Bank of America takes the practice of 'any two lines' into a brave new world

Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategist Michael Hartnett has ventured into brave new territory putting any two lines on a chart.

In the world of Wall Street research, you often hear the refrain of a chart being “any two lines,” meaning analysts and strategists will put two data points together that sort of fit in the same chart to sort of make a point.

Hartnett’s latest is the Fed Funds rate overlaid with the MSCI Greece ETF, which is designed to track the performance of the Greek market.

The two, of course, don’t really have anything to do with each other. At least not explicitly.

The Fed Funds rate is likely to move broadly up and down with the movement of the global economy, just as Greece’s broad performance would be expected to roughly follow the same path.

But any correlation between the two is probably spurious at best.

Hartnett is one of Wall Street’s boldest strategists in terms of putting interesting ideas together — a number of times this year Hartnett has featured a chart showing the share price of Apple divided by the price of Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras — but this is a whole new world for “any two lines.”

What does it mean? Probably nothing.

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