August 30, 2013

Global Market Comments August 30, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHY I’M DOUBLING MY YEN SHORT), (FXY), (YCS), (GET READY FOR THE NEXT GOLDEN AGE) CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS) … [Read more...]

Why I’m Doubling My Yen Short

Japanese Girl

The summer us coming to a close this weekend, and the longer term, fundamentally driven trends that have been sunning themselves at the beach are about to reassert themselves. The sideways churning moves on low volume that started as early as March are about to come to an end. Therefore, it is time to bulk up my portfolio. So I am taking this opportunity to double up my … [Read more...]

Get Ready for the Next Golden Age

'57 T-Bird

I believe that the global economy is setting up for a new golden age reminiscent of the one the United States enjoyed during the 1950’s, and which I still remember fondly. This is not some pie in the sky prediction. It simply assumes a continuation of existing trends in demographics, technology, politics, and economics. The implications for your investment portfolio will be … [Read more...]

August 29, 2013

Global Market Comments August 29, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (BATTLE TESTING YOUR PORTFOLIO), (SPY), (USO), (FXE), (FXY), (YCS), (GLD), (SLV), (TLT), (THE COST OF CLEAN COAL), (KOL), (WHO IS BEN BERNANKE?) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) United States Oil (USO) CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS) SPDR … [Read more...]

Battle Testing Your Portfolio

Soldier-Fire

The great thing about the sudden $5 pop is the price of oil since Monday is that it battle tests your portfolio. You really don't know what you own and the risks it entails until something like this comes along. I'll explain why. For a start, you get a very clear idea of which of your assets are of the "RISK ON" variety, and which are of the "RISK OFF" persuasion. This is … [Read more...]

The Price Tag for Clean Coal

KOL 8-28-13

I wanted to get the low down on clean coal (KOL) to see how clean it really is, so I visited some friends at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The modern day descendent of the Atomic Energy Commission, where I had a student job in the seventies, the leading researcher on laser induced nuclear fission, and the administrator of our atomic weapons stockpile, I figured they’d … [Read more...]

Who is Ben Bernanke?

220px-Ben_Bernanke_official_portrait

Since nothing less than the fate of the free world depends on the judgment of Ben Bernanke these days, I thought I’d touch base with David Wessel, the Wall Street Journal economics editor, who has just published In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic. I doubted David could tell me anything more about the former Princeton professor I didn’t already know. I … [Read more...]

August 28, 2013

Global Market Comments August 28, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (OIL SPIKE SENDS TRADERS SCRAMBLING), (USO), (GLD), (ORDER EXECUTION 101), (THE GREAT COPPER CRASH OF 2013), (CU), (FCX) United States Oil (USO) SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) First Trust ISE Global Copper Index (CU) Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) … [Read more...]

Which One Did You Say I Should Buy?

Bashar al-Assad

Wow! That was some speech! Secretary of State, John Kerry, was certainly rattling the saber last night when he laid out the irrefutable evidence confirming the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, then upped the ante by asserting that US military forces are “ready to go.” Oil (USO) hit a two and a half year high at $109, and gold (GLD) finally … [Read more...]

Order Execution 101

Diver

New Global Trading Dispatch subscribers have requested guidelines on how to execute my trade alerts. So I thought I’d take some time today to expound on the basics of order execution 101. There are three basic ways to intelligently get an order into the market: 1) The No Brainer Average In. Buy half at the receipt of the alert and half at the close. It’s that simple. If … [Read more...]

The Great Copper Crash of 2013

Pennies

When Dr. Copper (CU), the only commodity with a PhD in economics, suddenly collapses from a heart attack, risk takers everywhere have to sit up and take notice. Since the 2011 top, the red metal has collapsed a shocking 35%. So called because of its uncanny ability to predict the future of the global economy, copper is warning of dire things to come. The price drop suggests … [Read more...]

August 27, 2013

Global Market Comments August 27, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THE TECHNICAL/FUNDAMENTAL TUG OF WAR), (SPY), (INDU), (IWM), (AND MY PREDICTION IS….), (TESTIMONIAL), (THERE ARE NO GURUS) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) … [Read more...]

