Happy Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason Why the Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent To blow up the King and Parli’ment. Three-score barrels of powder below To prove old England’s overthrow; By God’s mercy he was catch’d With […]

Has Greece turned the corner?

Europe has been calm of late.  Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing house arrest, and it barely makes the news.  A year ago, this would have caused a run on the euro and roiled the world’s capital markets. And Greece, the country that first comes to mind when the words “Europe” and “crisis” […]

Japan Distracts Investors With Olympic Five-Ring Circus

“Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be shot in the arm for struggling Japan.” –NBC News “The successful 2020 Olympic bid signals new hope for Japan.” –Time Magazine So, that’s all it took.  Twenty years of economic stagnation and all Japan needed to get back on its feet was that the summer Olympics be hosted in its […]

The Cyprus Crisis and What It Means For Investors

I’ll give the European Union credit: at least they are creative at finding new ways to upset the world’s capital markets. Instead of demanding just the usual austerity measures of higher taxes and lower spending—and a potential haircut on speculative creditors such as hedge funds—the EU bailout negotiators insisted over the weekend on extracting a [...]

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Investing in Oz

In the world of finance, “Investing in Oz” is usually taken to mean investing in Australia.  But with the recent interest in the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz, the phrase has taken on a whole new meaning. In 2013, Oz is back in a big way.  Walt Disney Pictures, a division of the [...]

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What Happens if Hugo Chavez Croaks?

It may sound like a harsh question.  But the man is seriously ill with cancer, and he has had no public appearances in over a month. Rumors abound that he is near death…or may already be dead.   As he is reported to be in Havana, some have even speculated that the Cuban government is essentially [...]

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He’s Back: What Silvio Berlusconi Means For Italy and the Euro Crisis

Part of me really missed the guy.  There was something naturally endearing about Silvio Berlusconi. Perhaps it was his ability to charm women 50 years his junior or his complete disregard for the conflicts of interest involved with being your country’s national leader and one of its richest men and the owner of its most [...]

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Investment Lessons from a Peruvian Horse Show

Ah, to be back in South America.  Long-time Trading Deck readers might recall that I spend a fair bit of time in Peru (see “Going Long Two Beaten Down Euro Stocks”).  When you marry a Peruvian, you don’t really have a choice. Not that I’m complaining.  I can say in all seriousness that I’ve never [...]

Europe: All Quiet on the Western Front

The European Central Bank announced that it injected €530 billion into the European banking system in February, slightly higher than the €500 billion expected by analysts. This second installment of the Longer-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) is larger than the €489 lent out in December and brings the running total to

The Japanese Yen: Handle With Care

One of the strongest major currencies in the world since the onset of the 2008 crisis has been the Japanese yen.  This is a dramatic change of fortune for what has long been—and what should be—a weak currency. Take a look at Figure 1, which tracks the dollar / yen