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The Fiddler’s NotionSM

The Fiddler on the Roof is part of eastern European folklore. His essence was beautifully captured in the late nineteenth century book by Sholem Aleichem, Tevye the Dairyman. Yet, the popular name taken by the musical production is based on the quasi-cubist painting by Marc Chagall. ‘The Fiddler’ is a metaphor for survival in an uncertain world that is very apt for capital markets participants at all times; especially during the more volatile, erratic phases. As luck would have it, about ten years ago I came across a unique, purple palette print of him. My wife was extremely hesitant to even allow a green-faced man in the house.
He ended up on my office wall. I now realize this is as it was always meant to be, as he looks over my shoulder in the rear view mirror on my computer monitor. The Fiddler’s NotionSM is devoted to observations on risk that may not correlate with some of the more typical market trend oriented factors in our other analysis. It is fitting that one involved in such a risky pursuit is looking over my shoulder. Whether or not you like to think about it, he is likely looking over yours as well.
So welcome up to the rooftops, where you can share the Fiddler’s perspective.

What does The Fiddler's panoramic view show him?
A broad perspective that transcends the immediate price trend implications; even if those are somtimes selectively referenced for context. You'll find the Fiddler's distinctive tunes at the end of each Capital Markets Observer.
[These unusual, very pointed perspectives from the retired Capital Markets Observer can now be found in postings to the Rohr- Blog. However, along with the mindset on plying one's craft under unstable conditions (above), the limited observations on the 2008 crisis below seemed worth maintaining.]

Un-Learning (Investors and Officials alike)  (November 21, 2008)
In the wake of continued horrific market and economic losses, the repeated 'history lesson' from powers-that-be shows they've missed the real point that led to the Super-Cycle CorrectionSM. It is time (actually a bit past) for them to attack the real issue, and for investors to 'unlearn' simplistic asset allocation.
"Gloria Steinem famously once said, 'The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.'"    "As noted... if it weren’t so tragic for millions, it might actually be amusing that Mr. Bernanke, the Great Student of the Depression, had not realized its real lesson."

All Fall Down  (October 24, 2008)
There were so many mistakes the primary analysis mirrored Bob Dylan's plea on "...Waiting to find out what price, You have to pay to get out of, Going through all these things twice.”   Everyone from central banks to the financial press gets their just desserts, with a scary regulatory implication for the future.
"In the first instance, there has been almost no thoughtful and forceful coverage of the degree to which the US administration and the Fed have failed to address the US home foreclosure problem, and that is a significant failure of the press to focus on key issues on which they have so often in the past led the way. The same can be said for any of the esteemed economists’ analysis I have read on this situation. "
FT editorial "Grand claims but only tired ideas" (October 16, 2008)
FT Comment "Crisis has resulted from honest misjudgments by finance sector" from John Reed

Rules Moot in Failure of Will  (October 2, 2008)
An excellent editorial on the benefits of free markets in the Financial Times elicited some troubling responses. Rohr takes on one from the London School of Economics director Sir Howard Davies that questioned the abilities of market analysts who actually predicted the credit and equity market problems. It also explores the real failure being with central banks and regulators.
"Last weekend’s editorial provides an accurate box score for the Greenspan Doctrine of no central bank action to deflate bubbles in their early phases: Crises 2, Central Bankers 0."    "The belated recent attempt to stress test banks’ risk management systems can not match the real test: central banks showing the will to cool economies."
FT editorial "In praise of free markets" (September 25, 2008)
FT Comment "New banking rules: tread carefully" from Sir Howard Davies

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