16 Apr 2018

$1 Billion Tax Bill

If you’re writing a check to the government tomorrow for tax day, you’re probably not too happy about it.  At least you’re not suffering like John Paulson, the hedge fund manager, who is writing checks to the Fed and state for over $1 billion – on top of the $500 million that he paid in estimates last year. I know, I know: it’s a high class problem that we would… Read More

5 Mar 2018

Hollywood Goes to Wall Street

I like to think that longtime readers have picked up on my love for all things markets. I also love the movies and in honor of the Oscars last night, I thought that it would be fun to list the best (and worst) Wall Street movies of all time. To make this list even more fun, I’ve included links to trailers and clips, but I have to warn you about… Read More

12 Dec 2016

Dow 20,000

When I graduated from college in 1995 and started in this industry, I was told that the current saying for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was ‘10,000 by 2000,’ referring to the turn of the century. It seemed impossible to me because, at that point, the DJIA was trading below 4,500.  Just a few months before, one of my finance professors said the market was overvalued. Less than six months… Read More

11 Jul 2016

Employment Rebounds, Lifting Markets

The employment situation in the US improved on Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the economy added 287,000 new jobs in June, well ahead of the consensus estimates of 180,000 and surpassing the high estimate of 235.000. Keep in mind that this was a first estimate and that these numbers are routinely revised.  The revisions to recent estimates were mixed with the April numbers raised to… 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

16 May 2016

Buffett Considers 2nd Tech Investment

Last December, I wrote that fading internet stock Yahoo was trading below the sum of its parts. You can read the whole article here, but the basic idea was that when you looked at the component value of Yahoo’s major parts, the market was saying that the core business was worthless. At that time, Yahoo owned stock in Alibaba worth $32 billion, stock in Yahoo Japan worth $8.5 billion and cash… Read More

10 Mar 2016

King of Wall Street Remembered

I read a newsletter on and off that always features an obituary.  I know a lot of people read them every day, but I find that a little depressing.  I wrote about David Bowie’s passing back in January, and at the risk of writing too many obits, I thought I would note the death of John Gutfreund yesterday, who was dubbed the King of Wall Street by BusinessWeek magazine. Gutfreund… Read More

14 Aug 2015

What Success Looks Like

A while back, a colleague recommended that I listen to a podcast on Bloomberg called Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz.  On the podcast, Ritholz interviews luminaries from the investment industry (and a few others) and talks about my favorite topic. Although I had listened to one featuring AQR co-founder Cliff Asness, I really didn’t take interest because I had seen Ritholtz on CNBC and didn’t think he was particularly… Read More

14 May 2015

Another Wall Street Soap Opera

You know I love Wall Street soap operas and one just ended yesterday between the activist investor Nelson Peltz and the old-line chemical company, DuPont (ticker symbol: DD).    An activist investor is someone who buys a large stake in a publicly traded company and uses that ownership stake to force management to make major changes.     Being from St. Louis, Carl Icahn is the most famous activist investor in… Read More