October 29, 2010 – The Fascinating World of Municipal Bonds

Featured Trades: (MUNICIPAL BONDS), (NCP), (NVX) Nuveen California Performance Plus Nuveen California Dividend Advantage Muni Fund II   2) The Fascinating World of Municipal Bonds. I was fortunate to catch the muni bond wave this year with my recommendations to buy the funds in this sector, the (NCP) and the (NVX) (click here for 'California Municipal Bonds Are a … [Read more...]

October 28, 2010 – Contemplations on Risk

Featured Trades: (CONTEMPLATIONS ON RISK)   1) Contemplations on Risk. The S&P 500 has risen 11 out of the last 13 trading days. Everything in my portfolio is up 50% in the last four months, except for the rare earth stocks which are up 400%. My call that the global equity markets would launch into a surprise up move driven by better than expected earnings, … [Read more...]

October 28, 2010 – The Fat Lady is Still Singing in the Treasury Market

Featured Trades: (PEAK TREASURY BONDS), (TBT), (TMV) ProShares Ultra Short Lehman 20 + Year Treasury ETF Direxion Daily 20 Year Plus Treasury Bear 3X Shares ETF 2) The Fat Lady is Still Singing in the Treasury Market. To say that things have gone well for the Treasury bond market this year would be one of the understatements of the century. First there was a global … [Read more...]

October 28, 2010 – The World’s Largest Solar Plant

Featured Trades: (THE WORLD'S LARGEST SOLAR PLANT) 3) The World's Largest Solar Plant. Unfortunately, I know Blythe, California too well. This natural blast furnace is in a God forsaken corner of the state where I hunted jack rabbits as a kid, the Indians survived on Gila monsters for protein, and it regularly reaches 130 degrees in the shade. It is also where Peter … [Read more...]

October 27, 2010 – Here Come the Seventies Again

Featured Trades: (THE COMMODITIES BOOM) 1) Here Come the Seventies Again. Better drag your leisure suits, bell bottoms, and Bee Gee's records out of the attic. The seventies are about to enjoy a comeback. The near universal run all commodities are enjoying now takes me back to that time in my youth when making money was as simple as buying an ounce of gold, a barrel of … [Read more...]

October 27, 2010 – India is Catching Up With China

Featured Trades: (INDIA VS CHINA), (FXI), (PIN), (INP), (TTM) iPath MSCI India ETN PowerShares India Portfolio ETF Wisdom Tree India Earnings Fund ETF 2) India is Catching Up With China. When I first visited Calcutta in 1976, 800,000 people were sleeping on the sidewalks, I was hauled everywhere by a very lean, barefoot rickshaw driver, and drinking the water out of … [Read more...]

October 26, 2010 – The Real Estate Market in 2030

Featured Trades: (THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2030) 1) The Real Estate Market in 2030. A number of analysts, and even some of those in the real estate industry, are finally coming around to the depressing conclusion that there will never be a recovery in residential real estate. Long time readers of this letter know too well that I have been hugely negative on the sector … [Read more...]

October 26, 2010 – The Long View of the US Economy

Featured Trades: (THE LONG VIEW OF THE US ECONOMY) 2) The Long View of the US Economy. The retirement of the baby boomers, and the reduced numbers and frugal spending patterns of Generation X, are not only bad news for the real estate market for the next 20 years, they are going to be a huge drag on the economy as a whole. The distinguished economist, Robert J. … [Read more...]

October 26, 2010 – How to Trade a “Lost Decade”

Featured Trades: (TRADING A 'LOST DECADE') 3) How to Trade a 'Lost Decade.' Having concluded that you should be selling rallies in the US markets, I would add the proviso that you shouldn't sell just yet. Counter trend rallies can last for years, and this time we have QEII on the side of the bulls, which we are only two months into. Helicopter … [Read more...]

October 26, 2010 – The Monetization of Lumber

Featured Trades: (LUMBER), (WY), (CUT), (RYN) 4) The Monetization of Lumber. If you want to see how widespread the commodities boom has become, take a look at the lumber market, which has popped 47% since June. This is in the face of new home starts that are flat on their back, posting the worst numbers in modern history. Suffice it to say that the lumber market has … [Read more...]

