Outside the Box, February 2014

World Money Analyst Update on Europe

February 27, 2014

For the last two weeks on Thursdays we have brought you special editions of Outside the Box featuring World Money Analyst Managing Editor Kevin Brekke’s interviews with WMA contributing editors. We heard from Ankur Shah on emerging markets and Alexei Medved on Russia, and this week we wrap up the series with a frank, hard-hitting interview with Dirk Steinhoff, who covers the European and Scandinavian markets for WMA.

Kevin and Dirk are both based in Switzerland, and so they lead off with a...

Buffett’s annual letter: What you can learn from my real estate investments

February 26, 2014

It does not hurt to be reminded once in a while about what it means to be a “true investor,” and who better to remind us than Warren Buffett? Today’s Outside the Box comes to us from the pages of Fortune magazine (hat tip to my good friend Tom Romero of Capital Research Partners, who is a pretty fair investor in his own right).

Fortune seems to have had the inside scoop on Mr. Buffett’s pronouncements over the years. I still keep some old Fortune magazines with interviews of Mr. Buffett to...

World Money Analyst Update on Russia

February 20, 2014

In last week's special Thursday edition of Outside the Box, World Money Analyst Managing Editor Kevin Brekke interviewed WMA contributor Ankur Shah on emerging markets, but they didn't touch on one very important emerging market: Russia. So this week I have brought Kevin back to sound out the views of Alexei Medved, WMA's Russia and CIS contributing editor.

And right off the top, Alexei tells us two significant and surprising things about the Russian market:

One should look at investing...

Notes to the FOMC

February 19, 2014

Janet Yellen, the new Fed chair, has her admirers and her detractors. One unabashed admirer is my good friend David Zervos, Jefferies' chief market strategist, who during the past several months has taken to hollering "Dammit Janet, I love you!" He was at it again yesterday:

Last week was certainly a week for the lovers. Q's broke to new cyclical highs, spoos moved to within just a few points of all time record highs, and Friday was St. Valentine's day! It was all about LOVE, LOVE and LOVE!...

World Money Analyst Update on Emerging Markets

February 13, 2014

You know that I roam the world (mostly by letting my fingers do the walking) in search of great pieces for Outside the Box. But for the next few weeks, on Thursdays, I'll be sending you special editions of Outside the Box that highlight the excellent research that is produced by our own Mauldin Economics writers and analysts.

World Money Analyst is a perfect example. Led by Managing Editor Kevin Brekke, WMA features research from analysts and money managers from around the globe. Today,...

50 Reasons We’re Living Through the Greatest Period in World History

February 12, 2014

Yesterday I had a long leisurely lunch with my longtime friend and family consigliere Toby Goodman. Leisurely except that your humble analyst was allowing a few phone calls to interrupt our precious time.

“We were having lunch in this very restaurant [Piccolo Mondo in Arlington, his favorite haunt] in 1993. You remember what we were talking about?” he queried. I had to admit I didn’t, I wasn't surprised Toby did, because he remembers everything. That’s why he’s my consigliere.

“I don’t...

Challenging the Consensus

February 5, 2014

One of the most universal consensus calls in the markets today is that interest rates are destined to rise. Thirteen out of 13 major investment banks all think that interest rates for global fixed-income will rise this year. I get nervous when everybody is on the same side of the boat. And so does my good friend and business partner Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners in London. This week’s Outside the Box is another of his thoughtful essays, giving us five reasons why interest rates may...