Finance

Michael P. Regan is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering equities and financial services. He has covered stocks for Bloomberg News as a columnist and editor since 2007. He previously worked for the Associated Press.

One of the best things about the internet, in my humble opinion, is the Twitter user known as "Florida Man." 

This tweeter faithfully aggregates all of the essential news that either starts with a "Florida Man" as the protagonist in the headline or else very well should. Indeed, I suspect some headline writers may be shamefully putting the words "Florida Man" into their headlines to qualify for inclusion in this important feed of all the Florida Man news that's fit to tweet.

Here are recent examples of how some Florida Man always seems to find himself at the center of the action, whether it's involving politics, pop-culture trends or simply engaging in the time-honored Florida Man pastime of interacting with wildlife in unusual ways:  

-- Florida Man Apparently Painting Anti-Hillary Messages on Tampa Bay Crabs
-- Police Tase Florida Man Who Refused to Stop Playing Pokemon Go
-- Florida Man Wants to "Fire the Politicians," Forgets He's Also a Politician
-- Florida Man Attacks Dancing Flamingo at Busch Gardens
-- Florida Man Arrested for Punching Swan

Coincidentally, in preparing the weekly Gadfly Trade of the Week review of the most important financial news, I couldn't help but notice that some Florida Man or other just so happened to be involved with almost all of it. So the Trade of the Week, obviously, is Panhandling with a Florida Man.

To start, my favorite story of the week could easily be headlined: "Florida Man is One of the Most Important Traders in the World." It's the tale by Matt Leising about Virtu Financial, the automated market maker whose CEO, Doug Cifu, also happens to own the NHL's Florida Panthers. Is there anything more Florida Man-ish for a Florida Man to do than own a hockey team in Florida? I think not.

Part of Virtu's success is something called "The Watcher," which is risk-control software that monitors the firm's myriad positions across the globe. I can't help but picture The Watcher as a computerized version of that Michael Phelps "Death Stare" that creeped everyone out this week. 

Elsewhere in Florida Man financial news, be sure to read Paula Sambo's article about a Miami broker with a hot hand when it comes to picking Brazilian bonds. His latest tip was to load up on notes from the bankrupt construction company OAS, which were trading at one cent on the dollar. The bonds promptly surged to almost 4 cents. Not everyone's convinced, and one skeptic called the trade a "lottery ticket." However, that seems to only burnish the bona fides of this as a true Florida Man trade, considering a Florida Man has been known to win the lottery seven times

Penny for Your Bonds
Florida Man has the gumption to recommend clients load up on bonds of a Brazilian construction company that were trading for a penny on the dollar
Source: TRACE via Bloomberg

Is it any wonder, then, that Deutsche Bank plans to hire several hundred workers for operations in Florida? The bank may be eliminating about 9,000 jobs, but it's decided it needs about 350 more Florida Men and Florida Women on top of the 1,800 already there. 

Of course, the big news of the week was the "triple high," which may sound like something a Florida Man would get arrested for, but it actually refers to the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index all setting fresh records on the same day.

No matter that two of the three retreated the next day like a Florida Man who found a gator in his garage; the same-day record-setting for the three indexes is viewed by "some traders" as a bullish sign of more to come. And the ridiculously low bond yields that abound these days are making people talk with (presumably) a straight face about ridiculously high levels for stocks, like a Dow average that's 265 percent higher than the record close even as valuations have people talking about an S&P 500 that's 22 percent lower.  

Personally, I'm waiting for a bona fide Florida Man to confirm that more gains are to come, because the Bloomberg Florida Index  sure hasn't confirmed the trend. It's still almost 10 percent below its 2005 record:

Florida, Man
Shares of Florida-based companies have underperformed the S&P 500 in the bull market, but a Man in the state has outperformed when it comes to making news
Source: Bloomberg

However, we should be able to rest easy knowing that if a black swan suddenly appears and starts threatening this market, we can count on a Florida Man to punch it out. 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Michael P. Regan in New York at mregan12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.net