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...]

Exploring my New York Roots

queenmary

While in New York waiting to board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 to sail for Southampton, England, I decided to check out the Bay Ridge address near the Verrazano Bridge where my father grew up. I took a limo over to Brooklyn and knocked on the front door. I told the owner about my family history with the property, but I could see from the expression on his face that he didn’t … [Read more...]

Mid Atlantic Thoughts Aboard the Queen Mary 2, Part I

Queen Mary

Location: 48 degrees, 02.12 minutes North, 043 degrees, 42.08 minutes West, or 1,421 nautical miles ENE of New York. The Queen Mary 2 is currently plowing its way through a massive fog bank a thousand miles thick, sounding the foghorn every two minutes. Visibility is less than 100 yards, and the waves are a rough 12 feet high. The captain has closed the outside decks for … [Read more...]

July 16, 2013

Global Market Comments July 16, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 25 PORTOFINO, ITALY STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (KNOWING THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING AND THE VALUE OF NOTHING), (DINNER WITH NOBEL PRIZE WINNER PAUL KRUGMAN) … [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...]

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 … [Read more...]

Dinner with Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman

End This Depression Now!

The first thing I noticed when Paul walked in was the few extra pounds and silvery tinge to his hair he acquired since I saw him last. He’s clearly spending too much time behind a computer writing those acidic columns for the New York Times. We’re all short dated options in the end, I thought. We met at my favorite San Francisco restaurant, Gary Danko’s (click here for their … [Read more...]

July 15, 2013

Global Market Comments July 15, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 1 MYKONOS, GREECE STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE VIX?), (VIX), (VXX), (CONNECTING UP AMERICA), (THE MYSTERY OF THE BRASHER DOUBLOON), (GLD) VOLATILITY S&P 500 (VIX) iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN (VXX) SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) … [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...]

What’s Going on With the VIX?

John Keynes

After crawling off the mat at the 12% level, and rising all the way back up to 19%, traders are wondering if the Volatility Index (VIX) is finally coming back to life. Or is this just another dead cat bounce? It wasn’t supposed to work that way. Falling markets should send investors scrambling to buy downside protection in the form of put options, which would automatically … [Read more...]

Connecting Up America

Solar Panels

Until now, the country’s power grid has been divided into three unconnected, noncompetitive kingdoms (in the spirit of Game of Thrones), making transnational transmission impossible, leading to huge regional mispricing. While California and New York suffered from periodic brown outs and sky high prices, electricity was given away virtually for free in Texas. A group of power … [Read more...]

The Mystery of the Brasher Doubloon

Brasher Doubloon

I’ll never forgot when my friend, Don Kagin, one of the world’s top dealers in rare coins, walked into the gym one day and announced that he made $1 million that morning.  I inquired “How is that, pray tell?” He told me that he was an investor and technical consultant to a venture hoping to discover the long lost USS Central America, which sunk in a storm off the Atlantic … [Read more...]

July 12, 2013

Global Market Comments July 12, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 16 BERLIN STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (WHEN THE DEMOGRAPHIC HEADWIND BECOMES A TAILWIND), (AN AFTERNOON WITH ACE REPORTER HELEN THOMAS) (STOPPING BY OBAMA’S HOUSE) … [Read more...]

July 16 Berlin Strategy Luncheon

Berlin-Brandenburg Gate

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Berlin, Germany, at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, July 16, 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, commodities, … [Read more...]

Stopping by Obama’s House

Security-Neighborhood

During my recent quick run through Chicago to visit clients, I couldn’t resist the temptation to stop by President Obama’s house and see how close I could get. Nestled on Greenwood Avenue and 50th street in up and coming Hyde Park, I was thwarted by two concrete crash barriers, 16 cop cars, and army of elderly Chicago police happily pulling overtime. Shifty looking … [Read more...]

July 11, 2013

Global Market Comments July 11, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 19 FRANKFURT STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (COFFEE WITH DR. ROBERT SHILLER), (INVESTING IN DINOSAUR POOP) … [Read more...]

