Gold on Pace for Best Monthly Gains Since 2012 Could Oil Hit $85 by the end of 2016? CRB Index up 2.3% Year-to-Date Brazil: Record Production as Prices Slump Reuters reports: Brazilian miner Vale SA produced record amounts of iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt and gold as it battled a slump in global metals prices by boosting output in search of greater market share. ... Along with Australian rivals BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd, Vale has moved to ramp up output of iron ore in the face of a 28 percent drop in prices in the past year and 75 per cent over five … [Read more...]
Archives for February 2016
Winter is Coming: Is the Economy headed for Recession?
This is an interesting chart from the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Fund Manager Survey (h/t 361 Capital). The chart shows the percentage of fund managers classifying the current stage of the economic cycle. The four stages are early-cycle, mid-cycle, late-cycle (winter), and recession. Over the last six –to-eight weeks, a majority of global fund managers have come to the realization that we are late in the cycle. The fine readers of our premium strategy reports were ahead of the curve on this. We’ve have been writing for months that the economy is in the Winter stage of the … [Read more...]
Warren Miller: Your Search for Freedom Part II
“You know I liked your piece on Warren Miller but he wasn’t the ground-breaking filmmaker on skiing,” said my client yesterday, from Jackson Hole, WY during our regular talk. “The first guy was John Jay. He lived in Williamstown, MA next door to my friend when I was a kid,” he said. “Years later, when I was president of my ski club John Jay put on a great show for us.” I wikipedia’d John Jay and according to Warren Miller, he “virtually invented the ski film in its modern form.” If you’ve ever skied Suicide Six in Woodstock, VT or have seen the skimobile at Mt. Cranmore in North Conway, NH … [Read more...]
How Retirement Affects Health
You can’t afford to lose meaningful money in retirement. It is the one death blow that is almost impossible to recover from and in my observation it leads to: 1) An obsession with trying to “make” the money back which takes over one’s life or 2), shutting the world out and blaming the loss on someone else. Both scenarios lead to isolation and as it turns out are bad for one’s health. Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. shares with readers the results of a study concluding that 10 to 25 percent of retirees don’t do well in retirement and are at a higher risk of dying within six years of retiring. … [Read more...]
Is Your Broker Giving You the Best Advice?
Once again a Wall Street brokerage has been caught red-handed passing off puff pieces on the stocks and bonds of companies it has an investment banking relationship with as unbiased “investment research.” In the latest case, a Deutsche Bank analyst was caught publishing a positive rating on a stock he covered that wasn’t consistent with his outlook. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to savvy readers of this site. The big Wall Street banks have and always will be in the business of distributing securities. Wall Street research is nothing more than a euphemism for advertising. And even when … [Read more...]
Roger Babson Quoted in Book: 1929
Here’s a reminder about the markets, emailed to me by a client from the Greatest Generation over the weekend. What she sent was not only relevant because I went to Babson College, named after Roger Babson. The quoted passage below shows that with open eyes, a heavy dose of skepticism and abundant caution, you can prepare your portfolio for hard times, or “reef your sails” as Babson says. “Fair weather cannot always continue. The economic cycle is in progress today, as it was in the past. The Federal Reserve System has put the banks in a strong position, but it has not changed human nature. … [Read more...]
Friday Free For All: Negative Rates a Failure
Negative Rates Don't Work BlackRock's Senior Director Peter Fisher eviscerates the idea of negative rates in this interview with Bloomberg. Gold vs Negative Rates Mining CEO lays out the future for gold in the face of negative rates. Morgan Stanley: Negative Rates a "Dangerous Experiment" This week Huw van Steenis, an analyst at Morgan Stanley said of negative rates: "It is an unnecessary and dangerous experiment to take in case there are non-linear impacts on deposit stability and financials stability writ large. The ECB's action is flipping from a positive to a negative for … [Read more...]
Warren Miller: Your Search for Freedom
If you’re a skier then you know the name Warren Miller—famous for his ground-breaking ski movies shot in some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. I had a chance to meet Mr. Miller, age 91, over the weekend on a ski trip to Montana. He was in the lodge, named after him, signing copies of his soon to be released book. In his book, Miller writes about the first job he had, when he was in fourth grade, stocking shelves at the local grocer. He was able to get a job when, during the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was 25%. But what struck me was not that he had a job, but how he … [Read more...]
Can OPEC Tame Texas?
At Bloomberg, Javier Blas and Dan Murtaugh write: Saudi Arabia and Russia have taken the first step to stem the slide in oil prices. There’s just one problem: If they are successful -- and that’s a big if -- the wildcatters of Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota are waiting to pounce. With 4,000 wells drilled and just waiting for better prices to be brought on stream, the so-called fracklog could act as a cap to any oil rally, industry executives, traders and OPEC officials said. Worse, a price recovery could effectively bail out dozens of shale companies now struggling with $30-a-barrel oil, … [Read more...]
How High are Income Tax Rates in Your State?
The Tax Foundation has released its annual review of income tax rates among the states. There were some big changes in a few states, and overall they were business friendly tax reductions. The Tax Foundation's Nicole Kaeding writes: Several states changed key features of their individual income tax codes between 2015 and 2016. These changes include: Arkansas lowered its top marginal rate from 7 percent to 6.9 percent on income over $35,100. Also, it adopted a new tax schedule for individuals earning between $21,000 and $75,000 in income. The state now has three tax schedules, with … [Read more...]