The Technical/Fundamental Tug of War: Who Will Win?

Neanderthol

For the last few weeks, I have had two groups of analysts screaming in my ears. Fundamental researchers are asserting that at $105 per share in earnings, generating a price earnings multiple of 15, stocks are at the historic middle of a 10-22 range. Q2 earnings are over, and modestly outperformed on the upside, although not with the magnitude seen in recent quarters. Plus, … [Read more...]

And My Prediction Is….

The Beatles

Take those predictions, forecasts, and prognostications with so many grains of salt. They have a notorious track record for being completely wrong, even when made by the leading experts in their fields. In preparing for my autumn lecture series, I came across the following nuggets and thought I’d share them with you. There are some real howlers. 1876  “This 'telephone' has … [Read more...]

August 26, 2013

Global Market Comments August 26, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (RIDING WITH TREASURY SECRETARY JACK LEW) … [Read more...]

Riding With Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

Jack Lew

I was perusing my morning email in Zermatt a few weeks ago, and spotted the familiar White House address with the .gov ending. Would I be interested in meeting with the new Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew? It was just what I needed to lure me out of my Alpine lair back to the USA. I responded “yes,” and instructions followed to meet him at the private jet terminal at San Francisco … [Read more...]

August 23, 2013

Global Market Comments August 23, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (HOW US JOB LOSSES WILL END),  (FXI), (PIN), (EWY), (VNM), (OPTIONS FOR THE BEGINNER) (BRING BACK THE UPTICK RULE!) iShares China Large-Cap (FXI) PowerShares India (PIN) iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY) Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM) … [Read more...]

How US Job Losses Will End

Vietnam Flag

I was researching comparative Asian wage data the other day and was astounded with what I found. Textile workers earn $2.99 an hour in India (PIN), $1.84 in China (FXI), and $0.49 in Vietnam (VNM). This is an 18 fold increase in labor costs from ten cents an hour since Chinese industrialization launched in 1978. This compares to the $8 an hour our much abused illegals get at … [Read more...]

Options for the Beginner

Options for the Beginner and Beyond

I strongly urge readers of this letter to log on to Amazon and by a copy of Options for the Beginner and Beyond by W. Edward Olmstead. Options contracts offer investors a wonderful instrument for minimizing risk, while maximizing the upside, and I am going to recommend many more such strategies in the future. So, if you want to have the slightest idea of what I am talking … [Read more...]

Bring Back the Uptick Rule!

Art work

When the Dow crashed 514 points in a single day a few years ago, the market lost a staggering $850 billion in market capitalization. High frequency traders were possibly responsible for half of this move, but generated a mere $65 million in profits, some 7/1,000’s of a percent of the total loss. Are market authorities and regulators being penny wise, but pound foolish? The … [Read more...]

August 22, 2013

Global Market Comments August 22, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHY I SOLD OIL),  (USO), (UNG), (UUP) (SALUTING THE “OLD BREED”) United States Oil (USO) United States Natural Gas (UNG) PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) … [Read more...]

Why I Sold Oil

Camel

I think that oil peaked last week with the Egyptian Army’s ferocious and bloody attack on the Muslim Brotherhood. I hate to sound cynical here, but count the daily bodies in the street, which has been trending down sharply since Thursday’s, 1,000 plus tally. Fewer bodies mean lower oil prices. This has most likely broken the back of the fundamentalist opposition movement for … [Read more...]

August 21, 2013

Global Market Comments August 21, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHY YOU SHOULD BUY THIS DIP),  (SPX), (IWM), (INDU), (THE BIPOLAR ECONOMY), (TESTIMONIAL) S&P 500 Index (SPX) iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) DJ Industrial Average (INDU) … [Read more...]

Why You should Buy This Dip

Fight-Fish

There’s nothing like coming home and getting slapped in the face with a fresh mackerel the second I step off the plane. That’s what happens when you travel from a continent that is universally positive about US stocks, to one that is largely negative. Take a look at the chart below from my friends at Bespoke Research, showing that 66% of all investors are now bearish on … [Read more...]

