Liquidity Liquor and the Battle Ahead

Equity markets have been charging ahead for a few weeks. Not just here in the U.S., either.

They've been rising in Europe too. Even China's Shanghai Composite, after falling 22% last year, has been percolating higher.

Thanks to the ECB filling Europe's punchbowl, last year's sovereign debt hangover has been mellowed by some 100-proof "hair-of-the-dog" liquidity liquor...

And it feels good.

This party atmosphere is infectious!

After the European Central Bank (ECB) poured some $600 billion (and counting) into the party bowl and let teetering European banks ladle themselves out as much as they could stomach, the Federal Reserve signaled that it wanted to throw in some free "shots," in the form of more quantitative easing or some other easy money contribution, to make sure Europe isn't the only party house on the block.

And now the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the usually stodgy party-poopers of fiscal discipline fame - are trying to get themselves invited!

They know they're not usually welcome while any economic bacchanal is raging, so they're asking for donations of $500 billion to $600 billion (on top of the $400 billion in commitments they're already packing), so they can man the kegs and stills and pump in whatever juice is necessary to make the budding soiree a true world party.

It's amazing how giddy easy money makes everyone feel.

How else could we go from fearing the next "Lehman moment" to feeling like there's enough money and time for over-indebted countries and increasingly strung-out banks to heal themselves?

Don't get me wrong: I love a good party. I'll stay until the music stops, or until the punchbowl is empty. I just hope I hear the music stop before everyone realizes the punchbowl's been cracked.

There's no reason not to be participating in this rally. And there's no reason not to be aware of what's driving it.

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About the Author

Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.

The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.

Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.

Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.

Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.

Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.

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