Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Bite Of Commerzbank AG (CBK.DE)




I took another small bite of Commerzbank AG (CBK.DE) on Monday, adding another 2,000 shares at €1.81 to the 2,000 I bought at €1.77 on March 7. In my notes for the Monday buy I scribbled, "Buying another 2,000 shares because this is the bottom!" Of course, soon after I clicked, Commerzbank dipped to just below €1.79 and I had to think of what The Renewable Man had said about my initial decision to get into Germany's second-biggest bank.

"Well, it's your money, Herr Bic. I don't like it, but if I were you I'd set a tight stop, maybe around €1.70. If you get stopped out, wait for it hit €1.35 or so and then start buying or wait until it climbs back above €2, whichever comes first."

He and I were talking last Thursday afternoon, shortly after the US market had opened. He told me the low-risk trade of the day was JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: JKS), that I could make some real money on Jinko because "this pattern is played so often it's embarrassing. There's a very good chance we'll see it shoot right back up." I told The Renewable Man it was too risky in my opinion, and pulling up the chart of Jinko I said that it was moving back down.

"I know, and now I'm going to buy, and you should too," said The Renewable Man, hanging up.

I couldn't get myself to pull the trigger on Jinko as the share price bounced up and down. I passed. What happened? Well, Jinko is up somewhere around 20% since then, and that really pisses me off. What troubles me even more than that missed opportunity, is that I think my second Commerzbank buy was partly an anger buy, to prove to The Renewable Man that my thinking on Commerzbank is correct.

As of now, Commerzbank is trading at €1.95, meaning I'm up a good chunk of euro, 600 or so, whereas The Renewable Man is up thousands or likely tens of thousands, knowing him.

I made the amateur mistake of letting emotion kick me into a trade. I didn't pull the trigger on Jinko because I was unsure, and that is okay, but then hindsight got the best of me, and hindsight is always perfect, isn't it?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Frankfurt Sells Sex And Sex Sells Frankfurt



Yes, sexus is all around us, within us, moving, shaking, and shaping our lives.

Some of us enjoy rich sex lives and some us tweet.

I had a brilliant idea the other week of exploring the world of sex in Frankfurt from the perspective of the Superwomen, the ladies involved in the world's oldest profession. Prostitution is legal in German and Frankfurt has one of the biggest red-light districts in Europe. Wouldn't a blogumentary on the Superwomen of Frankfurt be fascinating? Educational?  Have a five minutes or so video interview of one Superwoman a week, getting to know who she is and hearing her opinions on the men that visit her. My bet is that the Superwomen will say that the majority of the "clients" don't come for sex; perhaps that's going too far and I should say that I believe there is a much larger subtext sloshing around, something heavier and deeper throbbing below the sexus on the surface.

Who are these Superwomen? They won't be the stereotypes most people think of when they imagine a Superwoman. We'd find out who they are, unmask our prejudices, and test my thesis that the reason thousands upon thousands of men visit these Superwomen of Frankfurt only partly has to do with sex. Maybe I'm wrong and the Superwomen will say that it is only about sex, but I doubt it. It would be an important psychological, sociological study.

Please don't be under the impression that the blogumentary would have anything to do with pornography, because it wouldn't. No acts would be performed (in front of camera) nor would any Superwoman be naked. It would all be very scientific and tasteful, and even members of the Republican Party could tune in.

I thought that such a blogumentary was a great idea but people I've shared this idea with haven't had my enthusiasm, especially my wife. I think they fell into the trappings of stereotypes. For the sake of science it should be done.

Don't you think people should know about the Superwomen of Frankfurt?

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Real Bond King Likes The Safe Haven Play



So Yves "The Real Bond King" Lamoureux writes in his latest piece that safe-haven currencies are going to return with a vengeance. Mr. Lamoureux sees an "accelerating [US] dollar uptrend into June with a culmination in December" and that "this part of the cycle will ultimately reveal self-funded countries apart from countries dependent on foreign funding." Yes, I can see it in my head but I don't believe I will see it playing out in reality and that's what scares me, because who am I to argue with The Real Bond King?

What bothers me most about his call of a rising US dollar (I'll give Mr. Lamoureux his long call on the Japanese yen) is the point he raises about Portugal and Spain taking center stage going forward. When--not if--Portugal and Spain, and let's throw in Italy for good measure, have crises that surpass the never-ending Greek drama, this will, in my opinion, be euro positive. As he mentions, this FUBAR funding situation is a liquidity crisis, and it is liquidity, or rather the lack of liquidity, that will keep levitating the euro. I see the US dollar rising short-term against the euro because benevolent "private" investors agreed to swap Greek debt (of course they did!) and everybody will now breathe a sigh of relief and take a make-believe liquidity shower.

Returning to the US dollar, another point Mr. Lamoureux raises that I believe works against him, is his top call on the 30-year. I agree with him that the 30-year could still see a spike, and continuing with my weakness is strength theme, I too can envision a short-lived spike in the US dollar, but this will not be 2008 all over again. Hell has been let loose by the Fed and there is simply no turning back. Trust in government has been lost and this is why I'll put my money on the private sector and not the former so-called safe haven of the US dollar; not on the euro-trash either.

