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Thoughts from the Frontline Archive, July 2008

Earnings and Mr. Bear
  • July 25, 2008

Earnings and Mr. Bear

"The stock market is a voting machine in the short run and a weighing machine in the long run." - Benjamin Graham

The voting part of the equation is tempered by fear and greed. It is largely emotional, although investors like to think of themselves as rational players. That emotion is driven by views of the future. If you can be confident of large and growing returns, you are less likely to be swayed by the erratic movements of a stock. But as confidence wanes? Well, that is the stuff that...

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The World Will Not End
  • July 18, 2008

The World Will Not End

Housing starts rose 9% and the market cheerleaders proclaimed that we have seen a bottom. But not if you look at the actual numbers. New unemployment claims were OK, but not if you look at the actual numbers. And inflation was simply ugly, no matter what numbers you look at. However, oil is down and there is reason to think it may have further to go on the downside. We cover all this and more, as we first look at why the world is not going to end.

It is easy to find bad news these days, and...

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$1.6 Trillion in Losses and Counting
  • July 11, 2008

$1.6 Trillion in Losses and Counting

It seems that with each passing month the estimates for losses in the international banking system keep rising. This time last summer the largest estimates (from credible sources), if memory serves me correct, were around $400 billion, give or take a few months. By the end of the year it was in the neighborhood of twice that. Then last quarter we saw estimates approaching $1 trillion. Last week, the number being broached was $1.6 trillion, by Bridgewater Associates, one of the top, and more...

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