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Why the JGB Market May Be Ready to Collapse

When I first arrived in Japan in 1974, international investors widely expected the country to collapse, a casualty of the overnight quadrupling of oil prices to $12 and the global recession that followed. Japanese borrowers were only able to tap foreign debt markets by paying a 200 basis point premium to the market, a condition […]

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CNN’s John Lewis: the Death of a Colleague

I was deeply saddened by the death of my old friend, CNN Asia correspondent, John Lewis, a legend in television journalism. I first met John in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan back in 1974, when he was a decorated Vietnam vet from Ohio trying to claw his way into TV, bootstrap style. […]

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Diamonds Are Still an Investor’s Best Friend

Diamonds Are Still an Investor’s Best Friend. If you forgot to buy your loved one a Valentine’s Day gift and spent a week sleeping on the sofa, eating canned food, and cleaning out the cat box, you now have a chance to redeem yourself. A revolutionary new website has just launched called Mazal Diamond, which […]

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Iran Should Fold Its Nuclear Program, Or Else

“We have 3,500 nuclear weapons left over from the cold war we don’t need, they take 20 seconds to re-aim, we’re not afraid to use them, and by the way, they’re already aimed at you.” That is the approach James Baker III thinks America should take with Iran, Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff and Secretary […]

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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 his new book, The Next 100 years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. Friedman claims the current Islamic […]

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More Hard Truths About Residential Real Estate

The latest data releases this week about the state of the residential real estate market confirm my belief that the threat of a double dip in the economy is triggering another down leg in home prices (click here for Residential Home Prices in Terms of Gold). The latest Case-Shilelr data show that housing is once […]

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The Problem With GM

Like a heroin addict who just can’t wean himself off of the good stuff, General Motors is going back into subprime lending to finance new auto sales. Although the much diminished company is still largely government owned, and has made great strides at reforming its errant ways, they still do not understand their fundamental problem. […]

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Watch International Savings Rates for Market Cues

Often while searching for a piece of data through Google, 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 to have strong economies and great stock markets, since there is plenty […]

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Goodbye BRIC, Hello N-11

Jim O’Neill, the clever Goldman Sachs analyst who came up with the term “BRIC” a decade ago, has cooked up a new, catchy investment theme. Get ready for the “N-11”, shorthand for the “New 11”, a gaggle of early stage emerging markets who will become the inheritors of the BRIC’s high growth rates. The basic […]

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The Future in Consumer Spending

As part of my never ending campaign to get you to move more money into emerging markets, please take a look at the chart below from Goldman Sachs. It shows that the global middle class will rise from 1.8 billion today to 4 billion by 2040, with the overwhelming portion of the increase occurring in […]

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Look at Home Price in Terms of Gold

Every day, I get pounded by experts who insist that the bottom is here in real estate and that it is time to load the boat. I therefore find the chart below pricing US residential real estate in gold for the last 40 years. After peaking in 2002, house prices have death spiraled 75% when […]

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The China View from 30,000 Feet

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 he passed through San Francisco visiting clients. These are usually sedentary affairs, […]

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The Service Job in Your Future

Anyone wondering about the long term future of the US economy should take a look at the chart below. It shows the unrelenting growth of services’ share of American GDP growing from 25% to 45% over the last sixty years. Far and away the fastest growth area has been in health care, and with the […]

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The Hard Truth About Residential Real Estate

Anyone who believes that housing is on the rebound, and that now is the time to buy, should take a very hard look at the numbers I dredged up for my spring lecture and luncheon tour. There are 140 million personal residences in the US. Today, there are 19 million homes either directly or indirectly […]

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The Gold Rush in Iraq

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 committed to drilling 2,500-3,000 new wells per year and building new pipeline and shipping terminal infrastructure that could make the country the world’s largest oil exporter. […]

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