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May 5, 2014

Heat Map Of Corruption


For years, people have relied on Transparency International’s Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) as the global arbiter of corruption amongst various countries. Therefore, I was quite surprised when I looked at the recently released “heat map” showing which countries are corrupt (red) and which are not corrupt (yellow). Within seconds of looking at the map, I was struck with a question—why are the English speaking ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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March 16, 2014

Russian (And American) Roulette…


I had been planning to write a piece on the Ukraine (with its revolution and all), but then I saw the following article on “Truth & Beauty […And Russian Finance].” I cannot equal this piece, so I will not try. For that matter, few websites have been more uniquely adept at demystifying Russia, while remaining prescient in calling investable global macro trends. I very highly recommend ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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December 18, 2013

This Is How The Banks Created The Last Crisis…


In the 9 years that I have lived on Miami Beach, I have always rented instead of buying a home. To me, it was simple math, my rent was less than the combination of property taxes and condo fees—I felt like I was way ahead, even before considering all of the other expenses of property ownership like maintenance and insurance. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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December 11, 2013

Is This QE Rally Getting Overdone….??


I’ve spent my investing career accepting improbable events when the world thinks such events are impossible. I’ve also spent a lifetime hiding from popular investment ideas. Often, when contemplating unpopular investing ideas, you don’t have to get the timing right—you just have to be early enough to be prepared for them and avoid becoming trapped looking the wrong way. I remember back in early ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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September 9, 2013

Peripheral Central Banks Go In Reverse


Until quite recently, the central banks of many emerging markets have fought a losing battle against rapidly appreciating currencies. It wasn’t so much that their currencies were appreciating because of fundamentals—instead, too many US Dollar were being printed and they were searching for a home that provided returns. Take Brazil for instance. Starting from the lows in late 2008, the Brazilian Real (BRL) appreciated ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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September 1, 2013

Tangled Up In Court…


From 1860 to 1865, 11 states effectively told the Federal Government, “We disagree with your laws—if you try to enforce them, we’ll shoot back.” It took over 4 years of war before the Federal Government forced them to follow the laws. While unsuccessful, you sure have to admire their sense of pluck. Yesterday, I read the following article in the New York Times http://nyti.ms/19XPcdy I ... Read More
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August 15, 2013

The Great Herbalife Corner Of 2013…??


It all started with two western railroads needing access to Chicago and all of the rail traffic that flowed through there.  James J. Hill and Edward H. Harriman the opposing railroad magnates ultimately set in motion an epic battle of wills to control access to Chicago—in the process, they nearly destroyed the entire financial system of the US and created one of the most ... Read More
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August 7, 2013

Potash Will Not Go The Way Of Iron Ore…


The rule with oligopolies is that eventually, someone cheats a bit—then everyone cheats a lot. That’s the reason that oligopolies rarely last very long—particularly when you are dealing with global commodities that are not all that scarce. Or at least, that’s how most economists think of the world. I would like to offer a slightly different axiom—if you are making too much money, you ... Read More
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July 13, 2013

There Is Always A Bull Market Somewhere…


Last night, a friend sent me this video    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlxHoboDz2k&feature=player_embedded       with the subject line—“Bull market in tear gas. How do we get exposure…??” That got me thinking—I bet there is a raging bull market for the guys who produce this stuff. As I watch the chaos in Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Turkey and other countries, I am reminded that even within the chaos, there are bull markets. Uncertainty ... Read More
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