Armchair Generals

A large component of the populace of Financial Markets is made up of commentators, advisors, strategists and so called “experts” and they are all there to “help” you make the right decision in your investment process. Whilst their existence can be poo-pooed as unnecessary and a drain on the efficiencies of the market, the very fact that they can survive in one of the most efficient and cut throat of arenas means that someone thinks their services are worth paying for. And for an analyst or strategist his reputation and hence livelihood, is just as much influenced by the success of his calls as is the actual fund manger by his investment performance. Therefore he will try at his utmost to retain that air of authority and “turn to” knowledge.

So today, with the markets attention being blindsided from the Euroblx and China Squeeze by some North Korean fireworks, we predict that every salesperson or broker you speak to will have suddenly transformed overnight into a 5 star Armchair General, trying to sound like WestPoint trained Asian strategic defense experts. But don’t be puffed in, remember that these are the same people that only yesterday were Armchair Irish Budget experts and the day before they were Armchair Geologists re: rare earth metals and only a few weeks ago they were Armchair Meteorologists re: Hurricanes in the Gulf and previous to that they were Armchair Seismologists, Vulcanologists, Jet Engine Engineers, and even Epidemiologists when disease is involved. For this is the way it is.

A US Ex-Investment Bank Sales Desk near you awaits your calls:

To be honest it is the fun of the job, the financial markets do broaden your worldly knowledge dramatically and you do get led into studying the workings of things you wouldn’t have imagined yourself getting dragged into, but lets just keep a reality check on the pomposity of some of the analysis we are offered up and offer up. Do we know what will happen in Korea? No. To be frank we don’t, and our expertise on the subject is so low that it is insulting to offer it up for consumption. All we know is that there are e few outcomes ranging from “all out war” to “will be forgotten about in a few days”. And our limited experience would suggest that if we had to make a choice we would plump for the latter.

But of course that doesn’t mean that the market cant spend an awful lot of time spewing reams of worthless analysis. And this headline from the ultimate market-lagging arse coverer is winning so far.


No shit, Sherlock! Whatever next? Perhaps:


We will therefore try not to be distracted by the analysis but will note what has happened to prices. Of course the knee jerk reaction was worthy of Private Fraser in Dad’s Army, “We are doomed” but though China stocks were all headed lower during the day interestingly when the news broke Shanghai rallied. HK however continued south, though we would like to believe the points we raised yesterday are just as much a factor.

Finally, on a different subject, one reader wisely suggested that we add a glossary of some of the terms we often refer to in this space. So we are happy to oblige – the glossary can now be found in the sidebar and will be updated when necessary or you can find it immediately here: Glossary of TMMisms. If we have forgotten any please feel free to jog our memories.

About Macro Man 245 Articles

In real life, Macro Man is a global financial market trader at a London-based hedge fund. The Macro Man blog is a repository of his views, concerns, rants, and, on occasion, poetic stylings.

His primary motivation for writing is to hone his own views and thus improve his investment performance; however, he welcomes interaction with informed readers.

Visit: Macro Man

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.