The Bipolar Economy

Girl-Sad

Corporate earnings are up big! Great! Buy! No wait! The economy is going down the toilet! Sell! Buy! Sell! Buy! Sell! Help! Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the stock market has become bipolar. According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the answer is that corporate profits account for only a small part of the economy. Using the income … [Read more...]

August 20,2013

Global Market Comments August 20, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (I’M BACK!) … [Read more...]

I’m Back!

John Thomas - Heathrow

I sit here at Virgin Atlantic’s upper class lounge at London’s Heathrow airport, awaiting their transcontinental nonstop service to San Francisco, listening to Bach’s Sonata No.1 in G Minor on my headphones. I am returning from a two-month tour of Europe that was highly informative, exciting, and even mind expanding. The proof is the ten new pounds that I am packing under my … [Read more...]

August 19, 2013

Global Market Comments August 19, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (HOW THE GOVERNMENT UNDERSTATES THE ECONOMY), (HOW TO GET A FREE TRIP TO EUROPE)   … [Read more...]

How the Government Understates the Economy

Jack Lew

I am writing this in the second-class cabin of the Wales to London express train, which is packed to the gills with holiday revelers. In the adjacent seat there is a gaggle of four young ladies dressed to the, nines sporting feathers from their hats, obviously headed for a late summer wedding. They are sharing a bottle of Cava, or cheap Spanish Champagne, and the spirited … [Read more...]

How to Get a Free Trip to Europe

John Thomas

During my recent trip to Europe, I made another startling discovery about the woeful state of America’s 19th century health care system. I needed to get refills on my prescription drugs when I was in Zermatt, so I stopped by the local pharmacy and placed an order. This was for three different drugs I take daily for a typical guy my age for blood pressure, cholesterol, and … [Read more...]

August 16, 2013

Global Market Comments August 16, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHY I LOVE/HATE THE OIL COMPANIES), (XOM), (KNOWING THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING AND THE VALUE OF NOTHING) (WHY BUFFET HATES GOLD), (GLD), (GDX), (ABX) Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX) … [Read more...]

Why I Love/Hate the Oil Companies

oil

The first thing I do when I get up every morning is to curse the oil companies as the blood sucking scourges of modern civilization. I then fall down on my knees and thank God that we have oil companies. You’ve got to love ExxonMobil (XOM), which constantly trades places with Apple (AAPL) for being the world’s largest company. This is why petroleum engineers are getting … [Read more...]

Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

Antique Road Show

As a fanatical follower of the price of everything, I have long been an avid viewer of the television program, Antiques Roadshow, for 14 years, and the English version of the show well before that. This is where you learn what stuff like majolica is. Many aspiring collectors come into the open appraisal events hoping they have inherited something of untold value from their late … [Read more...]

Why Warren Buffet Hates Gold

Gold Coin

The “Oracle of Omaha” expounded at length today on why he despises the barbarous relic. The sage doesn’t really care if the yellow metal hit an all-time high today of $1,440. He sees it primarily as a bet on fear. If investors are more afraid in a year than they are today, then you make money. If they aren’t, then you lose money. If you took all the gold in the world, it would … [Read more...]

August 15, 2013

Global Market Comments August 15, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (CALIFORNIA MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN?) (DEATH OF THE CONSUMER), (SPX)  S&P 500 Index (SPX) … [Read more...]

California Money Down the Drain?

Girl-Money

Who was the top paid state employee in California last year? The governor? The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? How about the leader of the Senate? Nope. It was a prison psychiatrist who took home an eye popping $838,706, most of it in overtime. I love it! The state drives people insane by sending them to jail, then tries to cure them with triple overtime. It is a wealth … [Read more...]

The Death of the Consumer

Sleep at Computer

I often get asked why I never put out “BUY” recommendations on consumer discretionary stocks. I promptly send them in search of the latest consumer spending figures at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which do not paint a pretty picture (click following link  http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.htm). Since 2008, quarterly spending has come in at a scant … [Read more...]

