Oct 11, 2015

The Night They Drove Old VIX-ie Down

Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Music by The Band (YouTube)

Maxwell Pain is the name, and I burned a short-seller's flame
Till Dimon's cavalry came, and stocks tore up the charts again

In the fall of '09, bears were humbled
They'd just started to thrive
By October 10th, VIX futures fell
It's a time I remember, oh so well

Oct 4, 2015

A Redder Shade of Pale

Red stock quote board

Courtesy of Procol Harum (YouTube)

We skipped a full contango
Danced ‘cross the trading floor
I was feeling kind of lovesick
Tepper called out for more
The Dow was humming harder
As her resistance flew away
When we called out for another drink
Bernanke brought a tray

And so it was that later
As the Bloomberg told his tale
That the screen, at first just green
Turned a redder shade of pale


Aqualung - Jethro Tull

Many thanks to Jethro Tull (YouTube)

Sitting on the chart trend
Eyeing retail orders with bad intent
Bots are running through the close
Sleazy profits, grabbing all the lows
Hey Algo-lung

Spiking just before 1:00
Watching as the squirrelly shorts all run
Hey Algo-lung
Wheeling up the dumptruck
Head-spinning decrease as new longs yell “F^#k!”
Whoa, Algo-lung

Sell in May

Maggie May - Rod Stewart

Adapted from Rod Stewart (YouTube)

Wake up, Janet, I think I’ve got something to say to you
It’s late September and it looks like I’ve been quite a fool
Investors keep you amused, but we feel we’re being used
Oh, Janet, you couldn't have lied any more
You led me away from bonds with the most inglorious of cons
You stole my savings, and that's what really hurts

Another Crummy Day

Life Pursuit cover - Belle and Sebastian

Original lyric by Belle and Sebastian (YouTube)

(Was surprised to hear this in a Hampton Inn TV spot, I assume the first time the band’s music has been used for such purposes here in the States)

Another crummy day, I’m levered up with full margin
You were biased short, I went long, beg your pardon
I viewed an hourly graph of QQQs with an envelope border
It broke my heart to see the bottom limit breached

Another range-bound day, I’m trapped just outside a pivot
Stocks turn and recoil, seems you know it’s the wrong bet
You’ve got an attack algo taking out the naïve longs
And by Sunday margin bells ring out on the desks


Smiths - "Panic" sleeve

Parody of The Smiths (YouTube)

Panic in the markets of London
Panic hits the servers in Framingham
I wonder to myself
Have markets just become sane again?
As worldwide bubbles get tapped down
I wonder to myself

Where the Shorts Are

Where the Boys Are - Connie Francis

Thanks to Connie Francis (YouTube)

{A mean-reversion manifesto}

Where the shorts are, buy-stops wait for me
Won’t leave a trace, their gains erased
Firearms won’t help, unfortunately

Where new shorts are, my best spoofs will be
They’re hunkered around the next pivot down
But I know they’re not lookin' for me

Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow


From the classic track by Felt (YouTube)

[aka "Sunlight Killed the Golden Goose"]

You're trying to fool somebody, but you end up fooling yourself
You’re reading from that book of Keynes’,
but you don't know what it’s about
I listened to you, now maybe you'll listen to me
You're trying much too hard to make markets trade like a dream

You’ve stepped in it, big time; now you're stepping out of line
If we made a movie of it, would you forward guide your lines?
Stop all this over-thinking, ain’t gonna do no good
Your global QE scheme isn’t doin’ what it should

Golden Cross

Courtesy of David Bowie (YouTube)

Golden Cross, golden, whop whop whop
Golden Cross, golden, whop whop whop

Don't let me hear you say stocks are taking you nowhere, Angel
Come get long, my baby
Look at that SPY, rally’s begun, Goldman’s long and the trap’s been sprung
Come, get long my baby

My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Black)

Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young & Crazy Horse

From two Neil Young (YouTube) tracks on “Rust Never Sleeps”

My my, hey hey
Low-volume crap is here to stay
There’s less to the picture than meets the eye
Hey hey, my my

Trading’s gone but it’s not forgotten
Can’t remember things this rotten
Now that it’s gone it may never come back
We’re all into the red, and out of the black

Yellen Receives Aerial Threat

Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen received an anonymous threat via e-mail indicating that if rates aren’t hiked to 1.0% by January 1, 2016, a drone will be dispatched to hover outside Fed headquarters "and play the same damn Mariah Carey song over and over.”

