Recent Tweets

  • I don’t think changing the tick size will change the fact that there are games surrounding trading.  It will change w… http://t.co/XXnyKemI Jan 06, 2012 
  • When Nurses Catch Compassion Fatigue, Patients Suffer http://t.co/54tvbIQV Programs being created/used to help nurses avoid burnout $$ Jan 06, 2012 
  • ‘ @mbusigin Okay, so about 2% up, not bad. That’s usually pretty correlated with short rates, but not now. $$ Jan 06, 2012 
  • @mbusigin @fundmyfund How strongly? There is a lot of single-family housing available for rent, which should hold rates down. Jan 06, 2012 
  • The sinkhole http://t.co/DTW4vtDm DB plans 4 companies in the broadly-based S&P 1500, the deficit rose from $315 billion to $484 billion $$ Jan 06, 2012 
  • Apartment Vacancy Rate falls to 5.2% in Q4, Lowest since 2001 http://t.co/6E2rL2CZ Will it eventually lead to increases in rental rates? $$ Jan 06, 2012 
  • Flip This Economy http://t.co/0LBARLcQ A new study shows how short-term speculators made the housing bubble much, much worse. $$ Jan 06, 2012 
  • Not Even Corp Mgmt Believe Their Own Equity Return Assumptions http://t.co/AdkRWujq With rates so low stocks must earn monster returns 2fund Jan 05, 2012 
  • Sweden Shows Europe How to Cut Debt, Weather the Recession http://t.co/R9VBpkSL Monetary independence is the most important Swedish lesson Jan 05, 2012 
  • The Public Deposit Option: An Alternative To “Regulate and Insure” Banking http://t.co/Fvo6q2TJ Turn banks into deposit utilities, maybe? $$ Jan 05, 2012 
  • China: the vultures are coming http://t.co/uyn6U7OV Distressed investing in China not straightforward; Does not have a clear rule of law Jan 05, 2012 
  • China No Country for Old Men as Government Battles ‘Demographic Tsunami’ http://t.co/7pU1JqCz The “one child policy” hammers at China $$ Jan 05, 2012 
  • Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Risks http://t.co/zih7AS0e As the monetary base rises, so does the price of gold? Seems to. $$ Jan 05, 2012 
  • No:EU lawmaker turns up heat on US over bank rules http://t.co/Gs5rvupn Banks should not use their own models 2 mark positions, set capital Jan 05, 2012 
  • Gavekal on Japanese Debt Scenarios http://t.co/fsqvKx8A Likes Japanese equities combined with protection against the currency & bonds $$ Jan 05, 2012 
  • Macro Imploding http://t.co/iokKGr6h It’s just a matter of time before we abandon concepts like the monetary and fiscal multipliers. $$ Jan 05, 2012 
  • @groditi I think that might be driving some of the negative earnings guidance revisions, but no one connects the dots. Jan 04, 2012 
  • RT @groditi: @AlephBlog I see very little mention of how high FCFs due to depressed capex /wc could translate to depressed/delayed earni … Jan 04, 2012 
  • Bond Exotica Gains Favor in Era of Low Rates http://t.co/jBOGzNJt I would worry, but we’re probably nearer the beginning than the end $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • @TraderNewsFeed I respect your opinion; let’s see what happens, I very well could be wrong, and you right. Jan 04, 2012 
  • Equity Risk Premium Near An Extreme http://t.co/R1cYReUa Relies on the idea that profit margins will not mean-revert. $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • @TraderNewsFeed in 2nd and 3rd tier city residential real estate markets. http://t.co/yVjV9Fa4 & http://t.co/mOq9JrjB 2/2 Jan 04, 2012 
  • @TraderNewsFeed You don’t get large moves in asset prices w/o debt-finance. The LTVs may be lower, but px moves have inverted borrowers 1/2 Jan 04, 2012 
  • Pawnbrokers of last resort: when a pound of flesh is not enough http://t.co/yA3I0eZ8 Secured lending heightens risk when collateral falls Jan 04, 2012 
  • China’s Home Prices Slide Amid Speculation of Reserve Ratio Cut http://t.co/2NJHYrZx Leverage collapse cannot b solved in ordinary ways $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao warns of cultural warfare from West http://t.co/lyOVkowA Difficult 2 channel prosperity away from freer thinking Jan 04, 2012 
  • Refinancing Race to Dominate Third Year of Crisis: Euro Credit http://t.co/OwRkKSCe Lots of room 4 slips&stumbles in the 1Q12 refinancing $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • I just keep buying value stocks; worked in the Great Depression; should work now. http://t.co/JLv5g3ReJan 04, 2012 
  • Who are the most central members of the China’s leadership as we enter 2012? http://t.co/wwt0VY6XInteresting analysis of connections $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Fed Will Detail Rate Plans, Easing Market Guesswork http://t.co/RNWNk8Wn More transparency will bring more volatility, not less $$ #ppht Jan 04, 2012 
  • Downward revision on home sales data? http://t.co/uDhRiBVE NAR large revision down sales numbers 4 past several yrs going back to 2007 $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Bond Bulls May Yet Have Reason for Cheer http://t.co/Qk3EQDfA When I see this argument get more common, I worry about a reversal $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Mary Schapiro’s skeletons in the closet http://t.co/TeGlvBqK Alleges proxy used by NASD soliciting member approval 4 the merger fraudulent Jan 04, 2012 
  • @ReformedBroker Wait. You used “value” and “Eastman Kodak” in the same sentence. Not allowed. Did Bill Miller get the memo? $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • NYSE Liffe US Announces DTCC GCF Repo Index Futures http://t.co/9JpHjbu7 ht @izakaminska; may allow for hedging of future repo rates $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • @izakaminska I suppose the GCF Repo Index Futures settle for cash. My Q: What are the systemic implications of hedging future repo rates? $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • The collateral crunch gets monetary http://t.co/rGlB3N7z Monetary multiplier collapsing in Eurozone. Protect solvency, do not lend. $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • ‘Princeling’ General Attracts Notice with Criticism of Party http://t.co/4ZnfegKp Do children earn their own way or can parents help? $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Buffett’s Defense Fails to Beat S&P 500 in ’11 http://t.co/BLynhyuo Buffett is doing fine. Just watch the growth in book value. $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • World’s Biggest Economies Face $7.6T Debt http://t.co/lVdUlLng Rollover risk in 2012. Who can see the tipping point 4 sustainability? $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Bridgewater Takes Grim View of 2012 http://t.co/WeP3QYw7 Deleveraging bodes ill 4 most asset classes except long duration high quality Jan 04, 2012 
  • Iranian currency slides under latest U.S. sanctions http://t.co/99wYHIGq The sanctions do have some bite, average people in Iran hurt more Jan 04, 2012 
  • @PieFarmer No. Hedgies that try 2 arb r trying to collect a risky yield. As vol rises, that gets harder 2 do. $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • For Europe, Bad to Worse http://t.co/4DfbYeWl Likely Recession, Continuing Debt Woe May Make ’12 a Tougher Slog Than ’11 $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Why Hedge Funds Tripped in a Volatile Year http://t.co/y0H4HqVw In aggregate, hedge funds r yield seekers & r hurt by volatility $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Regulators Fleeing Ratings Dodd-Frank Banned Embrace No-Risk Greek Bonds http://t.co/6UGoNV2tRegulators go from one ditch into another $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • the haircut http://t.co/KfqiOplW @researchpuzzler on the need to have a margin of safety built into all investment assumptions $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Tail Risk and Embalming Fluid, in 2012 http://t.co/BtBzo2Ey Argues that we will not be able to grow out of the debts incurred by gov’ts. $$ Jan 04, 2012 
  • Brace Yourself For An Eventful 2012 http://t.co/hCcauPUR Makes the case that Germany could leave the euro in 2012 & hurt CHF in process Jan 04, 2012 
  • @DonMartinCFP Thanks, Don — so you look at this? http://t.co/ErnQtMXd Jan 04, 2012 
  • Muni Bonds http://t.co/y8fuhimH There are long term difficulties, but taxes will be raised and benefits cut. Muni bonds will do fine. $$ Jan 03, 2012 
  • Auld Lang Syne: Remembering 2011 http://t.co/ctFUISOD Damodaran points out how high the equity premium is now. Makes me more bullish $$ Jan 03, 2012 
  • @The_Analyst If you leave it all in the cash account, yes, if not, no. Which makes sames day liquidity a problem; three day lags… Jan 03, 2012 
  • Political Calendar Hints at 2012 Volatility http://t.co/8kH5seL5 2012 likely to be a volatile year, much as 2011 was $$ Jan 03, 2012 
  • Are Brokerage Accounts Safe? http://t.co/QBXChAvg We should press to eliminate the ability to rehypothecate using customer capital $$ Jan 03, 2012 
  • @YooDman I agree w/you, but if the generals could get along w/o KJ Un, they would have done so already. This would try to pull KJU away… Jan 03, 2012 
  • If I were Secretary of State, I would find out what Rock groups & basketball players Mr Un Kim likes & send several goodwill delegations. $$ Jan 03, 2012 
  • Banker Who Fled Kim Jong Il Says New Leader to Open N. Korea http://t.co/cX4jHROu “Swiss education & his reported fondness 4 basketball” Jan 03, 2012 
  • Paul Sees Top-Two Finish in Iowa While Wary of Backing Rivals http://t.co/4elw3fqP Has the least trouble with Romney, but can’t endorse $$ Jan 03, 2012 
  • @DonMartinCFP What change in conditions would lead you to allocate money away from bonds? Jan 03, 2012 