August 14, 2013

Global Market Comments August 14, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (END OF THE COMMODITY SUPERCYCLE, OR NOT?) (CU), (DBA), (USO), (FCX), (BHP), (ABX),  (RIO), (JPM), (GS), (ECH), (EWZ), (IDX) (BRING BACK THE SMOKE FILLED ROOMS), (SPX), (TBT) First Trust ISE Global Copper Index (CU) PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA) United States Oil (USO) Freeport-McMoRan Copper & … [Read more...]

End of the Commodity Supercycle, or Not?

car

When I toured Australia a couple of years ago, I couldn’t help but notice a surprising number of fresh faced young people driving luxury Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches. I remarked to my Aussie friend that there must be a lot of indulgent parents in The Lucky Country these days. “It’s not the parents who are buying these cars,” he remarked, “It’s the kids.” He went on … [Read more...]

Bring Back the Smoke Filled Rooms

Ronald Reagan button

In days of old, when congressional impasses presented themselves, the Speaker of the House, rosy-cheeked Tip O’Neil, would meet his counterpart in the Senate for a night of poker. Several bottles of Scotch later, a deal would get struck, and the two would be photographed together shaking hands the next morning, talking about the good of the country. The process moved … [Read more...]

August 13, 2013

Global Market Comments August 13, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THE BOND CRASH HAS ONLY JUST STARTED), ($TNX), (TLT), (TBT), (INDIA VS. CHINA), (FXI), (PIN), (INP), (TTM) 10-Year Treasury Note ($TNX) iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treas Bond (TLT) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) iShares China Large-Cap (FXI) PowerShares India (PIN) iPath MSCI India Index … [Read more...]

The Bond Crash Has Only Just Started

Grandpa Thomas

When I was a little kid in the early 1950’s, my grandfather used to endlessly rail against Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The WWI veteran, who was mustard gassed in the trenches of France and was a lifetime, died in the wool Republican, said the former president was a dictator and a traitor to his class, who trampled the constitution with complete disregard. Candidates Hoover, … [Read more...]

India vs. China

Rickshaw

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 a tap was tantamount to committing suicide. Some 35 years later, and the subcontinent is poised to overtake China’s white hot growth rate. My friends at the International Monetary Fund issued a … [Read more...]

August 12, 2013

Global Market Comments August 12, 2013 Fiat Lux SPECIAL MYKONOS ISSUE Featured Trade: (HOW THE EURO LOOKS FROM MYKONOS), (FXE), (EUO), (GREK) CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) … [Read more...]

How The Euro Looks From Mykonos

John Thomas - Mykonos

When I sat down at my table at the Namos Restaurant, I was somewhat puzzled by the handful of sand thrown on every table. Are the Greeks as untidy with their food service as they are with their national accounts? Namos is on the south beach of the Greek island of Mykonos, part of the Cyclades chain of ancient fable, and is said to be the hottest nightclub on the island. From … [Read more...]

August 9, 2013

Global Market Comments August 9, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AMBUSH IN AUSTRALIA),  (FXA), (FXY), (FXE), (YCS), (NLR), (UNG), (GLD), (DBA), (REPORT FROM MILAN) CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (FXA) CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS) Market Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Enrgy ETF (NLR) United … [Read more...]

Ambush in Australia

Thunder Down Under

For a lifetime central bank watcher, like myself, this was one for the record books. Reserve Bank of Australia, Glenn Stevens, said last week that he welcomed a weak Australia dollar and that it probably had further to fall. To put gasoline on the flames, he added that there was room for the RBA to further lower interest rates, assuring that more weakness in the Aussie was … [Read more...]

Report from Milan

John Thomas - Milan

Milan, Italy appears to be a city entirely populated by fashion models riding bicycles on the city’s frenetic, cobblestone streets. That is one’s first impression coming out of the monolithic Milano Centrale train station, built by Mussolini to reaffirm faith in his state. Despite years of allied bombing during WWII, the building is as imposing as the day it was built. You … [Read more...]

August 8, 2013

Global Market Comments August 8, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (A PERFECT STORM HITS THE GRAIN TRADE), (POT), (AGU), (DBA), (DE), (CAT), (WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE IRANIAN RIAL COLLAPSE), (USO), (UNG), (XLE) Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (POT) Agrium Inc. (AGU) PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA) Deere & Company (DE) Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) United States … [Read more...]

