Archive | October 2015

Patricia

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It’s another beautiful day in Santa Monica: blue skies, a few high wisps of stratus clouds. But 1500 miles south of here is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. It will slam into Mexico tonight and will likely continue into Texas in a few days. Patricia is a Category 5 storm, with sustained winds in excess of 200 mph. This morning, the NOAA recorded 880 millibars of pressure, the lowest ever (1013 millibars is “normal” pressure at sea level). The satellite image below looks benign, just another cloud layer, but that’s very deceptive. Patricia is powerful. Experts Read More


I’m Swiss

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No question, this has been a challenging year. Virtually every financial asset class is struggling. Stocks are down, bonds are down, gold is down, oil is down. US is down, non-US is down. Large caps down, small caps down. Industrials, financials, health care: all down. High-grade bonds, low-grade bonds: down. Japan’s economy has flat-lined, Europe rejoices if GDP growth is fractionally above zero, and Chinese passengers should assume the crash position before their economy hard-lands. And in the US, there are a handful of crazy people running for president, some even leading in the polls. Most of the above statements Read More


Ursa Minor

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The bears are stirring. Not yet rampaging, but there’s a lot of red ink across most markets. Today’s jobs report was weak. No honey-coating it, it was a treat for the bears. Payrolls rose 142,000, well below the 200,000 expected, and a jump in government jobs hid a weaker private sector rise of 118,000. July and August were revised lower, so the employment picture weakened substantially in the 3rd quarter. The unemployment rate remained at 5.1%, only because there was a huge (350,000) reduction in the labor force, bringing the labor participation rate to 62.4%, the lowest since 1977. About Read More