While the specific Carey title wasn't mentioned, officials are naturally taking this threat seriously.

I'm Waiting For the Fed

Velvet Underground & Nico

With assistance from The Velvet Underground (YouTube)

I'm waiting for The Fed
Twenty-six SPY calls in the red
Up to resistance, but no new highs
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I'm waiting for the Fed

“Hey, white bull, what you doin' uptown?
Hey bull, you pushin' our short stops around?“
Oh pardon me sir, it's furthest from my mind
Lookin' for Dudley -- he’s a dear, dear friend of mine
I'm waiting for the Fed

Oct 2, 2015

Rip It

Whip It - Devo

Alternate take on on an MTV hit by Devo (YouTube)

Smash that VIX           Force the bears to flip
Pump up the DAX        Break short-sellers’ backs

When a bottom comes along            (You must rip it)
Before the bulls all say “So long”       (You must rip it)
When the Fed sings different songs   (You must rip it)

Oct 1, 2015

Friday I'm in Love

Friday I'm in Love - The Cure

Stock trading version of the classic by The Cure (YouTube)

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday, algo crap
Thursday ends right at VWAP
It’s Friday -- I’m in love

Monday, you can fall apart
Thursday I’ll just throw a dart
Tuesday -- you promiscuous tart
It’s Friday, I’m in love

By Thursday’s fading light, it’s such a gorgeous sight
To see futures ramp in the middle of the night
You can never get enough, enough of this stuff
It’s Friday, I’m in L-O-V-E

I'm QE No. 8. I Am

I'm Henry VII, I Am - Herman's Hermits

With the musical assistance of Herman's Hermits (YouTube)

I'm QE No. 8, I am, QE the Eighth, I am, I am
I just squeezed the shorts next door
They’ve been buried seven times before
And every last one was an enemy (enemy)
They shouldn’t try to short like that (like that)
I'm the eighth bull scam, I'm QE
QE the Eighth I am

Second verse, much like the first:

Frankly, Mr. Draghi

Frankly, Mr. Shankly
Music provided by The Smiths (YouTube)

Frankly, Mr. Draghi, the positions I've held
They ruin my day and put me in a hole
I want to die, you will not miss me
I want to go down in Forex history

Frankly, Mr. Abe, I'm a sickening wreck
I've got negative equity breathing down my neck
I must move fast, you understand me
Or I’ll be stopped out with paranoid mystery

The Figurehead

The Cure

When things get really gloomy in markets, one naturally thinks of The Cure (YouTube) from the early 80s:

They shorted the open
Leave me alone -- I’ve been sleeping less every night
As I’m dazed and overweighted, getting too long with size
A noise – I screamed – tore my clothes, heard my Price Alert siren
With the Spiders declining, they thrust up the VIX from the opening bell
We broke a key level for the first time in a year

You Can't Hurry Doves

You Can't Hurry Love - Supremes

Music by The Supremes (YouTube)

I need those doves, doves to ease my mind
They need to hike, so I’ll know the world’s fine
But mama said:

You can't hurry doves
No, you just have to wait
She said hikes make them queasy
They’re afraid markets will break

You've Got Everything Now

Smiths - Hatful of Hollow

Apologies to The Smiths (YouTube)

As reliable as the sparrow’s song
You were short while I was long
Back at the old dark pool
I would win and you would lose

But you're outperforming now
You've got everything now
And what a cut I got from this falling knife
Oh, what a loss I took from this dive

They Front-Run All Their Clients

She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby

From the one-hit MTV wonder by Thomas Dolby (YouTube)

It’s thievery at the open, the algos trading SPY crush me
They fake Brownian motion, then end back near the highs of the week
They blighted me with science   (They blighted me with science)
And tricked me with technology

But when I chance longs close to highs
(They’re using rocket science)      Science!
I can smell those criminals           (Science!)

