I am Spartacus

I am Spartacus!
I am Spartacus!
No, I am Spartacus!

Well you can’t all bloody well be Spartacus can you?

Alright then, I’m the Messiah!
No you’re not, you’re just a naughty little boy!

Interesting isn’t it? How all of a sudden now, every man and his dog considers himself to be a trader. Are they all really traders or are they just playing at being a trader till the bottom of the wishing well drops out? I dare say it’s the latter and sadly it’s not even their fault.

If you’re a trader, you can trade any instrument, any time, any place, any old how. Simple. That to me is a trader. Today it’s the Bund, EURUSD, SPX. Tomorrow it’s apples at Borough market. For you (as a trader) it shouldn’t make even the remotest lick of difference what it is you’re trading, so long as you’re buying and selling, and in the process making coin.

But that is NOT the case these days and in fact is far from being so. All of a sudden anyone that’s piped up untold amounts of money on one day learn to trade seminars, bought enough books (not even read) to fill a library and opened an account with a broker is now a trader. Yes you’re a trader… In so far as you’re being led to believe you’re one for as long as it takes to drain whatever resources/capital you’ve set aside in the pursuit of becoming the owner of your own private island, jet, Porsche etc.

Who’s fault is it? Who cares, and does it even matter anyway? The fact that you’re simply a cash cow, cannon fodder and another notch on a brokers balance sheet is neither the symptom nor the disease. It simply is a fact. What however (for me personally) is of far greater concern is what this has meant for the broader market and how that has in turn shaped the landscape that all (the rest) of us consider to be a market.

Economists and strategists have become lazy. Analysis is now akin to urinating into the wind. Futile and counterproductive. The market has no time or respect for you. Because you have no time or respect for IT. Economic data that at some point meant something a long long time ago, now means nothing. Utterly nothing. A piece of economic data is released and all anyone wants to know is whether that means a certain basket of instruments will rise or fall in value. The move doesn’t even have to last for more than a day, so long as it simply sticks to the binary result which has been ascribed to it. Why complicate things with genuine thought, consideration and contingent assessment. Your broker doesn’t want you doing that, think too long and you’re less likely to trade or make an informed decision.

I mean, this is child’s play really isn’t it?
Taper? Yes/No?
Risk on/Risk off?

Oh wait you mean the market didn’t react the way it was supposed to?
You mean it actually zigged when all everyone ever taught/told you said it was going to zag?
My goodness, those pesky front running algo machines and heavy handed hedge funds. They’re spoiling the fun and it’s of course not your fault, it’s all theirs. Yeah… of course it is.

The market has been made a mockery of, plain and simple. There is no free market any more. A combination of factors, not least of which those spoken of above have led us to where we are now. Asked just today about what it is that could help us turn the corner and get out of this rut, my answer, nothing short of total system collapse. I’m not talking about 2008, Lehman’s etc. That wasn’t a collapse, that was simply a flush of the toilet that never really built up any steam and ultimately left all the refuse still sat festering in the bowl. That stench you now smell, live and breathe, yeah, that’s that same pile of faeces that’s been left to fester for 5 years…

Why do I climb atop my soapbox now?
Summer markets folks.

Oh, I hear you say, you’re bored, it’s quiet, you should be on holiday etc.
Yes to all of the above. But more than that. Summer markets are the perfect embodiment, a train crash in crystal clear high definition slow motion, of what the other 10 trading months of the year are now like.

Cynical?
Ha!
Wait till you really get to know me…

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