We're Devolving -- Rapidly

 | Aug 05, 2011 | 4:35 PM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

pg

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kft

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bac

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aig

Sometimes the whole shebang is too crazed. Today was too crazed and for a simple reason: We are gripped by politicianitis. Nothing that matters comes from companies any more. Nothing. They are just stooges, pawns in a big game played across international borders.

The only inside information these days comes from Berlusconi or Trichet or Geithner or S&P and Moody's.

We traded today on incessant political rumors. The Chinese are buying. Ben's on the phone. The Germans are agreeing to backstop bonds. The French want a short ban. The Japanese are rebuilding.

It was so macro that even the previously all-important macro number, our employment number, was overshadowed by events elsewhere.

It made me wonder whether Spanish employment or Italian jobs are the more important numbers. What days do they come out? Hmm, better find out.

And of course, everything is magnified by the machines.

Sure, there's some corporate impact. Kraft (KFT) finally got its point, delayed by yesterday's nastiness. Procter & Gamble (PG) didn't blow up today, so it went higher. In fact, all of the recession-oriented stocks had a run because recession is the operative term these days.

Oh, and one other micro-game worth mentioning: The air was thick with hedge funds ganging up on Fairholme Capital's  Bruce Berkowitz, the big Bank of America (BAC) and AIG (AIG) holder. Hedge funds are pressing down those two stocks, which don't have many defenses anyway, in order to bust his firm. Who knows, everyone has to make their quarter somehow, I guess.

Ugly way to make money if you ask me.

So, breaking hedge funds, crushing countries, gaming ratings agencies -- that's what we've devolved to. I long for the days of the better-than-expected/worse-than-expected quarter. May they not yet be extinct.

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