The week of pessimism, or perhaps realism, being punished has ended. Tonight, even the sorriest of long-only managers sleeps easy.
Anyone capable of adhering to platitudes bought precious metals, materials, or oil and is suddenly a man of vision. Anyone possessing the attention span to skim a research report or, failing that, turn on the teevee “saw it coming” and “market timed”. Just ask him.
I lightened up considerably heading into the Fed announcement. Everyone and their fuckwit brother was calling for Helicopter Ben to ride in and rescue us from our miserable existences. The prevalence of this assumption, and the accompanying expansion in multiples, gave me pause. Like the apocryphal story of Joe Kennedy Sr. and the 1920s shoe-shine boy, I listened to colleagues, each stupider than the last, work the phones explaining why QE was a mortal certainty.
But the time for skepticism is over. The lunatics now run the proverbial asylum, and I am quite happy to don a straightjacket and join in.
Despite great economic and political uncertainty, Bernanke has stolen the spotlight from America’s bicameral circle-jerk and given respite to downtrodden markets. Promises of free money have banished ominous warnings of structural problems and fiscal cliffs from the headlines. Exuberance reigns, and the retail investor, still bloodied from his purchase of FB at IPO, will once again emerge from his fear-induced hibernation.
In the opinion of a humble piker, the promise of indefinite easing linked to unemployment figures places a floor beneath markets (at least in the short-term), notwithstanding small, profit-taking corrections. Given the recent low-volume melt-up, it makes sense that some in the institutional crowd would seize the opportunity to book gains while volume allows. The trend, mind you, remains upward with trillions in cash sitting on the sidelines, eager to partake in the fun and frivolity.
Men more learned than I will decry the long-term ills of QE, argue the inefficacy of POMO to cure economic woes, and suggest that the attendant spike in oil and spectre of inflation will doom the recovery. They could well be right, but it is presently no concern of mine.
The order of the day is to get whilst the getting is, indeud, good.