October 25, 2010 – Drinks With the President

Featured Trades: (DRINKS WITH THE PRESIDENT) 1) Drinks With the President. President Barrack Obama certainly arrives at a party like a rock star. Three silver GM Suburbans flanking an armored black Cadillac limo screech to a halt with lights flashing, and all of the roads in the immediate vicinity closed to traffic. A dozen sunglass bedecked Secret Service agents … [Read more...]

October 25, 2010 – California Marijuana Industry Dreams May Go Up In Smoke

Featured Trades: (THE CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA INITIATIVE), (BUD), (DEO)   2) California Marijuana Industry Dreams May Go Up In Smoke. One issue to be decided on November 2 will be proposition 19, the latest effort to legalize marijuana in California. This is another one of those 'Be careful what you wish for' stories. Advocates claim that passage of such a measure … [Read more...]

October 25, 2010 – Watch Rice For Clues to Corn

Featured Trades: (RICE), (CORN), (WHEAT), (SOYBEANS) 3) Watch Rice For Clues to Corn. Those wondering what to do about their ag positions better take a look at the contract for rough rice, which has skyrocketed by 50% since July to $14.50 a pound. Rice is the primary food stuff for 3 billion of the world's 7 billion population, but is predominantly traded and consumed … [Read more...]

October 22, 2010 – The Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Portland Strategy Luncheon

Featured Trades: (PORTLAND STRATEGY LUNCHEON) 2) The Mad Hedge Fund Trader's Portland Strategy Luncheon. Come join me for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader's semiannual Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Portland, Oregon at 12:00 noon on Friday, November 26, 2010, the day after Thanksgiving. A three course lunch will be followed by a 30 minute … [Read more...]

October 22, 2010 – Now It’s Peak Light

Featured Trades: (PEAK LIGHT), (THE FIBER OPTIC CABLE SHORTAGE) 3) Now It's Peak Light. Many of the big telecommunications investments of the last decade were made possible because the cost of long distance transmission was essentially free, thanks to the massive overbuilding that took place during the dotcom boom. That era may be coming to a close. It has required … [Read more...]

October 21, 2010 – The True Cost of Oil

Featured Trades: (THE TRUE COST OF OIL), (NSANY), (PGE), (GM VOLT), (TESLA S-2), (MITSUBISHI iMiEV) 1) The True Cost of Oil. I received some questions last week on my recent solar pieces as to whether I minded paying more money for 'green' power. My answer is 'hell no,' and I'll tell you why. My annual electric bill comes to $1,500 a year. Since the California power … [Read more...]

October 21, 2010 – Bring on the Rare Earth Wars

Featured Trades: (RARE EARTHS), (MCP), (AVARF), (LYSCF) 2) Bring on the Rare Earth Wars. One of my many former employers, the Singapore Straights Times, reported yesterday that China planned to cut rare earth export quotas by 30% next year. The story comes on the heels of a voluntary ban of exports to Japan on September 21, after their arrest of a Chinese fishing boat … [Read more...]

October 21, 2010 – Get On Board With Mongolia Mining

Featured Trades: (MONGOLIA), (IVN), (RTP), (975:HK), (MONGOLIA MINING) 3) Get On Board With Mongolia Mining. The 3:00 am phone call was scratchy, broken, and barely intelligible. Would I be willing to accept a collect call from Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia? My man on the ground there was on the line with a stock idea that I absolutely had to get involved with. … [Read more...]

October 20, 2010 – Lunch With the Treasury Secretary

Featured Trades: (LUNCH WITH THE TREASURY SECRETARY)   1) Lunch With the Treasury Secretary. When I wake up at 4:30 am each morning to check the overnight markets and review the opening salvo of incoming emails, I often have trouble focusing in my groggy state. So I had to blink twice when the first message in my inbox politely inquired if I had time to meet … [Read more...]

October 18, 2010 – The Collapse of the Yen: When is This Party Getting Started?

Featured Trades: (THE YEN SHORT), (FXJ), (YCS)   1) The Collapse of the Yen: When is This Party Getting Started? 'Oh, how I despise the yen, let me count the ways.' I'm sure Shakespeare would have come up with a line of iambic pentameter similar to this if he were a foreign exchange trader. I firmly believe that a short position in the yen should be at the core … [Read more...]

