Outside the Box, March 2008


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How To Fix It

March 31, 2008

This week we will look at what will be a fairly controversial essay by good friend Michael Lewitt of HCM. In light of today's speech by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson of the re-organization of the regulatory system in the US, Michael suggest we look at what the real problems are before we begin the process of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. For many, some of what he says will be considered economic heresy. I do not agree with all of it (though I am in solid agreement on most of...

The Shape Of The Future

March 24, 2008

This week I take great pride and pleasure in being able to bring you a recent letter from my very good friend Peter Bernstein. I asked him to let me publish this, as I think this is one of the more important, thought-provoking pieces I have read in a very long time. I am grateful for that permission, as you will be when you read this. I would take the time to read it through several times. Read this paragraph from the beginning of the letter to get an idea of the thought path down which...

Let’s Get Real About Bear

March 17, 2008

This week's Outside the Box is going to be a little different. I am going to write about the extraordinary action by the NY Fed to foster the Bear Stearns deal with JP Morgan, and give you three brief notes from Michael Lewitt of Harch Capital Management and Bob Eisenbeis (former executive vice-president of the Federal Reserve of Atlanta) of Cumberland Advisors.

Al Qaeda, Afghanistan and the Good War

March 13, 2008

I hope you enjoy this special edition of Outside the Box from my friend George Friedman and his team at Stratfor. He talks about the "good war" in Afghanistan and why in some ways it is far more difficult than the war in Iraq. This is a view that is quite different from what we read in the mainstream media. It highlights Stratfor's geopolitical intelligence capabilities. Trying to trade global markets - and now all markets are global - without an understanding of geopolitics is like...

John Galt Plan Might Save US Financial System

March 10, 2008

Caroline Baum is one of my favorite financial columnists, who writes with a voice of calm reason. She writes for Bloomberg, and I encourage you to read her regularly. This week she touches on the problems in the markets and the continuing calls for government intervention.

Things are coming loose in an ever-widening array of markets in the financial world. No one is suggesting that the subprime problems will be contained, as almost every authority figure did last summer. We now know that...

A Great Buying Opportunity?

March 3, 2008

This week we look at yet another rather obscure credit market that is in essential lockdown as the subject of your Outside the Box. My London partner Niels Jensen, head of Absolute Return Partners, has written a very interesting piece on the leveraged loan and bank loan markets, which are now upside down and getting more so in the recent weeks. This situation cannot continue, as what are clearly inferior products are selling for more than there high class cousins.

Essentially the sources that...