By Todd Harrison, Minyanville

There's a lot going on as we hike up the Hump, with one eye on earnings, the other on the White House, and the third eye cast toward Sunday's games blind. Here's what I'm chewing through as we finger the script of the world's wildest reality show:

Grandma Goldman ( GS) reported earnings that -- are we sitting down? -- were in-line. While CEO Lloyd Blankfein "sees signs of growth," one could argue: A) Earnings are "backwards looking" and the market is a discounting mechanism, so those "signs" have been baked into a stock that has rallied almost 30% since September and twelve percent since December. B) They're under-whelming for investors conditioned for better-than-expected results. I would also urge investors to see the insider sales window that typically opens a few days after this announcement each quarter, which could add a source of supply to the capital market equilibrium.

Food stamps! On a related note, Goldman cut their compensation pool by 14%, which equates to only $430,700 per employee.
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HU are you? HU HU, HU HU! Chinese president Hu Jintao arrived yesterday for a state visit, which will include the first State Dinner for a Chinese diplomate in more than a decade. Given the currency and trade tensions, expect a lot of media coverage while he's in town. He'll be easy enough to identify -- he's the dude holding all the cards.

We spoke yesterday about the likelihood that Apple ( AAPL) investors would buy the first dip, and they did so with a passion. To be clear -- and honest -- I didn't anticipate an entire retracement of the downdraft, which is essentially what we got. I was IN-N-OUT at meetings yesterday so I didn't participate in the action but if I did, I would have employed trailing stops, which would have captured the lion's share of the move even if I didn't foresee it (and yes, I would have sold it prior to earnings). Just sharing my preferred stylistic approach, as the goal in trading is to ride your winners and cut your sinners.

Your Delta Tau Chi pledge name is... Flounder! As these banks report earnings, please keep the legacy issues in mind. Wells Fargo ( WFC) is still digesting Wachovia, for better and for worse, while Bank America ( BAC) is a roll-up of everything from MBNA to Merrill Lynch to CountryWide, among others. Between those crosscurrents, the government hand, social mood, and, oh yeah, the latent and systemic risk inherent in the interwoven, derivative-laden, finance-based global economy, there's a lot to look at.

Entering September 2008, the bottleneck in the credit markets was a key "tell" that stocks were about to get smack-dabbled. (That's when we offered two scenarios, a cancer or a car crash, and the government bought the former in an attempt to sell the latter to future generations.) Through the lens of seeing both sides, some of the smarter credit peeps I know believe that we'll see another two to five years of a credit-led bull market, but the resulting bust will make the previous crisis pale in comparison. The trick to this trade? Syncing your time horizon with your risk profile and of course, attempting to enjoy the journey.

And finally, consistent with our oft-stated analogy of "drugs that mask the symptoms" (more of the same credit, spending, and moral hazard) vs. medicine that cures the disease (debt destruction and/or reorganization), the chatter continues to build that Germany is considering a debt restructuring plan which would allow Greece to buy back its own debt. I don't know if life imitates are or art imitates life but I would be lying if I said this financial journey isn't somewhat surreal.

Good luck Minyans and remember, profitability begins within.

Todd Harrison is a leading markets commentator, and writes daily on Buzz & Banter.