Where’s the Money?

Corzine testifies about the MF Global bankruptcy during a hearing before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington

That is the question that was asked repeatedly by members of congress to the former senior management of the late MF Global. The response was a few feeble shrugs and I don’t knows. CNBC has been running ridiculous contests like “Where is John Corzine?”, and “What does John Corzine want for Christmas?” The reporting on this by the media has been exaggerated and wildly … [Read more...]

Cross Market Correlations Are Breaking Down

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Today was a real head scratcher for long time market observers, including myself. Cross market correlations that have served me so well this year are breaking down, and their predictive power has suddenly gone blind. I blame this on the liquidity drought that has plagued the market since the beginning of the month that has confined markets to frustratingly narrow … [Read more...]

Jobless Claims Give More Fodder to the Bulls

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No, the important economic event of the week was not the snail like progress towards solution of the European debt debacle. It was the weekly jobless claims announced on Thursday that plunged 23,000 to 381,000, a six month low. That puts it well below the 400,000 level where the economy is generally thought to be expanding. Yes, you can argue that there are all kinds of … [Read more...]

Market Gives Thumbs Up on European Plan

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Having the flu during the holidays is the pits. This weekend, I blew my nose at the Cirque du Soliel so loudly that is perilously distracted some of the high wire acrobats. I coughed and hacked my way through the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker Suite. Even the eggnog is utterly tasteless, no matter how much Myers Rum I pour in it. I am writing this piece with a fever and … [Read more...]

Hedge Funds Circling Over the European Wreckage

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Have you ever wanted to spend your summers basking in the sunlight at your mountain top Tuscan villa, surveying the manicured vineyards which produce your own estate bottled wine? Are you drawn by the cachet of claiming George Clooney as a celebrity neighbor on the model strewn shores of Lake Como? How about a luxury apartment that is walking distance from the Vatican? Hedge … [Read more...]

China’s Rate Cut is a Game Changer

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For the first time in three years, China (FXI) has cut its prime lending rate by 50 basis points. The timing caught many analysts by surprise, as such move was not expected until the lunar new year in early February. Perhaps recent data showing collapsing exports prompted the Mandarins in Beijing to hurriedly move up the timetable. The Middle Kingdom’s action is one of the … [Read more...]

Austerity Hits Wall Street

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This year, your bonus is that you get to keep your job. That is the bad news that will be dished out to many disappointed staff during annual reviews at the major Wall Street firms this year. We all know that volumes have been trading at subterranean levels which have created a real drought of commission incomes. New regulations imposed by Dodd-Frank and the Volker rule mean … [Read more...]

Bear Trap Sprung

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The coming bear trap that I warned about last week sprung this morning on the non-subscribing unwary, triggering panic buying by short sellers in all “RISK ON” assets. Oil (USO), gold (GLD), silver (SLV), copper (CU), and foreign currencies all moved in lockstep to the upside. The trigger was news that leaked out over the weekend that the International Monetary Fund would make … [Read more...]

IMF Euro Bail Out Attempt Flops

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The International Monetary Fund announced a new facility for members to address a short term liquidity crisis. The measure is aimed at beleaguered Europeans girding themselves for a steady worsening of their sovereign debt crisis in the hope of “breaking the chain of contagion.”  But the measure is more of a squirt gun than a bazooka. Specifically, the IMF has offered 6 … [Read more...]

Watch Out for the Bear Trap

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The volatility index (VIX) is just not buying this sell off. Even with the Dow down over 300 today, the (VIX) has only managed a meager 3% gain on the day. With a move in equities of this magnitude, you would expect volatility to rise by 15% or more. If traders and investors really believed that the risk markets were really going to crash to new lows, they would be paying … [Read more...]

“RISK OFF” Strikes Again

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You would think that this was going to be a good day. Weekly jobless claims fell to 388,000, a new six month low. New permits for home construction in October were up 10.2%. The October CPI even fell by 0.1%. But the second that Spanish bond yields spiked, it was all over but the crying. The S&P 500 opened weak, and then proceeded to plunged 25 points, decisively … [Read more...]

Why Residential Real Estate Will Not Recover

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One of the most frequently asked questions at my recent round of strategy luncheons, seminars, and keynote speaking engagements has been “Is it time to buy a home?” I responded with “No, no, a thousand times no,” and proceeded to rail off the countless reasons. My answer always piques listeners’ interest, as 67% of Americans are still homeowners, and probably more at these … [Read more...]

What’s Up With Gold?

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Have you ever held a basketball underwater in a swimming pool and let go? It flies to the upside and pops you in the nose. That is exactly what gold is doing now. After the barbarous relic peaked at $1,922 on August 24, it traded like an absolute pig, giving up 20% in a matter of weeks. I managed to coin it with a couple of quick in and out trades in (GLD) puts, some doubling … [Read more...]

Meet the Teflon Market

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Pound away at this market all you want, and it just refuses to go down. In recent weeks we have received a torrent of bad news from Europe, including the fall of governments in Greece and Italy, and the S&P 500 index keeps migrating back to the 1,260 level, as if attracted by some supernatural, magnetic force. It is no coincidence that this is where the closely followed big … [Read more...]

