Filling in the Gaps in Mexico

Tue, 2009/09/01 - 2:44pm | Your editor

      There are Mexico trends which may impact the U.S.A. Not the great sucking sound, but the new paradigm: making money by filling in gaps.

      Eduardo Garcia today reports in about a joint venture between media giant Televisa SA and Genomma Lab, a Mexican developer of OTC medications and personal care products. Read more »

The Last New Dealer Left

Mon, 2009/08/31 - 1:31pm | Your editor

October's Harvard Magazine includes an article by David Moss about how banking should be better regulated in the future. While this is a domestic political issue, the Harvard Business School professor makes comments about the New Deal reforms. I have been defending the FDIC and Glass-Steagall on the web. But I am the last New Dealer left standing; here is Prof. Moss:

“Ironically, it is possible that the success of New Deal financial regulation actually contributed to its own undoing. After 50 years of relative financial calm, academics and policymakers alike may have begun to take that stability for granted. Given that mindset, financial regulation looked like an unnecessary burden. It was if, after sharply reducing deadly epidemics through public health measures, policy makers concluded that [they] weren't really necessary, since major epidemics were not a threat anymore. Read more »

Waiting for Autumn

Fri, 2009/08/28 - 2:55pm | Your editor

   Last night for the first time since we returned to the US, we slept without the air-conditioner on. Monday our two eldest grandchildren return to school, in Cleveland. A week later, we celebrate Labor Day, the last day it can fall under the rules. It is a tough Ramadan, at the end of summer. Fall only begins on the 22nd, not the 21st.

      Everything is waiting for the autumn, the end of the summer, la rentrée, including, I would guess, the stock market. Read more »

How Depressing!

Thu, 2009/08/27 - 6:04pm | Your editor

      Nuveen has announced that it will launch next month a new free Internet service covering closed-end funds. It will be comprehensive and unbiased, the research and wealth-management firm claims. When it comes out I will comment on whether the new product will help retail investors evaluate CEFs.

      Nasdaq and the Bovespa (Brazilian exchanges) are negotiating a partnership which may make it possible to cross-trade between the exchanges. A deal will require techical and comemrcial agreement on order-routing.


      To get really depressed, I visit the Seeking Alpha site where my work is sometimes posted and read the reader commentary. Read more »

Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh

Wed, 2009/08/26 - 2:54pm | Your editor

    From Cambridge MA fund flow trackers EPFR Global report: China’s resilient growth has been a key driver of flows into emerging markets equity funds in recent months. During the third week of August, however, doubts about the quality of the loans doled out at breakneck speed by Chinese banks during 1H09 prompted investors to book profits and take some of their recent gains off the table. Read more »

The Elephant and the Gnat

Tue, 2009/08/25 - 2:51pm | Your editor

     This is an issue about an elephant and a gnat. So I am starting with the elephant, based on a report by Michael Kurtz of Macquarie, the Australian brokerage house, on China.

   He writes: “a robust US recovery might pose the principal risk to liquidity-fuelled Chinese domestic asset upside, as a China where exports are humming again would not need to lean so heavily on domestic growth. Hypothetically, this would enable Chinese monetary policy to tighten more aggressively.” Read more »

Precious Metals

Mon, 2009/08/24 - 4:01pm | Your editor

      Analyzing data from the World Gold Council, Canadian brokers Desjardins help explain why the gold price has stalled below $1000 per ounce, despite recent economic upheaval. One would have expected investors to flee into the precious metal in a crisis. Gold after all is an alternative to paper money which is being created ad lib by central banks and governments around the world.


      But instead, gold just sits there. The failure of their predictions has led the community of gold bugs into warnings of evil conspiracies by nefarious cabals. But it may be that the failure of gold to take off is linked to its use as an industrial metal or a combination of store of value and mark of conspicuous consumption. Read more »

Down Nostalgia Way

Fri, 2009/08/21 - 3:26pm | Your editor

*Like your editor an ex-journalist, Canadian fund manager Michael Smedley is always fun to read. He wrote the following for Investor's Digest of Canada:
What I have bought personally this week are a few shares in the faded alternative-energy company that most readers will have forgatting and that is the former $120 gorilla, Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLD-Toronto). I speculate on its resurrection from the $2 level on a modestly encouraging move into real fuel-cell business. The dream Ballard had about cars has gone and contracts have been announced recently for back-up units in power stations across India and with Motorola in Denmark. Ballard is not debt-affliected, appears to have systems that work realistically, and could see a couple of quarters with profits next year.” Read more »

Closed-End Fund Data

Thu, 2009/08/20 - 7:59pm | Your editor

As noted last week, you cannot get the full Monty Barron's outside the U.S., although some columns are on-line. The now-Murdoch weekly no longer will cover stock prices on the American Stock Exchange, or the Nasdaq (small-cap) Capital Market Listings. It will drop foreign stock-exchange data.


However, Barron's continues to cover closed-end funds (CEFs), with an unfortunate twist. The data will come out on Saturday not for the week that just closed, but for the prior one. It is now collated by fund guru Thomas Herzfeld Advisors from what fund managers send to the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry, with a week's delay. A week is a long time on Wall Street. Read more »

Leaving London

Tue, 2009/08/18 - 8:03pm | Your editor

This is a double issue because we will not be publishing tomorrow.

I would rather be a lender than a borrower in today's market especially if I can get double-digit yields. We tell our paid subscribers how to achieve this below.


Meanwhile credit cards are dangerous. One big risk is that identity thieves can do a lot with your data. A Florida-Russia trio of hackers managed to steal the credit card details of about 130 mn people. Although the leakage was in the U.S., 10% of the victims were British and about as many others from other foreign countries. That's one danger.

  Read more »