Economic Analysis

Quest for Certainty

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 14, 2001

The tragic events of this past Tuesday weigh heavily upon us all. Some bear the horror of that event more personally than others. There is an almost universal searching for comfort, answers and action. Everywhere writers and analysts speculate as to what the outcome of these events should be or will be. Others openly share their pain and grief. It is the topic of countless media outlets, as well as the central discussion around dinner tables, offices and bedrooms.

Rather than echo what...

Hope Deferred

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 6, 2001

Finally, I give you an alternative mutual fund for your cash instead of money market returns.

A Glimmer of Hope on the horizon, but not much more. This week's e-letter has been difficult to write. There is a MOUNTAIN of data that I have sifted through, trying to read the future from the combination of facts and trends. Like reading tea leaves in the bottom of the cup and predicting the future, a lot depends upon the bias of the reader.

The most dangerous forecasters are those who tell...

The Friendless Trend

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 29, 2001

This will be an unusual e-letter in that I am going to focus on some recent interviews with well respected investment analysts or economists. I believe you will find them as instructive and thought-provoking as I did. I will quote them directly and then make comments.

The first is from Barron's with Jeremy Grantham. Grantham is a very highly respected money manager and analyst. His firm manages $22 billion. There are many in the investment industry who hold Grantham in almost guru status....

Dear Chairman Greenspan - Part Deux

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 24, 2001

Last December I wrote you a letter telling you that those of us who fly in economy class were worried about a bumpy landing. We kept hearing about a soft landing, but the ride was getting rough. The passengers back here in coach class are getting real nervous. Now, we would just as soon forget about attempting to land. We would rather see the plane start to take off again.

Pipeline Economics

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 17, 2001

This is a slightly longer than normal e-letter. I have put a lot of thought into this week's letter, and lay out a case as to why we are at a very critical juncture. Serious investing requires serious study. Simply making predictions with no rationale is useless and potentially harmful. In this issue, I make more than a few predictions. This should be a very useful letter for investors. I hope you find it helpful.

The Cisco Hustle

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 10, 2001

First off, I want to stop the rumors that I had anything to do with the wording in this week's release of the Beige Book from the Fed. They used words like: "slow growth", "sluggish", "below expectations", "weak demand", "loosening labor markets" and "pronounced reductions in consumer borrowing". The fact that I have been writing the above for months is mere coincidence. Or it may be due to the fact that even the Fed has to recognize the problems.

Unemployment Blues

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 3, 2001

Today we learned that unemployment has held steady at 4.5% for the month of June. I happened to be watching TV as the announcement was made, and immediately I learned from the resident cheerleader that this was good news as it signals that we are poised for a turn-around in the economy.

The Case of the Missing Bottom

Thoughts from the Frontline

July 26, 2001

This letter has some pretty important analysis, if I do say so myself. I tell you how we will recognize the bottom, and what can happen between now and then. You might want to forward this one to your friends.

Recession Blues

Thoughts from the Frontline

July 13, 2001

I laugh in the face of superstition over Friday the 13th. Nothing can be as scary or unpredictable as the stock market has been lately. Following these markets on a daily basis makes Jason seem tame. If you really want to see blood, you need to spend some time reading the recent economic reports.

Cause for Optimism?

Thoughts from the Frontline

June 30, 2001

If you are confused by the blizzard of news that came out this week, then you are in great company. The level of disagreement among analysts and investors is becoming more and more shrill. How could PMC Sierra show such really bad numbers, get downgraded across the board, and open up 5% on the day? With all the bad telecom news, how could Lucent and JDS be going up?