Guest Post: Would You Go To A U2 Concert Without Bono?

Tyler Durden's picture

From Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors

Guest Post: Would You Go To A U2 Concert Without Bono?

It will be interesting to see what happens with Apple over the next few days and weeks.  Clearly Mr. Jobs did not do it alone, but on the other hand, he didn't just create the best products, he created new product categories.  I think it will come down to Apple people trusting themselves and doing what they know how to do.  The only thing I know for sure is that Apple is almost 15% of QQQQ and just over 3% of the S&P 500.

Today all the CDX credit indices are doing well globally.  Italian and Spanish bonds remain stable, with 10 year yields right about 5%.  The only obvious problem in credit this morning is Greek 2 year bonds which are trading below 60% of par.  If you assumed a 60% recovery for Greece that now implies a 100% probability of default.  The market is clearly ignoring this latest downturn in Greek bonds, which is on low volume, but with growing disagreement amongst the European governments, it is worth remembering this problem.

IG16 is definitely outperforming stocks today.  It is about 3 tighter, at 122, while stock futures are a tiny bit lower.  That CDX indices are coming back into line makes sense, since credit largely ignored almost 60 points of the S&P run-up.  It looks like IG16 is trading as much as 6 bps rich to intrinsics.  Earlier this week, I mentioned that we don't usually see the end of widening until the indices trade very cheap.  It is now actually trading very rich?  It could be a sign of more to come.  It is hard to think of a rally from 130 to 122 as creating very overbought conditions, but it is possible.  The indices are the pain tool.  Long biased cash bond holders who have been using index to manage disaster protection have been working hard to avoid getting whipsawed.  Playing the most liquid part of the market to protect against illiquid positions is a difficult trade to manage well.  The indices tend to overstate how good or bad the market feels, and with big bid/offers in the actual bond world, it is hard to get a true read from the cash markets.  I suspect that people are getting long credit again, first by taking off their hedges, but will actually try and sell some bonds into any strength rather than using the index - if they get the chance.

HYG has been fairly stable and the shares outstanding haven't changed much in the past week.  Both positive signs for credit.  LQD actually saw some inflows.  I guess that the move in treasuries pushed some people down the credit curve in an attempt to retain yield. 

Gold.  After a 3 day beating where it is down almost 200 from the highs, it seems awful.  Except that it is still higher than it was on August 8th.   And it is 250 higher than it was at the start of the quarter.  Margin requirements went up (seems like it was leaked).  Previous margin hikes on commodities have had limited long term impact on price direction.  Gold should be no different.  It makes sense for the exchanges to increase margins as the daily vol seems to be increasing.  $25 a day change now seems about normal, so the increased protection to participants in the market that is provided by increased margin seems reasonable.  I cannot imagine many people using a lot of leverage to play this market given the extreme swings.  I think margin calls will be met as no one is playing this market that levered so they have the cash on hand.  Also, the biggest gold bugs in the world all seem to want to own physical gold.  That, I assume, is a no margin business, another reason not to get too worried about the margin hikes if you are long gold.  Gold will continue to be far more impacted by global economic conditions, central bank and government rhetoric, and central bank actions (I'm assuming governments aren't doing anything, anytime soon).

That just leaves Jackson Hole.  I think this will be a yawn.  Any big new programs announced or hinted at could help the market, though even that feels partially priced in.  Anything pretty generic has already been said and is unlikely to help the market.  If he comes out attacking the government, that could actually spook the market.  By and large I don't think he will say anything that helps the market.  My sense is that a lot of people are saying that they don't expect him to do anything, but are positioned for him to do something.  It reminds me a lot of the behaviour ahead of the debt ceiling limit. Lots said that the government might not come to agreement, but they all bet that they would.

And from jobs to jobless.  Claims once again higher.  Last week's number once again revised higher.  Once again I am left wondering how after so much weakness we can still pretend that even 400k would be a good number, let alone 417k.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
prophet's picture

Jobs Jobs Jobs Bitchez

CrazyCooter's picture

FIrst of all, I had no idea that QQQQ was ...

But, being a former gamer, I did immediately recognized QQ ...

Tyler, this is potentially epic dark humor to tuck away for the right moment! Hah!

Personally, I think SJ top ticked apple and quit when he more or less accepted there was no upside left on which his legacy/ego could feed. He is a genius, don't get me wrong, but more importantly he is a highly competitive egotistical genius. Gates did the same thing. SJ isn't going anywhere, just like Gates didn't go anyway. Just my two cents.



