Outside the Box, January 2008


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The Geopolitics of Dope

January 31, 2008

Protecting the border is a big part of the presidential political debates. This week in a special edition of Outside the Box, my friends at Stratfor give us yet one more reason why we should be concerned when we look south. The topic not only concerns security, but our economy. The drug trade is becoming a problem. This is a short but very disturbing letter, but you should read it.

Stratfor continues to provide insightful and pertinent research on economic and geopolitical events and their...

The Dash To Trash And The Grab For Growth

January 28, 2008

This week we look at a very thoughtful essay by an old Outside the Box friend James Montier. James is now working at Societe Generale in London. He is one of the truly great minds on the psychology of investing, as well as proving great research on how to structure your portfolio. IN this week's essay, entitled "the Dash to Trash and the Grab for Growth," James shows how investors tend to do the wrong thing at the wrong time in times of market volatility. This is a longer letter with lots...

Words From The Wise

January 21, 2008

This week we do something a little different in our Outside the Box. Every weekend I get a very information-filled blog called Investment Postcards from Cape Town (http://www.investmentpostcards.com) by Dr. Prieur du Plessis. In it he highlights what he thinks is the most important portion of the writings of 10 to 15 analysts from around the world on the state of the economy and investing, and summarizes the news and data. I find it very useful, as Prieur generally finds a lot of interesting...

Pyramids Crumbling

January 14, 2008

This week look at a short but very important piece by Bill Gross. He has my same concern about credit default swaps, but he puts a number to it. He thinks the cost to the world economic system could be in the $250 billion dollar range. Add that to the $250 billion in losses due to the subprime markets, and you are starting to talk real money. The Shadow Banking System is at the center of the problem. I trust you will find this of interest.

Bill Gross was just named Fixed Income Manager of the...

Minding the Hinges on Pandora’s Box

January 7, 2008

This week in Outside the Box John Hussman of The Hussman Funds strives to shed light upon the tumultuous and perplexing state that is the stock market. Having metaphorically, as in the Greek tale, driven by curiosity, opened Pandora's Jar (Box) of financial fantasy and unleashed the evil that has come to pass in the guise of subprime, all that remained was hope. Hussman intertwines hope with caution as we venture into the new year.