A Perfect Storm Hits the Grain Trade

Potash Crystals

Grain traders have suffered a terrible 2013, a perfect storm of great news for farmers and terrible news for prices. But while farmers can make up for low prices with higher production, no such convenience exists for grain traders. In January, right out of the gate, the USDA predicted that the US would produce the largest corn crop in history, or some 96 million bushels. … [Read more...]

Why You Should Care About the Iran Rial Collapse

Rial

The Iranian Rial (IRR) has just suffered one of the most cataclysmic crashes in the history of the foreign exchange markets. It is off a mind numbing 90% since the beginning of 2011. One dollar now buys 24,834 Rials. Watch out Zimbabwe! When communications between intelligence agencies suddenly spike, as has recently been the case, I sit up and take note. Hey, do you think I … [Read more...]

August 7, 2013

Global Market Comments August 7, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (MUSINGS OF A DINOSAUR), (THE INSIDE STORY ON APPLE’S STEVE WOZNIAK), (AAPL) Apple Inc. (AAPL) … [Read more...]

Musings of a Dinosaur

Dinosaur

I often get accused by readers of being a dinosaur, of being insensitive to the feelings of others, and of living as a relic from a previous age. Well, you all may be right. So it is with some amusement I run a piece that I have lifted from my friend, Dennis Gartman’s The Gartman Letter, on the difference between going to school in 1957 and 2010: Scenario 1: Jack goes quail … [Read more...]

August 6, 2013

Global Market Comments August 6, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 9 ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND STRATEGY SEMINAR), (WHY US STOCKS ARE DIRT CHEAP), (SPX), (IWM), (AAPL), (MS), (GS), (TSLA), (USO) S&P 500 Large Cap Index (SPX) iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) Apple Inc. (AAPL) Morgan Stanley (MS) The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) United … [Read more...]

August 9 Zermatt, Switzerland Strategy Seminar

Zermatt

Come join me for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Seminar, which I will be conducting high in the Alps in Zermatt, Switzerland at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 9, 2013. A PowerPoint presentation will be followed by an open discussion on the crucial issues facing investors today. Coffee, tea, and schnapps will be made available, along with light snacks. You are welcome … [Read more...]

August 5, 2013

Global Market Comments August 5, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THE MYSTERY OF THE STRONG EURO), (FXE), (EUO), (THE LONG VIEW OF THE US ECONOMY) CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) … [Read more...]

The Mystery of the Strong Euro

John Thomas - Portofino

I sit here on the Carrera marble paved terrace of the Emperor’s Suite of the Imperial Hotel, in Santa Margherita Ligure on the Italian Riviera. As the sun sets into a languid Mediterranean, a distant church bell tolls, calling the evening mass. A flock of larks perform a spectacular aerobatic display overhead. A never-ending torrent of Vespa’s speed past on the road below, … [Read more...]

The Real Estate Market in 2030

House - Bubbles

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 since late 2005, when I unloaded all of my holdings. However, I believe that “forever” may be … [Read more...]

August 2, 2013

Global Market Comments August 2, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 9 ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND STRATEGY SEMINAR), (THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR PLANT), (DINNER WITH JOSEPH STIGLITZ) … [Read more...]

August 9 Zermatt, Switzerland Strategy Seminar

Zermatt

Come join me for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Seminar, which I will be conducting high in the Alps in Zermatt, Switzerland at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 9, 2012. A PowerPoint presentation will be followed by an open discussion on the crucial issues facing investors today. Coffee, tea, and schnapps will be made available, along with light snacks. You are welcome … [Read more...]

The World’s Largest Solar Plant

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 jackrabbits 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 Fonda and Dennis Hopper crossed the “bridge of no return” over the Colorado River in the cult … [Read more...]

Dinner With Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz

The great thing about interviewing Joseph Stiglitz over dinner is that you don’t have to ask any questions. You just turn him on and he spits out one zinger after another. And he does this in a kibitzing, wizened, grandfatherly manner like one would expect from a character that just walked off the set of Fiddler on the Roof. The unfortunate thing is that you also don’t get … [Read more...]

