized Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing effectively highlights damning similarities and invites the question, "how long can the government ignore its own precedents?"  Whether the company or Icahn himself, someone wants the world to know their checkbook's open at 35.50.

I like that CAT pps is paying for its horse puckey excuses about writing off almost 600 million dollars of goodwill 6 months after closing, and that crude and refiners are coming in.  These symbolize a reasonably logical market in the case of CAT, and one that wants to support consumer behavior.  I'd also like to see the fertilizer companies come in to keep food inflation at bay long enough to let the minimum wage increase get people working again.

As discussed in A Bit of Philosophy, though I feel tail risks currently grow with positive reinforcement of a fresh decline into moral hazard, a civil response is on the map if the good guys don't win this one.

Civil war suits no one.