IMA5U's picture


"former" gamer?  dont be ashamed!  :p


and yes   jobs top ticked   rock star ceos always leave on top      aapl may survive 2day but is a short


Max Hunter's picture

U2 is one of the top 3 most over-rated bands of all time..  Zepplin w/o Plant or Page would have been a better analogy..

IMA5U's picture

yup    they have become painful      along with yellow lance arm strong bracelets and triathalons


wait   that describes 95% of wall street

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

True story.


During a U2 concert Bono went into preach mode, slowly clapping his hands to the rythm of a song. He says, "Everytime I clap my hands a child dies of AIDS in Africa."


A guy in the audience yells, "So stop clapping yer hands ya fucking wanker!"

jaffa's picture

In an economy with high interest rates, debt will be more costly to a business than more flexible dividends on equity investment. It may be easier for a struggling business to be financed through equity investment as it may be possible to avoid paying a dividend if times are hard. Thanks for sharing.
Toronto condos

jaffa's picture

The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. Thanks.

dwdollar's picture

"...he created new product categories"


He renamed product categories, sometimes with just an "i".

Oh regional Indian's picture

Spot on dw. Jobs was a creation of the system, to keep the MS/APPLE dichotomy to keep people divided.

My 3rd wife of many years was a Macolyte, so I know of what I speak.


Charlie J's picture

I used to read the comments on ZeroHedge and would find interesting discussions.  Not anymore.  Normally I don't read the comments at all, but a story including Steve Jobs interested me.

To say that Jobs did nothing but rename categories is simply ignorant.  I was a Mac software developer and publisher starting in 1984.  The Mac would not have happened without Steve Jobs' leadership.  You think the Mac was just a category that was renamed?  Jeesh, what a stupid statement.  The first time I saw the Mac I knew it was a game changer (which is why I mortgaged the house and started the company).

And to folks who think Apple is now doomed . . . are you kidding me?  First, Jobs only resigned from being CEO.  Do you think he might still influence things as CHAIRMAN?  Did Bill Gates still influence things as Chairman of Microsoft?  You bet he did.  Second, do you think Apple has nothing new in the pipeline?  And third, do you think I'm going to all of a sudden switch to Windows to run my Final Cut (oh wait, there's no Final Cut on Windows), or switch to an Android tablet from my iPad, which works seamlessly with my Mac?  In other words, there will still be buyers for Apple products.

Is there significance to the fact that Jobs is not CEO? Sure. But the corporate culture that Jobs established is there.  He's still there . . . for now.  Only after he's actually totally left the company would you have to watch to see if the board and top management can maintain that culture, or whether or not they are idiots and ruin the whole thing (always possible, but many years away as a scenario).

And now, back to the actual ZH articles, where I do find meaningful content.

Are you kidding's picture

All Jobs did was to brilliantly get kids hooked on Apples products.  They gave them away freely to schools which meant that the early personal computer adopters "only knew" Apple.  The Atari ST based on the GEM desktop was ahead of the Mac.  Atari engineers went on to create the Amiga.  Both were ahead of the Mac.  Neither gave computers to schools.  It was the marketing that Jobs excelled in.

Charlie J's picture

I understand what you are saying about the marketing being important, but it was not what made the Mac happen.  I was an attendee at the first Amiga developers conference, because right about that time, everyone was worried that the Mac might not survive and thrive and we took a look at it (the Amiga).  Then Apple came out with the LaserWriter and Paul Brainerd launched PageMaker, and desktop publishing was born, which revived the Mac.  Did the succcess of desktop publishing have anything to do with giving Macs to elementary school kids?  No.

The Amiga was, in some ways, technically superior hardware, as you claim, but mainly for gaming.  But it's all about the software.  Apple had key employees called Evangelists (the best known nowadays is Guy Kawasaki, who was my 'evangelist') who helped us developers in any way they could.  We had tremendous access to some key people, such as the folks in the User Interface group, who were absolutely brilliant.  Did that come from giving kids computers?  I think you probably see my point.

