Too many shorts kill the cat

March 27, 2009, 2:42 PM UTC

catWe’re not going to recover as a economy if there are so many shorts in the market. The whole system is now basically being run by people who are betting against the rest of us. This means that every time hope begins to bubble up and good, solid, honest, positive investors start seeing a little bit of light at the end of the funnel of doom, the shorts run in and lay a tiny little turd in the punchbowl. They’re bummers. 

I kind of reached my limit the other day when the market was feeling good about itself and Mr. Tim Geithner, who had suddenly mutated from Goat of the Month to My Hero status. Amazing how fast those things turn these days, isn’t it?

Anyway, the Dow was up, like, 400 points, and I called up our investor relations guy and said, hey, this is pretty great, huh? And he said, well, yes it is, for sure, but a lot of the analysts out there just think it’s a dead cat bounce. And I said, “huh?” and he explained to me what a dead cat bounce was. Apparently, it’s a phrase of some longevity, even though honestly I never heard it before. You can tell what it means. Like, you think the cat is alive and well and jumping around, but in actually the cat is dead and even a dead cat bounces, and that’s what the market is doing when people invest in their belief that some companies might be worth more than 10% of their 2008 value. 

The thing is, there’s no upside for the dead cat people if the cat is still alive. And they’re the ones who are driving the Street around the bend right now. How are we supposed to do better if the only financial upside for so many people is if we do worse? 

There are plenty of other things that the shorts could be doing. They could be salting the fields of farmers trying to grow next year’s wheat crop, or releasing toxic nuclear waste into the ocean. I suggest they get busy with these kinds of activities and get out of our collective economic face.