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December 10, 2018 | America’s “Franz Ferdinand” Moment

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Whatever good was done by the Trump/Xi trade war truce in Buenos Aires was likely undone by what was done in Vancouver Airport earlier this month.   Bogeyman Program The U.S. stock market warmed to the idea of a ceasefire last Monday morning. Then came word that the U.S. government had arrested […]

December 4, 2018 | Imagine a French Hillary Clinton…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – The historic powwow at the G20 in Buenos Aires last weekend could turn out to produce some positive results. At least the Chinese and the Americans are thrashing around. Maybe they’ll knock down a trade barrier or two by accident. But the good news this week is that nothing much happened on […]

December 3, 2018 | Now the Trade War’s Fake, Too

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – The show went on! And, as we predicted, The Donald claimed victory… and stocks went up. When we left you on Friday, Mr. Trump was on Air Force One. He was on his way to the G20 in Buenos Aires to decide the fate of the world. At least, that is the way […]

November 30, 2018 | Trump Will Claim Victory

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – This is the big day. The music starts. The lights go on. And the curtain rises… And there, on stage, President T. is scheduled to meet with China’s leader and decide the fate of the world economy. Yesterday, Mr. Trump raised expectations of a deal with the Chinese. From Bloomberg: President Donald […]

November 26, 2018 | Investors Are Going to Get Scalped

BALTIMORE – We spent a delightful, long Thanksgiving weekend in the country, entertaining children and grandchildren. Not once did we open our laptop computer or look at the headlines. But now, it is another workweek, and we’re back on the job. As usual, we are looking at dots… and wondering how they got to be […]

November 21, 2018 | When This Happens, Buy Stocks

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Today will be an interesting day. After falling the last two days, stocks should bounce. And the futures market says they will. But now, we will see what the speculators are really thinking. Will they want to go away for a four-day holiday with the stocks they’re holding? Or will they want […]

November 20, 2018 | FAANG: The New “Nifty Fifty”

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Mr. Market must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday. CNBC reports: The Dow fell 395 points to 25,017. The S&P 500 dropped 1.7 percent to 2,690 as the technology sector pulled back 3.8 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lagged, falling 3 percent to close at 7,028 as Amazon […]

November 19, 2018 | Life Happens When You’re Away

Thy love afar is spite at home. – Ralph Waldo Emerson BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Another week. This one should be slow… with many people off for Thanksgiving. But you never know. The old-timers say the days before a holiday are especially indicative of the market’s mood. Traders don’t like leaving themselves in danger while they’re […]

November 16, 2018 | Central Banks Take Aim at Bitcoin

DUBLIN – We’re in Dublin… en route to the USA for the holidays. Dublin is a vibrant, lively city. Not especially elegant, unlike Paris… and not especially dynamic, unlike London… Nor is it especially huge and imposing, like New York or Chicago. Instead, it is a comfortable, charming, livable place… with many restaurants, hotels, and […]

November 15, 2018 | Stagflation, Here We Come

What I’ve learned at the Federal Reserve is a new language which is called “Fed speak.” You soon learn to mumble with great incoherence. – Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan DUBLIN – Alan Greenspan is alive and well. Aged 92, he was on TV yesterday telling viewers that “unless they get control of the […]

November 13, 2018 | America’s Fake-Money Success Was an Accident

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – “The whole thing is a giant fraud,” was perhaps too much for an unprepared audience to take on. Your editor, in trying to explain why the U.S. money is “fake,” had perhaps bitten off more than he could chew… at least in the context of a panel discussion in Ireland on cryptocurrencies. […]

November 9, 2018 | This Will Be Trump’s Real Legacy

I used to try to get things done by saying “please.” Now, I dynamite ‘em out of my path. Former senator from Louisiana, Huey Long YOUGHAL, IRELAND – This morning, an Associated Press headline caught our eye. “Conservatives agitate for change after GOP loses the House.” What? We didn’t know there were any conservatives left. […]

November 6, 2018 | The Worst Part About Election Day: Somebody Wins

ARDMORE, IRELAND – And so… the big day approacheth. People look for their registration cards… and prepare to cast their votes. Blue? Red? Liberal? Conservative? It’s hard not to get caught up in the us-versus-them spirit of it. Like watching a football game, it’s more fun if you take sides. But the trouble with elections […]

