“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” One Trader Indicts A “Sheep-Like, Cynical” Market

Former FX trader Richard Breslow is back from the weekend and he still thinks maybe you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re doing out there.

Monday’s missive is a rant disguised as a critique which delights us because that describes each and every post you’ll ever read in these pages.

Breslow takes aim specifically at this morning’s algo knee-jerk to this headline…

  • MERKEL SAYS EURO IS ‘TOO WEAK,’ MAKES GERMAN PRODUCTS CHEAPER

… and uses that as a kind of “case in point” to illustrate his broader assessment of the surreal investing landscape.

Ultimately, this reads like another indictment of trying to trade on grand narratives, but you’re encouraged to parse it yourself because as usual, it’s probably one of the better pieces you’ll read all day.

Via Bloomberg

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about investors these days, it’s that they really don’t believe in much of anything at all. Which is ironic because never has commentary been more strident and presented with such bombastic self-assurance. Or let me modify that. Traders believe ever so strongly in the flavor of the moment, without regard for either the big picture or its sustainability. Even as they describe small ideas as if they’re linked to some grand design. Here today, gone tomorrow.

  • Markets have settled on a curious admixture of strategies that simultaneously advocate buy, hold and try not to think too much, with, get me in, get me out, faster, faster. A large part of this comes from a sense of investor powerlessness. We all seem to have surrendered to going along to get along
  • As Oscar Wilde might have put it, people are focusing on the price of everything and the value of nothing, yet seeing absurd value in everything without regard for the price. Simultaneously sheep-like and cynical
  • This has all been made far more acute by the unfortunate assumption that just because computers are faster than humans, they must be smarter. The reaction to Chancellor Merkel’s comment this morning that the euro is “too weak” being a perfect case in point.

EURUSD

  • No new ground was broken. The quote requires the context. But the currency moved regardless
  • If you were trading today, your charts and profiles meant nothing. And what, sixty pips later in a heartbeat, do you do now? Have all vigilantes been lynched and buried? It matters because liking the euro is currently de rigueur and you can bet this will be spun into yet another reason to buy ahead of good resistance
  • But aside from a few pips in the euro, think about how the portrayal of really important issues changes without shame. Last week it was, U.S. is cratering, the legislative agenda is dead, China is tightening at a dangerous rate and Brazil will take down the emerging market complex. So far today, and it’s only Monday, global growth is accelerating, corporate profits are great, China knows exactly when to ease off the decelerator, PMIs are a source of strength not worry. All of the above are legitimate views, but they didn’t change over the weekend
  • Every price move does indeed have some reason. But for the purpose of sanity, and probably better profitability, they don’t all need to come with an epic explanation. Sometimes a short quip will suffice
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