October 18, 2010 – The Gold Rush in Iraq

Featured Trades: (IRAQI OIL), (SLB), (HAL), (BHI), (WFT) 2) The Gold Rush in Iraq. There is a Gold Rush Underway in Iraq, with major implications for the rest of us. The success of the recent oil auctions in Iraq is creating a windfall for American oil services companies. Schlumberger (SLB), Baker Hughes (BHI), Weatherford (WFT), and Halliburton (HAL) have … [Read more...]

October 18, 2010 – The One Bright Spot in Real Estate

Featured Trades: (MULTIFAMILY DWELLINGS) 3) The One Bright Spot in Real Estate. After my weekly dump on residential real estate, I feel obliged to reveal one corner of this beleaguered market that might actually make sense. By 2050 the population of California will soar from 37 million to 50 million, and that of the US from 300 million to 400 million, according to … [Read more...]

October 18, 2010 – The Big MarketView From 30,000 Feet

Featured Trades: (IAN BREMMER OF THE EURASIA GROUP), (GOOG), (SPX), (EZU), (FXI), (FXE), (EWA), (EWC), (EWY), (EWT), (THD), (IDX), (EWS), (EWZ), (ECH), (EWW), (RSX) 4) The Big MarketView From 30,000 Feet. There is a new war underway between two forms of capitalism. The traditional type is driven by the big global multinationals we all know and love which are being … [Read more...]

October 15, 2010 – Last Chance to Meet the Mad Hedge Fund Trader at the San Francisco Strategy Luncheon

Featured Trades: (SAN FRANCISCO STRATEGY LUNCHEON)   1) Last Chance to Meet the Mad Hedge Fund Trader at the San Francisco Strategy Luncheon. Last April, I predicted that a huge demographic push would send the prices of commodities soaring, that the economy would threaten a double dip, but not actually do it, and that emerging markets were a great place in … [Read more...]

October 15, 2010 – Time to Double Up on China

Featured Trades: (CHINA), (SHANGHAI), (FXI), ($SSEC) iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ETF South Korea iShares Index ETF Thai Capital Fund, Inc. Singapore iShares ETF iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund ETF iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund ETF Brazil iShares ETF PowerShares India Portfolio ETF Market Vectors Russia ETF Trust ETF 2) … [Read more...]

October 15, 2010 – Indonesia is On Fire

Featured Trades: (INDONESIA), (IDX), (EIDO) Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF iShares MSCI Indonesia Investable Market Index ETF 3) Indonesia is On Fire. Who said quantitative easing wouldn't work? The only problem is that you have to speak Bahasa, eat nasi goreng, and live South of the equator, to take full advantage of Uncle Ben's munificence. Since the rumblings … [Read more...]

October 14, 2010 – The Solar Boom in California

Featured Trades: (CALIFORNIA'S SOLAR ENERGY BOOM), (FSLR), (SIRE), (HOKU), (TSL) 1) The Solar Boom in California. There is a gold rush of a different kind going on in California, the solar variety. There is a stampede by 49 alternative energy projects, including nine solar ones, to get final approval from the California Energy Commission before massive federal … [Read more...]

October 14, 2010 – Beating the Market With Demographics

Featured Trades: (DEMOGRPHIC INVESTING) 2) Beating the Market With Demographics. Regular readers of this letter know that I rely on long term demographic trends to predict the direction of the global financial markets. Let me approach this topic from a different angle, measuring the number of retirees a population must support versus the anticipated burden in 20 … [Read more...]

October 13, 2010 – Why My Shorts Are Missing

Featured Trades: (SHORT POSITIONS), (FXY), (YCS), (TBT), (TMV) 1) Why My Shorts Are Missing. I have always been an aviation enthusiast, flying every rare, antique plane I could get my hands on. My adventures have taken me from flying a 1929 Norwegian spruce and Irish linen constructed Belgian Stampe to a MIG-25 Soviet fighter to the edge of space at 90,000 feet (check … [Read more...]

October 13, 2010 – The Frenzy to Buy Corn

Featured Trades: (CORN), (DBA) 2) The Frenzy to Buy Corn. I have managed to catch a few limit up moves in my career, but never two consecutive back to back moves. That is what we got yesterday when panic buying swamped traders in the wake of Friday's USDA report showing that corn yields plunged from 162.5 bushels per acre to 155.9 bushels. I can only recall two … [Read more...]

