January End, 2014

 “Looking purely at the decline in the year-on-year rate of credit expansion is kind of like arguing that if I chase my shot of vodka with a pint of beer, I’m actually exercising moderation because the alcohol proof level of my drinks is falling.”

~ Patrick Chovanec - Silvercrest Asset Management

The Professional Opinion - DJ 15698.85


Buy Recommendations


Sell Recommendations



UFC Rematch - Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva.  I don't think legs are meant to bend that way.

 Diversification is a good thing......
This month, the Wall of Worry focused around the emerging markets and its hard to tell how concerning the problems are because Argentina has been lying, China is more than likely lying.........who else is lying?

It's looking to me like it's still worth being overweight in Blackstone (BX) and other private equity / business development companies for the near term.  

I'm still staying away from commodities with the exception of WPZ,  which has a nice dividend.

Should be an interesting year!

New Year's Clean-Up





For those interested in speculating in the world of on line gaming, you might want to have a look at Caesars Acquisition Company (CACQ)

In years past if one wanted to play poker on line, one usually had to play on a site located somewhere outside the US boundaries.

Recently, talk that those laws will be repealed or modified and CACQ is a newly spun-off company situated to capitalize on the new situation.

What caught my attention was some of the big boys have been buying heavily.


The one fly in the ointment is Sheldon Adelson, who is adamantly opposed to on line gambling and a large political donor to those how support his views.

The betting crowd is wagering that there are more people pro-gambling than those opposed and considering the state of most state's economies, I  go with the pro-gambling crowd.

This is a newly listed stock and it is a small cap company so use some caution.

I got in at  $12.31 and am currently looking  at a 6% return YTD.  Not bad!

Food for Thought


Given the chicoms have a state-run economy,  at some point this could end badly.

This isn't the first time that these high-yielding money market funds have defaulted or come close to default in China.

What can you expect when money market funds are yielding 10% or better over there.  

Commodity funds are in a similar boat.

Adding even more uncertainty to the fire is trying to figure out when they are lying, and when they are not.

The Capitalist Pigs Opinion



Chris Butler is a portfolio manager with Butler Lands and Wogler, a Kansas based investment advisory group and the main commenter on the Capitalist Pigs show which airs each Saturday at 0800.

He investment method used the business cycle, and where we are at in it.

The philosophy provides a different perspective in that it actually utilizes thought, and not knee-jerk opinions and reactions.

I must say I was somewhat surprised when he mentioned the ECRI the other day on his radio show until I realized that they are fans of the business cycle as well:


The thing I don't like about the ECRI is that their models come out of a black box - no one knows exactly what is in it.

Anyway, here is the latest December BLW Newsletter.

So what do you do when your 2013 predictions of global catastrophe don't quite pan out?


In 2012 along with Suze, Roubini  Harold Camping and the like, this clown was predicting catastrophe for 2013.  

That didn't work out so well.

So what to you do when the global meltdown failed to materialize?

Why, like the late Harold Camping and his failed predictions of rapture, you change the date and.........


....hawk another book and expand the time scale for the next financial catyclysm !

Talking Points

I listened to an interview on the radio and Harry was very careful not to mention anything about 2012 or 2013.

It was clear the interviewer knew next to nothing about this guy except that he was selling a new book.

I suspect the doom and gloom crowd are far more interested in selling books, videos and newsletters than anything else.


Compensatory Narcissism 101, or All You Ever Needed to Know About teleprompters.

The Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Type:

1.  May acquire a deprecatory attitude in which the achievements of others are ridiculed and degraded.
2.  Has a tendency to exaggerate and boast.
3.  Is sensitive to how others react -  watches and listens carefully for critical judgment and feels slighted by disapproval.

4.  Hides feelings of inadequacy and deficiency by projecting arrogance and grandiosity.
5.  Hypochondria is an occasional trait.

5.  Alternates between feelings of emptiness and states of excitement and excess energy.

6.  Entertains fantasies of greatness, constantly striving genius or stardom.

7.  Frequently entertains a wishful, exaggerated and unrealistic concept of self.

8.  Produces work too quickly, not to the level of his abilities because of the need for the immediate gratification of success.

9.  Takes offense at the slightest provocation,  often reacting with anger and entertaining fantasies of revenge.   

Gee, remind you of anyone you know?