July 30, 2010 – Why Water Will Soon Become More Valuable Than Oil

Featured Trades: (WATER), (CGW), (FIW), (VE), (TTEK), (PNR) 1) Why Water Will Soon Become More Valuable Than Oil. If you think that the upcoming energy shortage is going to be bad, it will pale in comparison to the next water crisis, so investment in fresh water infrastructure is going to be a recurring long term investment theme. (See my earlier efforts to get you … [Read more...]

July 30, 2010 – Feel Like Investing in a State Sponsor of Terrorism?

Featured Trades: (AFRICA), (AFK), (GAF), (EZA) MSCI South Africa Index Fund SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF Market Vectors Africa Index ETF 3) Feel Like Investing in a State Sponsor of Terrorism? How about a country whose leaders have stolen $400 billion in the last decade and have seen 300 foreign workers kidnapped? Another country lost four … [Read more...]

July 29, 2010 – It’s Time to Revisit the TBT

Featured Trades: (TBT), (TMV) ProShares Ultra Short Lehman 20+ Year Treasury ETF Direxion Daily 30 Year Treasury Bear 3X Shares ETF   1) It's Time to Revisit the TBT. Shorting the world's most overvalued asset, the 30 year US Treasury bond, has got to be the big trade from here. The relentless whirring of the printing presses is so loud that they keep me awake at … [Read more...]

July 29, 2010 – The Technicla Case for the TBT

Featured Trades: (30 YEAR TREASURY BOND), (TBT) 2) The Technical Case for the TBT. Louise Yamada, one of the most widely followed technical analysts in the market, says the 29 year bull market in Treasury bonds is coming to a close. Looking at the 200 year history of interest rates in the US, such bull markets are historically 22-37 years in length, and this … [Read more...]

July 29, 2010 – Making a New Home for My Nissan Leaf

Featured Trades: (NISSAN LEAF), (NSANY), (PGE) 3) Making a New Home for My Nissan Leaf. The electrician from Nissan Motors (NSANY) showed up at my home today to ascertain if it can generate sufficient juice to recharge my new all electric Leaf, which will be delivered in December. The good news is that it does, but the town permits and the installation of a new 50 … [Read more...]

July 29, 2010 – Quote of the Day

In 1933, a supporter told Franklin Delano Roosevelt that if the New Deal succeeded, he would be remembered as the greatest president in history. He replied, 'If I fail, I will be remembered as the last US president.' … [Read more...]

July 28, 2010 – Is “Snookie” our New Investment Guru?

Featured Trades: (RAIL TRAFFIC)   1) Is 'Snookie' our New Investment Guru? The ultra bears were sent packing in recent days, thanks to a spate of economic indicators showing some unexpected strength. Take a look at the chart below for rail car loadings showing an unequivocal spike upward. I warned last week that there was some positive action in this area (click … [Read more...]

July 28, 2010 – Raising the Red Flags on Commodity ETF’s

Featured Trades: (UNG), (USO), (CORN), (WEAT), (SOYB) United States Natural Gas Fund ETF United States Oil Fund ETF 2) Raising the Red Flags on Commodity ETF's. The July 26-August 1, 2010 print edition of  Business Week magazine put out a brilliant piece entitled 'Amber Waves of Pain'  detailing how retail investors are getting fleeced when playing the agricultural … [Read more...]

July 28, 2010 – Is it Time to Buy Google on the Cheap?

Featured Trades: (GOOGLE), (IBM), (MSFT), (YHOO), (BIDU) 3) Is it Time to Buy Google on the Cheap? As much as I adore Google products and use their search engine all day long, the stock definitely left something to be desired when it was trading in the $600'S. That's why I steered readers away with my piece 'Why I'm Not Buying Google on This Dip' (click here for the … [Read more...]

July 28, 2010 – Watch International Savings Rates for Market Cues

Featured Trades: (INTERNATIONAL SAVINGS RATES) 4) Watch International Savings Rates for Market Cues. Often while searching for a piece of data through Google (see above), I stumble across something else, which is far more interesting. That is how I found the table below of international savings rates. Why should you care? Because countries with high savings rates tend … [Read more...]

July 28, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'You've lived long enough on Wall Street to know that we shoot out wounded and eat our young,' said Brad Hintz, an analyst with Sandford Bernstein. … [Read more...]

