MasterFeeds: January 2012

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January 14, 2012

Watch out for 2013- Jim Rogers

Watch out for 2013: They have postponed Armageddon (...) We discussed before here that 2013 and 2014 are what I am most worried about because this year everybody is trying to just get through the next election.

There are 40 elections in 2012. Everybody is going to do their best to get us through the election. Watch out for 2013.

(source: Economic Times)

Related, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (EEM)

Jim Rogers is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC.

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January 10, 2012

‘Dollar lifestyle’ led to fall from grace

More on the fall of Hildebrand, Chairman of the Swiss National Bank
'Dollar lifestyle' led to fall from grace

By Haig Simonian in Zurich and Claire Jones in London
Financial Times, 9:27pm Monday January 9th, 2012
The question is whether a central bank chairman should be associated with such transactions, especially in times of currency volatility

Read the full article at:

January 9, 2012

Casualties of (Currency) Wars: Swiss Central Banker Quits After Trading Controversy

Casualties of (Currency) Wars

Unfortunately for the SNB. Article: Swiss Central Banker Quits After Trading Controversy

Philipp Hildebrand, Chairman of the the Swiss National Bank will resign with immediate effect, the Swiss central bank said on Monday in a statement.

Read the Full Story here:

January 6, 2012

CNN - U.S. Navy rescues Iranian sailors

If the Iranian navy can be overcome by Somali pirates, I don't think the US has much to worry about... Check this story out from CNN:
U.S. Navy rescues Iranian sailors

January 4, 2012

Banks Hoard Record 453 Billion Euros at ECB

Right back at you!! Wasn't this money made available by the ECB to the banks for then to lend??

Banks Hoard Record 453 Billion Euros at ECB

Commercial banks' overnight deposits at the European Central Bank hit a new record high of 453 billion euros, data showed on Wednesday, underscoring the ongoing fear banks have about lending to each other in the current debt crisis.

Full Story:

MF Global Sold Assets to Goldman Before Collapse

MF Global Sold Assets to Goldman Before Collapse

MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees with direct knowledge of the transactions.

Read the Full Story here:

January 1, 2012

2011 Winners And Losers: Sectors, Asset Classes, Commodities - Seeking Alpha

2011 Winners And Losers: Sectors, Asset Classes, Commodities

Seeking Alpha

Plan B Economics

Early in 2011, many investors and economists were talking about central bank 'exit strategies', economic recovery and a third year to the bull market in risk.

I recall hearing many investors and analysts make the following predictions:

  • After two years of double-digit returns, many expected another positive year for the S&P 500 (SPY).
  • With interest rates near record-lows, many thought it a 'no-brainer' to short long term U.S. Treasuries (TLT).

  • Many expected world GDP growth to be driven by emerging markets, and were thus long emerging market equities (EEM).

  • With risk assets expected to rally and real economic growth driven by emerging markets, many investors expected the U.S. dollar to depreciate and either shorted a dollar index ETF (UUP) or simply bought a short dollar ETF (UDN).

  • After years of decline, many investors thought natural gas had finally bottomed (GAZ).

  • Many analysts expected the gold (GLD) bull market to finally shift into reverse.

So what really happened in 2011? In a nutshell, 2011 was a year of worry, volatility and surprises.

Below, I provide a performance recap for various sectors, asset classes, currencies and commodities. It turns out 2011 was a year that defied expectations in many ways.

How many people were predicted long term government bonds to significantly outperform in 2011?

2011 Sector PerformancePerformancePotentially Similar ETF
Consumer Goods2.60%(XLP)
Indusrial Goods-4.90%(XLI)
Basic Materials-10.40%(XLB)
2011 Capitalization PerformancePerformancePotentially Similar ETF
2011 Index Price PerformancePerformancePotentially Similar ETF
S&P 500-0.02%
Nikkei 225-17.34%(EWJ)
Hang Seng Index-19.27%(EWH)
Euro Stoxx 50-18.41%(FEU)
S&P/TSX Composite Index-11.01%(EWC)
2011 Currency PerformancePerformancePotentially Similar ETF

Note: currency ETFs do exist, but without detailed explanation of how they work I thought it prudent to leave out the tickers.

2011 Commodity PerformancePerformancePotentially Similar ETF
Natural Gas-42.21%(GAZ)
2011 Bond ETF PerformancePerformanceETF Used in Calculation
Long Term US Treasuries30.25%(TLT)
iShares Aggregate Bond Fund4.68%(AGG)
Investment Grade5.17%(LQD)
High Yield-0.78%(HYG)

It turns out that long term U.S. Treasuries blew the lights out in 2011. Also, Gold logged another positive year, U.S. equities were flat (despite tremendous volatility) and natural gas tanked. So much for the predictions.

The moral of the 2011 story: take every forecast for 2012 with a large dose of skepticism.

Happy New Year!

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Disclaimer: Sources: Google, Finviz, CNBC. This is not advice. While Plan B Economics makes every effort to provide high quality information, the information is not guaranteed to be accurate and should not be relied on. Investing involves risk and you could lose all your money. Consult a professional advisor before making any investing decisions.

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