2011 December

Macro Themes – US Monetary Policy

For our clients and readers, I have linked an article by Jon Hilsenrath, Chief Economics Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.  His article presents a good summary of the macro monetary debate occurring in the country.  Concerns about the Fed, the financial sector and their, allegedly, dubious relationship with our politicians are already part of the Presidential campaign .. read more

The 2011 Banking Crack-Up Began In 2008

It is fashionable at year’s end to engage in reflection on the calendar just past, but a year’s worth of contemplation is just not enough for today’s circumstances. That is not to say that 2011 was uneventful, far from it. However, if we review the evolution of the banking system, especially in the past three .. read more

On December 30th, 2011, posted in: Markets by

Central Planning Update (In Theory And Practice) – You Are Here

As we all ponder what may come at us in 2012, the ongoing volatility in almost every corner of every marketplace is certainly concerning, as it should be.  This record volatility has enormous implications for any investor, but especially those in leveraged ETF’s.  Volatility is the anathema to these vehicles, as has been well discussed, .. read more

On December 30th, 2011, posted in: Markets by

Markets Today – ECB Funding

This week has been very quiet, volume is running about 1/3-1/2 of normal.  Some developments of note have come out of Europe and have been affecting markets.  The ECB, in an attempt to stem liquidity issues in the banking system, opened a facility to lend to banks on a 3 year term.  This is similar .. read more

On December 29th, 2011, posted in: Markets by

Markets Today – 200 day MA

As I pen the S&P has just broken through the 200 day moving average to the upside.  The market is moving higher on very low holiday volume, but the event may draw some interest in the last few hours before the holiday weekend.  I wish everyone a Happy Holiday.  At Alhambra we remain cautiously optomistic .. read more

On December 23rd, 2011, posted in: Markets by Tags: ,

Markets Today – Oracle Earnings

Reading the transcript from Oracle’s earnings call, one senses a bit of insecurity and false bravado coming from Oracle executives.  Wall Street sensed that all is not rosy at Oracle; and neither Mark Hurd’s boasts of a great pipeline, Larry Ellison’s boasts on peer performance comparisons nor CFO Safra Catz’s explanation that Oracle was caught .. read more

Tech Woes Continue, with one exception….

In my weekend update I mentioned difficulties in the technology sector. Click here to read it. Tonight, Oracle (ORCL) blew it! Revenue grew only 2% from last year. The company’s hardware business looked particularly weak — sales were down 14% to $953 million — and new software sales were up only 2% to $2.0 billion. Oracle .. read more

On December 20th, 2011, posted in: Investing, Markets, Weekly Update by Tags: , , ,

Macro Themes

The European debt crisis to date is playing out like a chess match.  This parallels the discussions at Alhambra.  The on going saga is still progressing toward structural changes in southern countries and recapitalization of banks.  At this stage in the game southern countries face a choice, structural reform within the context of the a .. read more

On December 19th, 2011, posted in: Currencies by