The T Report: The Visible Hand

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in The T-Report | No Comments

Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” is meant to represent some form of self-regulating energy in free markets. Some invisible force that lets free markets react to conditions to produce optimal outcomes. We don’t have invisible hands. We have Ben’s hand poised over the print button. Mario’s hand ready to pick up the phone and scream buy buy buy to his execution desk. LaGarde and a few other central bank or global money funneling agency heads also have their hands raised in an effort to join the dynamic duo and like Brazilian footballers, achieve global recognition on a first name only basis.

Earnings suck. I was looking for a kinder word, but I think suck works. Companies are missing the already lowered expectations and are almost universally less excited about next quarter. The data, which contrary to popular opinion was never great (a few specific data points were, but not all of them) has been even weaker lately. I think the hurricane will be a relevant non event for markets and the economy by the end of the quarter but certainly adds an element of uncertainty, which only pales in comparison to the uncertainty surrounding the election.

Yet, I can’t be bearish. Yes I’m nervous about being bullish here. Once again bear arguments outweigh the bullish ones, and sound far more intelligent, but I can’t ignore the visible hand. I fought the Fed and won a couple of rounds, but as I wrote then, I’m not about to stand toe to toe, swinging away with the Fed. Stick and move. Stick and move.

So I could go on and on about new reasons, or detailed reasons, but I continue to believe the ECB will drive us higher and apple finding support here will help a lot as well. That is also a convenient cop-out on my end so I can get back to trying to make the office fully functional again.