July 27, 2010 – The Residential Housing Market is Still Burning Down

Featured Trades: (RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE) 1) The Residential Housing Market is Still Burning Down. Today, the Commerce Department reported that June new home sales, at 330,000, were up a blistering 24%. So is the crash in residential real estate over? It's off to the races, right? Wrong! Much of the gains were cancelled out by whopping great downward … [Read more...]

July 27, 2010 – Will Gold Coins Suffer the Fate of the $10,000 Bill?

Featured Trades: (NEW GOLD REPORTING), (GLD) SPDR Gold Shares Trust ETF 2) Will Gold Coins Suffer the Fate of the $10,000 Bill? The conspiracy theorists will love this one. Buried deep in the bowels of the 2,000 page health care bill is a new requirement for gold dealers to file Form 1099's for all retail sales by individuals over $600. Specifically, the … [Read more...]

July 27, 2010 – It’s Harder Than it Looks

Featured Trades: (THE HARSH REALITIES OF TRADING) 3) It's Harder Than it Looks. A recent piece at the underground website, Zero Hedge, by one 'pivotfarm' resonated with me in explaining how hard it actually is making money in the market (click here for the link). It looks deceptively easy from the outside. You buy a share, watch it go up under its own power, and sell … [Read more...]

July 27, 2010 – Is Emerging Market Debt the New Prime Credit?

Featured Trades: (EMERGING MARKET DEBT), (PCY) Invesco PowerShares Emerging Market Sovereign Debt ETF 4) Is Emerging Market Debt the New Prime Credit? Last year, I suggested emerging market sovereign debt ETF's as safe, high yielding investments in which to hide out in case the equity markets swoon again. The stock market has looked pretty grizzly for the last three … [Read more...]

July 27, 2010 – Quote of the Day

In Despicable Me, the latest animated children's' film from 20th Century Fox, the Bank of Evil, used to finance the nefarious deeds of villians, has listed under its name 'formerly known as Lehman Brothers.' … [Read more...]

July 26, 2010 – Give All the European Banks “A’s”

Featured Trades: (EUROPEAN BANK STRESS TESTS), (EURO), (FXE) Currency Shares Euro Trust ETF 1) Give All the European Banks 'A's'. A favorite ploy of poorly managed school districts in California is for the teachers to simply give all their students 'A's'. That way the state and federal money keeps rolling in, and demanding parents can be … [Read more...]

July 26, 2010 – Guess Who’s Bailing Out the 2012 Olympics?

Featured Trades: (2012 LONDON OLYMPICS) 2) Guess Who's Bailing Out the 2012 Olympics? Where is the 2012 London Olympics turning to meet gargantuan cost overruns? None other than BP, which is going the extra mile to burnish its tarnished image. With the British economy mired in a vicious financial crisis, many are wondering if hosting the games was such a great idea. … [Read more...]

July 26, 2010 – Where The Economist “Big Mac” Index Finds Currency Value

Featured Trades: (THE ECONOMIST 'BIG MAC' INDEX) 3) Where The Economist 'Big Mac' Index Finds Currency Value. My former employer, The Economist, once the ever tolerant editor of my flabby, disjointed, and juvenile prose (Thanks Peter and Marjorie), has just released its 'Big Mac' index of international currency valuations (click here for the link). Although initially … [Read more...]

July 22, 2010 – The New Deflation Definition

Featured Trades: (THE NEW DEFLATION) 2) The New Deflation Definition. It seems that all you hear about these days is deflation. That is certainly what the bond market is telling us, with my screen blaring at me a miserable 2.93% yield for the ten year Treasury bond. But there is a new definition for this economic malady that applies to us hapless consumers. In … [Read more...]

July 23, 2010 – Turkey Is On The Menu

Featured Trades: (TURKEY), (TUR), (TKC), (TURKISH LIRA) iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund ETF   1) Turkey Is On The Menu. The boarding of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos and the international brouhaha that it sparked has thrown a searing spotlight on that emerging nation. Several hedge fund friends and now a few readers of this newsletter in … [Read more...]

July 23, 2010 – Hedge Fund Corners the Cocoa Market

Featured Trades: (FXI), (COCOA), (CHOCOLATE), (NIB) iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN 2) Hedge Fund Corners the Cocoa Market. That Hershey bar you've been sneaking out to buy on breaks is about to cost you a lot more. London based Anthony Ward's Amajaro hedge fund built up a billion dollar long position in the cocoa futures market, which … [Read more...]

July 23, 2010 – What Will the World Look Like in 100 Years?

