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 […]

Another Day, Another Euro Crisis

Of the many ways in which Silvio Berlusconi thought he could be forced from power, rising Italian bond yields was probably not high on his list. Even his titillating escapades seemed to have been insufficient to persuade the Italian electorate he should leave. But it turns out 7%+ bond yields, with €300Bn of new borrowing required in […]

Ohio Turns Left

In yesterday’s election the voters of Ohio rejected by 62% to 38% a state law that limited the ability of public sector workers to collectively bargain and to strike. It’s a remarkable reflection of how Ohio voters feel about their government – I mean, who do state employees work for if not the people of […]

Less Silver More Gas

Yesterday we lightened up on some of our position in Coeur d’Alene (CDE). We’ve liked this silver mining company for quite some time – it’s been trading at a substantial discount to the NAV of its mining assets and represents a good way to invest in bullion at a discount. Earlier this year there were […]

Valuing Berkshire Hathaway

If you’re into this kind of thing, which is to say that examining financial statements is a source of stimulating mental gymnastics, figuring out the value of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) could keep you entertained. BRK released their third quarter’s earnings over the weekend. It’s an insurance company transforming itself into an operating business as Whitney […]

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