October 12, 2010 – The Mad Hedge Fund Trader Interviews Marc Chandler of Brown Brothers Harriman

Featured Trades: (MARC CHANDLER ON FOREIGN EXCHANGE) South Korea iShares ETF Singapore iShares ETF Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF Thai Capital Fund, Inc. 1) Marc Chandler of Brown Brothers Harriman on the Foreign Exchange Market. My guest on Hedge Fund Radio this week is Marc Chandler, the global head of currency strategy at the esteemed Wall Street firm, Brown … [Read more...]

October 12, 2010 – The Big Hedge Fund Killing in September

Featured Trades: (THE SEPTEMBER HEDGE FUND KILLING) 3) The Big Hedge Fund Killing in September. I was not alone in posting spectacular results in September. Those who foresaw Ben Bernanke's quantitative easing and its implications for all assets posted huge returns for the month, pushing many into positive territory for the first time this year. Jim Simon's $8 billion … [Read more...]

October 11, 2010 – Run Over by the Grain Train

Featured Trades: (THE GRAIN TRAIN), (CORN), (WHEAT), (SOYBEANS), (MOS), (AGU) Teucrium Commodity Trust Corn Fund ETF 2)  Run Over by the Grain Train. The US Department of Agriculture released a shocking report on Friday that triggered rare limit up moves in all three major grains simultaneously, corn, (CORN), wheat, and soybeans, and sent the prices of shares of … [Read more...]

October 11, 2010 – Where to Buy the Next Dip in Gold

Featured Trades: (GOLD), (GLD), (AEM), (KGC), (INIVX) SPDR Gold Trust Shares Van Eck International Investor's Gold Fund 3) Where to Buy the Next Dip in Gold. After the violent moves in the gold market last week which took it to another all time high of $1,363, and then a wrenching $25 pull back in a matter of hours, many traders are left grasping for an … [Read more...]

October 8, 2010 – Come Meet the Mad Hedge Fund Trader in Two Weeks at the San Francisco Strategy Luncheon

Featured Trades:  (SAN FRANCISCO STRATEGY LUNCHEON) 1)  Come Meet the Mad Hedge Fund Trader in Two Weeks at the San Francisco Strategy Luncheon. Come join me for lunch at The Mad Hedge Fund Trader's semiannual Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in San Francisco at 12:00 noon on October 22, 2010. A three course lunch will be followed by a 30 minute … [Read more...]

October 8, 2010 – My Reconciliation With Emerging Market Debt

Featured Trades:  (EMERGING MARKET DEBT), (PCY), (ELD) PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Portfolio ETF Wisdom Tree Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund ETF 2) My Reconciliation With Emerging Market Debt. Last month, I advised readers to take profits on the emerging market debt ETF (PCY) after clocking a generous 30% total return over the previous year (click … [Read more...]

October 7, 2010 – The Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Market

Featured Trades: (MONETARY INFLATION)     1) The Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Market. Ben Bernanke has privatized the upside of the global stock, bond, currency, commodity, energy, and precious metals markets, and socialized the downside, with his much publicized move towards quantitative easing. While former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen spoke about … [Read more...]

October 7, 2010 – Getting Something for Nothing

Featured Trades: (NISSAN LEAF), (NSANY) 2) Getting Something for Nothing. I just contracted to buy all the gasoline I want at 31 cents a gallon. No, I have not struck oil in my backyard, or come into an inheritance from a long lost Kuwaiti relative. That is the de facto price that PG&E is billing me for a full charge on the all-electric Nissan Leaf that will be … [Read more...]

October 7, 2010 – The Double Play in First Solar

Featured Trades: (SOLAR ENERGY), (FSLR), (YGE), (STP) 3) The Double Play in First Solar. There is another angle to the solar play, which I bet you haven't thought of. I have been arguing that companies like First Solar (FSLR) are great proxy for oil, as any price rise in crude raises the breakeven point that alternative power generators must meet to be competitive on a … [Read more...]

October 7, 2010 – Wow! Have You Seen Thailand?

Featured Trades: (THAILAND), (TF) 4) Wow! Have You Seen Thailand? You first heard about Thailand from me in my Hedge Fund Radio interview with Vivian Lewis of Global Investing, back when her pick, the Thai Capital Fund (TF) was trading at $10.75 (click here for the show). Last night it hit an all time high of $15.44, a gain of 44% in less than four months. Part of … [Read more...]

