Latest Posts

  • "For the first time since Word War II, owning U.S. Treasuries is a riskier bet than owning German bonds."

    May 14, 2008 / 10:25am / in Americas, Asia, Europe, Fixed Income, General, International Investing

    From The Daily Reckoning. This headline was the most important thing I read today. The follow with:

    On the basis of credit default swaps, which are used to speculate on a government’s ability to repay debt, the 10-year note reached a record high of 16 basis points on March 12. German bonds traded at 15 basis points, also a record. A decline in these spreads shows improving confidence in the government’s ability to pay...an increase shows the opposite.

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  • Betting on Bordeaux wine futures

    May 6, 2008 / 8:59am / in Europe, General, International Investing

    Like every other investment, this one is probably over prices and won't beat the index in the long run. But so what? Even if it's value goes to zero, you can still drink it:

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  • Mark to Model is Back

    May 1, 2008 / 9:04am / in Europe, General, International Investing

    Remember all the criticism Enron took over doing just this (after getting permission from the SEC by the way)? Now the Bank of England is encouraging it:

    While market-based estimates and the write-downs announced by firms may be unduly pessimistic, if such concerns persist there is a risk they could become self-fulfilling.

    [...]

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  • Super Senior CDO Debt and the Banks That Loved It

    Apr 21, 2008 / 8:38am / in Americas, Europe, Fixed Income, General, International Investing

    This clearly written FT article discusses why banks loved this tranche of CDO debt and why it is now such an issue:

    Sometimes they did this simply to keep the CDO machine running. But there was another, far more important, incentive: regulatory arbitrage.

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  • The Swiss Connection

    Apr 16, 2008 / 8:49am / in Americas, Europe, General, International Investing

    Parallels between the current US situation and the Swedish bank crisis of the 1990's:

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  • The Laffer Curve in Action in Switzerland

    Jan 24, 2008 / 9:32am / in Europe, General, International Investing

    From Gartman:

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  • Nokia Makes Losers of TomTom, Garmin in Bidding

    Nov 15, 2007 / 10:49am / in Americas, Equities, Europe, General, International Investing

    Bloomberg's analysis is spot on. Over time neither will survive as standalone entities:

    Consumers also will find navigation systems available in more new cars, giving them little reason to pay $250 or more for units from Garmin or TomTom, said consultant Blair Swedeen.

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  • Porsche the Hedge Fund

    Nov 14, 2007 / 5:21am / in Equities, Europe, General, International Investing

    FT reports that Porsche is acting more like a hedge fund than a luxury car manufacturer:

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  • Public Law Firms Don’t Make Sense

    Oct 30, 2007 / 5:15am / in Europe, General, International Investing

    Soon private investors will be able to buy stakes in law firms in the UK. While not as broad as Australia’s rules, which allow for publicly traded law firms, it could be an initial step down in that direction. Besides cashing out their shares why would any law firm want to go public?

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  • Turkey during turkey month?

    Oct 25, 2007 / 9:32am / in Air Travel, Asia, Country News, Culture, Europe, Exchanging Money, General, Money, Travel Tips, Winter Travel, International Travel

    Turkey is a country that has a unique culture at an important point in its history, facing questions of religious and regional identity. Although it has always been an exotic, beautiful, somewhat off-the-beaten-path alluring destination, this time of sweeping change makes Turkey an even more exciting place to be right now. The timing works out well in this case, as the lovely autumn climate and many deals on flights are currently rolling in.

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