August 1, 2013

Global Market Comments August 1, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AN EVENING WITH THE CHINESE INTELLIGENCE SERVICE), (FXI), (CYB), (CHL), (BIDU), (PBR), (WMT), (MSFT), (ORCL), (HPQ), (GOOG) iShares China Large-Cap (FXI) WisdomTree Chinese Yuan (CYB) China Mobile Limited (CHL) Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) Petr (PBR) Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Microsoft Corporation … [Read more...]

An Evening With the Chinese Intelligence Service

Map-Borders

I normally avoid the diplomatic circuit, as the few non-committal comments and soggy appetizers I get aren’t worth the investment of time. But I jumped at the chance to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China with San Francisco consul general Gao Zhansheng. Happy Birthday China! When I casually mention that I survived the Cultural … [Read more...]

July 31, 2013

Global Market Comments July 31, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (REPORT FROM BERLIN), (A SHORT HISTORY OF HEDGE FUNDS), (FAREWELL TO SENATOR DANIEL INOUE) … [Read more...]

Report From Berlin

John Thomas - Berlin

I am sitting at my MacBook Pro typing this piece in the corner Suite on the sixth floor of the Hotel Adlon in Berlin. A half finished bottle of 2001 Chateau Pech sits on my desk, a product of the French Mediterranean coast. Out the window hundreds of tourists are milling about the imposing Brandenburg Gate, taking pictures, posing with costumed cartoon characters, or texting … [Read more...]

A Short History of Hedge Funds

Money, Arms Full

Legendary Fortune Magazine editor, Winslow Jones, created the first hedge fund out of a shabby office on Broadway in New York City in 1948, and generated monster returns over the next 20 years. He got the idea of a 20% performance bonus, now an industry standard, from ancient Phoenician sea captains who kept a fifth of the profits from successful voyages. Jones must have had an … [Read more...]

Farewell to Senator Daniel Inoue

Inoue and Clinton

I was greatly saddened when I had learned of the passing of Senator Daniel Inoue of Hawaii, the Senate’s longest serving member, and a close friend. After 50 years last August the legislative body had come to dominate the all powerful Ways and Means Committee, eventually becoming the President Pro Tem. He was 88 when he died. As a young correspondent for The Economist … [Read more...]

July 30, 2013

Global Market Comments July 30, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (REPORT FROM VENICE), (AN EVENING WITH TRAVEL GURU ARTHUR FROMMER) … [Read more...]

Report from Venice

Venice-Gondola

If you ever need someone to owe you a big favor, make sure it is the world’s best hotel. That is what I discovered when I checked into the legendary Cipriani Hotel in Venice, Italy. I had booked their cheapest room at $1,500 a day. Due to a screw up on the reservations, I learned to my great distress, that I could stay only one night. The good news was that they … [Read more...]

An Evening with Travel Guru Arthur Frommer

Europe on $5 a Day, cover

Travel guru, Arthur Frommer, says that now is the best time to travel in 20 years, thanks to a combination of a strong dollar and desperate price-cutting forced by the recession. Five years after oil hit an historic peak at $148/barrel, when $500 fuel surcharges abounded, and the demise of the travel industry was widely predicted, costs in some countries, like Mexico and … [Read more...]

July 29, 2013

Global Market Comments July 29, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AN AFTERNOON WITH GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN), (TESTIMONIAL) … [Read more...]

An Afternoon With California Governor Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown 2

On my last trip to my lakefront estate at Lake Tahoe, I stopped off at the state capital, Sacramento, to look in on my old friend, Governor Jerry Brown. It is crucial that readers across the country, and indeed, around the world, know what Jerry is thinking. California has always been a “pathfinder” state, and what starts here is often adopted across the country. This little … [Read more...]

July 26, 2013

Global Market Comments July 26, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 9 ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND STRATEGY SEMINAR), (LUNCH WITH SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONYA SOTOMAYOR)   … [Read more...]