About the Author

David Merkel
David J. Merkel, CFA, FSA — 2010-present, I am working on setting up my own equity asset management shop, tentatively called Aleph Investments. It is possible that I might do a joint venture with someone else if we can do more together than separately. From 2008-2010, I was the Chief Economist and Director of Research of Finacorp Securities. I did a many things for Finacorp, mainly research and analysis on a wide variety of fixed income and equity securities, and trading strategies. Until 2007, I was a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital, responsible for analysis and valuation of investment opportunities for the FIP funds, particularly of companies in the insurance industry. I also managed the internal profit sharing and charitable endowment monies of the firm. From 2003-2007, I was a leading commentator at the investment website RealMoney.com. Back in 2003, after several years of correspondence, James Cramer invited me to write for the site, and I wrote for RealMoney on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, etc. My specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better. I no longer contribute to RealMoney; I scaled it back because my work duties have gotten larger, and I began this blog to develop a distinct voice with a wider distribution. After three-plus year of operation, I believe I have achieved that. Prior to joining Hovde in 2003, I managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management. In 1998, I joined the Mount Washington Investment Group as the Mortgage Bond and Asset Liability manager after working with Provident Mutual, AIG and Pacific Standard Life. My background as a life actuary has given me a different perspective on investing. How do you earn money without taking undue risk? How do you convey ideas about investing while showing a proper level of uncertainty on the likelihood of success? How do the various markets fit together, telling us us a broader story than any single piece? These are the themes that I will deal with in this blog. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University. In my spare time, I take care of our eight children with my wonderful wife Ruth.