Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gary Shilling interview on Bloomberg

Gary Shilling interview on Bloomberg
Gary is talking about his usual deflationary theme. He sees the 30y retreating to the 2.5% level it hit in 2008. He's also identified many types types of deflation: financial assets, tangible assets, commodities, wages, goods, and services deflation. He likes medical office buildings and rental apartments as safe havens, but thinks copper will go a lot lower. He continues to be bearish on China, and pooh pooh's their primitive monetary tools.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Delivering Alpha: Commodities Panel (Paul Touradji)

Commodities: What's next for oil given the explosion in global demand, and just how high can gold go, with Peter Gilbert of Lehigh University, Jeff Scott of Wurts & Associates, and Paul Touradji of Touradji Capital.

Delivering Alpha: The End of America?

The "End of America" panel includes Larry Fink of BlackRock, Pierre Lagrange of GLG Partners, Jim Leech of OTPP, and Meredith Whitney. The panel discusses America's place in the world as new economic powers rise in the East.

Credit Panel in Delivering Alpha conference

The Credit Panel in the Delivering Alpha conference
Peter Briger of Fortress, Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital, Bruce Richards of Marathon, and Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital

Bill Ackman and Sam Zell on Delivering Alpha's Real Estate Panel

Delivering Alpha: "Homes For Sale: Is now the time to come back to real estate" with Bill Ackman of Pershing Square, Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital, and the legendary Sam Zell.

Emerging Markets Panel in CNBC's Delivering Alpha Conference

The Emerging Markets panel includes Marko Dimitrijevic of Everest Capital, Scott Kalb of Korea Investment Corporation, and Marty Whitman of Third Avenue Management.

Jim Chanos (CNBC's Delivering Alpha Conference)

Jim Chanos was on the "China: Bubble or Bonanza" panel with Dan Arbess of Perella Weinberg. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out who the bear and bull on the panel was.

Bill Ackman on CNBC's Delivering Alpha Conference

Bill Ackman of Pershing Square in CNBC's Delivering Alpha Conference on his Hong Kong dollar investment thesis. Here's a link to his presentation slides.
(Ed: I think Ackman's a smart guy but he's way out of his depth here and should stick to picking stocks)

Bruce Berkowitz on Consuelo Mack's WealthTrack

Beleaguered fund manager Bruce Berkowitz was on Consuelo Mack's WealthTrack recently. As is well known, Berkowitz has a huge bet on financials (Bank of America, AIG) and real estate (St. Joes), and his fund has been severely hammered this year.
Berkowitz  is Morningstar’s "Fund Manager of the Decade"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Market News and Notable links

Operation Twist: As more-or-less expected by market forecasters, the FOMC announced it would buy $400B of Treasuries , but stocks plunged to session lows and Treasuries rallied. The FOMC emphasized "significant downside risks" to the economy and investors may have latched on to this statement along with the usual “sell on the news” trading. And there was no asset purchase surprise either. IOER (Interest on Excess reserves) was left unchanged, but the Fed announced plans to reinvest prepayments of agency debt and MBS back into agency MBS (support for the housing sector and hints of coordinated action on housing with the Whitehouse?).

The 30y yield fell over 20 bps to below 3% at one point. 10y yields slid 8bps to 1.86%. The VIX, Yen, and DXY were up. Gold finished down below $1800. The Canadian dollar closed below parity for 1st time since January 31, 2011. The financial sector closed at 2011 lows after its 4.94% decline.

·         Roger Altman (founder of Evercore): America and Europe are on the verge of disastrous recession
·         Burton Malkiel (author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street): Emerging stocks offer better returns and less risk based on lower debt levels, demographics, abundance of natural resources, and valuations.
·         Jeremy Grantham was interviewed in Marketwatch. “If we adjust earnings to normal and apply an average P/E, you can finally build a decent portfolio today of global equities at a respectable long-term return”
·         Barron’s interviews Jim Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. He is still bullish on Gold, gold stocks and blue chips, bearish on China, thinks the Euro will break up, and has given up on Japanese stocks.

Jim Grant interview in Barron's

Barron’s interviews Jim Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. He is still bullish on Gold, gold stocks and blue chips, bearish on China, thinks the Euro will break up, and has given up on Japanese stocks.

Longer Jim Chanos Video (Bloomberg, September)

Longer video of Jim Chanos's interview with Bloomberg in September.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paul Volcker's inflation piece in the New York Times

The great Paul A. Volcker had a must-read op-ed on inflation in the New York Times on Sept 18. He talks about the appeal of "just a little" inflation for an indebted country struggling with weakening aggregate demand. Inflation seems like just the thing to cure this malaise, right? Definitely not. And Volcker should know since he battled the high inflation of the 70s and early 80s and succeeded in breaking its back (and to the mind of many, in also setting off the great dis-inflationary asset boom of the 80s and 90s).

The thing is, once you let the inflation genie out of the bottle, it's hard to control. Fighting deflation is fun - cut rates, cut taxes, pour liquidity into the system, bump up spending, and so on. Fighting inflation requires much of the opposite - hiking rates and choking off liquidity. This is strong medicine that we have not had to take for decades. And it could seriously harm the patient.

I am extremely worried about the potential for inflation down the road because I think the Fed will have trouble sterilizing its $2T+ balance sheet. Moreover, unlike Germany that was haunted by the Weimar inflation, our greatest fear is deflation, which is why we seem so complacent about it. And given our astounding debt levels, we could not deal with even a slight deflation. We need high nominal wages and asset prices, and we need negative real yields. All this tells me, we have high inflation in our future. And probably in the next 5 years.

Jim Chanos on Bloomberg

Jim Chanos was on Bloomberg today speaking about China and the situation in Europe.
(Embedding disabled on the first video)

Trading Idea?

I'm tempted to go long this basket of S&P stocks that are down from their lows of March 9, 2009 (when the U.S. markets hit bottom). Should outperform the market over a 3-5 yr time horizon.

(from Bespoke)

Eric Jackson on Netflix and Yahoo

Eric Jackson on Netflix and Yahoo

Disclaimer: I am a YHOO shareholder

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Delivering Alpha: Best Ideas & Alpha (Kyle Bass, Dan Loeb)

Delivering Alpha: Best Ideas & Alpha

Featuring Kyle Bass, Hayman Advisors
Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors
Phil Falcone, Harbinger Capital
Daniel Loeb, Third Point LLC
Anne B. Popkin, Symphony Asset Management




Friday, September 16, 2011

Ray Dalio Interview (Bridgewater)

A fantastic interview with Ray Dalio from Bridgewater, the world's biggest hedge fund (HT Ritholtz).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oldie but a goodie: Nassim Taleb presentation on

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: A Crazier Future
(Taleb, of course, is the author of The Black Swan)