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January 3, 2011

Commodities Gone Wild


What happens when a commodity goes up in price? They produce more of it. What happens when it goes up way beyond the cost of production?They produce a even more of it. What then happens to the price? There will be a whole lot of disappointed longs. As I went through my commodity charts this weekend, I was surprised at just how strong these ... Read More
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December 20, 2010

Gold Rush Reality


This summer, I found myself in the small town of Ross, where the largest gold nugget in New Zealand was discovered.  I went to the famous stream where it was found, felt a stroke of good luck and rented a pan and shovel. Almost immediately, I saw little flakes of gold. I couldn’t believe my luck. Within 20 minutes, I found a little clunker ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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December 17, 2010

Ben-In-A-Box


What if you tried to corner a market, but no one believed you?  What if they didn’t think you had the competence to pull it off? Or the gumption? What if they didn’t think you had the capital to actually do it? What if you talked a big game, but then came up short? That sure would be a disaster for anyone who had ... Read More
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December 9, 2010

What’s The Difference Between Iceland And Ireland?


Two weeks ago, as the fate of Europe hung in the balance; I got a witty email from a friend. “What’s the difference between Ireland and Iceland?” The answer: “Two years and a letter” “LOL, ROFL …!” I responded. In case it isn’t clear, two years ago Iceland collapsed and ironically, there is only a single letter of difference in their names. Then I ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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November 28, 2010

High Cotton…


A funny thing happened while I was in Asia—cotton made new all time highs. I’m a big believer in watching what assets are at new highs as new highs always tell you an interesting story. What sectors are booming? What’s popular as an investment? What associated industries should be doing well, or hurting? You always have to ask yourself those questions.  All time highs ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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October 29, 2010

Beer and Babes


As we come into the homestretch of yet another dismal political season, I thought it would be helpful to remember a simpler time, a time when politicians promised only two things; beer and babes. Naturally, I’m talking about the election for fraternity president. It was my first taste of true politics. Sure, we had middle-school student council elections, but we always knew those were ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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September 19, 2010

The Black Market


A few years back, on a trip to some Third World nation, I remember asking a successful businessman why more small businesses are not public. His response was sublime. “I keep two sets of books—one for the government and a real one for myself. I am not showing anyone the real books. If I have shareholders, what will I show them? I will never ... Read More
Categories: Comments On Events
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August 9, 2010

The Kuppy Plan (How To Fix Unemployment)


Dear President Obama, Back in March, I wrote to you with my Kuppy Plan for the housing market. After yet another dismal jobs number, I thought it was time for a Kuppy Plan for unemployment. Clearly our country is in a tough spot.  We compete in a world economy. Jobs gravitate to places which offer the lowest costs of doing business. There are places where ... Read More
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July 2, 2010

The Macro Trumps All Else


When I read Security Analysis, the investment bible by Graham and Dodd, I am transported to a past era when investment life was easier. You could focus your energies on finding companies trading at less than fair value. You focused on the balance sheet and the income statement. The economy was static. It grew a few percent a year and economic life was rather uneventful. ... Read More
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