Sensibly Absurd

Amen of the Week: “Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” - Michael Dell, Dell founder Life is so weird. Consider the absurdities of the just the past couple of weeks ... One of New York’s top restaurateurs eliminates tipping in his restaurants. Wal-Mart looks in the mirror and sees its first wrinkle. A younger, prettier Amazon arrives. Italy sells 2-year bonds at a negative yield. The Financial Times notes that “investors are now paying to lend to a country which has one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world and has long been a byword for fiscal profligacy.” No retirees take to the streets in protest. No headlines decry the injustice to savers. These are truly bizarre tim

End Financial Repression Now

Amen of the Week: "If it don't make dollars it don't make sense." - Chris Brown and Tyga - Ayo End the repression now! The Fed’s zero interest policy is literally stealing from grandmothers. How is this not considered theft of the highest order? How is the term “financial repression” not repeated daily on the front page of the New York Times? This would surely catch readers’ attention: "Fed Staffers Caught Stealing $1 Trillion." By my napkin calculus, that’s the approximate magnitude of the offense. That’s like stealing a couple of Apples -- and I’m not talking about the fruit (Apple's market capitalization is ~$600 billion). No one is affected more than retirees who depend on interest for i

My Biggest Mistake

Amen of the Week: "While I classify myself as a contrarian by nature, I always make sure I have plenty of conventional, hard analytical thinking around to tell me why my latest brainstorm makes no sense and won't work." -Richard Jenrette, co-founder of DLJ (from the Contrarian Manager) I’m wrong ... a lot. I bet you’re not used to hearing someone admit that. That’s too bad because the truth is that all of us are wrong a lot – especially when it comes to investing. Last spring I gave a lecture on “My Biggest Mistake” to the Advanced Investment Research class at Columbia Business School. I described how in the mid-2000’s I was seduced into believing Borders Books was an under-value

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