July 19 Frankfurt Strategy Luncheon

Frankfurt-8

Come join me for lunch for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Frankfurt, Germany on Friday, July 19, 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, commodities, precious metals, and … [Read more...]

Investing in Dinosaur Poop

T, Rex named Sue

The dinosaur bone market has crunched. Once a favorite collectible of high-flying hedge fund managers, the prices of everything from tyrannosaurus rex to brontosaurus fossils have skidded. A recent auction of a triceratops skeleton failed to reach its minimum bid of $1 million. Even prices for fossilized dinosaur excrement, a popular niche market, have gone down the … [Read more...]

Coffee with Robert Shiller

shiller1_1

Yale professor, Robert Shiller, is the kind of imp like, peripatetic college professor you might expect to find in a Disney movie. Highly animated and jumping from one radical idea to the next it is hard to keep up with his stream of consciousness torrent of economic innovations. After a two-hour barrage, I was so intellectually exhausted that all I could do when I returned … [Read more...]

July 10, 2013

Global Market Comments July 10, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 12 AMSTERDAM STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (PLEASE USE MY FREE DATA BASE SEARCH), (DRINKS WITH THE PRESIDENT) … [Read more...]

July 12 Amsterdam Strategy Luncheon

Amsterdam

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on Friday, July 12, 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, commodities, … [Read more...]

Please Use My Free Data Base Search

Woman hitting head

The original purpose of this letter was to build a database of ideas to draw on in the management of my hedge fund. When a certain trade comes into play, I merely type in the symbol, name, currency, or commodity into the search box, and the entire fundamental argument in favor of that position pops up. You can do the same. Just type anything into the search box with the … [Read more...]

Drinks With the President

Obama with Security

President Barack Obama certainly arrives at a party like a rock star. Three silver GM Suburban’s flanking an armored black Cadillac limo screech to a halt with lights flashing. All of the roads in the immediate vicinity are closed to traffic. A dozen sunglass bedecked Secret Service agents leap out, immediately scanning the perimeter. The president bounds out and briskly … [Read more...]

July 9, 2013

Global Market Comments July 9, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 16 BERLIN STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (WHO IS BEN BERNANKE?), (KEEP INDONESIA ON YOUR RADAR), (IDX), (WHY WE NEED SIX NEW SAUDI ARABIA’S) (USO), (RIG), (XOM), (OXY) Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (IDX) United States Oil (USO) Transocean Ltd. (RIG) Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) Occidental Petroleum … [Read more...]

July 16 Berlin Strategy Luncheon

Berlin-Brandenburg Gate

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Berlin, Germany, at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, July 16, 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, commodities, … [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...]

Keep Indonesia on your Radar

Indonesian Natives

If you are looking for another emerging market to add to your list of things to buy on dips, then take a look at Indonesia (IDX). The world’s largest Muslim country offers a combination that I love, a population with great demographics that is also a major energy and commodities exporter. The archipelago is the biggest country in Southeast Asia and a huge exporter of oil and … [Read more...]

Why We Need Six New Saudi Arabia’s

Camel21-1

I recently spent an evening with Ambassador Richard Jones, the Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency in Paris, who had some eye opening things to say about the energy space. The IEA was first set up as a counterweight to OPEC during the oil crisis in 1974, and has since evolved into a top-drawer energy research organization. World GDP will grow an … [Read more...]

July 8, 2013

Global Market Comments July 8, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 19 FRANKFURT STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (THE TWO CENTURY DOLLAR SHORT), (UUP), (FXY), (FXE), (FXB), (FXC), (FXA), (BNZ), (CYB) (CNN’S JOHN LEWIS; THE DEATH OF A COLLEAGUE) PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) CurrencyShares … [Read more...]

July 19 Frankfurt Strategy Luncheon

Frankfurt-8

Come join me for lunch for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Frankfurt, Germany on Friday, July 19, 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, commodities, precious metals, and … [Read more...]

