Toro's Running of the Bulls Market Blog

Why Argentina is an Economic Basket Case, Reason #2,562,976

I'm taking a break from taking a break posting to put up this article from the Wall Street Journal

Some countries just cannot resist loading all the chambers and putting a gun to its head just to see what happens.  One of those countries is Argentina, a country that has done just about everything wrong economically over the past, oh, century or so. 

On Semi-Permanent Hiatus

First, my apologies.  I made this decision months ago.  It took me two months to fully accept that I had to do this.  Once I made the decision, it was two months of sloth before I found the energy to write this post.  Then, it was a few more months before I actually posted it.  I should have posted this article at the beginning of November but I was overcome by a lack of motivation, which isn’t fair to those who have read this blog over the past four years.  And to you, I apologize.  It was unprofessional of me.

What I Have Learned

An investment program or a trading system must be specifically tailored to each and every individual.  Risk tolerances, return targets and cash flow needs are critical in structuring a program of capital allocation for investors. All programs and systems are unique based upon our own biases and requirements.

I do believe, however, that there are broad-based investing maxims that can assist individuals in navigating the financial markets.  These are the investment maxims I follow.

Human nature never changes. 

Book Updates

It has been awhile since I reviewed any books.  Here are five that I have recently read and recommend.

Title - Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis

Companies Do Not Trust European Stress Tests

Should you? 

From the FT

Leading UK and continental European companies are increasingly shunning banks from Spain, Italy and even Germany because they do not believe the Europe-wide stress testing of banks gave a true picture of their financial health.

Seventh Best September in 82 Years on Weak Economic Data

If September were to end today, September 2010 would go down as the seventh best September for the S&P 500 since 1928.  A mere three days into the month, the S&P 500 has risen 5.26%.  On only six other occasions – 1939 (start of World War II) +14.4%; 1950 (price/earnings ratio of 6.9x) +5.6%; 1954 +8.3%; 1996 +5.4%; 1997 (near resolution of the Asian Contagion) +5.32%; and 1998 (bailout of Long-Term Capital Management) +6.2% – has the market done better in September.

Dell, HP – Something You Won’t Hear Me Say Anytime Soon

“I want to buy Dell and HP stock.”

Apart from the breathless announcements from CNBC flashing on my screen regarding the bidding war between Dell and HP for 3Par – a company that makes data storage equipment – I have only tangentially been following this farce. 

Frankly, I will proclaim my ignorance.  This may be The Greatest Acquisition in the History of Mankind.  But I am skeptical.

Market Action, September 2 2010 - Melt-Up

That is what the past few days have been.  Clearly, the market had gotten too pessimistic, including yours truly

The catalyst for the melt-up was Wednesday's ISM survey, coming in at a surprising 56.3, handily beating estimates of under 53.  This contradicted several of the regional surveys – Empire Manufacturing, Philly Fed, Chicago Fed – which were more bearish. 

Is Something Bad Coming?

Frankly, I do not know.  I do not make big, grand predictions.  I am loathe to make such prognostications.  But I have been wondering if something bad is soon coming in the market.

Everyone is biased by their own portfolio, including me. You must understand that my positioning may be affecting my state of mind.  Thus, this is my personal portfolio:

Canadian Housing Bubble, er "Market" Update

In our never-ending quest to profit from the works of others, we here at Running of the Bulls present to you two papers on the Canadian housing market, which is a bubble, or kinda bubble-like, at least in some places.