The Pips Are Squeaking


This should be a short post.  I just want to note the degree of stress that many emerging market countries are under.  The Fed raises rates, and something blows up.  That is often the class of debt that has grown the most in the bull phase of the cycle, or, the one that has financed with short-term debt.  This is the “volatility machine” that Michael Pettis wrote so well about.


Q1 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc, Also read Lear Capital:

Pros And Cons Of Tail Risk Funds

tail risk fundsEditor’s note: This article is part of a series ValueWalk is doing on tail risk hedge funds. The series is based on over a month of research and discussions with over a dozen experts in the field. All the content will be first available to our premium subscribers and some will be released at a Read More



The Brazilian stocks I own have been falling.  A little lower, and I will make them double-weight positions.  Five times earnings for utilities that cannot be done without?  Wave the shares in.

Look at Argentina, Indonesia, and Turkey.  Fundamentally misfinanced.  Maybe own assets there that have enduring demand.  I own IRSA [IRS].

Russia is fundamentally sound.  I own shares in RSXJ, which is not so connected to the energy sector.

Buy the emerging markets generally, avoiding those markets are fundamentally misfinanced.  Or wait, and buy later.  Emerging market selloffs are often sharp and significant.  I’m not sure what is the right way to do it, so you could buy half now, and wait.  If it rallies, be glad you got some cheap.  If it sells off more, buy the full position.

There are some good values now; they could get better later.  Buy a little and wait like my “do half” strategy says.  Don’t get greedy, look for decent gains over 3-5 years.

And now for something completely different:

I appeared on RT Boom/Bust two weeks ago, and offered my thoughts on Wells Fargo at the end of the show.  I think they still have more problems to be revealed.  That said, things aren’t getting worse, so this might be a good time to buy the shares of Wells Fargo.

Full disclosure: My clients and I own shares of IRS, SBS, ELP, BRF, and RSXJ

Article by David J. Merkel, CFA, FSA – The Aleph Blog

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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 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.