Useless…But Not Worthless

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Let’s continue to look at the fiasco in the franc. We say “fiasco”, because anyone in Switzerland who is trying to save for retirement has been put on a treadmill, which is now running backwards at –¾ mph (yes, miles per hour in keeping with our treadmill analogy). Instead of being propelled forward towards their retirement goals by earning interest that compounds, they are losing principal. They will never reach their retirement goals. If you disagree, we encourage you to model it.

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Illusory Gains

By Egon von Greyerz – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Investors in most countries make the mistake of measuring their returns based on their home market and their domestic currency. This might have worked when they only had access to their local investment market. But that time is long gone. Now we have a global economy and most Westerners have access to securities worldwide. Still, in for example Germany, the UK or Japan, investors measure returns in their local currency. Even more so in the US. Due to the size of the US economy and the importance of the dollar, few Americans look at investment markets or currencies in other countries.

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Unraveling the Mystery of Oil and the Swiss Franc

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From IMA Portfolio Management

I want to preface my article with a short excerpt from one of my favorite books, Antifragile, by Nassim Taleb:

A turkey is fed for a thousand days by a butcher; every day confirms to its staff of analysts that butchers love turkeys “with increased statistical confidence.” The butcher will keep feeding the turkey until a few days before Thanksgiving. Then comes that day when it is really not a very good idea to be a turkey. So with the butcher surprising it, the turkey will have a revision of belief—right when its confidence in the statement that the butcher loves turkeys is maximal and “it is very quiet” and soothingly predictable in the life of the turkey.…The key here is that such a surprise will be a Black Swan event; but just for the turkey, not for the butcher….

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Arbitrage, Interest, & Exchange Rates

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Arbitrage is an unfamiliar term. However, our Economy depends on it for every transaction. The simplest explanation is buying cheap in one market and selling higher in another market.

Everyday, you sell your productive work time in exchange for the necessities, and luxuries, of life. You wouldn’t do it unless you believed that your time was of cheaper value – to you – than the things you exchange it for.

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Business Cycles and Government Decisions

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Economic conditions tend to run in cycles. Pressures build, official efforts are made to contain any perceived bad effects, and at some point, the pressures overwhelm all opposition. The cave-in frequently, but not always, sets pressures in motion in the opposite direction.

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