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"To play well you must feel tranquil and at peace. I have never been troubled by nerves in golf because I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.” -Harry Vardon
Having tired of reading about the collapse of societies, currencies, and politicians, I have shifted gears in my mid-August reading schedule to something I am much more proud of pursuing in this good life than the fate of the Fiat Fools – winning.
What’s most interesting about the aforementioned quote isn’t that it comes from one of the world’s all-time great golfers, it’s that it comes from a man who had a nerve in his right hand that had been impaired by tuberculosis.
Despite the obvious disadvantage Harry Vardon had in a critical component of his game (putting), the man didn’t whine or complain. He didn’t point fingers either. He focused his mind and energy on what he could control.
In “The Grand Slam – Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf”, Mark Frost wrote, “opponents felt as if Harry wasn’t even aware of their presence, and they weren’t wrong; experience had taught him that his opponent was the golf course, not the other guy.”
Vardon graced this good world between May 9th, 1870 and March 20th, 1937, winning the British Open Championship a record 6 times along the way. He was never the longest off the tee. He was never the flashiest player either. Harry Vardon was a Risk Manager.
On avoiding losses, Vardon once said that “more matches are lost through carelessness at the beginning than any other cause.” When it comes to modern day US monetary and fiscal policy doesn’t that ring in your ears?
Unfortunately it’s a lot easier to read that lesson than to execute on it. President Obama definitely has his work cut out for him on this score. After coming back from some much deserved peace and tranquil with his family on vacation, the President of the United States stepped right up into the tee-box of US mid-term election qualifiers delivering the following shot:
“We have a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and the policies that are getting us out of this mess.”
OK. Shot made. Predictably, all replays of this opening shot have been recorded by partisan pundits on both sides of the gallery. But can’t Americans do better than this?
I’m certain that we can. Both Bush and Obama signed off on empowering a losing economic ideology that’s taken this country and its balance sheet to its knees. It has been all about fear-mongering and now it’s playing on America’s nerves. Confidence is abysmal and spending is slowing. America’s winners are deeply troubled about a colossal “mess” in American politics – not about “the other guy.”
With all due respect Mr. President, it’s your ball now and you need to play it as it lies. Planning to have our central government’s economic planners come up with more plans to change the rules won’t work.
The solution here is to find a message that doesn’t focus on insulating America’s losers. We have to find a way to get back to winning. That starts with confident messaging. Confidence breeds success. Success builds confidence.
My immediate term supports and resistance lines for the SP500 are now 1062 and 1099 respectively. For now, we remain most confident in our short positions. We shorted the SP500 (SPY) at 1098 yesterday and we remain short the US Dollar (UUP).
Best of luck out there today,