Japan moves from Paul Krugman’s liquidity trap to Haruhiko Kuroda’s "indefinite QE" trap

Japan’s 10-year government bond yield is hovering around 0.5%, an all-time low.Clearly this is the result of the Bank of Japan’s unprecedented securities purchases via the ongoing quantitative easing (QE) program that was accelerated last year.BoJ’s holdings of Japanese government securities (source BOJ) While a number of economists such as Paul…

Putin Calls for Eastern Ukraine Statehood

Putin threw fat into the Ukrainian fire today by calling for Talks on Eastern Ukraine Statehood.The question at hand is” What precisely does Putin mean by “statehood” ?Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Sunday for immediate talks on the “statehood” of southern and eastern Ukraine, although his spokesman said this did not mean Moscow now endor…

Madison Weekly Market Wrap 1.14

This week’s Market Wrap is now available at the link below. A preview follows. Madison Weekly Market Wrap 1.14 At the big Wall Street firms and the big money management houses, pension funds and insurance companies they serve, the two … Continue reading →

Eurozone Currency Dispute Intensifies: France Wants More ECB Action to Correct Overvalued Euro, Germany Doesn’t

The currency and fiscal battleground front lines in Europe remains the same. France wants QE, fiscal stimulus, and more leeway on meeting fiscal deficit targets. Germany doesn’t. And the fighting has strengthened.The idea that ECB can produce nirvana by devaluing the euro is ridiculous. Yet, that’s the battle cry of the day.Bloomberg reports France …

More Mindless Sanctions? Merkel a Liar or a Fool?

As the tide in the Ukraine civil war turns, the EU threatens Russia with more mindless sanctions.Bloomberg reports EU Vows More Russia Sanctions If War in Ukraine Worsens. European Union leaders agreed to impose tougher sanctions on Russia, possibly targeting energy and finance, if the war in Ukraine worsens.Leaders early today gave the European Comm…

Using Mean Reversion and Momentum for Possible Advantage

One of the challenges of fundamental investing is trying to find decent ideas that are off the radar. There are a number of ways to try to do that by looking at: smaller foreign companies companies that have made some significant losses. companies where the relative performance is so awful that no manager benchmarked to an […]

What I Look For in a Good Investment

If you’ve been investing very long, you no doubt understand the importance of having a solid system in place. By “system” I’m not referring to a secret black box or to technical trading rules, though both can be valid approaches in the right hands.  I am speaking far more broadly.  Whether you are a value [……

Review of Analyze West: A Psychiatrist Takes Western Civilization on a Journey of Transformation

At one time or another, we’ve all wondered if the Western world has lost its direction.  For much of the past 100 years—and even more so since the 2008 financial crisis—the West has been riddled with self-doubt and at times, it would seem, even self-loathing. Whether it is guilt over the past sins of colonialism and [&#…

Weekly Market Summary

August 30th, 2014 Urban Carmel The 2Q earnings season is over. Per Fact Set, earnings grew at 7.7% yoy and sales grew 4.5%. These are the strongest results in several years and, remarkably, they are coming when the bull market is already more than 5 years old. The sales growth rate was particularly strong. Analysts had expected 3.7% in 2Q. The co…

Markets signaling return of economic weakness in China

In addition to property market challenges and the unexpected slowdown in manufacturing expansion, we continue to see markets signaling a significant loss of momentum in China’s economic growth. Earlier in the year the country’s economic trajectory was quite uncertain. This was followed by a strong pickup in manufacturing activity early this summ…