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BRUCE BERKOWITZ: IGNORE THE CROWD

October 12, 2012

“Ignore the crowd” is the motto of this week’s Great Investor guest and Fairholme Fund’s Bruce Berkowitz.  Berkowitz, who rarely sits for television interviews, said on WEALTHTRACK that he had his work cut out for himself, defending Fairholme Fund’s losing record last year. Continue Reading »

David Winters:The Optimist Portfolio Manager

October 5, 2012

Central bankers are clearly worried about global growth. From the U.S., to Europe, to Asia, we have seen unprecedented levels of easing in recent weeks. By independent research firm ISI Group’s count, there have been more than 250 stimulative policy initiatives announced over the past 13 months. The firm also points out that we are less than 100 days from the famous fiscal cliff in the U.S., when numerous Bush era tax cuts expire and automatic spending cuts take effect if Congress and the White House can’t reach a budget compromise. If they don’t, estimates are that GDP growth could be reduced by as much as 3.5%, sending the economy into recession. Continue Reading »

James Grant: The Federal Reserve’s Most Outspoken Critic

September 28, 2012

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been widely credited with playing a key role in saving the global financial system from spiraling into a deeper recession. As a recent Financial Times headline read, “Central Bank Action Lifts Gloom”; “Bold Fed and ECB Moves Cheer Investors- Confidence Increases in U.S. and Europe.” There is no question that the Fed and to a lesser degree the ECB, the European Central Bank, are pulling out all stops to boost economic growth, investor confidence, and stock returns, going far beyond what their critics maintain is their proper role. As this week’s guest, financial journalist and historian James Grant told me, “Central bankers have morphed into central planners.” Continue Reading »

Matt McLennan: The Collision of Macroeconomic Tectonic Plates

September 21, 2012

Have the financial markets become more stable? Is a sense of equilibrium returning to the global financial system? Several widely followed measures would seem to indicate yes.
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David Darst: Should You Trust the U.S. Financial Markets?

September 14, 2012

Is the cult of equity dying, as bond king Bill Gross recently opined in his monthly investment outlook? Gross runs the world’s largest and one of its most successful bond funds, the PIMCO Total Return Fund and is one of the country’s most influential investors and prognosticators. As Gross’ chart, “Stocks For The Really Long Run” shows, stocks, with their 6.6% annualized inflation adjusted returns, have vastly outperformed bonds and cash over the last one hundred years; a fact chronicled by Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel in his investment classic, Stocks For The Long Run. Gross maintains this track record is unsustainable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is PIMCO’s expectation that the economy will grow at a much slower pace for the foreseeable future.  Under PIMCO’s now famous “new normal” forecast, real GDP should crawl along at 1-2% a year versus the historical average of 3.5% in the post-war era.
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