Silver Is Starting to Shine

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I received an urgent call from my friend at Fidelitrade (http://fidelitrade.com/) this morning, a leading dealer in 1,000 ounce bars of gold and silver. He had just been cleaned out of the 1,000 ounce silver bars at $34,930 each, and there was nothing in the pipeline. What the hell was going on with silver? I tried to calm him down with my usual measured, rational, global, … [Read more...]

Take a look at Jeffries

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I have an unusually sensitive nose. Maybe that is because it is so big. It is particularly attuned to detecting bullpucky in broker research reports. So when an analyst recently downgraded the mid-level broker, Jeffries & Co (JEF), on the back of its European debt exposure, the stench was overwhelming. I went to the website at http://www.jefco.com/ and had a quick look … [Read more...]

What’s up with BYD?

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When I first bought shares in the Chinese electric car manufacturer, BYD (BYDDF) (or Build Your Dreams) in 2009 on the heels of Warren Buffet’s 10% investment, it looked like a total home run. The stock soared from $1.50 to $11, given me a paper return of 730%. Undercover, I Totally Blend Last year, the stock started to roll over, retracing all the way back to my cost. I … [Read more...]

Goodbye Steve Jobs, Hello Dividend?

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Analysts continue to be stunned by the rate at which cash is rolling into Apple (AAPL). At current cash flows, the company’s hoard is expected to grow from $81 billion to $120 billion by next June, an increase of nearly $200 million a day! So far, the company has resisted every entreaty to part with some of this dosh, either through a share buyback or a dividend. Now some … [Read more...]

Report From Australia

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SPECIAL AUSTRALIAN ASSET CLASS REVIEW     I am writing this report on the ferry boat from Sydney to Manley, where I will attend a gathering of Australia based hedge fund managers to absorb their collective wisdom. I have deliberately taken the slow boat,  so I have the time to give this report the depth it deserves. The Australian swim suit model sitting … [Read more...]

The Stock Market’s Dream Scenario

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I’m sitting here with a mountain of technical analysis reports that are causing my desk to buckle this morning, all shouting “breakout”, “buy”, and “uptrend”. So I’m wondering, “is there a scenario out there where these might actually come to pass?” At this point I thought it might be useful to engage in what Albert Einstein called “thought experiments” and come up with a … [Read more...]

Who’s Doing All That Buying?

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Market observers were stunned, amazed, and gob smacked when trading volumes surged with the 300 point move in the Dow last Thursday. Are retail investors at last making a long awaited return to the stock market? Have they broken with tradition and started buying a bottom, instead of a top? Not a chance. Much of the volume spike can be traced to the obscure mathematics of … [Read more...]

Bond Market Crash Sends Macro Millionaire to New All Time High

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The abject failure of yesterday’s seven year Treasury bond auction and the crash that ensued has enabled the year-to-date return for my Macro Millionaire trade mentoring program to soar to a new all-time high of 43%. The 30 year bond plunged a staggering six points from the previous day’s high. Yields on ten year government paper have ratcheted up 50 basis points in just a few … [Read more...]

Report From New Zealand

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I am writing this report from the Duke of Marlborough Hotel and Pub in remote Russell, off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. One known as “The Hell Hole of the Pacific”, in 1835, no less an authority than Charles Darwin claimed this 19th century whaling port was populated with “the refuse of humanity.” It has since been cleaned up, gentrified, and turned into a … [Read more...]

The Bull Market in Mustangs

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The Western US has found a new wrinkle in the housing collapse, where homeowners are desperately struggling to cut living costs to meet the next doubling of their adjustable rate mortgage payments on their underwater houses. Raising horses can cost more than children, so Nevadans are turning them loose to join herds of wild mustangs, to dodge the $30,000/year it costs to … [Read more...]

Watch Me on Money Show TV

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My friend, Charles Githler, organizer of the hugely successful Money Shows, graciously invited me to appear as a keynote speaker at the recent Las Vegas event. You will never find more talent, useful tools, and new points of view under one roof than any other confab of this kind. And best of all, they are free to attend. After my speech, I made a series of instructional … [Read more...]

Winging My Way Back From China

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I am writing TO you from my first class seat on Singapore Airlines, winging my way the 12 hours from Hong Kong to San Francisco. While most airlines jettisoned their first class sections years ago as a cost saving measure, Singapore carried on to maintain its reputation as the best airline in the world. The small section at the front of the bus is populated with a few Chinese … [Read more...]

The New War on Hedge Fund Managers

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Yang Yanming was slowly led from his cell by two burly uniformed guards in Beijing’s central prison to a waiting van in the courtyard guards, his hands cuffed behind him and his head bowed. Once in the vehicle, he was strapped to a gurney, hooked up to an IV, and given a highly concentrated injection of sodium pentobarbitol. Minutes later, a technician checked his pulse, and … [Read more...]