November 5, 2018 | Americans Will Welcome the Tech-Fueled Police State

Fast Company reports: Internet freedom is in decline across much of the globe as various governments crack down on dissent and so-called fake news, according to an annual report from Freedom House, a nonprofit that receives much of its funding from the U.S. government. China is not only continuing to restrict online speech within its own […]

November 3, 2018 | What Americans Really Need Right Now

POITOU, FRANCE – What America most lacks is cynicism. People listen to a news conference without laughing. They read the headlines without even guffawing. They believe their “warriors” are protecting them abroad. At home, they think their elected officials have their backs. And they think their president should be treated with the respect normally reserved […]

November 1, 2018 | A Memento Mori for the Bull Market

Thursday, November 1, 2018 All Saints’ Day I once was what you are, and what I am, you also will be. – Memento mori epitaph from The Holy Trinity, a fresco by Masaccio POITOU, FRANCE – We came back to France to celebrate the Toussaint with friends and family. All Saints’ Day is still an important holiday in France. People […]

October 31, 2018 | We Received a Surprising Phone Call…

My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done For Heaven and the future’s sakes. – Robert Frost, “Two Tramps in Mud Time” […]

October 30, 2018 | America’s Debt: A Recipe for Disaster

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – Back in Ireland for a few days, we take up an agreeable routine. We read and write in the morning. In the afternoon, we lay stone, closing the open gable ends of our old barn. We’ve done stone masonry in France, Argentina, and now here. (There are no stones in the Maryland […]

October 29, 2018 | The Fed Will Panic…

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – A wonderfully fraudulent confrontation is setting up… On one side is Donald J. Trump, pretending that he has “already made America great again” and blaming the Fed for ruining his beautiful work. He wants the Fed to lower interest rates, not raise them. On the other is the Fed, pretending that it […]

October 25, 2018 | Has Big Data Stolen Your Freedom?

PORTLAW, IRELAND – The Dow fell another 600 points yesterday. Look for a rebound today. But here’s a helpful trading hint: Don’t buy the dip. Bloomberg tells us why the pros are getting out: Stocks in the S&P 500 have dropped in 18 of the 23 days since peaking in September, roughly twice the frequency […]

October 24, 2018 | Why the Information Revolution Failed

DUBLIN – Trading on Wall Street began yesterday with a thud. Earnings were reported. And the Street was not happy. The Dow sold off by 500 points, recovering some of the loss during the course of the day.     More to Lose What we have here, the old-timers would say, is a bubble looking […]

October 22, 2018 | Forget Russia. Here’s the Real Threat to American Elections…

WATERFORD, IRELAND – Alleluia! We join with all Americans today in breathing a sigh of relief; justice is being done. The bad guys are being hunted down. Our pristine democracy – in its pure white, unblemished, unsullied, and unbelievable gown – is being protected. Finally, at least one of our foreign enemies has been nabbed […]

October 18, 2018 | The Foxes Are in Charge of The Swamp

HAMILTON, BERMUDA – Hmmm… The plot thickens. The Trump team came into office with what might have been a historic opportunity to drain the Swamp and take the feds down a peg. Mr. Trump even said he would eliminate the national debt in eight years. Instead, he teamed up with Democrats to crash through the […]

October 17, 2018 | How Trump’s “Right-Hand Man” Drove Sears Into the Ground

Time alone – oh, time will tell You think you are in heaven, but you living in hell – “Time Will Tell,” Bob Marley HAMILTON, BERMUDA – Where are we? Heaven or Hell? Bermuda feels like Heaven. The sea is a bright, vivid blue, with clear water in coves and harbors. The sky is a […]

October 16, 2018 | Responding to The New York Times…

HAMILTON, BERMUDA – Stocks rattled around yesterday; investors didn’t know where they wanted to go… so they went mostly nowhere. We turn to the newspapers…   Invitation to Claptrap Opening a newspaper is always an invitation to claptrap. The New York Times is probably no worse than any other. But it is the only one we had […]

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