Yesterday was a BAD day!
Trouble came first thing in the morning when my children woke me at half-past-dark. Taddy was dead. Likely killed by a neighborhood cat.
Taddy is, err, was my daughters pet tadpole. He lived in a bucket near the back door and was fed and talked to regularly. Hell Dad even boiled perfectly good lettuce for it and froze the stuff so that Taddy would grow up to be a big, strong, ugly frog.
He was in the process of growing himself some hind legs when he was "plucked" from his comfortable little bucket, sometime in the night, and left floundering on the ground, no doubt gasping for air. By the time we got to him in the morning his time had run out.
Mrs. Chris spent the morning hunting a nearby river and multiple pet stores in search of one of Taddy's cousins, all in vain. The outcome was relayed repeatedly to Mr. Chris who, being a callous grumpy bastard found the entire spectacle a complete waste of time.
"It's just a damn tadpole; we would have thrown it in the river as soon as its legs had developed anyway. Don't bother me with this stuff. I've got a 30-page prospectus to digest, back-to-back phone calls to make, the lawyers have just sent me another farking massive invoice for this damned fraudster I'm suing, and these other lawyers haven't gotten back to me yet on this other chunk of real estate I'm selling. Tell the little princess I'll catch her a wasp or something."
Mrs. Chris was unimpressed with such savagery! Tadpoles yes, wasps apparently not!
The rest of the day erupted in a series of fire fighting events while I watched through the corner of my eye the markets complete non-reaction to the downgrades of a handful of European countries debt. I suppose this is the power of money printing. Nobody really defaults in a world where one can print money at will, right?
For a nanosecond I thought: you know what, when a market fails to react to bad news it's technically bullish. The trading side of my brain instinctively knows this, so I look at the pricing of bonds and my head spins. If market participants have already priced in all existing risk then someone must have put something in the water.
The only consoling factoid was the Yen coming under pressure on essentially no news. Is it the beginning of an inevitable and overlooked crisis? Time will tell.
The news out of Europe continues to be nothing more than last nights dinner reheated - uncertainty, bad economic data and "loaded" pledges from the political class. As mentioned above, maybe the market has already priced in risk tolerance in Europe? I'm not so sure that is the case in Japan. Hang on let me check… Ah yeah, the Japanese 10-year trading at 0.966%. Nah, no risk pricing there.
As for those who are long Japanese government bonds. I think they are shortly going to punch the market in the fist with their face.
It is also worth pointing out for those following these things, that the current short position of the commercial traders is now larger than at any point in the last 10 years. The Commercial Traders (aka "the smart money") are piling on massive short positions on the Dow, the NASDAQ, and the Russell indexes with reckless abandon. My concern is not that they are shorting, but that they are shorting with this kind of size in such a short period of time. Do they foretell something wicked this way comes?
Away from the absurdity of the markets I had multiple business propositions hitting my desk. Note to any entrepreneurs seeking capital out there: Pleeeeeze folks if you don't know what the Hell you're doing in your business, don't come requesting capital from Mark and I. We don't have the time or patience to babysit.
To top it all off, everywhere I turned I was reminded that its Valentine's Day. I hate these artificially-constructed days. According to popular myth I'm supposed to do all sorts of things for Mrs. Chris, but where's the fun in that if she knows its coming? Surprise roses, a bottle of good wine, a sexy negligee and a… well I'll leave the rest to your imagination… these things are all far better than any "pre-loaded" expectations.
Good riddance to St. Valentine I say. Apparently he died fighting for Christianity. Why then roses and chocolates? Those marketing guys managed to swing this one 180 degrees. Anyway its a 100% commercial stupidity that I will steadfastly ignore till I die! Sorry Mrs. Chris…
Subsequently Mrs. Chris succeeded in her valiant attempts to source a new Taddy or two (it pays to have a backup) and Dad is required to help inaugurate the new fella into his home. I'm told their names are Pablo and Bendy - don't ask!
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"If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience." - Robert Fulghum