Lulled Into Lethargy

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mark J. Grant, authr of Out of the Box,

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see fine pictures, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
                     -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
At the beginning of World War II, the term "shell shock" was banned by the British Army, though the phrase "postconcussional syndrome" was used to describe similar traumatic conditions. Pick whichever words you like but lately it seems to me that the world’s investors are in this state of economic reaction; shell shocked. Yes, France is downgraded, no decision about Greece, no truce in Gaza, Spain joining Alice in the rabbit hole, recession in Europe, America fiddling about with no resolution in sight and “ho hum, ho hum pass the cookies if you please.”
“Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.”
                     -Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
The world’s central banks have manufactured the money, we have enough sloshing about to invest it, corporate earnings are down, well, nevermind, we have to do something with the stuff so we may as well put it somewhere and it is not the beat that goes on but the throb of the investment world lulled into lethargy by all of the shells that have flown overhead and landed nowhere. It is like the investment world is on Xanax where the sea is perceived as dead calm, regardless of the eight foot swells, or so it appears to us as we sit on the shore but what does it matter anyway. I am reminded of my youth and Mad Magazine, “What Me Worry.”
 “I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”
                       -Eleanor Roosevelt
The plain fact is nothing much is going right because nothing much is getting done. Yes, we have promises aplenty that things will get done, that everything will be just fine, that worries are an unnecessary aggravation and can only cause stress and acute angina but the dead calm when calm is not the state of the ocean is what concerns me. I recall the spring of 2008 when I first began warning about the effects of all of the easy money and no documentation loans and squared and cubed CDO’s that were being touted as the next new things and sliced bread for any and all money managers. I warned about it all and was “ho hummed” by not only the Street but by many institutions. I find myself recalling those times because I think we are in another market now where some kind of mood elevating drugs have been blown into Wall Street and we are wandering about in some sort of Purple Haze where everything glistens with some sort of sheen and we are numbed by the constant barrage of political rhetoric.
“They are funny things; accidents. You never have them until you are having them.”
                           -Winnie the Pooh
This all, of course, can change in a New York second. For those of you in other parts of the world this measure of time is the shortest span known to nuclear physicists or to be found anywhere in the universe. There are many definitions of course but generally it is thought of as the moment between a light turning green on 5th Avenue and the honk of the horn from some cab that is behind you. This New York second also operates in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity where the world is asleep and then receives a wake-up call as the New York second has a causal effect. The investment world is operating in this sort of lull now and with the weather getting colder I am not sure if anyone is dressed appropriately.  It may all just be a matter of interpretation though. There is the recent story of the young trader who had just arrived from Estonia and was so proud of himself. He had just executed a perfect parallel parking maneuver on Park Avenue and after he returned to his car some hours later he was just ecstatic to see the official government salutation for a great job done where the note said, “Parking Fine.”
The Wizard, the Sages and yours truly all wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Eat a lot of turkey, don’t try to imitate one. Chomp on all of the mashed potatoes that you can. Imbibe the cranberry sauce until your mouth can hold no more. Remember to give thanks for what is really important and offer a blessing for those that have less. Finally if you have some confusion about your investments or just wonder what to do next there is always the tried and true solution at this time of year that can fix everything! Just call the Butterball Hotline. All problems solved!

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GetZeeGold's picture




Which pill gets me the Obamaphone?

notbot's picture

Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.  -Proverbs 30:20

N. B. Forrest's picture

Jer. 6:14  "Peace, peace, they say when there is no peace"


Happy Thanksgiving.

GetZeeGold's picture



Happy Thanksgiving.


According to MSNBC that's now a bad thing.....hey.....take it up with them.

A Lunatic's picture

The use of rayciss codewords like Happy Thanksgiving is unacceptable........

Sudden Debt's picture

the one that has "rohypnol" printed on it

Eireann go Brach's picture

Let's give thanks tomorrow at Thanksgiving for all the things we have, then tomorrow let's go stampeding through stores like wild elephants for things we don't need!

Welcome to Amerika!

williambanzai7's picture

I'm afraid will all got it, irrespective of which colors pill we prefer.

Gandalf6900's picture

long titanium underwear...

orangegeek's picture

Lulled into lethargy - that's right.  It's the socialist way.


The US has become Europe.  Thanks go out to Ben and Barry.

SheepDog-One's picture

Thanks go out to the american people too who just do nothing and roll along with whatever....A-meh-rica.

toady's picture

A-meh-rica... I like it!

I do use meh a lot, so it sounds natural to me.

I must admit to a little meh lately, but its because the big project is done. We are all down home and out of the line of fire.

