Thoughts From the Frontline, May 2004

It’s Time for the Fed to Reload

May 28, 2004

In what is the shortest e-letter I have written in years, for which many of you will be grateful, this week we once again delve into Fed policy. Should they raise rates in June? The even tougher question is "Will they?" Plus we look at a very disturbing report that Chinese firms are unable to secure letters of credit for sizeable amounts of soybeans that are already in port. What is going on? Is it a bureaucratic snafu or a sign of real problems?

But first, I must acknowledge my real (and...

The Sleaziest Journalism on Earth

May 21, 2004

This week we explore the problems with generalizations and assumptions. We will use as the launching point a rather poor piece of sensationalistic journalism from an otherwise excellent magazine. We look at the problems, costs of and the drive for the regulation of hedge funds. And I offer what may be a controversial opinion or two. This is not my usual genteel style, as I take the gloves off.

Let me note upfront that this issue is going to deal with hedge funds. Long time readers know that...

The Summer Swoon: A Dearth of Value

May 14, 2004

I returned very early this morning from the Las Vegas Money Show, where all flights to Dallas were cancelled last night due to the odd tornado or two in the area. I went back to the hotel, had a dinner with friends, went to the room and began to research the hot questions on the minds of many of the 10,000 attendees at the conference: Where is the market going and are we in the beginnings of a bear market? Downloading a ton of recent research into my computer, I took the time in the airport and...

A Mass of Alpha

May 7, 2004

While there has been a lot happening in the markets, sometimes it is important to drop back and look at larger issues. This week we are going to explore a new way to look at (and perhaps find!) that most mysterious of all the creatures among the flora and fauna of the investment world - the elusive Alpha. This is a think-piece, so settle in for some new ideas. Plus, a Bull's Eye Investing update, as the book hits #10 on the New York Times Business Best-seller list.