30 Jun 2016

Mr. Market Trades the Brexit

Legendary investor Benjamin Graham wrote in his 1940 classic book, The Intelligent Investor, about a fictional character named Mr. Market. Graham asks you to imagine jointly owning a business with Mr. Market, who frequently offers to buy or sell your shares.  The trouble with Mr. Market is that he’s manic depressive and the prices that he offers swing wildly over short periods. Even though the true value of the business… Read More

29 Jun 2016

EU Article 50

Brexit backlash has continued to build in various forms. There has been a growing chorus of calls for Britain to hold another referendum, or to opt not to invoke Article 50 and instead push for fresh concessions. Article 50 refers to five short paragraphs of the Lisbon Treaty, which was signed in 2007 and updated past agreements including the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 and the Treaty of Rome in 1958…. Read More

28 Jun 2016

Currency Prices are Efficient Too (and sometimes wrong)

The Brexit has caused legions of analysts, economists, strategists and other pontificators to busily rework their assumptions about the world economy incorporating what seemed like an outside possibility last week to the new lay of the land. Markets fiercely incorporated their new assumptions into prices almost instantaneously – looking a chart of the British pound, you can see when the polls started to show that the Remain camp wasn’t a… Read More

27 Jun 2016

Friday Could Have Been Worse

While markets were obviously down, one piece of good news is that they weren’t chaotic.  You may think I’m grasping at straws here for a silver lining, but wild macro events can cause markets to get sloppy and that didn’t happen Friday. Last August, when markets were selling off, the heavy trading volume caused a number of stocks and ETFs to behave erratically in what some people described as a… Read More

24 Jun 2016

Britain to Leave EU: Keep Calm and Carry On

I stayed up later than usual last night to see how the vote would turn out and by the time I turned out the lights, it looked like the Leave camp was going to win. Personally, I thought that they would vote to Remain, partly because of the polls, partly because I thought it was in their best economic interests and partly because voters in Scotland and Quebec stayed in their… Read More

23 Jun 2016

REITs: An Asset Class or Just Another Sector?

Back in March of last year, S&P and MSCI jointly announced that they would reorganize the Global Industry Classification Standards (GICS) so that REITs will be its own stand-alone sector instead of a component of financials. Most of the time, S&P and MSCI are competing index providers, but for reasons that I don’t know, they have worked together defining sectors (10), industry groups (24), industries (68) and sub-industries (156) around… Read More

22 Jun 2016

A Cloud on the Horizon

“Businesses are Falling Behind on Their Loans Like it’s 2008.”   This is a headline that popped up on my Bloomberg TOP news screen recently.  Since the financial crisis, every bank I have talked to has been focused on increasing C&I lending.  After being snake bit by real estate, banks have all chased after commercial loans.  That makes a headline like this particularly alarming and a situation worth further investigation. Looking… Read More

22 Jun 2016

Bullard’s Errant Dot Matches Market

In the market summary section above the performance table yesterday, I mentioned that St. Louis Fed President James Bullard had broken ranks with his fellow Fed members and his previous statements and said that he expected rates to stay even lower for longer. I made a quick reference to the famous ‘dot plot’ and said that his dots were pretty far from the consensus.  I thought today I would show the dot… Read More

21 Jun 2016

Bond Market Continues to Surprise

Even though I was on vacation, I couldn’t resist checking market results right before bed (and sometimes during the day).  I was shocked by two benchmark yields: the German 10-year below zero and the US 10-year at 1.57 percent. German 10-year yields have never been negative and the US 10-year has was just 0.18 percent off its all-time low of 1.39 percent, set back in July 2012.  At one point,… Read More