Sep 30, 2015

The Thoughts of Janet Yellen

Nick Drake

From the late, great Nick Drake (YouTube)

Who can know the thoughts of Janet Yellen
Will she hike, or cop out once again
And where she’s been and what’s her scheme
As she sends stocks to the stars

Who can know the reasons for her guile
When shorts get reamed does she crack a little smile?
The way she clings to the market’s every swing
Makes her the princess of SPY

I'd Rather Dance With You

Kings of Convenience

From Norway's Kings of Convenience (YouTube)

I'd rather dance with you than trade with you
So why don't we move our stops so they have more room?
There's space here for us to shake  (“Our calls expired in June”)

Even if I could hear what you said,
I doubt my top picks would be interesting for you to hear
Because I haven't read Jim Cramer’s book in years
And the only stock I bought I didn't like it at all  

DIA-mond Dogs

Diamond Dogs - David Bowie

Melody borrowed from David Bowie (YouTube)

{I knew a crusty old Merrill broker who used to crush his golfing buddies with a flawed “Dogs of the Dow” strategy.  Instead of the 10 highest yielding names, he simply picked the 5 worst stocks he could find}

As they rolled you out of the 19th hole tent
You asked for shares of Chevron
As the algos pump and the polls say Trump
Dressed in a shirt bright red, “Dogs of the Dow” you said

Back in a Straddle

Back in the Saddle - Aerosmith

Option trading strategies from Aerosmith (YouTube)

I'm back !   I'm back in a straddle again
I’m back !   I’m back in that straddle again

Solving calcs with ten unknowns, my mind can bend a spoon
I’m trading like an Icahn clone, that crazy-ass tycoon
Gartman’s giddy for risk, that’s when I got short SPY   
When he turned back into a wimp, I sold the call leg high

But I'm back in that straddle again, I'm back
I'm back in a straddle again, I'm back

Sep 24, 2015

Stop All the Flaming Doves

Stop in the Name of Love - Supremes

From the original by The Supremes (YouTube)

Stop all these flaming doves
Before they break my chart

Janet, I'm afraid you’ll start an FOMC war
Each time stocks reach a floor
I watch you walk down 20th Street
Knowing all the other doves you'll meet
But this time before you run to Dudley
Leaving my charts all spiky and muddy
(Think it over) After I've been good to you ?
(Think it over) Like everyone on Wall Street for you ?

Stop!  All you flaming doves, so I can throw a dart   (Think it over)

Sep 23, 2015

You Hawkish Thing

You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate

Many thanks to Hot Chocolate (YouTube)

(Had this in mind for an eventual Fed rate hike, if/when it comes ...)

I believe in miracles !
Where’re you from, you hawkish thing? (hawkish thing, you)
I believe in miracles
Since you lifted off, you hawkish thing

Where did this come from, Janet?
How did you know I needed you?
How did you know I needed rate hikes so badly?
Was tired of bulls throwing darts madly

Sep 22, 2015

Mrs. Yellen, You've Led Us To the Slaughter

Herman's Hermits - Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter

Melody borrowed from Herman's Hermits (YouTube)

(Investing globally, many Brits find themselves trapped at US equity highs, though they’re much more polite about it than we’d ever be)

Mrs. Yellen, my stocks are under water
Declines as sharp as that are something rare
But it's sad, she’s not as dovey now
She’s made it clear enough, it ain’t like in ‘09

We just want returns for stocks we’ve bought now
Tell her all the sheep think it’s a shame
Things have changed, she’s not a dove now
She's made it clear enough, I think she should resign

Sep 21, 2015

It's My Market


With thanks to Leslie Gore (YouTube)

(For ‘malicious’ short-sellers everywhere)

It's my market, and I'll short if I want to
Short if I want to, short if I want to
You will short too when the bulls say ‘adieu’ 

I think I know where Lockhart has gone
‘Cause Bullard left the same time
Why did they go see that Doors cover band
When stocks are still far from new highs?

I Want QE

I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow

With a little help from Bow Wow Wow (YouTube), who covered the Strangeloves classic

(After easily jawboning the Fed into inaction, world finance leaders and dovish pundits were seen sporting “QE” T-shirts)

I know a Chair just over 5 feet
When stocks decline, she can't be beat  
She's got everything to take us higher
Set late summer markets on fire
I want QE, I want QE


Magic - Pilot cover

(From the 70s Top 40 hit by Pilot (YouTube), to be sung by perma-bulls thriving on low volume, oil spikes and crappy economic data)

Ho-ho-ho -- It's magic !
You know, never believe it's not so
It's magic you know
Never believe it's not so

Never miss a head-fake
Never seen the Dow break
Trading from my pillow in the morning
Lazy day in bed with my E-Trade app and FRED
Crazy futures ramping in the morning light

No Expectations

No Expectations - The Rolling Stones

Inspired by The Rolling Stones (YouTube)

