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Carnage in the Grain Pits

I have been warning readers away from the agriculture space for the past few months, and on Thursday you found out why. More than 90% of the street was positioned for a bullish report, expecting that the last summer’s blistering drought and ongoing dryness in South American would lead to inevitable shortages. Instead, the US […]

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Demographics as Destiny

If demographics is destiny, then America’s future looks bleak. I have long been a fan of demographic investing which creates opportunities for traders to execute on what I call “intergenerational arbitrage”.  When the numbers of the middle aged are falling, risk markets plunge. Front run this data by two years, and you have a great […]

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Welcome to Nosebleed Territory

When climbing peaks in the Alps, the High Sierras, or the Himalayas, you know you’re getting close to the top when the air becomes thin, it is difficult to breathe, and your nose suddenly starts to bleed. I remember trying to smoke a cigarette at 20,000 feet on Mount Everest. If you didn’t keep puffing […]

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The Muni Bond Myth

Have I seen this movie before? Three years ago, analysts were predicting default rates as high as 17% for Junk bonds in the wake of the financial meltdown, taking yields on individual issues up to 25%. Liquidity in the market vaporized, and huge volumes of unsold paper overhung the market. To me, this was an […]

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Watch Those Monetary Aggregates!

Call me a nerd, but instead of spending my Sundays watching the NFC playoffs, I pour over data analyzing the monetary aggregates. This is so I can gain insights into the future performance of assets classes. What I am seeing these days is not just unusual; it’s bizarre. Call it a double reverse, a Hail […]

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Tea With Economist David Hale

Before I left Chicago, I managed to catch up with my old friend, David Hale, for a cup of tea at the city’s prestigious University Club. I have been using David as my de facto global macro economist for decades, and I never miss an opportunity to get his updated views. The challenge is in […]

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The Flash Crash Risk is Rising

Those who lived through the cataclysmic “flash crash” that occurred precisely at 2:45 pm EST on May 6, 2010, have been dreading a replay ever since. Their worst nightmares may soon be realized. That is when the Dow Index (INDU) dropped a gob smacking 650 points in minutes, wiping out nearly $1 trillion in market […]

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Those Q4 Earnings Reports Will Not Be So Pretty

Traders and investors have grown comfortable with a steady stream of corporate earnings reports. 2011 as a whole may come in as high as $15 a share for the S&P 500. But the gravy train may end starting next week. The number of companies reducing guidance and downshifting expectations is at a three year high. […]

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The Euro Breaks Down

(Note to Newsletter only subscribers: This trade alert went out to paying customers of my Trade Alert Service last Thursday morning.) I am going to start the New Year with a 25% allocation to the double leveraged short ETF (EUO). It’s time to do the hard trade, sell on weakness, and sell the breakdown. The […]

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My 2011 Report Card

If there was ever a year when you wanted a former combat pilot with a current aerobatic license giving you financial advice, it was the one we just completed. After enough loops, spins, barrel rolls, and whip stalls to induce air sickness in the most seasoned of veterans, the major indexes ended almost exactly where […]

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2012 Annual Asset Class Review

I am writing this report from a first class cabin on Amtrak’s California Zephyr en route from Chicago to San Francisco. The majestic snow covered Rocky Mountains are behind me. There is now a paucity of scenery, with the endless ocean of sage brush and salt flats of Northern Nevada outside my window, so there […]

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Throwing in the Towel on the (TBT)

I am throwing in the towel on the (TBT) ETF, my 200% leveraged bet that Treasury bonds will fall. I am doing this partly to clear out the dogs from my portfolio so I can start the New Year with a 100% cash position. But I am also bailing because the short term fundamentals point […]

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Where’s the Money?

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 […]

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Jobless Claims Give More Fodder to the Bulls

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 […]

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Market Gives Thumbs Up on European Plan

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 […]

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