Entries by Simon Lack

Few Strong Hands at This Poker Table

Greece has been warned by the troika (EU, ECB, IMF) that personally signed pledges from key political leaders are required before the next tranche of the bailout is released. Greece apparently has enough cash to last 20 days. The threat is that failure to comply will result in Greece being allowed to default. Well, at […]

The Weekend Press Looks for Yield

Barron’s ran an interesting article on places to go for higher income than high-grade bonds. The writer pointed out quite accurately that ten-year treasury bonds do not provide sufficient income to preserve after-tax real purchasing power. The Federal government doesn’t believe its creditors should earn a real return, and has adopted a policy to prevent that. […]

Why Kyle Bass Hoards Nickels

Kyle Bass, who runs a hedge fund called Hayman Capital Management in Texas,  is gaining notoriety as an investor with the foresight to anticipate today’s growing sovereign debt crisis. If eurozone governments ultimately write down their debt because the weight of supporting their banks becomes too great, Kyle Bass will go down as one of the […]

Bond Buyers Drive with the Rear-View Mirror

Charles Evans, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President, was on CNBC yesterday and nicely illustrated why bond yields could stay low for a considerable time. At times sounding as if he was running in a Democratic primary campaign, Evans commented repeatedly on the pain out there in the economy and the chronic unemployment. Interestingly he maintains […]

The Euro and Government Bonds Are Likely to be Poor Investments

While the troubles in the Euro-zone have clearly been a major source of uncertainty for U.S. equity investors, it’s beginning to appear as if negative consequences will be largely imposed on Europeans with manageable fallout elsewhere. No doubt there’s still plenty to worry about and this assessment could be wrong, but the economic data is […]

Get Elected and Legally Trade on Inside information

60 Minutes ran a piece last night revealing that Congressmen are not only exempt from the insider trading laws that apply to everyone else but also routinely exploit inside information to which they have access. That’s right, members of Congress can and frequently do profit from inside information, and it’s perfectly legal. Further description hardly […]

The Euro Has No Good Options

The challenges facing the Euro zone including most recently Italy seem so enormous and intractable that it’s easy to contemplate previously unimaginable outcomes. Der Spiegel reports that the German government is preparing for a possible Greek exit from the Euro. The currency was designed without an exit – it’s unclear how Greece could extricate itself. A weekend […]

The FT on Not-So Hedged Funds

A friend brought my attention to a recent article in the FT by James MacKintosh in which he noted how hedge funds have increasingly been delivering returns that are correlated with the S&P500. It looks as if increasingly the search for alpha includes trying to time beta. The media isn’t normally so negative on hedge […]

Italy's in Play

At least Italian savers are offered a decent return on their money. 7% on ten-year debt is a bit more like it – at least after taxes and inflation you stand a chance of being ahead of the game, unlike in the U.S. where government policy is hostile to savers and seeks to inflict real losses […]

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