Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - A Fubar'ed Financial Year in Review

Well, I spent large portions of 2006 and 2007 telling you what I thought would happen in financial markets this year.

I'm going to attempt to review some of those calls here and critique what we got right and what we screwed up royally.

1.) US residential housing would fall HARD


2.) Bank failures would be more prevalent

check -- however, forces are fighting hard to liquidate markets to keep insolvent lenders alive

3.) The reliquification would create a drop in the value of the US dollar


4.) Commodities would benefit from the dollar crunch, Gold out of credit tightness and fear


5,) Uranium prices would dip in summer and then reignite in fall


6,) Uranium juniors would be a good bet in fall through spring 2008 fact junior miners across the board have been hit hard with some (very few) notable exceptions.

7.) financials were ripe for a fall from grace

check. in fact, we've already seen quite a few BIG names taking on serious water. expect more of this as the depth of the fraud and excesses becomes better known in 2008.

8.) The broader market was ripe for a fall at Dow 13,000

NOT. I reiterated my call again at 14,000 and it seems to be under significant pressure, but so far Sovereign wealth fund investments in financials (classic knife catchers, imo) and a falling dollar has meant that dollar holders are looking for something to buy. This has kept the market bouncing between 13 and 14k.

The broader market has gone basically nowhere since summer.

What my "call" for 2008?

Not nearly as exciting or risky as my calls for 2007. more of the same.

As 2007 turned out I had very little time for trading and just stuck (mostly) with my macro trends (dollar down, stuff up). Trend following is the most predictably profitable trade, and calling the turn (down) in the broader markets is where i lost the most money in 2007.

Calling a "turn" in a market is not for the faint of heart or weak of pocketbook. If I'd had more time for trading I would have had more time for research and been leaning pretty heavily (short) on subprime lenders. But, I didn't, and probably won't in 2008 either. So, it will be an exercise in trying "not to lose" rather than winning.

"Trying not to lose" is a little like the NFL's "prevent defense" when I try it. Not very successful. It is something where I have a VERY spotty record, so it will be interesting to see if I'm able to figure things out without getting washed out.

Good luck to all, and a prosperous new year.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Blogs About Uruguay

Tired of reading the same lame crap in the my Blog About Uruguay?

Here is a semi-complete list of Blogs about Uruguay from other points of view:

A Cup of Mate a Day...:
A Girl And Guy In Uruguay:
A Maverick's Odyssey:
A Year In Uruguay:
Alyssa In Uruguay:
Amargo y Dulce:
Beneath the Southern Cross...A Family's Adventures in Uruguay:
Christopher's Tales:
Coastal Uruguay:
Dustin Goes To Uruguay:
El Diablo Tranquilo Comes Together:
Elli's Story:
From Uruguay:
Las Alas del Alba:
Latitude -30º -35ºS MVD - UY:
Laurin In Uruguay:
Learning Uruguay:
Lessons @ UY:
Living In Montevideo:
Place No Limits:
The Beautiful Changes:
The Latin Americanist:
The Seven C's:
This Is Uruguay:
Uruguay Adventure:
Uruguay Blog:
Uruguay Dreaming:
Uruguay Guy:
Uruguay Living:
Uruguay News Blog:
Uruguay News and Views:
Uruguay's Wildlife & Natural Sanctuaries:
Viviendo en Uruguay:
Waiting on the Master:
Zest for Life:
and, just added, Teckno Yanqui

List compiled by Thorn and folks at sociedadsouthron, uruguay forums


Ron Paul - $6 Million Dollar Man

As you may have surmised, I'm a big Ron Paul fan.

It looks like his Boston Tea Party money bomb is probably going to raise around 6MM today. Of course, things are still too good in the US for someone like Paul to win....It's interesting to see a stat that something like 61% of repubnicans polled said they would *never* vote for Paul.

Good thing they have locked down the primaries to only those that have registered for a given party. Otherwise we might actually change the disasterous course the US is on....

Just another reason why 61% of fuBarrios will *never* vote for a repugnican...or demorat...Be interesting to see how much cash Paul burns through trying to reach unreachable idiots in those early states.....what a collosal boondoggle for the media outlets in iowa and NH ....


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dazed and Confused

It's not just the seasons that are reversed's the academic schedule.
I can almost hear alice cooper playing in the background. Not sure if kids still participate in the end-of-year book burning ritual in the states......but this isn't the states.

Granted, I don't talk to many kids here....and I certainly wouldn't count anyone under 20 as a close acquaintance, but from a distance, the kids in Montevideo always remind me a little of my cousins who went to high school in the late 70's and early 80's in california.

It's not just the mullets or retro-fashion revival, a little bit of it seems to be the laid back attitude....late night partying....occasionally inappropriate "adult-like" behaviour, and the general laissez-faire attitude among the adults with regard to supervision of their kids.....especially during summer break.


Parque Rodo Beach

We took an interesting walk through parque rodo this morning. There was an amazing amount of activity from the top of the park, all the way down to the beach.

A flea market with holiday (prechristmas?) shoppers took up a huge swath of the middle of the park.

Down closer to the water, there were mate sippers, dog walkers,

snoozing old men, and little kids everywhere.

In addition, there were about 50 adults taking part in some Tai Chi direction in the shadow of the Confucious statue....

while techno music pumped out over the lower part of the park from the "W" lounge (who in the heck is listening to techno in a club at 10:30a.m.? :))

We eventually crossed the riverside road and down to the boardwalk and beach. At one of the staircases i noticed a sign that said "animals not allowed". fuBarrio ignored this notice, as did golden lotus and midori (our lab puppy) after seeing a couple of dogs playing in the water and the lifeguard looking on passively.

Midori and Golden Lotus navigated past the girls playing volleyball,

the men playing soccer (futbol) and the sunbathers....... down to the river at low tide, and into the river water. Golden Lotus reported that the water was "quite warm".

Pictures take a while to upload, but over the course of the next few days I'll try to upload a few more here so you can get a flavor for the beautiful day.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You + US = FUBAR!


UBS just announced *another* $10B in writedowns??? Blamed bad "subprime" mortgages of course.

holy crap.

anyone remember the good ole days when a "rogue trader" nick leeson lost a "mere" $1.4B and bankrupted Barings, a 233 year old bank?

what's it gonna take before the first of these goliaths get involved in a "take under"?

another couple $10B here and there and that's gonna start to add up to real money :) least until the fed makes it all go away with another rate cut. (that was sacrcasm by the way)


Friday, December 07, 2007

A "Date" that will Live in Infamy

Today is the 4th anniversary of Golden Lotus and fuBarrio's first date.

(uh...oh yeah....and some dudes dropped some bombs on hawaii too)

At the fuBarrio household as you might imagine however, the year 2003 is much more important than 1941.

Dec the 7th each year starts a "murderer's row" of special dates to be remembered and commemorated for fuBarrio culminating either with Golden Lotus's birthday in January or Valentine's day scarcely more than 30 days later.

While maturity and poverty have meant that fuBarrio can step down the financial extravegance of the gifts.....the maturity of the relationship means that he has to put special thought into doing something "special" for each -- anniversary, xmas, new years eve, bday, vday


LUCKILY, now that we live in south america....nice weather outdoors this time of year opens up a new wealth of possibilities. not available when we lived in the north

....(i won't give you all the details of our surf outing on her birthday during a january storm in california....let's just say i'm still coughing up salt water)

Any ideas that can help a bald spotted rabid dog with his quandry can be placed in the comments section or emailed to me.....(and, yes, massive facial reconstructive surgery was contemplated but voted down due to cost and the recovery time would mean i'd miss the westminster kennels prequalifiers)