Greece Revisited – The ‘Grexit’ Threat

Four months ago, we penned the Research & Papers entry The Greek Economy – Tragedy or Comedy? which included this statement: “February’s agreement to extend the bailout for four more months was based on an agreement by the Greek government to pursue a number of initiatives to balance its budget. But many of the initiatives are very fuzzy and the benchmarks for success are not established. The Greek government has bought itself time, but it is not clear what the endgame will be.” On June 30, the path to the endgame became clearer as Greece became the first developed country to miss an International Monetary Fund (IMF) payment.

Fear the Pharoah?

Every time a horse has won the Triple Crown, the stock market has fallen an average of 9% for the rest of the year. So should we, in fact, fear the pharaoh?

Capitalizing Further on Selective Opportunities in International Markets

Last quarter’s “Risks and Opportunities in a Fragmenting World” ended with our view that the strong US dollar and oil price collapse would likely result in volatile economic data early this year. We also noted that the Federal Reserve would therefore delay its first interest rate increase longer than many were expecting at that time. Events over the first three months of this year have unfolded more or less along those lines.

Active v. Passive Investing: The True Fight Night

On Saturday May 2nd, millions of viewers tuned in to watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao duke it out in the boxing ring. While many were left disappointed at what had been billed as the “fight of the century,” Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal contends that the real heavyweight match of the year took place not in the ring but on the stage of the Grant’s investment conference. The players: James Grant and John Bogle. The topic: active v. passive investing.

Hedge Funds & Stock Markets: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing?

Last year was a difficult year for active management in general and, outside global macro and trend following strategies, hedge funds in particular. General underperformance combined with CalPERS’ decision to exit hedge funds turned hedge funds into the industry’s scapegoat. A recent New York Times article “As Hedge Fund Returns Falter, Money Continues to Flow […]

The Greek Economy – Tragedy or Comedy?

In its halcyon days before the great European recession, Greece conjured up the sunbaked Aegean Islands, the acropolis, the wars of Troy and of course the Greek theatre. After all, Greeks loved tragedy and comedy in their great amphitheaters of the Peloponnesia. It appears that the Greek economy is once again playing out as both […]

Risks and Opportunities in a Fragmenting World

2014 will end up in the history books as a surprisingly good year for US stocks and bonds. Though the S&P 500 index was showing a decline on the year through early October, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) reassurance that it would be “patient” in raising short-term interest rates reinforced a sharp rally over the last […]

Exploring the Effects of the Oil Price Crash

The oil price has crashed.  Make no mistake, this is most definitely a crash, as can be seen in Figure 1. The futures markets suggest that the oil price has overshot its fundamental fair market value and that oil prices will rebound but remain below the level of recent years. Despite this, it rarely pays […]