Featured Trades: (THE NEXT 100 YEARS) 3) What Will the World Look Like in 100 Years? George Friedman, geopolitical forecaster and founder of the Austin, Texas based private intelligence firm, Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) (click here for the link at https://www.stratfor.com/ ), delivers a fascinating list of future political, military, and economic scenarios in … [Read more...]

July 22, 2010 – More on the Grains

Featured Trades: (POT), (MON)   4) More on the Grains. I managed to catch an interview with Charlie Rentschler at New York boutique investment bank, Morgan Joseph, one of the top agricultural analysts in the industry, known as the 'Farmer from Harvard.' He says that investment in the sector is a frustrating and unpredictable mix of bugs, weeds, and weather, … [Read more...]

July 21, 2010 – Amazon Conquers All With Kindle

Featured Trades: (AMZN), (KINDLE)   1)  Amazon Conquers All With the Kindle. I knew Jeff Bezos back in the eighties as this always cheerful quant in Morgan Stanley's bond department who had this incredibly annoying laugh.  He blew us all away when he took off on his own, used innovative technology to discover the immense profits to be found in long tale … [Read more...]

July 21, 2010 – Singapore Sizzles

Featured Trades: (SINGAPORE), (EWS) Singapore iShares ETF 2) Singapore Sizzles. I have always had a love/hate relationship with Singapore. During the seventies, the autocratic Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, regularly locked up journalist friends of mine and banned magazines like The Economist that published my stories. The country is also notorious for public canings … [Read more...]

July 21, 2010 – The Hard Numbers About Obama’s Anti Business Campaign

Featured Trades:  (US ECONOMY), (BAC), (C), (MS), (ANTI BUSINESS OBAMA) 3) The Hard Numbers About Obama's Anti Business Campaign. I'm a numbers guy, OK? Give me a set of hard data, and I'm happy to draw my own conclusion. Save the argument, the persuasion, and the spin for someone else. You may have heard from the media lately that President Obama hates business, is … [Read more...]

July 21, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'Hedge funds started out delivering equity type returns with bond type volatility. They now generate bond type returns with equity like volatility,' said my former Morgan Stanley colleague, Byron Wein, now co-chairman at Blackstone Advisory Services. … [Read more...]

July 20, 2010 – Ireland Points the Way for the Euro

Featured Trades: (FXE), (IRELAND) Currency Shares Euro Trust   1) Ireland Points the Way for the Euro. When you bend over backwards to kiss the magical stone at Ireland's Blarney castle, you can't help but notice a sign assuring you that your won't catch AIDS in your effort to obtain the gift of persuasion. However, the ancient stone is completely covered with … [Read more...]

July 20, 2010 – How we are Ten Years Into the Bear Market

Featured Trades: S&P Composite Real (Inflation-Adjusted) Total Returns 2) How we are Ten Years Into the Bear Market. As part of my never ending quest for truth, accuracy, and insight into the future direction of stock prices, I thought I'd pass on this chart from my friends at Business Insider showing that things are much worse than you think they are. It … [Read more...]

July 20, 2010 – Way to Go, Goldman!

Featured Trades: (GS)   3) Way to Go, Goldman! I am somewhat annoyed with the SEC's settlement with Goldman Sachs (GS) last week, as I was within a hair's breadth of putting out a buy recommendation. The stock hit a low of $130, but being the tightwad that I am, was holding out for $125. The deal was clearly a win-win for both sides, the announcement causing … [Read more...]

July 20, 2010 – China Can’t Boom Forever

Featured Trades: (FXI) iShares FTSE China 25 Index ETF 4) China Can't Boom Forever. Last week, China (FXI) announced that its first half GDP grew at a blistering 11.9% annualized rate, more than triple the growth seen here in the US. And this is how they're doing with central bank tightening in place! How long can this laudable performance last? Not … [Read more...]

July 20, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'The length and duration of every bear market is in direct proportion to the bull market that preceded it,' said Damon Vickers of hedge fund Nine Points Capital Management. … [Read more...]

July 19, 2010 – The Mad Hedge Fund Trader Interviews Jim Trippon of the China Stock Digest on Hedge Fund Radio

Featured Trades: (FXI), (WMT), (CMED), (MR), (PTR), (CHL), (CYB) iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ETF Wisdom Tree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan ETF 1) Exclusive Interview With Jim Trippon of the China Stock Digest on Hedge Fund Radio. Jim Trippon, of the China Stock Digest, says that investors better start scaling into China now, or risk missing the biggest economic … [Read more...]

