The Red Exclamation Point in Oulook

by User Submitted

Submitted by the Unrepentant Gunner

I need to alert you to the fact that emails in Outlook marked as high priority are not high priority at all. In fact, there is a negative correlation between a sender’s importance in the corporate food chain and the likelihood of their making emails HIGH PRIORITY! Here are some actual subjects from HIGH PRIORITY(!) emails I have received this year:

  • REFRIGERATOR CLEANING FRIDAY, MARCH 30TH (sent over 48 hours in advance from some admin assistant)
  • Canceled: Giordano’s B-Day “meeting” tonight !!!
  • FW: Boy Scouts
  • Canceled: Update Timesheets
  • (no subject) (and trust me, the content of the actual mail was almost as vapid)
  • St. Louis Dinner: Monday, June 4th

Now arguably, the last topic was worthy of high priority, because everyone has to be excited about dinner. That seems to be the exception, rather than the rule. From the dozen or so emails from my MDs, there is not one that is marked high priority. That says it all.

Recommendation: The obvious play is to short HIGH priority emails and their senders whole hand. There is a contrarian and value-oriented play in taking a long position on the under-utilized “Low-Priority” blue down arrow button. While this commodity has been hit hard and may well be under valued, we have a real fear of being too early here, especially after a weekend romantic encounter resulted in disastrous consequences for the same exact reason.

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  1. The Corner
    June 14th, 2007 | 7:43 pm

    This is fantastic. With US markets closed I called my Asian brokers and put short-red-exclamation-point/long-blue-down-arrow positions in swap. Blue down arrows definitely will outperform as they are little known and will provide shock value returns in the near term.