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Unless I'm missing the obvious, any consecutive two days in the markets these days would qualify for being the impetus for today's blog title.
It's becoming a truism that no two days are alike, unless you consider diametric opposition to be the sincerest form of flattery. A truism that's repeated almost as consistently as hearing parents tell you just how incredibly different their children are in all aspects of their lives.
Wednesday was an absolute yawner. The fact that I was napping during the last hour of the trading session and missed that 60 point drop just means that it never really existed for me. When I woke up, nothing was really any different.
Today? Where do you start with decribing today?
Well, you probably need to start with some sort of baseline. What represents the world's greatest change from one day to the next?
Some would argue that the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima was such an event that so markedly distinguished between before and after.
Others might point to the assasination of John F. Kennedy, the day that an entire nation lost its innocence and left Camelot, never to return.
I think that Ted Williams, the man with the golden voice, best describes the transition that can be seen from one day to the next.
The photo that you're looking at is not the cryogenically gone bad head of the baseball Ted Williams. If your memory fails you, that's the picture on the day he was spotted at the intersection off ramp.
Here's what he looked like after you blinked your eyes just a few times:
Quite a difference, no?
Well how does yesterday's market action stack up next to Ted Williams?
It certainly was no flash crash and we've certainly seen volatility in the markets before. But today was at the very least not like the day that preceded it.
Obviously, I'm not prone to hyperbole.In fact, no one is less prone to hyperbole than me.
Today's action reminded me of speed dating, that is, if I did that sort of thing. We got to see a little of everything and exaggerated reactions to just about everything. There was also plenty of opportunity to make bad situational decisions.
Bad employment numbers, more Greek worries, less Greek worries, release of strategic oil reserves, resolution of Greek crisis, capture of Whitey Bulger and visions of Barney Frank and Ron Paul toking on a big one in a congressional hot tub.
These are a few of my favorite things.
I know that I'm not very smart when it comes to micro and macro-economic issues, but I'm still having a really hard time understanding the plunge in crude oil futures based on the graduated release of 60 million barrels of oil.
Oh, I see. A few days of reserves, over a few months.
Sure, that should tip the markets upside down. The fact that the Saudis had no great opposition to the symbolic move and the little bit of a squeeze it may theoretically place on Iran and Venezuela makes it all worthwhile.
Besides, now that I've had to modify my diet in response to the sludge like cholesterol induced blood that I have, I've cut out at least that much oil from my deep fryers in less time.
Maybe I'm just not following the right people on Twitter.
The only one that made the case that the reaction to the strategic oil reserve release was ridiculously overblown was Dennis Kneale from FOX News and FOX Business.
I'd say "Bravo", but that's an NBC property and they might take litigation against me for using that word in a direction laudatory of Dennis Kneale.
At least I can still say "WINNING" without hesitancy.
But maybe it was something Bernanke said in the after press conference party that got people worried. Do you think that maybe after a few kirs, he started spouting that not even QE 12 was going to get the economy out of the "Loo"?
Somehow, I have a hard time seeing that possibility. I know with great certitude, that the Federal Reserve Chairman would have used the word "crapper", owing to his southern heritage.
I also know with great certitude that I never used the word "certitude" prior to last week.
Whatever the cause, the volatility was there today. One measure, the ProShares Short-term VIX ETF was all over the place today. It traded in an 8% range today, finishing just pennies off its lows. It's June 2011 options were equally volatile, although that probably shouldn't be overly surprising, should it?
Like Riverbed Technology and Home Depot, the VIX ETF was still up all day. I only mention the latter two, because I had mentioned this past Friday that I was planning to purchase shares in both.
As I further mentioned on Monday, I didn't, having instead added shares in Halliburton, Freeport McMoran and Sallie Mae, instead. I'm not sure why I bother making those kind of disclosures.
Well, there's always tomorrow. After all, isn't that the theme?
In today's trading, it seemed as if there were really two transformative events, or non-events.
The oil reserve release and the reported Greek financial crisis resolution.
A tale of two absurdities.
The belief that a cultural way of life enjoyed by Greek citizens will be abolished by decree and banking fiat is probably not terribly realistic. Just more of the same. Kicking it down the road.
The fact that the per capita debt of the United States is actually $1,000 more than that of Greek citizens can't have too much relevance. Otherwise, we'd be doing something about it now, instead of tomorrow.
From my perspective, I don't care if our injudicious and wreckless fiscal actions effect my great-great-great granchildren. My reasoning is that I'm not very likely to have that strong of an emotional connection to them to be worried about how they've been left holding the bag for our frivolous ways and neither will my own kids.
So let's just do what we need to do today, to make tomorrow just another day of great denial.
Not denial of things that we value, like things, just denial of things that are irrelevent, like the concepts of truth and facts.
I guess in that way today and tomorrow don't really need to be that different.