Can’t take more stagnation
Their fear of any pain
I've got no expectations
That rates will rise again

Once we were a rich land
Now we are so poor
But never in my sweet short life
Have I been this miffed before

Sep 15, 2015

Yellen's Coming

Eli's Coming - Three Dog Night

A slightly different version of the Three Dog Night (YouTube) 70s hit

(Old-school bears view the phrase "Fed Chair Press Conference" on the Economic Calendar with great trepidation)

Yellen's comin'   (Yellen's a-comin')
Well, you better widen your stops, your tight short stops
Yellen's a-comin' and the cards say:   a broken chart

Janet's comin', hedge your shorts, girl
Janet's comin', widen your stops, girl
Girl, Yellen's a-comin', you better hedge, girl
Yellen's a-comin', you better run, girl
Janet's a-comin', you better watch, girl
Janet's comin', watch your chart, girl (watch it)
You better, better watch your chart

Sep 14, 2015

The (Gartman) Letter

Dennis Gartman

Sincere apologies to The Box Tops (YouTube)

Gimme some puts on the Dow again
Ain’t no time to take the FAS train
Bullish days are gone, I’m a-goin short
Gartman just-a wrote me a letter

I don't care how much margin I gotta spend
Got to get back to net short again
Long days are gone, I'm a-gonna short
Denny just-a wrote me a letter

Sep 11, 2015


Heroes - David Bowie

To the music of David Bowie (YouTube)

I, I will be Fischer, and you, you will be Yellen
Though nothing will drive them away
If we could be them, just for one day
We can leave Zero, just for one day

And you, you can be mean;  and I, I'll think all the time
'Cause they're doves, and that’s a fact; yes they're doves, and that is that

Though nothing will spike rates forever
We could sneak hikes, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever, what d'you say?

Sep 9, 2015

Life During 'Moar' Time

David Byrne - Talking Heads

Reworked from the frenetic Talking Heads (YouTube) late-70s classic

(News anchors were stunned by the ‘sudden’ correction -- but breaking the range to the downside was a long, bloody battle)

Heard of a hedge fund loaded with RUT puts, jacked up and ready to go
Found gravestone dojis all over FreeStockCharts,
in names that nobody knows
The sound of Cramer, off in the distance, I'm gettin’ used to it now
From those in brownstones to folks in ghettos, they’re long all over this town

This ain’t no party, we ain’t long Cisco, this ain’t no foolin’ around
No time for scale-ins, can’t move my stop-loss, I ain't got time for that now

Sep 8, 2015

Trading Stocks At Night

Chronic Town - R.E.M.

Adapted from early R.E.M. (YouTube)

I lost some money on the Floor I felt the market’s changed for all
The fleeting moves from 9 to 4 just didn’t seem to be too real
The market’s nothing but a farce, Sun servers churning SPY somewhere
There is no time for hesitance -- trading stocks at night has got to work

Trading stocks at night, trading stocks at night

Sep 5, 2015


The Smiths - Ask cover

Thanks to The Smiths (YouTube)

Bullish is nice, but bullish can stop you
From enjoying all the market returns you'd like to

So, if there's a short you'd like to try
A stock that you think will dive
ASK ME!    I won’t say “No”     How could I ?!

Yellen, It Was Really Nothing

William, It Was Really Nothing

With music by The Smiths (YouTube)

The pain hits hard in this hedge fund town
The Dow has dragged you down
Oh, the blame falls hard as the pensions drown
The Fed has let you down
Oh, no

And everybody tried to catch this knife  
And god knows I've bought the declines  
God, now I've got to resign

Yellen, Yellen it was really nothing
Yellen, Yellen it was really nothing
… it was their retirement

Sep 4, 2015

Sister QE

Sticky Fingers - Rolling Stones

Available as a bonus track on the Rolling Stones (YouTube) ‘Sticky Fingers’ remaster:

Here I sit with my eyes on the Fed
Tell me, Sister QE, when are you comin’ ‘round again?
Oh, I don't think I can wait that long
Oh you see, the market’s not that strong

The scream of the Keynesians is sounding in my ears
Tell me, Sister QE, how long have I been buying here?   
What are we doing outside the range?
What’s that stuff on Krugman’s face?
Oh, my calls can’t find a floor
Ah, can't you see, Sister QE, I'm trying to score

Sep 3, 2015

Float On

Float On

With a little help from Modest Mouse (YouTube)

