Gene Inger’s Daily Briefing . . .Left Field Surprises

Posted By on November 10, 2009

Gene Inger’s Daily Briefing . . . For Wednesday November 11, 2009:

Good evening;

Left-field surprises . . . have ways of impacting over-extended markets occasionally we have observed; irrespective of whether the market ‘deserves’ to decline (as surely this one does). As if to remind the world of the power of cyber-terror; guess what just happened this evening? If you saw ’60 Minutes’ on CBS last Sunday you’ll get it right away. They mentioned how ‘foreign’ control had tested infrastructure disruption with a twin-pronged attack in the past on two cities in Brazil. Guess what? Happening right as I’m going to press with this report. A total blackout in Brazil’s largest cities. Yes the implication of the Department of Defense and CBS was of China being behind it, but at the same time they did not say that Islamic terrorists didn’t have some capabilities.

At this moment we have zero details; aside the basic realization of the blackout. The idea of a terrorist or cyber-attack (if ever mounted; such as the Northeastern blackout was thought by some to have actually been) would be a ripple ‘cascading failure’ that quickly brought down the power grids across a large segment of the East or the West of the United States. Given that everything (including water and whatever you think of nowadays) is dependent on the internet, more so in the U.S. than anywhere else, this is why the danger is so acute, and our systems so ill-prepared to confront as of yet.

(Media reports say problems at a huge hydroelectric dam are to blame for electrical outages affecting large parts of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other cities in several states. The G1 Web site of Globo TV says Brazil lost 17,000 megawatts of power after an unspecified problem happened at the Itaipu dam that straddles the border of Brazil and Paraguay. Not to make a connection; but that’s the region where Islamic activity in Latin America is concentrated, and those who know, know that I’m correct; which again is not to say it’s not coincidental. What may be coincidental is that we’d just mentioned the ’60 Minutes’ show about power outages here the other night..)

I am not suggesting terror is what happened (though it’s a reminder), or that anything is needed of a left-field out-of-the-blue nature to break this heated stock market. But; I am suggesting that extended markets are vulnerable, just when many rationalize all sorts of reasons why it’s not. I think history is replete with examples proving the point; just when analysts dispense with normalcy, to become victims of the ‘spin’ that ‘this time is different’; the opposite of what occurred in late February / early March, when they were convinced we’d go lower, rather than have a rebound that would be the year’s best rally (even while we said that; this one has, granted, exceeded most logic, but the idea was generally on the mark then; and the market averages only recently finally became equidistant with respect to the A-B-C rally phases we have noted with respect to overall S&P actions.

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