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Whenever I'm at a point in my life that I feel that I need direction I find myself often looking at the bracelet on my wrist. It's a simple, very unassuming bracelet with just four simple letters: WWCD?
What would Cash Do?
I know that this is supposed to be a financial blog but sometimes it's not.
Yesterday was one of those days and it's spilled over to today. I'm not thinking about the kind of cash that you need to do everything in life. The kind of cash it takes to buy things, like stocks or food.
The cash that I'm talking about is Johnny Cash.
As much as I admire Johnny Cash as a modern day Saint with a voice from the heavens, I must admit that I've always been a little squeamish about the lyrics to one of his songs:
"But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"
Just how sick and demented is that?
But then my idle mind wondered that if I had the ability to bring someone back to life,who would it be?
By the way, once that person is returned to life, you would also be required to watch him die again.
Now who would you choose?
There was a lot of discussion yesterday about the ethics or morality of revenge.
Obviously, the framing of the question is underlied by the wording. Is it revenge or is it justice?
By the same token is it morality or ethics that are at issue when discussing whether it is appropriate to be happy about the death of another human being.
Admittedly, there is some shame to being happy about the death of anyone, but that shame probably pales in comparison to the shame that should be felt by the people saddened to see the evil die.
You know that there are plenty of those people and they are certainly not thinking about the dilemmas attendant to those thoughts.
Most of us have differences with them. For example, I have a hard time referring to Osama bin Laden as having been "martyred", especially since he tried using his wife's body to intercept bullets meant for him.
Or perhaps he just wanted to share his martyrdom.
Oh, that's nice.
Yesterday, was obviously a very unique day for most everyone within reach of civilization.
Think about the wonderful events in your life. I'm not suggesting that this was one of them, but it's only natural to want to replay or relive those wonderful moments.
So in a pretense that there's actually something related to the markets in today's blog, I played a trade of Mosaic that I had entered into just this past Friday. I bought back the call options that I had sold then and am now ready to re-sell those same options for the third time in 2 weeks.
In this 2 week chart, Mosaic is unhanged, but in that period it had plenty of2% moves, each of which gave nice opportunity to cash in on sales and repurchases of call options.
That's the kind of replay that brings happiness to me. I would never get tired of that trade and that's why I love Mosaic. Did I mention the profit involved?
But yesterday's events muted any of my attention to the markets. The rest of the world seemed to be distracted in precisely the same way. There was no relief rally, just a quiet day in the trading pits.
In a world where evil behavior can be so easily rationalized, the behavior of the market was quite healthy today. The fact is that the market didn't need a relief rally. It just needed a breater.
And we needed that breather, too. We needed the opportunity to revel in the good news of the day.
There's nothing like unmitigated joy to to help you forget about everything else.
Both of my kids made it to the White House last night for the impromptu celebration.
So instead of spending the day trading or looking for opportunities, I thought how in a world where everything seems to be caught on video these days, it seems eerily empty to not have video of the Special Ops attack on bin Laden's compound.
How we all would have loved to replay that video.
Instead, I have to be left with the fantasy of choosing someone to bring back to life, just to watch him die.
I tried to think about that before going to bed last night, but all I could really envision was the sight and image of bin Laden cowering behind his wife.
That's a sight that the entire world should see.
My guess is that the Arab world might agree that the only virgins bin Laden should be entitled to are the ones who played Dungeons and Dragons for 200 or more consecutive hours. And to top it off, he would get twice the normal allotment.
Is it justice or revenge?
I'll have a helping of both, thank you.
But as I think about it, it is with great humility that I have to disagree with Johnny Cash.
I think I would rather see that image of the coward bin Laden using his wife, the human shield, in a pathetic attempt to avoid justice.
That sight would be so much sweeter than going the Cash route.
Much more moral, too, as if anyone cared.