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Thoughts from the Frontline Archive, May 2008

The Problem with the Euro
  • May 30, 2008

The Problem with the Euro

Last week I wrote that we could see a drop in the price of oil as speculators seemed to be storing oil in very large tankers and "slow steaming" them to port in a bet that prices would rise. When everyone is on the same side of the trade, the time is right for a reversal. This is especially true when there is a large potential supply sitting on the sidelines.

This week we briefly look at this prediction, and perhaps even more ominous problems for commodities in general, at least in the short...

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Whither the Price of Oil?
  • May 23, 2008

Whither the Price of Oil?

Why has the price of oil risen so much in the past few months? Is it a supply and demand issue as some believe; or is it because of an out-of-control futures market driven by the proliferation of commodity index funds and rampant speculation, as everyone tries to get in on the rise in commodity prices? This is a very complex issue, with a lot of emotion attached to it.

This week I try to give you an understanding of why oil prices have risen and whether they are likely to stay at such lofty...

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The Fed at the Crossroads
  • May 16, 2008

The Fed at the Crossroads

Is the economy poised for a recovery, as the stock market seems to expect? Or are we in for another few more quarters of recession and/or slow growth? In this week's letter we take a look at consumer spending, inflation, and other data to see if we can find a clue or two to give us an idea of the direction of the economy. There is a lot of data, so let's jump right in. (Media note: Right now I am slated to be on Kudlow and Company next Wednesday.)

Many commentators, looking for a bullish...

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Why Investors Fail
  • May 9, 2008

Why Investors Fail

This week I am in South Africa and am not as connected as I would like to be due to meetings and slow Internet, so we are going to look at some material from my book, Bull's Eye Investing, which I think is more pertinent than ever. And since lately there has been rather large growth in the readership, there are a significant number of new readers for whom this material will be fresh. When I originally wrote much of this, the markets were coming out of the bear phase of 2001-2. I am...

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Lies and Other Statistics
  • May 2, 2008

Lies and Other Statistics

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." -- commonly attributed to Benjamin Disraeli

If we are to believe the government statistics, the GDP of the US grew by 0.6% in the first quarter of this year. And unemployment actually fell. And there were only 20,000 job losses. This week we do a quick review of why the statistics can be so misleading. We also look at why I was wrong about the housing number last week, and I highlight what could be a very serious Black Swan...

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