Then again, arguing against myself, if all eyes focus on the US and its bankrupt states, such as my California, wouldn't my weakness is strength (lack of liquidity) theory dictate that the US dollar will push against the heavens? Yes, it would. Here I'll say that it won't be 2008 again because trust has been lost and alternatives to the US dollar will and must be found. But damn it, Mr. Lamoureux has got me thinking again and that's why I enjoy his thoughts, albeit, somewhat cryptic thoughts on the markets. He makes me dig deeper into my inner investing sand castles.

I wish Mr. Lamoureux would write about his views on the equity market. I wonder what he would think of my Commerzbank AG (CBK.DE) buy.

All I know for sure is that the largely innocuous Occupy Wall Street movement is only a mild outbreak of the civil unrest that will be coming to the US in the next years. I see the gap between rich and poor widening tremendously. Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d'une grande princesse à qui l'on disait que les paysans n'avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit: Qu'ils mangent de la brioche.

Good luck to all.

P.S. I stole the picture from FDRALLOVERAGAIN. I don't what happened to him. He was a very entertaining read, that's for sure.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nibbling On Commerzbank AG


I took a small bite of Commerzbank AG (CBK.DE) this morning, buying 2,000 shares at €1.77. The Renewable Man probably won't like my decision considering he said he wanted to see it climb back above €2; I looked in my crystal ball and saw a US dollar without legs eating a bowl of Greek salad. Mr. The Renewable Man, German banks have only one way to go from here and that is up.

I know, I know, Commerzbank can still drop, but the question I keep asking myself is this: What else can the West do but throw more and more money at the already unsustainable debts? Okay, so the debts become beyond serviceable and all blows up. Sure, but that will be a few years down the road. All is pure fantasy in the meantime and this fantasy will lead to one of greatest so-called bull markets in history.

Why Commerzbank? I've always rooted for underdogs and Commerzbank is more than an underdog: it's road kill save for the monetary fantasy that will send us to the moon and then deposit us into hell. And Germany's second-biggest bank is dirt cheap here considering its fantasy capital position after its hybrid debt swap.

More later. Need to shave and get going.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

His Samsung Was So Much Bigger Than Mine



I won't say I'm hung like a horse even if some people out there might say I am. That's not the meat of the matter. We all know size isn't important.

Or is it?

The other week, after teaching a class, I was taking the U-Bahn home from Bockenheim and looking at stock quotes on my Samsung Galaxy GT-I9000. I was standing at the back of the train, probably cursing myself for holding Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM), when a guy standing beside me whipped out his Samsung. My jaw dropped. It was so darn big I couldn't help but stare.

I found out later that the monster he was holding in his hand was a Samsung Galaxy Note N7000, which boasts a 5.3 inch screen and retails on amazon.de for 499 euro as of this writing.

Sure, the Note's got a Dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 and a nifty stylus, but where the heck would I keep it? (Are you happy to see me or is that a Note in your pocket?) That's the only problem I have with it. I got a pad already and my Galaxy does what I need it to do when I'm bumming around--stocks, email--so I think I'd rather spend the cash on a ticket to Goa.

By the way, my lady likes my old Galaxy (rooted and running 2.3.6) more than her iPhone 4S. Maybe because my Galaxy's bigger.

Women!

Monday, March 5, 2012

President Obama And Co. Are Cartoons




Perhaps I am too young to be optimistic about politics and reading articles on President Obama and company sure doesn't make me less cynical.

Before I had even finished my first cup of coffee, I made the mistake of clicking on the headline "'When the chips are down, I have Israel's back,' says Obama, while reiterating he won’t be rushed into war with Iran." I'll try to blame my foolishness on low caffeine levels and it being Monday morning after a couple of late nights over the weekend. Come on, though, must political commentary be as poor as the broken political system in the US?

The piece is depressingly void of background on Iran and it goes without saying that there is no Iranian perspective concerning its nuclear aspirations. Let us beat the war drums with President Obama rather than critically examining the situation. Why pause to question where the US is going when it is clear the tracks leading to military action against Iran have already been laid. To railroad the public's thinking that violence against Iranians was Iran's own damn fault, throw in words from a self-righteous professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and former diplomat:

"This is the most specific, and toughest, he's been," Burns told Yahoo News by telephone.

"He made clear it was unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, and he was much more specific about the use of force. At the same time, his core message was 'don't strike now,'" Burns said.

"He was not giving Israel a green light..[sic]and he was responding to those who say there's no hope for negotiations, there's no hope for sanctions. If that's what Prime Minister Netanyahu is bringing, it's not going to be a convincing message," he said.

President Obama, in his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said exactly what he was expected to say, as he always does. Let us wait for an "incident" to get the aggression going.

Craig Mac, who is a decade younger than I am and much more cynical, told me the other week that he didn't know why I bothered following politics. "Does it matter who's in the White House? Is it going to change anything for us? Anything at all? Of course it won't. And everybody knows Democrats and Republicans are the same, more or less, with Democrats basically where the Republicans were 20 years ago. We keep going to the Right."

Maybe Craig Mac is correct, that I waste my time caring about what is going on because there is nothing I can do about it. Vote? Vote for whom? President Obama or any of the even more cartoonish Republican Party candidates are not a choice for anyone over 12.

Something else, and something real, that made me sad, was I learned that Heinrich Tessmer passed away in January. He was a master who I had the honor of raising glasses of red wine with on a few occasions. He was a good friend of an important man in my life who also has left this world. Such men keep me going and striving to be a better man.