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Outside the Box, October 2009

A Crisis in the Kremlin

October 29, 2009

Earlier this week, I sent out a piece that talked about the dangers of ignoring the big picture - even for the "bottom up" investor. Every once in a while, we all have to step away from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, housing prices and other indicators to look at what's going to influence these factors in the long term.

Today I give you a video about Russia and how a plan to fix the economy might throw off the political balance of power. I regard Moscow's situation as a valuable lesson for...

Liquor before Beer - In the Clear

October 26, 2009

I am in Argentina today, but still have found time to read a rather provocative speech by David Einhorn, who is President of Greenlight Capital, a "long-short value-oriented hedge fund", which he began in 1996. Einhorn has long been a critic of the current investment banking business, and today he discusses the problems with not only the proposed new government regulations (or lack thereof), but also the problems with the US debt and our currency valuations. It is a most thought-provoking and...

Zen Lessons in Market Analysis

October 19, 2009

"Everything, including the market, is ultimately empty of a separate self. One market can only be understood and analyzed in the context of other markets and conditions. Supply and demand, in particular, should not be considered in isolation."

Long time Outside the Box readers are quite familiar with Dr. John Hussman, as he is a frequent choice for this column. But this week I think he has written one of his bests essays ever. He cleverly weaves in quotes from a Zen master who is his friend and...

The China Files (Special Project): Real Estate

October 15, 2009

Today I offer you an insightful look at China's real estate market - a "burgeoning bubble" that deserves a close eye as the possibility for breaking increases. Remember the chaos in Japan after their own housing dreamscape got violently yanked back to earth? As investors, we have to recognize opportunities - and know what to avoid. With a global economic crisis - and now surging housing prices in China - investors in any global market need to keep watch on political and economic developments...

Quarterly Review and Outlook - Third Quarter 2009

October 12, 2009

I look forward at the beginning of every quarter to receiving the Quarterly Outlook from Hoisington Investment Management. They have been prominent proponents of the view that deflation is the problem, stemming from a variety of factors, and write about their views in a very clear and concise manner. This quarter's letter is no exception, where they once again delve into the history books to bring up fresh and relevant lessons for today. This is a must read piece.

Hoisington Investment...

A Country for Old Men and a Bit of Samba

October 5, 2009

We all know that a large wave of Baby Boomers in the US are approaching retirement. But what about the rest of the world? And what happens when those retirees need to spend out of savings? There is more than just a credit crisis and a government deficit crisis in our future. A rising level of retirrees to workers is happening even as I write. And the US is not, for once, the center of the problem. As this week's writer of your Outside the Box Niels Jensen explains, we cannot all export our way...

Iran Sanctions (Special Series), Part 3

October 1, 2009

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague about university athletes. I was previously unaware that NCAA colleges set up guidance programs that develop the well-roundedness of student athletes. 'Life coaches' ensure that these individuals balance their rigorous athletic commitments with personal and academic accomplishments. I'm not judging your ability to run a mile or catch a football, but well-roundedness is an element to being successful - whatever your area may be.

To be a solid...