Oct 6, 2008

a view to a kill

There's nothing like sitting in front of a Bloomberg terminal (it used to be a real piece of hardware but it is a software program on a pc nowadays) on days like this. The Bloomberg terminal is sort of like the Yahoo of market information. It's an exhaustive directory of any piece of information you have ever heard regarding markets. It's like having a bullseye view of the battlefield.

Today the world indices page is total carnage.

But don't despair. The Karachi 100 (Pakistan's index) is holding tight.

Hey wait a second. That looks awfully steady there in the last month. Well that's because Pakistan has put a floor on the price of the stocks in the index. The index isn't allowed to go down..
"Global financial turmoil has not and cannot affect Pakistan, thanks to the floor which is in place," said Asad Iqbal, managing director at Ismail Iqbal Securities Ltd.
Good luck with that strategy.

While I'm here, I just love all the pictures these news stories use. Here's today's batch from the AP

I love these pictures because these are guys down on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor and they are invariably the specialists (I'm speaking not in generalities here, their job title is 'specialist'). Specialists don't really care what the market does. They like volatility. Days like this are good for specialists. Are the guys in those pictures stressed out or did they just do a lot of drinking on Sunday and are a little tired and cranky.

I almost wonder if this is the market equivalent of jumping up and down behind a news reporter while they are on air. It's your ticket to get your face in the news. Just spend all day putting your hand into your head and looking depressed and you'll have your picture on the New York Times front page the next day.

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