The Two Century Dollar Short

10 Dollar Bill

Any trader will tell you the trend is your friend, and the overwhelming direction for the US dollar for the last 220 years has been down. Our first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, found himself constantly embroiled in sex scandals. Take a ten dollar bill out of your wallet and you’re looking at a world class horn dog, a swordsman of the first order. When he wasn’t … [Read more...]

CNN’s John Lewis; the Death of a Colleague

John Lewis

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. Personable and easy going, he was one of the few in the club who got … [Read more...]

July 8 London Strategy Luncheon

Big_Ben_8583a

Come join me for lunch for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in London on Monday, July 8, 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, currencies commodities, precious metals, and real estate. And to keep … [Read more...]

My Briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General James Cartwright

I have always considered the US military to have one of the world’s greatest research organizations. The frustrating thing is that their “clients” only consist of the President and a handful of three and four star generals. So I thought that I would review my notes from a dinner I had with General James E. Cartwright, the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and … [Read more...]

Only Buy Companies You Hate

Anger-Computer

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams argues that you should invest in companies you hate because only the most unprincipled and rapacious firms make the greatest profits. Moral bankruptcy is a great leading indicator of success, and the best ones can get you to balance your wallet on the end of your nose and bark like a seal, as you buy products that you utterly despise. Companies … [Read more...]

July 3, 2013

Global Market Comments July 3, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 12 AMSTERDAM STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (IRAN SHOULD FOLD ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM, OR ELSE), (PETER F. DRUCKER ON MANAGEMENT) … [Read more...]

July 12 Amsterdam Strategy Luncheon

Amsterdam

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on Friday, July 12, 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, commodities, … [Read more...]

Iran Should Fold Its Nuclear Program, Or Else

Flags

“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 of the Treasury, and George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State. At the same … [Read more...]

Peter F. Drucker on Management

The Essential Drucker

If you have been living in a cave for the last 71 years and missed the work of management guru, Peter F. Drucker, here is your chance to catch up. I just finished reading The Essential Drucker, a weighty tome of 368 pages which summarized the high points and pearls of wisdom of the author’s 38 books published since 1939. A self described “social ecologist”, Drucker was a … [Read more...]

July 2, 2013

Global Market Comments July 2, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 16 BERLIN STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (DIAMONDS ARE STILL AN INVESTOR’S BEST FRIEND), (SO YOU THINK THEY’RE NOT WATCHING YOUR PC?)   … [Read more...]

July 16 Berlin Strategy Luncheon

Berlin-Brandenburg Gate

Come join John Thomas for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in Berlin, Germany, at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, July 16, 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, commodities, … [Read more...]

Diamonds Are Still an Investor’s Best Friend

ring

If you forgot to buy your loved one a birthday present 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 exists called Mazal Diamond, which promises to turn the online jewelry business upside down. I went to the privately held company’s website at … [Read more...]

So You Think They’re Not Watching Your PC?

Computer

Hey! You there, staring at this monitor. This is your PC talking to you. No, not you over there standing in the background. I’m talking to the guy sitting in front of me poking at my keys. Ouch! That one hurt! So you thought no one was watching, did you? Let me set you straight. About a month ago you clicked on a certain website, and I installed myself as a cookie on your … [Read more...]

July 1, 2013

Global Market Comments July 1, 2013 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (MAD DAY TRADER IS NOW FOR SALE), (AUGUST 1 MYKONOS, GREECE STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (BE CAREFUL WHO YOU SNITCH ON), (COULD YOU QUALIFY TO BECOME A US CITIZEN?) … [Read more...]

Mad Day Trader is Now for Sale!

I am pleased to announce that the The Mad Day Trader is now for sale, my first major upgrade to your service. While the Global Trading Dispatch focuses on investment over a one week to six-month time frame, Mad Day Trader will exploit money-making opportunities over a ten minute to three day window. It is ideally suited for day traders, but can also be used by long-term … [Read more...]