Between the weather and recent volatility, the roads out to the Hamptons today are unusually free of traffic. It's seems lots of people are still at their desks trying to figure out what to do in a market that swings back and fourth hundreds of points in just a few hours.
While the stock market this morning has rallied from it's initial downward plunge, some traders are worried the rally is too coming too early. "There's still time for a huge dive," one nail-biting trader who says he was buying this morning's dip told us today. "I should have taken the whole day off. Fridays are miserable."
Others are more confident. "Look, the Fed statement and all the central banks injecting liquidity are changing Mr. Market's state of mind. People are confident that the powers that be are watching. Cramer can stop screaming. They're listening," one small-caps equity trader told us.
But not everyone thinks that recent central bank moves are a good sign. Some are worried that it may be a sign that the central bankers know things are even worse than they seem. "There's no liquidity problem, as far as I can see. There's plenty of money out there. This talk of 'unusual funding requirements' makes me think the Fed expects a run on the banks," said yet another source who asks us not to name him.
Others have cited a quite different concern: that promises of additional liquidity to stabilize markets may create unrealistic expectations of moves like an emergency rate-cut. These expectations could inflate asset prices, it is feared, and lead to an even bigger crash when they prove unfounded.
The head of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute thinks that recent events may bolster the prospects of Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul. "Now we are at the beginning of a worldwide financial crisis, of exactly the sort that Ron Paul has warned about," Lew Rockwell writes. "Will the Fed and the other central banks be able to delay the inevitable, or will this be a worldwide washout? I fear the latter, and if so, it is Ron Paul's secret weapon."
In a global economic crisis, who do you want in charge of the White House? One of the crazy commies in the Democratic party, or one of the spendthrift fascists in the Republican party?
Or do you want a sober, learned doctor who knows why we're sick, and just the cure for us? That is: sound money, balanced budgets, lower taxes, less government.
We are in for a wild ride, thanks to Greenspan, Bernanke, and the rest of the gang, not to speak of much suffering.
Rockwell is obviously an enthusiast for Paul. But even he has to admit that back-testing theory that an economic crisis leads to libertarian politics doesn't quite work.
"The last time this happened, Americans chose our first fascist president, who took us to welfare, central planning, and war," Rockwell writes.
Ron Paul's Secret Weapon [LewRockwell.com]