Risk Management

What's The Worst That Could Happen?

The 30 stocks of the Dow Jones Industrial Average currently trade for an average of 14.8x next year’s consensus earnings.  But... Everyone knows Wall Street analysts are always too optimistic, so what if we just look at the lowest estimate for each company? The driver of market pessimism sits at the top of the income statement – the Street’s worst case revenue estimates call for a decline of 1.7% in 2016.  Now, Q3 earnings season is unlikely to provide much comfort here; why should corporate managements go out on a guidance limb when their stocks are down on the year?  All this points to further volatility in October, and with a bias to the downside.

Humans Are No Longer The Apex Predator In Capital Markets (But We Act As If We Are)

How many of us are bored to tears with the Fed’s Hamlet act on raising rates, and yet have been staring at this debate for so long that we have convinced ourselves that we have a meaningful view on what will transpire, even though it’s a decision where we have zero investing edge and unknowable risk/reward odds. The hardest thing in the world for talented people is to avoid turning a low edge and odds opportunity into an unreasonably high conviction bet simply because we want it so badly and have analyzed the situation so smartly. In both poker and investing, we brutally overestimate the edge and odds associated with merely ordinary opportunities once we’ve been forced by circumstances to sit on our hands for a while. Investment discipline suffers under the weight of dullness and low conviction in at least four distinct ways here in the Golden Age of the Central Banker...

HFTs Have Devolved To Two-Bit Criminals Straight Out Of "Office Space"

A quick summary of the latest HFT market-rigging scam: mysteriously, and "erroneously", a change in Latour Trading's code was made, which the firm lacked "direct and exclusive control" over, and which was non-compliant with Reg NMS requirements, yet which mysteriously ended up generating "gross trading profits and rebates by stock exchanges" amounting to $2.8 million. Where have we seen this? Oh yes...

Liquid Alts - The World's Most Popular Hedge Fund Strategy Explained

Today's most popular hedge fund strategy among institutional investors globally is "Alternative Global Macro Funds". Also known as a “go anywhere” investment style, active managers employ opportunistic trading tactics across asset classes, financial instruments, and geographic regions. Like many liquid alts, global macro funds grew rapidly following the financial crisis as investors looked for strategies that could diversify their portfolios in the midst of volatility in the global marketplace and historically high sector correlations against the S&P 500, thereby improving their risk-return profiles. Ultimately, success in this classification resides in selecting the right active manager given the strategy’s wide dispersion of returns.

Of Greater Fools, Bigger Liars, & A Society In Decline

Whether it’s the economy, climate, the planet, warfare, your future obligations, your pensions, the future of your children, nobody in power tells you the truth. Human life is fast losing the value we would like to tell ourselves we assign to it. We don’t, do we? Our technological advances haven’t come with moral advances, quite the contrary, our morals turn out to be a thin layer of mere cheap veneer. What advances we’re making are the last death rattle of a society in decline, and a dying civilization.

Three Strategies To Make Your Life Easier As Times Get Harder

No risk, no gain. But risk can deliver staggering, crushing losses if it isn't limited or hedged. Times are going to get harder going forward, for all the reasons that are already visible in today's headlines. So what can we do to make our own lives easier as times get tougher? Here are three suggested strategies...

The Table Is Set For The Next Financial Crisis

Some people will never learn... ever. What is happening today is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The iceberg has been struck, we’re taking on water, and this sucker is going to sink. Game Over.

Goldman Calls It: No Rate Hike Until Mid-2016

Q: What is your own view of the appropriate liftoff date?

A: Our own answer to that question has long been 2016. In fact, our own view is similar to that of Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who recently shifted his call from early 2016 to mid-2016.... At this point, our “GSFCI Taylor rule” suggests that the FOMC should be trying to ease rather than tighten financial conditions. Our own view in terms of optimal policy is quite strongly in favor of waiting well into 2016.

The Only Thing That Matters For The Rate-Hike Decision

A week ago, we noted Goldman Sachs' 'strawman' that Janet should "think about easing," despite the world's misplaced confidence that rates will rise "inevitably" since the US economy is doing so well. Today, we get to hear what 'god' thinks as the only thing that matters for The Fed's decision is - keep Lloyd happy  - and Goldman CEO Blankfein just said "U.S. economic data doesn’t support the case for higher interest rates."

To JPM, Both A Rate Hike And A Delay Would Be Bullish For Stocks

"The eagerly awaited Fed meeting is upon us. Regardless of the actual decision, we suggest that the market impact could end up being positive. If the Fed does raise rates, but at the same time reassures the market that this will be a gradual process, it would be received well. If, on the other hand, the Fed delays the move, this could be interpreted as a signal that the Fed is aware of and is responding to recent market concerns." - JPM