August 9 Zermatt, Switzerland Strategy Seminar

Mykonos

Come join me for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Seminar, which I will be conducting high in the Alps in Zermatt, Switzerland at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 9, 2012. A PowerPoint presentation will be followed by an open discussion on the crucial issues facing investors today. Coffee, tea, and schnapps will be made available, along with light snacks. You are welcome … [Read more...]

Lunch With Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor

 I have to admit that it was with some trepidation that I joined Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, for lunch in San Francisco. I have friends in the New York federal prosecutor’s office who warned me that she was tough as nails and a complete bitch, first as a prosecutor herself, and later as a judge. I confided this observation to her, and she agreed completely. … [Read more...]

July 25, 2013

Global Market Comments July 25, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 9 ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND STRATEGY SEMINAR), (REPORT FROM THE ORIENT EXPRESS), (SO WHAT IS YOUR “INFLUENCER” SCORE) … [Read more...]

August 9 Zermatt, Switzerland Strategy Seminar

Zermatt

Come join me for lunch for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Seminar, which I will be conducting high in the Alps in Zermatt, Switzerland at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 9, 2012. A PowerPoint presentation will be followed by an open discussion on the crucial issues facing investors today. Coffee, tea, and schnapps will be made available, along with light snacks. You … [Read more...]

Report from The Orient Express

Orient Express

I was awoken from a dead sleep in the middle of the night in my suite on the Orient Express by a juddering halt and the smell of burning breaks in the air. We were somewhere high in the Swiss Alps, and every single passenger on the first class only train had to be thinking that a murder had just been discovered. It turned out that in the darkness we had hit a 400-pound wild … [Read more...]

So What is Your “Influencer” Score?

31st Annual Outstanding Mother Awards

First there was your grade point average, then your SAT score, followed by GMAT and LSAT scores, and finally your FICO. Now there is a new metric with which you will be judged, your “Influencer” score. A new breed of marketing research firms are using data from social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to rank members according to their ability to spur their … [Read more...]

July 24, 2013

Global Market Comments July 24, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (CATCHING UP WITH DOWNTON ABBEY), (REPORT FROM LONDON) (TESTIMONIAL) … [Read more...]

Catching Up With Downton Abbey

John Thomas

I decided to flee the madness in London for a day and visit some old friends in the countryside, the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The late 7th Earl was an early investor in my first hedge fund and I have kept in touch with the family ever since. His grandfather, the 5th Earl gained fame and fortune from his co-discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the … [Read more...]

Report from London

Globe Theater - London

I write this to you from my double suite on the Orient Express crossing the Swiss Alps. My manservant, Charles, is off fetching a cup of tea and steam pressing my white dinner jacket for tonight’s luxury feast. Customs at London’s Heathrow airport was a breeze, and the new express train whisked me into Paddington in a mere 18 minutes. I was greeted by a city that was being … [Read more...]

July 23, 2013

Global Market Comments July 23, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 25 PORTOFINO, ITALY STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (MY SOLUTION FOR EUROPE), (FXE), (EUO) CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) … [Read more...]

July 25 Portofino, Italy Strategy Luncheon

Portofino, Italy

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader's Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting near Portofino, Italy on the Italian Riviera, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. A three-course lunch will be followed by a PowerPoint presentation and an extended question and answer period. I'll be giving you my up to date view on stocks, bonds, foreign currencies, … [Read more...]

My Solution for Europe

Store Window

Taking the express train from Paris to Frankfurt, I was playing around with Google Maps on my iPhone 5s. It was really cool watching the blue dot marking my location zip across the map at 200 miles per hour. When I zoomed in on my location, I realized that I recognized many of the names. Soissons, Chateau, Thierry, and Belleau Wood were all citations that I recalled from … [Read more...]

July 22, 2013

Global Market Comments July 22, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 1 MYKONOS, GREECE STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (MID ATLANTIC THOUGHTS ABOARD THE QUEEN MARY 2, PART III), (AMERICA’S NATIVE AMERICAN ECONOMY) … [Read more...]

August 1 Mykonos, Greece Strategy Luncheon

Mykonos

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader's Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting on the Greek island of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea on Thursday, August 1, 2013. A three-course lunch will be followed by a PowerPoint presentation and an extended question and answer period. I'll be giving you my up to date view on stocks, bonds, foreign … [Read more...]

