Friday, January 22, 2010

Obama's A One-Man Bear Market

Enough already. We know that he's anti-business. We know that he doesn't seem to understand the private sector. We know that he gets huge support from unions, particularly from state and local government unions. We know this. We know that he may not even use this moment of incredible jeopardy for Ben Bernanke's Fed re-up as a chance to "tack right," precisely because that would be pandering to the Massachusetts' Republicans, whom he obviously hates.

So let's talk about what you do. First, you put your bear hat on, because while Obama may not like having hedge funds within banks, in many ways he is a hedge fund's dream come true, because hedge funds can short, and this man creates short opportunities by the hour. Just think about what he can intervene on and short the worst in the group.

Of course, if you can't short, then go through your portfolio to trim what he can legitimately get involved in. Remember to include Justice Department investigations, price-rigging and taxing anything that gets any "handouts" from the government. Be thinking "obscene" profits, too.

You know what that will leave you with? A pool of companies that will not have their multiples compressed as badly as the others, because, believe me, this is what everyone is thinking about.

Then you want to up your percentage of exposure to foreign markets, probably 30% is the correct figure. Our business climate and our growth are horrid, our president is much less pro-business than just about every other major leader on earth, save the obvious, Castro and maybe Chavez, so why not put more away from here?

And just accept the fact that he's decidedly anti some industries more than others and radically underweight them. He is against concentrated industries with pricing power that have very few rich people running them that need government help, and he is against companies that have gotten deals from the Republicans that seem sweetheart to him.

Obviously you can think about what he likes, but for the most part the industries he favors are unrealistic without government help -- wind, solar -- so that doesn't really get you anywhere.

Finally, he is extraordinarily pro union. We can't buy shares in AFSCME, which would be this administration's ultimate blue chip. But we can sell companies that have dominant unions. Just one more thing to do.

Not pretty. But it's the reality we find ourselves in.....

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