July 19, 2010 – The Grains Are On Fire

Featured Trades: (SOYB), (CORN), (WEAT) Teucrium Agricultural Trust Corn Fund Teucrium Agricultural Trust Soybean Fund Teucrium Agricultural Trust Wheat Fund 2) The Grains Are On Fire. I bet I'm the only guy you know whose wedding was filmed by the KGB. My friend, the TASS correspondent, Yuri, shot the entire assembled foreign press at the event at The Foreign … [Read more...]

July 19, 2010 – Take the Money and Run from BP

Featured Trades: (BP) 3) Take the Money and Run from BP. If you followed my advice to buy BP at $29 on June 17 (click here for my piece), please sell it. It peaked at $40 yesterday. Take the easy money and run. I've never seen a better opportunity to buy the rumor and sell the news. The long awaited announcement that the April 22 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico was at … [Read more...]

July 19, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'Many times when you listen to sell side analysts, it's garbage in, garbage out on a lot of the opinions that they have,' said stock commentator Gary Kaminsky. … [Read more...]

July 16, 2010 – The Baltic Dry Index Versus Container Rates

Featured Trades: (BALTIC DRY INDEX), ($BDI), (CONTAINER RATES), (US RAIL TRAFFIC) 1) The Baltic Dry Index Versus Container Rates: Who to Believe? There is a ferocious debate underway among economists over which leading indicator to believe, the Baltic Dry Index, or international container shipping rates. The BDI, a measure of the cost of chartering bulk carriers … [Read more...]

July 16, 2010 – The “Frontier” Markets are Beckoning

Featured Trades: (FRONTIER MARKETS), (ECH), (TF), (EWJ), (EWS), (FXI) 2) The 'Frontier' Markets are Beckoning. A quick look at the world's top performing stock markets during the first half of 2010 will not exactly ring bells for many investors. Bangladesh came in tops with a 40.7% gain, followed by Sri Lanka (34.6%), and Venezuela (18%). You have to get down to … [Read more...]

July 16, 2010 – Serve Yourself a Piece of Yellow Cake

Featured Trades: (URANIUM), (CEI:FP), (PDN:AU), (CCJ) 3) Serve Yourself a Piece of Yellow Cake. Uranium traders have been stunned by a sudden Chinese effort to corner the supplies in an effort to fuel the world's most ambitious nuclear program. The once moribund market now suddenly sees buyers everywhere as the Chinese ramp up their purchases to 5,000 tonnes this year, … [Read more...]

July 16, 2010 – China Puts the Squeeze on Rare Earths

Featured Trades: (RARE EARTHS), (AVARF.PK), (GWMGF.PK), (RAREF.PK), (LYSCF) 4) China Puts the Squeeze on Rare Earths. China has further tightened the screws on the world's rare earths market by announcing new export quotas that are only half of those seen last year. China's Ministry of Commerce has limited 2010 second half shipments by its 32 licensed producers to … [Read more...]

July 15, 2010 – Technical Analyst Charles Nenner Shows Where to Play in a Bear Market

Featured Trades: (ING), (TM), (LEN), (CRB), (AA), (AGU), (IBM), (XOM), (COP), (BBY) 1) Technical Analyst Charles Nenner Shows Where to Play in a Bear Market. Yesterday, I was commiserating with my buddy, Charles Nenner, of the Charles Nenner Research Center in Amsterdam, about his team's miserable performance in the World Cup, which lost 0-1 in overtime after a … [Read more...]

July 15, 2010 – Why the World’s Worst Economy Has the Strongest Currency

Featured Trades: (FXJ), (YCS) Currency Shares Japanese Yen Trust ETF ProSharesUltraShort Yen ETF 2) Why the World's Worst Economy Has the Strongest Currency. Global currency traders remain puzzled by the continuing strength of the yen (FXY), (YCS), which broke out of a ¥90- ¥95 range a few weeks ago and insists on levitating around the ¥87-¥89 area. Looking at the … [Read more...]

July 15, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'America has become a second rate power. It's fiscal and trade deficits are at nightmare proportions. In the days of the free market when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, and the men who built this great empire made sure of it because it was their money at stake,' said Gordon Gecko … [Read more...]

