There’s something about being insanely rich that people will believe every word that comes out of your mouth no matter how bizarre. As one of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett’s opinions carry almost Biblical impact, even when they might be completely ridiculous.
In Latest Blow To Hedge Funds, AIG Redeems $4 Billion; CALSTRS Says "2 And 20" Model Is "Off The Table"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/03/2016 09:26 -0400
The pain for hedge funds is only just starting: Chris Ailman, who runs investments at CALSTRS, said in a Bloomberg Television interview from the Milken conference that the hedge fund industry’s two-and-twenty fee model is “broken” and “off the table” for large institutional investors. And then the latest blow to the suddenly struggling industry came overnight from none other than the firm which started the bailout regime, AIG, which following its earnings report announced that the insurer - burned by losses on hedge funds - has submitted notices of redemption for $4.1 billion of those holdings. “As of today, we have received $1.2 billion of proceeds from those redemptions."
Is Charlie Munger Becoming Austrian: "It Was Massively Stupid For Our Government To Print So Much Money "Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/02/2016 13:19 -0400
Any moment now we expect Paul Krugman to come out with an op-ed suggesting that not just Time magazine, but Charlie Munger is the latest to join ZH payroll following what were some surprising comments by Warren Buffett's right hand man earlier today on CNBC when he said that "the U.S. is looking more like Japan given the prolonged low-interest-rate environment." The one phrase which Krugman will surely have something to say about was the following: "I strongly suspect it was massively stupid for our government to rely so heavily on printing money and so lightly on fiscal stimulus and infrastructure," Munger told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
For months, the best performing strategy of 2016 was being long "low hedge fund concentration stocks." Amusingly, as of a few days ago, the second best performing strategy of 2016 is being long "high hedge fund concentration stocks", demonstrating vividly just how schizophrenic hedge fund traders have become...
- Puerto Rico Development Bank Won’t Make Most of a Debt Payment Monday (WSJ)
- Why the jump in futures? Tokyo slide keeps mood downbeat (Reuters)
- Indiana to test Donald Trump’s staying power with evangelicals (Reuters)
- Gold Rallies Above $1,300 for First Time Since January 2015 (BBG)
- This Tech Bubble Is Bursting (WSJ)
For the first time ever, Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in Omaha goes digital and is being webcast live on Yahoo Finance. Those so inclined can watch Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger's deep thoughts in real time from the Woodstock of Crony Capitalism at the webcast link below.
Having railed for years against the accounting gimmickry known as non-GAAP, with both the WSJ, AP and even Warren Buffett joining the vocal outcry in recent years, things may finally be changing. According to Dow Jones, the SEC is finally stepping up its scrutiny of companies' "homegrown earnings measures, signaling it plans to target firms that inflate their sales results and employ customized metrics that stray too far from accounting rules."
"In the context of today’s paralyzed political-fiscal landscape how silly is it to suggest the Fed purchase a significantly large quantity of gold bullion at a substantially greater price than today’s free-market level, perhaps $5,000 an ounce? Admittedly, this suggestion is almost too outrageous to post under the PIMCO logo, but NIRP surely would have elicited a similar reaction a decade ago. But upon reflection, it could be an elegant solution since it flips the boxes on a foreign currency “prisoner’s dilemma”. Most critically, a massive gold purchase has the potential to significantly boost inflationary expectations, both domestic and foreign."
The mainstream loves to hate gold, but then again, these are the same people who were bearish on gold all the way up from $250 to $1,900 (some turned bullish shortly before it topped, but that’s another story). What actually explains all this contempt for gold is the fact that it remains the main antagonist of the current statist centrally planned fiat money system. It’s as simple as that.
How do the ultra-wealthy become ultra-wealthy? They do it the old-fashioned way.
There are two conditions that should be met when a company engages in a stock buyback. 1) The shares should be trading below intrinsic value 2) there are no investment opportunities available that would allow the company to continue to grow at a desirable rate. If both conditions can be met a case may be made for share buybacks.
So far this year, Janet Yellen has not taken a single step in the direction of a “normal” monetary policy; our guess is that she never will. Why not? Is it because she is a witless tool of Deep State cronies? Is it because her economic theory is silly, superficial, and simpleminded? Or is it because she and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, have done so much damage to the normal world that there is nothing to go back to?
Falling profit margins and rising valuations (as earnings fall) make for a pretty bearish one-two punch for the stock market. Investors will surely become less eager to pay higher valuations for companies growing more slowly. That equation usually works in reverse. And there’s no reason we can see to expect these challenges to corporate profit margins to let up any time soon. The S&P 500 now trades at its highest price-to-earnings ratio since the bull market began even as the index remains well off its recent price highs. And profit margins still could have a long way to fall before even reaching their average level since 1950.
QE3 ended 17 months ago and shockingly the S&P 500 is exactly where it was 17 months ago. How many bull markets go flat for 17 months? As John Hussman accurately points out, we are experiencing a topping formation in the third and biggest bubble of the last 16 years. It’s a long way down from here.