It's just not accurate to say Jobs was just brilliant at marketing.  In fact, I would argue the opposite.  When the Mac first came out, there was only the dot-matrix printer, the ImageWriter.  This is not what 'serious' folks wanted, we wanted letter-quality, as it was called back then.  What did Jobs say?  Who needs that, dot-matrix is good enough.  Also, there was no hard drive available, just one internal floppy drive.  Jobs said, that's all you need for this 'appliance' computer.  This was not brilliant marketing.  But the Mac overcame its shortcomings because it had the first (OK, first commercialized) graphical user interface.  Right at the time the Mac came out, I was just finishing a book on PC DOS 2.0.  I put some illustrations in it, and I did them on the Mac, in MacPaint.  This was groundbreaking stuff.

Jobs wasn't even at Apple when the Mac really got going.  I never met him.  And I would say again, it was not Apple's marketing that made everything happen, nor was it the Executive Team (I never talked to a single top executive - they did not interact with us software folks and lived in an ivory tower). It's always been the products.

And to the guy implying I'm some kind of Apple fanboi (I think that's the term), I've done a lot of business with Microsoft, too, and could tell you lots about the strengths of that company.  Would that make me a Windows fanboi?  And I'm about to buy an Android tablet, does that make me an Android fanboi?  You folks who think you are cool with off-the-cuff, flippant remarks like "somebody has a crush on Jobs" are just plain lame.  State some facts, make an argument, now that would be cool.  But, likely it is beyond you to actually do that.

Are you kidding's picture

All the "faults of the Mac" you describe are DESIGN flaws...not marketing flaws.  If you can get people to buy yout flawed're a marketing genius.  Apple got lucky with the right thing (desk top publishing) at the right time.  But by the time of the Mac...the Apple IIs were already in the schools.

thesapein's picture

somebody has a crush on the Job

He does have good taste. Buying all those patents, turning Chinese, black turtlenecks. Let's not forget the packaging. Oh, such beautifully sexy wrapping paper.

If it weren't for Jobs, we'd probably all being using open-source software, yuck! Oh, wait, isn't Apple's OS based on open source? Oops, couldn't buy that patent and put a stop to the madness.

SheepDog-One's picture

Apple is toast. Apple cult = Steve just another gizmo company. People are in delusion if they say Jobs leaving is no big deal.

Mactheknife's picture

The guy isn't dead yet. He is still chairman of the board. I'm quite certain that any bright ideas that he might have will be acted on.

Oh regional Indian's picture

I think the "original Sin" in their logo is a huge tell. I said it here a long time ago (relatively speaking), but this Original Biblical Apple, the APPL apple and the Big Apple are inextricably inter-twined.

Something tells me it's going to be one hell of a smackdown come next week. Glad I'm just an observer in this game.


thesapein's picture

If you looks at Microsoft's logo, it looks like a blue planet with a great pyramid aimed at you.

The Xbox360 is just taking the x that marks the spot and rotating it into a pyramid or around a sphere.

Bill Gates, the gatekeeper...

But just because others are self-delusional, like Jobs and Gates, doesn't mean I have to also see them as demi-gods.

Does my picture make me the real deal?

Don Birnam's picture

Cramer believes that Jobs leaving is "no big deal."

"In delusion ?"

Why, yes. That is James "J." Cramer in a nutshell.

Version 7's picture

he didn't just create the best products, he created new product categories

Just keep making toys.

Ausperity's picture

Without Bono is the only chance that I would go to a U2 concert!

MarketTruth's picture

Agreed, and his AID benefit where U2 concerts collected MANY MILLIONS of dollars/Euros yet only abut 2% actually went to help AIDs patience....  Bono is a scammer worse than Buffett, Geithner and the Bernak.

Commander Cody's picture

Didn't Bono die after skiing into a tree?  Oh, and nobody scams better than the other three.

ping's picture

He didn't die after skiing into a tree. One ski went left, the other right. There was a 'Kapwang!' sound, like an old steel guital.

Gully Foyle's picture

Interestingly enough I just watched Killing Bono based on the book

Killing Bono: I Was Bono's Doppelganger by Neil McCormick

Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan were wonderful.

But what I still don't understand is why Jack Nicholson introduced U2 at Live Aid.

thesapein's picture

lol, many of us were going to say this, but you da first.

Using a softword, I HATE the Bono.

ZeroPower's picture

Berkshire to invest $5bn into BAC

BAC is officially safe guys, load up the truck.

TIMMAYYY's picture



this steve jobs is nothing but a big marketing scheme. He doesnt know shit. welcome to the future apple.

you opened to the door and now we know how to handle ourselves. 

open source muther uckers. (i know thats how apple became big...but they have left the path and become dicks)

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Did the Bernank just open his pie hole?  Futures shot up 10 points in a second.