July 13, 2010 – Hollywood Cashes in on WallStreet’s Troubles

Featured Trades: (MARGIN CALL) 1) Hollywood Cashes in on Wall Street's Troubles. I have done many things in my life: hedge fund manager, pilot, cowboy, journalist, stock broker, mountain climber, translator, guide, etc, etc. etc. Now add technical consultant to Hollywood to the list. According to the New York Times, Simon Baker, star of the TV show 'The … [Read more...]

July 13, 2010 – Why I’m Not Buying the US Stock Rally

Featured Trades: (SPX) S&P 500 SPDR's ETF 2) Why I'm Not Buying the US Stock Rally. Tempt me all you want, you seductive vixen, but I'm not buying into last week's 6% rally in the US stock market. You can whisper sweet nothings into my ear all you want about the trillions of dollars sitting on the sidelines, the low PE multiples, and cash laden corporate balance … [Read more...]

July 13, 2010 – The Ultra Bull Argument for Gold

Featured Trades: (GOLD), (GLD) SPDR Gold Trust Shares ETF 3) The Ultra Bull Argument for Gold. I am constantly barraged with emails from gold bugs who passionately argue that their beloved metal is trading at a tiny fraction of its true value, and that the barbaric relic is really worth $5,000, $10,000, or even $50,000 an ounce (GLD). They claim the move in the … [Read more...]

July 13, 2010 – How to Become One of the Rich Who Are Getting Richer

Featured Trades: (ROB) Claymore/Robb Report Global Luxury Index ETF 4) How to Become One of the Rich Who Are Getting Richer. One of the great certainties in our economy is that the rich are getting richer, no matter who is running the country. Despite the worst business conditions in 80 years, there was a 17% increase in millionaires in the US last year. Far … [Read more...]

July 13, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'I don't think the solution for Europe is going to end up being determined in the board rooms or the finance ministries of the EMU. I think it's going to be on the streets of Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, and elsewhere,' said former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. … [Read more...]

July 12, 2010 – How China’s Economy is Already Bigger Than the US

ANOTHER SPECIAL CHINA ISSUE Featured Trades: (USO), (VALE), (BTU), (FCX), (CAT), (FXI), (EWA), (EWC), (FXA), (FXC), (CORN), (SOYB), (WEAT) Currency Shares Canadian Dollar Trust ETF Currency Shares Australia Dollar Trust ETF Australia iShares ETF Canada iShares ETF iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 ETF   1) How China's Economy is Already Bigger Than the US. … [Read more...]

July 12, 2010 – Who’s Been Buying All Those Japanese Bonds?

ANOTHER SPECIAL CHINA ISSUE 2) Who's Been Buying All Those Japanese Bonds? International bond and foreign currency markets were stunned last week when figures were released showing that the Chinese had bought record amounts of Japanese government bonds in May. The move was no doubt the impetus behind the big rally that took Japanese ten year debt to a pitiful 1.15% … [Read more...]

July 12, 2010 – The Grains Take Off

ANOTHER SPECIAL CHINA ISSUE Featured Trades: (SOYBEANS), (SOYBEAN MEAL), (CORN), (WEAT), (SOYB) Teucrium Agricultural Trust Corn Fund Teucrium Agricultural Trust Soybean Fund Teucrium Agricultural Trust Wheat Fund 3) The Grains Take Off. It turns out that perfection doesn't continue forever, after all. That was the bet I was more than happy to make three weeks … [Read more...]

July 12, 2010 – Quote of the Day

'We in the business of trying to judge risk significantly underestimated the extreme tail risk, the so called risk involved in very low probability events and what the consequences would be should they happen,' said former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. … [Read more...]

July 9, 2010 – Why I Still Hate Japan

Featured Trades: (JAPAN), (EWJ), (NIKKEI) Japan iShares ETF 1) Why I Still Hate Japan. Like watching an old friend who fell from the high life as a special bracket investment banker to a stumbling drunk, I can't help but pity Japan's beleaguered stock investors. Since peaking in 1989 at 39,800, they have been mired in a 20 year bear market, the longest in history, and … [Read more...]

July 9, 2010 – My Personal Leading Economic Indicator

Featured Trades: (AUTO SALES), (NISSAN), (NSANY), (HONDA), (HMC)   2) My Personal Leading Economic Indicator.  I just flew over one of my favorite leading economic indicators. Honda (HMC) and Nissan (NSANY) import millions of cars each year through their Benicia, California facilities, where they are loaded on to hundreds of rail cars for shipment to points … [Read more...]