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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
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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
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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
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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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June 25, 2013

Will Bernanke Get ALL Of The Bonds…?


Over the last few months, I have had this recurring thought. It sort of takes the form of a girl having a conversation with Ben Bernanke. I know, very odd, but bear with me. Girl: Mr. Ben, why are you so sad? You’re the most powerful person on earth. Bernanke: This deflation is unstoppable. I keep trying, but I just cannot figure out how to create ... Read More
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June 19, 2013

Are Low Interest Rates The Problem…??


What if the Central Bankers have it all wrong? What if low rates are actually the problem, not the solution? We all know and basically accept that low rates thwart the creative, destructive process of capitalism, where inefficient companies go bankrupt and remove competition from the marketplace so that stronger companies can thrive. If you can forever refinance and reduce your interest cost, it’s ... Read More
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