Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's time for "I told you so"s

1. Zerohedge. When it comes to HFT trading, they've been right all along.  This is their "I told you so" moment, and a richly deserved one.  

A minor observation here: recently, Barry Ritholtz has been a staunch advocate of trading with a stop-loss close at hand - I can't be bothered to look for specific entries on his blog, but there were several. So a question: how would that strategy have worked out today. Suppose you had a stop-loss on SPY at 1100 - it would have gotten tripped up halfway through the meltdown and a solid 2.5%+ lower than the eventual close. Don't get me wrong here: I am not advocating trading without a stop-loss either. Rather, in this algo-driven market, I am advocating not trading equities at all.

2. Yours truly. Didn't I tell you that a bailout for Greece does jack shit to help Spain and Portugal? Didn't I? But I think it's worth repeating the fundamental question for further consideration by Europe's "leadership". I take it that the fundamental goal of a Greece bailout was to attempt to stop contagion to the rest of Europe. And I agree that it is a worthwhile goal - nobody wins if Spain goes down in flames. But if you are not willing to go all out and make ECB into the equivalent of US Treasury and Fed combined, why bother with Greece at all? $140 billion is no chump change, and it's all down the drain as Greece will still default/restructure and the rest of the PIIGS are in as much trouble as they've ever been.  If ye Germans are so keen on preserving your mojo of fiscal discipline and punish the profligate transgressors of Maastricht, why not just (a) withdraw from the EMU and reintroduce the Deutche Mark and (b) bail out your banks and your banks only, as necessary?  Let's get this mess over with one way or another - enough of this charade of half measures!

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