The boys are getting drones for Christmas, so that should fill up a big time slot.

Drachma's picture

Yeah but my American friend is smart. He told me with a jovial smirk that onions are the only fruit that make you cry. So, with reciprocating countenance, I threw a coconut at his face. I laughed, he cried. :)

MachoMan's picture

It isn't the socialist way, it's the natural way of humans.  We do not desire to be constantly vigilant and operate at all times with due care.  It's simply too stressful and takes too much effort.  We inherently desire peace and quiet.

This inherent lethary (our default state) is exactly one of the inherent human characteristics that, once identified by a sociopath, tend to be punitively exploited.

Ghordius's picture

"The US has become Europe": I beg to differ.

Pick your criteria and we'll fight this out, but please leave this "socialist" out of it, this word has a different meaning, here, and it's not the only one

example: it has become "common knowledge" in the US that "Prince Otto von Bismarck was a socialist" - even TD repeats this pearl of wisdom

GetZeeGold's picture



but please leave this "socialist" out of it


No way in hell we do that Gordo.

slaughterer's picture

USA, Greece--difference just a matter of time.  

slaughterer's picture

What closes higher today?  WTI or QQQ?  <Yawn>  What episode of Hogan's Heroes for today on NFLX?

adr's picture

The stock market has become a ghetto welfare queen dependent on the flood of free money. As long as the check keeps coming, they really don't care about anything. Lulled into a false sense of security that the money to fix every problem and pay every bonus will always be there.

Free cash is the biggest mind altering drug of all. Also being the hardest addiction to break. The effects of taking an addict off crack cold turkey is nothing compared to cutting off the cash to this bullshit market.

If Bernanke quit QE, the market would panic, riot, algos would freeze, traders would jump from buildings, and who knows what else. The withdrawl would probably kill.

Once you start giving a handout, you can't take it away. Which is why the hand should always be slapped away.

AynRandFan's picture

The ghetto welfare queen has been stomping on the unbelievers for 4 years straight.  At some point, we all became believers or at least we stood in awe of the power of the Fed.

freedogger's picture

The only people left in this market and the MSM are ones that have been bullish or overly optimistic for the past three years. All the rest have been passed by or slaughtered by QE Infinity. Should make for a harder fall when shocks eventually occur.

slaughterer's picture

Bears seem to forget we are at the beginning of QE-INFINITY.  

AynRandFan's picture

Good writing, really enjoyed it!

slaughterer's picture

QE-FUREVAH in New Yorkese.  

I am more equal than others's picture


Nassim Taleb: Heuristics - people expect a reversion to the mean - it is easier to expect this than alternative outcomes.  Everything will get 'good' again, until it doesn't. 

Monedas's picture

Happy Thanksgiving .... War, Financial Crisis and FOOTBALL .... it doesn't get much better than this !  

LouisDega's picture

The only things that are missing is Captian Jack McCarthy hosting the Thanksgiving day parade and March of the wooden Soldiers. Happy Thanksgiving

slaughterer's picture

All going according to the script Hayek laid out decades ago.  

cranky-old-geezer's picture



Everything is calm because the looting plan is going along swimmingly. 

Yea things got a bit turbulent back in '08.  The (created) crisis kicking off the looting plan. I suppose TARP was the "official" beginning of it. 

We're 4 yrs into it now and they've looted about half of America's wealth, so I guess we have about 4 yrs to go. 

Welcome to poverty people, courtesy of TPTB.

ptoemmes's picture

What if you swallowed BOTH the red and blue pills....I'm from the 60s

I am more equal than others's picture

purple haze baby! purple haze.

Sudden Debt's picture

it's okay, just make sure you wash them down with a sixpack of beer and a bottle of vodka!

and if you start to feel strange, take some extra valiums to cool you down. but no more than 1 full bottle...


20-20 Hindsight's picture

For the past several years, we've been hearing over and over that "this will end badly."  Well, from what I can see now, it will never end and "badly" is already here.  

nah's picture

i just want to see how bad of managers these bankers are with my 8 years of heavy investment... so far they suck, if I ever get my money back I might trust someone other than the government with my money


since apparently their the only ones responcible

Liquid Courage's picture

The lull before the cull.


Sun Tzu...... "When the thunderclap comes, it is too late to cover the ears."

TSA gropee's picture

"Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel"   Loki - Asgardian

This quote jumps out at me everytime I've watched the movie and quite frankly I wonder if TPTB sometimes communicate their intentions through such mediums. But WTF do I know? I'm just a useless eater that stills pays taxes...

Tommy Gunner's picture