Oct. 6, 2010 The “Friday-Monday Effect” Exposed

The “Friday-Monday Effect” Exposed Dennis Gartman of the ever interesting The Gartman Letter published an interesting study of the well known “Monday-Friday” effect. The analysis was done by Andrew Greely of Acorn Derivatives in White Plains, NY. If you bought every Friday close this year and sold the Monday close, your return so far would be 14.20%, versus a 0.42% return on … [Read more...]

October 6, 2010 – A Visit to the Insane Asylum

(SPECIAL FIXED INCOME ISSUE) Featured Trades: (TREASURY BONDS), (TBT), (TMV) 1) A Visit to the Insane Asylum. Watching the ten year Treasury bond tickle a 2.42% yield yesterday, I thought it would be propitious to revisit the insanity that is going on in THIS market. Historically, ten year bond yields matched the nominal GDP growth rate. So an average 3.5% GDP … [Read more...]

October 6, 2010 – The Seductive Allure of Brazilian Bonds

(SPECIAL FIXED INCOME ISSUE) Featured Trades: (BRAZILIAN BONDS), (EWZ) 2) The Seductive Allure of Brazilian Bonds. OK, let's say that if you don't own bonds, but someone is holding a gun to your head, dangling you by your ankles outside a window on a high floor, or threatening to cut you off their Christmas card list, if you don't buy some. Or worse, you offended … [Read more...]

October 6, 2010 – The Very Long View on China

(SPECIAL FIXED INCOME ISSUE) Featured Trades: (THE LONG VIEW ON CHINA), (FXI) 3) The Very Long View on China. I have long sat beside the table of Mckinsey & Co., the best management consulting company in Asia, hoping to catch some crumbs of wisdom. So, I jumped at the chance to have breakfast with Shanghai based Worldwide Managing Director, Dominic Barton, when … [Read more...]

October 5, 2010 – Contemplations on Oil

Featured Trades: (OIL), (XOM), (CVX), (OXY), (COP), (RSX)   1) Contemplations on Oil.  After a tumultuous 2009, oil has been one of the least volatile assets of 2010, confined to a tortuous $68-$88 range, frustrating momentum players to no end. How many city morgues are packed with the bodies of those who sold every dip and bought every rally, vainly hoping for … [Read more...]

October 5, 2010 – Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Teacher

Featured Trades: (ONLINE EDUCATION), (BBBB) 2) Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Teacher. Don't bother taking an apple to school to give your favorite teacher, unless you want to leave it in front of a machine. The school teacher is about to join the sorry ranks of the service station attendant, the elevator operator, and the telephone operators whose professions have been … [Read more...]

October 5, 2010 – Welcome to the Limit Down Move

Featured Trades: (CORN), (WHEAT) 3) Welcome to the Limit Down Move. Those who are new to trading the agricultural commodity area, the dilettantes, the neophytes, and the wanabees, who have watched in awe as prices trended skyward for the past four months, may not be familiar with how they behave on the downside. They got a harsh lesson in reality last week, when … [Read more...]

October 1, 2010 – Only Three Weeks to Go Until the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s San Francisco Strategy Luncheon!

Featured Trades: (SAN FRANCISCO STRATEGY LUNCHEON) 1) Only Three Weeks to Go Until the Mad Hedge Fund Trader's San Francisco Strategy Luncheon! Come join me for lunch at The Mad Hedge Fund Trader's semiannual Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in San Francisco at 12:00 noon on October 22, 2010. A three course lunch will be followed by a 30 minute … [Read more...]

October 1, 2010 – Double Click on Alibaba

Featured Trades: (ALIBABA) 2) Double Click on Alibaba. Given my bullish take on China in my September 28th letter, I'm going to be putting a few more single names out there. Jim Trippon's China Stock Market Digest published a recommendation that caught my eye (click here for my Hedge Fund Radio interview with Jim). Alibaba (ALBCF) (HKG 1688) is the Middle Kingdom's … [Read more...]

October 1, 2010 – Gold is Now At the Deep End of the Pool

Featured Trades: (GOLD), (GLD) SPDR Gold Shares Trust 3) Gold is Now At the Deep End of the Pool. For me, the best case scenario which I have been predicting for nearly two years has arrived. But as much as I love gold for the long term, I have to take note when a number of short term technical and momentum models start flashing red lights that it is entering … [Read more...]