I backed my Swiss trade into a pin-bar the other day
Well it missed my stop, sometimes life's OK
My margin fell off a bit too much, oh what can I say
Well, the clerk just laughed it off, said it’s OK

And the tenge floats on OK, and the ruble floats on OK
They'll all float on anyway

Sep 2, 2015

Don't You Spoof Me

Human League - Don't You Want Me

Alternate mix of the 80s MTV staple by The Human League (YouTube)

You were trading index futures using high-low bars
When I met you
They stopped you out and shook you up
Till I turned things ‘round
And taught you how to quote-spam too

Now five years later on you've got Wall Street at your feet
Success is just too easy for you
But don't forget I know how you got where you are now
And I could call the Feds in too

Sep 1, 2015

For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield

Sung to the music of Buffalo Springfield (YouTube):

There's something happening here
But what it is ain't exactly clear
There's a margin clerk over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop:  Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look – the Dow’s going down

Aug 31, 2015

CNBC Commercial You May Have Missed

Why are you so cheerful today?

New CNBC/Bloomberg TV commercial you may not have seen:

{Two men in water fly-fishing, wearing coveralls/ waders}

{1st Man}  “Why are you so pissed off today?”

{2nd Man}  “I had a miserably shitty week trading my Interactive Brokers account.  Between dip-buyers and mean-reverters, we whipsawed like constipated dragonflies playing ping-pong.  (notices 1st Man gritting his teeth)  What?  Are you an active trader too?”

Aug 29, 2015

HFT Killed the Click-Trading Star

Video Killed the Radio Star/Buggles

From the classic video hit by The Buggles (YouTube)

(Ask traders “how do you survive?” and they reply “’one day at a time.”)

I heard you got a wireless mouse in '92
Staying awake, intent on trading SPY and crude
You could use tighter stops, retracements, there were few

They took in credits and rebates, trading for free
These HFT machines with new technology
Under a grand lie they provide liquidity

Sarao, Nav

Bob Dylan - Desire

Alternate version of Bob Dylan's "Hurricane" :

Big program trade leaks out to the CME floor, enter HFT’s for a quick windfall
Waddell & Reed’s traders in a pool of sweat, cry out “My god they sold it all!”

Here comes the story of Sarao, Nav
The man the authorities are tryin’ to nab for something HFTs have done
Put in a prison cell in London so he can be their scapegoat to the world

Aug 26, 2015

Every Day is a Fun Day

Everyday is Like Sunday - Morrissey

Adapted from Morrissey (YouTube)

Plunging lower, as through quicksand  
Back to the place where your funds were frozen
These are the hopeful stocks that forgot how to go down
Armageddon—come, Armageddon   Come, Armageddon    Come!

Every day was a plunge day
Every day was silent and grey

Side with the Plunge Squad in the post-drop
"How I dearly wish I’d bought more here"

Aug 25, 2015

Paradise by the Bloomberg Light

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf (YouTube) sells short:

[Boy:]   I remember every little trade, as it happened only Friday
China crashed late and there was not a dip-buyer in sight
And I never had a setup looking any better than you did
And all the big dark pools, they were dumping shares overnight

And now the range is not so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And there was no one gonna catch this falling knife
No one making bets on the edge of the knife
C'mon, take a dive     C'mon, take a dive !

Though my foot’s asleep and I’m all out of Sprite,
I can see paradise by the Bloomberg light

It's a Head-Fake

It's a Heartache - Bonnie Tyler

With a little help from Bonnie Tyler (YouTube)

It's a head-fake, nothing but a head-fake
You notice, but it’s it's too late
Bids are headed down

It's a fool's game, nothing but a fool’s game
Not protecting old gains, feeling like a clown

It's a head-fake, nothing but a head-fake
They lift it till new shorts break
Then they take it down

Aug 21, 2015

Stop Me if You Think that Virtu’s Selling More

Strangeways, Here We Come

With music by The Smiths (YouTube)

Stop me out, oh-o, stop me
Stop me if you think that Virtu’s selling more
Stop me out, oh-o, stop me
Stop me if you think that you've heard they’re selling more

Nothing's changed, I still love Spoos, oh, I still love Spoos
Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love

I was way-laid, I was bug-sprayed
Hit my emergency stop
Grand theft, last 10 seconds till close
It crashed down with a pin-bar

And the loss was enough to make
A high, fat nudist get dressed
And plan a crass merger
Who said to buy it here?