Ricks Picks

Shameless on Wall Street


Meaningless daily swings of 800 or more Dow points have become a regular event on Wall Street lately. Under the circumstances, Monday’s gratuitous hump, which all but erased a 450-point rally, barely deserves mention.  It was a puzzler, for sure, and even the Masters of the Universe must have been frustrated when the buying fizzled out around mid-session. They’d put considerable effort and sleaze into bringing Sunday night’s short-squeeze to a boil ahead of the opening bell. The operation had looked like an unqualified success four hours later; but then, for no apparent reason, the Dow gave it all back in under two hours.

Can you guess what happened next? As we went to press, the notorious night-shift thugs were hard at work. Wielding illiquidity like a cattle prod, they’ve short-squeezed index futures the equivalent of 300 Dow points as of around midnight. Could this show of ebullience be related to the latest news from Capitol Hill? The FBI raided the office of Trump’s lawyer, and, lo, the Republic seems to have survived.  Have we become so jaded that, threatened with the low-grade failure of governance itself in these United States, traders act as though nothing worthy of a trend is going on?

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none April 10, 2018, 5:52 am

Crisis of Confidence
July 14, 1979
by Jimmy Carter

President Carter speaks to Americans about the “crisis of confidence” in American government, values, and way of life, as the public expresses doubt in a better future for their own children. Carter challenges citizens to unite and address the problems in America by first addressing the energy shortage.


The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.
The speech was later dubbed the “malaise speech,” even though Carter never used that word.

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