Sports Betting: Billy Walters

I found this report quite fascinating; he seemed to me more a hedged trader than a straight dice roller:

January 16, 2011 6:00 PM

Las Vegas sports betting legend Bill Walters has never had a losing year – a winning a streak that’s made odds makers call him the “most dangerous sports bettor in Nevada.” Lara Logan reports.

Sports Bettor Billy Walter’s Winning Streak
Las Vegas Professional Gambler Tells “60 Minutes” He’s Never Had a Losing Year
Jan. 16, 2011

Category: Video

Inflation Annual % Change

Another interesting chart from Visualizing Economics: > Nominal vs Real 3-Month Interest Rate: 1934-2010 click for ginormous chart

Category: Markets

Economic data: Home builder survey, NY Fed survey

Home builder survey punk but we know that already The Jan NAHB home builder survey came in at 16, 1 pt below expectations and flat with Dec and Nov. Both the Present Conditions and Future Expectations components were unchanged too with Dec and Nov. Prospective Buyers Traffic inched up 1 pt to 12. To put…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Dylan Ratigan on the Wikileaks-Tax Cheat

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Category: Legal, Video

2010 Investing Mea Culpas

January is halfway over, so it is once again time to look at the various errors, mistakes and wrong headedness that I succumbed to (damn human!) working in the asset management business in 2010. My mea culpas for 2009 can be found here. Assessing the performance figures in 2010, there were plenty of things to…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Investing, Psychology

Shanghai Breaks 200-day, Commodities Next to Roll?

Global Macro Monitor produces informed opinion about markets and the global economy. This was originally published on January 17, 2011 ~~~ During the 1990’s when the emerging markets were still emerging a friend of ours wrote a research report on pre-restructured busted Russian debt titled, No Rush to Buy, No Russians Buying.  The point was…Read More

Category: Think Tank

BoE has big problem on its hands, Euro rates higher

The Fed’s soul mate in the policy of cheap money and QE, the Bank of England, has a big problem on its hands as the UK reported Dec CPI rose 3.7% y/o/y, the fastest rate since Nov ’08 and the 12th straight month above 3%. The m/o/m CPI rise of 1% was the highest since…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

QOTD: On the Real Economy

I really like this quote, but with a caveat: “The economy remains on government-assisted life support, and the government has been very successful in creating the illusion of economic prosperity. It is doing this to buy time and help preserve social stability as the adjustment towards housing deflation, consumer deleveraging, and chronic unemployment takes its…Read More

Category: Economy

2010 in Review: Pushing the Costs Down the Road

As 2010 dawned, the biggest debate among market participants about the year to unfold centered on Fed policy. Quantitative Easing had been announced in March of 2009 and was set to expire in March of 2010. Economists and pundits argued about just how the Fed would extricate itself from this massive bond purchase operation and most expected the fed funds rate to begin heading higher well before 2011 arrived. On the fiscal front, policy stimulus measures were supposed to wear off as the year progressed, and tax rates were set to rise as the calendar turned to 2011.

Propped up as it had been by loose monetary and fiscal policies in 2009, the U.S. economy inspired little confidence that it could stand on its own two feet as 2010 got underway. And though both stock prices and longer term interest rates had risen substantially as 2009 drew to a close, the horrors of 2008 were still fresh enough in folks’ minds to make them wonder when the next shoe would drop. Investor worries ran the gamut, from withering deflation to currency debasement and inflation. Not many prognosticators had much faith in their forecasts for 2010 and neither did this one.

What came to pass was a year in which most worries went unrealized. The Fed never did reverse QE 1, nor did it raise short term interest rates. The Bank of Bernanke instead saw fit to expand its balance sheet further via QE II. Our elected officials in Washington debated lower tax rates, corporate largess, and renewed government spending for most of the year before deciding in December that the word “compromise” meant “all of the above”.

The year’s biggest scare came not on this side of the Atlantic but in Europe. Greece, Ireland, and the other so-called PIIGS threatened the type of defaults that might destroy the European Union itself. And yet, despite legitimate worries about the fiscal ills in peripheral Europe, the EU, ECB, and IMF stitched together just enough in the way of aid and bailouts that the currency known as the euro survived. Though each fire in Europe was doused with liquidity, the actions taken didn’t assure investors that Portugal, Spain, and others were safe. Many U.S. states, cities, and municipalities were in similar trouble for most of 2010. But, despite some disquiet in the Municipal bond market late in the year, there were none of the credit events that cause a bond insurer’s heart to skip.

If 2010 had any theme at all, “kicking the can down the road” was as apt as any, especially in the industrialized West. Before I review the particulars of each prediction I made for 2010, it may be helpful to review the rationale behind them. The following is the final paragraph accompanying my guesses for 2010:

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Category: Markets, Think Tank

Poll Results: Sentiment — Have the Bulls Disappeared?

Sentiment indicators from the AAII (individual investors) and Investors Intelligence (newsletter writers) indicate that stock market sentiment is at historically high levels, and has been for a while. However, whenever I discuss stock markets with people – ranging from private investors to institutions to journalists – most of them seem to be more concerned about…Read More

Category: Psychology