Edit:  apparently Buffett opened his pie hole. Hilarity ensued.

kahunabear's picture

He brought a cool factor to the products that will now be lost. In a way, he was the product.

slaughterer's picture

I have no trouble seeing Jonathan Ives continuing to bring the "cool factor" to Apple design in the future. 

thunderchief's picture

U2 may have been fun in the 80's, but like many things, they suck today, with or without Bono and his Luis Vutton photo shoot in Africa.  What a joke these people are.

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

People still go to see the Grateful Dead and Jerry has been gone a long time.

Tim Cook has been effectively running the company a long time.

Jumbotron's picture

I think THE critical thing Apple has to deal with going forward is NOT to do what Apple did when John Scully took over and that was to kick out a known genius with an amazing product just because he was brash (prick).

The Mac was a skunkworks project by a team led by Jobs at a time when Sculliy's minions wanted to continue to milk the Apple II cow.  Jobs had the vision and the charisma and the great new product.  But Scully's ego got bruised and that was that.

If Apple is to survive in the future, they had better let that geeky, perhaps cheeky (asshole) genius somewhere in their basement have the opportunity to bring that next genius idea/device to light and to fight for it.

Otherwise, we may see a slow decline just like we did when Jobs was kicked out all those years ago.

Get well, Steve......Apple needs you.......Hell.....Microsoft REALLY needs you !  As we all know....Apple is the R&D department for Microsoft.

slaughterer's picture

I do not think Jobs has a problem waiting for the next big thing and bringing it to light for Apple so long as he is alive.  That is precisely the point: Jobs is still alive and part of the Apple team.  The language of the media is like a funeral oration, as if Jobs were already dead.  Talk about front running someone's death...

Forward History's picture

I'm sorry, I did see U2 in concert during the Elevation tour, and it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. They are past their prime, but I still dig their music.

Sue me :)

spanish inquisition's picture

Could be the greatest reality show ever "NEW CEO", just like what some of the old has been bands (Edit: INXS) have done in a game show format. I would prefer a Hell's Kitchen approach with losers going against each other in a death match. Think we could get Max Keiser to MC?

slaughterer's picture

Remember when Van Halen brought in Sammy Hagar?  Worst moment of my adolescent life. 

I Got Worms's picture

C'mon, 5150 and OU812 are solid albums. And Dave's Eat Em and Smile and Skyscraper helped ease the transition to Van Hagar, so we still had our dave fix. Just traded Eddie for Steve Vai.

snowball777's picture

Bono didn't write the tunes. Jobs didn't design the products or write the software. There's every reason to believe that his departure will be a net benefit for the company and improve Apple's culture (and perhaps even convince some of the talent that the 'insanely great' one induced to leave to give Apple a second chance).

thunderchief's picture

You don't have to worry about the Chinese or Japanese, or Steve Jobs when it comes to Apple.  The South Koreans will take care of that.  Just like they destroyed Japan's Electronics industry with LG and Samsung, and are destroying the car industry with the best cars, KIA and Hyundai.  They will out do Apple with thr Galixy, and I am going to buy one.  Korea Rocks.  They're the new Japan. 

Mercury's picture

Would You Go To A U2 Concert Without Bono?

God yes.  Like Springsteen and Neil Diamond, Bono's over the top, all-the-time earnestness just rubs me the wrong way.  Get a black chick in there with a big set of pipes and I might give U2 another try...

thunderchief's picture

How about a U2 concert with no U2 members.  We'll call it U-Tubed..Every A-hole will come. 

KTAISA's picture

i wouldn't go to a u2 concert with or without bono


he wears 5" lifts in his shoes cuz hes 4, 11

and he sucks at everything



Anonymouse's picture

I wouldn't go to a U2 concert with or without Bono.  Been bored with them since 1985.  "War" was pretty good, but they've been dull since then.


OTOH, I would buy a whole row of front row tickets to U2 before I would ever go to another Bruce Springsteen concert.  About 5 hours of non-stop fist pumping morons worshipping a leftist "singer" who is always flat.


<edit>  Just caught my little pun.  Totally unintentional.  I'm just naturally clever I guess.</edit>

<edit2>  Wow, same exact phrasing Ktaina.  And almost at the same time (though you were slightly quicker).  Cool.</edit2>