September 9, 2013 4:35 AM
Until quite recently, the central banks of many emerging markets have fought a losing battle against rapidly appreciating currencies. It wasn’t so much that their currencies were appreciating because of fundamentals—instead, too many US Dollar were being printed and they were searching for a home that provided returns.
Take Brazil for instance. Starting from the lows in late 2008, the Brazilian Real (BRL) appreciated from 2.40 to the Dollar all the way to almost 1.50. I have Brazilian frien... more
September 1, 2013 8:45 PM
From 1860 to 1865, 11 states effectively told the Federal Government, “We disagree with your laws—if you try to enforce them, we’ll shoot back.” It took over 4 years of war before the Federal Government forced them to follow the laws. While unsuccessful, you sure have to admire their sense of pluck.
Yesterday, I read the following article in the New York Times http://nyti.ms/19XPcdy
I will repeat a few key paragraphs;
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Unless a handful of wavering Democrats chang... more
August 15, 2013 4:32 PM
It all started with two western railroads needing access to Chicago and all of the rail traffic that flowed through there. James J. Hill and Edward H. Harriman the opposing railroad magnates ultimately set in motion an epic battle of wills to control access to Chicago—in the process, they nearly destroyed the entire financial system of the US and created one of the most famous short squeezes of all time.
Hill struck first and used his Northern Pacific railroad to purchase control of the Ch... more
August 7, 2013 6:31 PM
The rule with oligopolies is that eventually, someone cheats a bit—then everyone cheats a lot. That’s the reason that oligopolies rarely last very long—particularly when you are dealing with global commodities that are not all that scarce. Or at least, that’s how most economists think of the world. I would like to offer a slightly different axiom—if you are making too much money, you will also destroy the oligopoly due to new supply.
In almost any product, there is almost always a bit of ne... more
July 13, 2013 10:03 AM
Last night, a friend sent me this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlxHoboDz2k&feature=player_embedded with the subject line—“Bull market in tear gas. How do we get exposure…??” That got me thinking—I bet there is a raging bull market for the guys who produce this stuff.
As I watch the chaos in Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Turkey and other countries, I am reminded that even within the chaos, there are bull markets. Uncertainty and change create opportunity. As investors, we need... more