Mid Atlantic Thoughts Aboard the Queen Mary 2, Part III

John Thomas - Queen Mary

LOCATION: 50 degrees, 26.68 minutes North, 022 degrees, 29.98 minutes West, or 1,000 nautical miles South of Iceland, heading 089 degrees. Four days of hearing foghorns is starting to get tiring. Captain Wells has been ducking many of his social responsibilities, feeling more secure in the bridge close to the radar. After a few days of intermittent access, the Internet is … [Read more...]

America’s Native American Economy

indian

When I was remodeling my 160-year-old London house, the chimney was in desperate need of attention. After the bricklayer crawled up the fireplace, he found a yellowed and somewhat singed envelope addressed to Santa Claus. Thinking it was placed there by my kids, he handed it over to me. In it was a letter dated Christmas, 1910 asking for a Red Indian suit. Europeans have … [Read more...]

July 19, 2013

Global Market Comments July 19, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THE BIPOLAR ECONOMY), (SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER), (NOT YOUR FATHER’S RAILROADS), (UNP), (CSX), (NSC), (CP), (ACI) Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) CSX Corp. (CSX) Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) … [Read more...]

The Bipolar Economy

Caveat Emptor

Corporate earnings are up big! Great! Buy! No wait! The economy is going down the toilet! Sell! Buy! Sell! Buy! Sell! Help! Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the stock market has become bipolar. There is, in fact, an explanation for this madness. According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the answer is that corporate profits accounts for … [Read more...]

Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Teacher

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 schoolteacher is about to join the sorry ranks of the service station attendant, the elevator operator, and the telephone operators whose professions have been rendered useless by technology. The next big social trend in this country will be to replace … [Read more...]

Not Your Father’s Railroads

Train-Cargo

When I rode Amtrak’s California Zephyr service from Chicago to San Francisco last year, I passed countless trains heading west hauling hoppers full of coal for shipment to China. This year I took the same trip. The coal trains were gone. Instead I saw 100 car long tanker trains transporting crude oil from North Dakota south to the Gulf Coast. I thought, “There’s got to be a … [Read more...]

July 18, 2013

Global Market Comments July 18, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 9 ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND STRATEGY SEMINAR), (MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN), (MID ATLANTIC THOUGHTS ABOARD THE QUEEN MARY 2, PART II) … [Read more...]

August 9 Zermatt, Switzerland Strategy Seminar

Zermatt

Come join me for lunch for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Seminar, which I will be conducting high in the Alps in Zermatt, Switzerland at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 9, 2012. A PowerPoint presentation will be followed by an open discussion on the crucial issues facing investors today. Coffee, tea, and schnapps will be made available, along with light snacks. You … [Read more...]

Money Down the Drain?

Girl-Money

Who was the top paid state employee in California last year? The governor? The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? How about the leader of the Senate? Nope. It was a prison psychiatrist who took home an eye popping $838,706, most of it in overtime. I love it! The state drives people insane by sending them to jail, then tries to cure them with triple overtime. It is a wealth … [Read more...]

Mid Atlantic Thoughts Aboard the Queen Mary 2, Part II

John Thomas-computer

LOCATION: 48 degrees, 02.12 minutes North, 043 degrees, 42.08 minutes West, or 1,000 miles south of Greenland. When I visited the computer center, I was stunned to learn that they were offering three hour long classes on Apple products and programs every hour, all day long. They covered iMacs, iPads, IPods, IPhones, and all of the associated software and gizmos. I promptly … [Read more...]

July 17, 2013

Global Market Comments July 17, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 1 MYKONOS, GREECE STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (EXPLORING MY NEW YORK ROOTS), (MID ATLANTIC THOUGHTS ABOARD THE QUEEN MARY 2, PART 1) … [Read more...]

August 1 Mykonos, Greece Strategy Luncheon

Mykonos

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader's Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting on the Greek island of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea on Thursday, August 1, 2013. A three-course lunch will be followed by a PowerPoint presentation and an extended question and answer period. I'll be giving you my up to date view on stocks, bonds, foreign … [Read more...]