This post appeared earlier today on RealMoney
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Perhaps we will look back at this era and say, "We used to think the VIX was so important, but it ceased to matter. The volatility index was a precursor to a sell, not a buy." My prized oscillator has stayed negative well beyond what I thought possible. Bull and bear has shown a plethora of bears forever. Didn't matter.
That's because, in the end, equities can be converted quickly into cash, especially
S&P 500 names, and cash is so king that you would sacrifice any amount of points and performance to raise it.
All weekend I worked like a banshee to find out how "in trouble" major accounts were. We heard from Citadel last Friday that they are actually doing well, that they have cash -- they have debt too, but I guess that doesn't matter to a hedge fund -- and that people want very much to invest in them despite their being down 35%.
I don't know about Citadel other than the fact that all I hear is "genius personified," but funds I know that are down 35% are SOURCES OF FUNDS because no one has come back in this market.
Again, let me be clear, the press has intimated that Citadel is a citadel, that it is rock-solid and that no one in his right mind would challenge Ken Griffin.
I come back with a simple homily: When you are down 35%, they run from you, not to you. The whole purpose of a hedge fund is to hedge, to make money in the bad times -- that's the only way they can charge those fees -- so no one ever "feels great" about a down-35% manager.
he is the exception
. He is the best that has ever lived. Blah blah blah.
But almost no one ever comes back from down 35%. Instead, people get the firm's list of holdings and they go to town on it until they break someone down that much.
NOT CITADEL! They are the only ones this would never happen to. Ever.
Or do I protest too much?
: For a sobering approach to everything in this market, run to Rick Bensignor's piece about
the health of the long-term bull market
. It is perfect.