Perhaps more than any other time in the last six decades, the fate of markets is inextricably intertwined with the ebb and flow of geopolitics. From the ECB's attempts to use the central bank's balance sheet to influence political outcomes across the eurozone to Saudi Arabia's efforts to transform the kingdom's influence over crude prices into an instrument of foreign policy, it's become increasingly clear that one simply cannot fully comprehend market movements without a thorough understanding of concurrent political outcomes. Drawing on extensive experience in both politics and finance, Heisenberg will help demystify a world in which investors can no longer hope to conceptualize markets as existing in anything that even approximates a vacuum. "I am the one who knocks."
Andy Hecht is a sought-after commodity and futures trader, an options expert and analyst. He spent nearly 35 years on Wall Street, including two decades on the trading desk of Phillip Brothers, which became Salomon Brothers and ultimately part of Citigroup.
Over the past two decades, he has researched, structured and executed some of the largest trades ever made, involving massive quantities of precious metals and bulk commodities.
Andy understands the market in a way many traders can’t imagine. He’s booked vessels, armored cars, and trains to transport and store a broad range of commodities. And he’s worked directly with The United Nations and the legendary trading group Phibro.
Today, Andy remains in close contact with sources around the world and his network of traders.
“I have a vast Rolodex of information in my head… so many bull and bear markets. When something happens, I don’t have to think. I just react. History does tend to repeat itself over and over.”
His friends and mentors include highly regarded energy and precious metals traders, supply line specialists and international shipping companies that give him vast insight into the market.
Andy’s writing and analysis are on many market-based websites including CQG. Andy lectures at colleges and Universities. He also contributes to Traders Magazine. He consults for companies involved in producing and consuming commodities. Andy's biweekly radio show, The Commodities Hour with Andy Hecht, can be heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 PM EST on www.tfnn.com. Andy’s first book How to Make Money with Commodities, published by McGraw-Hill was released in 2013 and has received excellent reviews. Andy held a Series 3 and Series 30 license from the National Futures Association and a collaborator and strategist with hedge funds. Andy is the commodity expert for the website about.com and blogs on his own site technomentals.com.
James Cordier is the founder of OptionSellers.com, an investment firm specializing exclusively in selling options. He is also author of McGraw-Hills The Complete Guide to Option Selling - recently published in it's 3rd Edition. James' market comments are published by several international financial publications and worldwide news services including CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Reuters World News, Bloomberg Television and MarketWatch.
After having been in the investing world for more than 25 years from private banking and investment management to private and venture capital; I have pretty much "been there and done that" at one point or another. I am currently a silent partner for an RIA in Houston, Texas.
The majority of my time is spent analyzing, researching and writing commentary about investing, investor psychology and macro-views of the markets and the economy. My thoughts are not generally mainstream and are often contrarian in nature but I try an use a common sense approach, clear explanations and my “real world” experience in the process.
I am the Chief Editor of the REAL INVESTMENT REPORT, a weekly subscriber based-newsletter that is distributed nationwide. The newsletter covers economic, political and market topics as they relate to your money and life.
I also write a daily blog which is read by thousands nationwide from individuals to professionals at www.realinvestmentadvice.com.
Cited by Barron's as one of the top financial websites to visit on the weekend, Financial Sense (www.financialsense.com) provides educational resources to the broad public audience through a daily podcast, editorials, current news and resource links on salient financial market issues. Begun in 1985 as a local talk radio program, Financial Sense Newshour (www.financialsense.com/financial-sense-newshour) is a weekly webcast with host Jim Puplava and top financial thinkers. Writing staff of Financial Sense includes: Jim Puplava, Chris Puplava, Ryan Puplava, and Cris Sheridan.
Ahead of the Curve, Agent of Change, Principal En-lightener, Purveyor of Darkness. An occasionally snarky contrarian covering government, corporate and monetary policy, financials, macro-economics, geo-politics, demographics and sports.
Our trademark style, including an apt cultural icon as metaphor, a commanding sweep of the monetary scene, a disdain for "conventional" wisdom, a rejection of the "received" narrative, an insouciant flair, and a grounding humility about the efficacy of econometric forecasting methods, is by design.
Our missives are an effort to assist in the critical thinking process which is an essential component of analysis. We attempt to encourage "outside the box" thinking by bringing together conventional and non mainstream information and ideas, then stirring the pot. The resulting controversy can spawn questions deserving of answers, stimulate much needed healthy discourse and hopefully, bring about positive change.
Stupid is as stupid does - Forrest Gump;
You can't fix stupid, no pill for it, it's fo'ever - Ron White ;
There are idiots, look around - Larry Summers ;
And Now - The Gift... To avoid the pernicious global plague of stupidity, drink the Kool-Aid and become one of the innoculati. The Kool-Aid is available at [VIRUS REMOVED BY ECHELON UNDER ORDER OF PATRIOT ACT II ... transmission terminated]
David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.
At the podium, Stockman’s expertise and experience cannot be matched, and he has a reputation for zesty financial straight talk. Defying right- and left-wing boxes, his latest book catalogues both the corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. Stockman discusses the forces that have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America’s financial system to morph into an unstable, bubble-prone gambling arena that undermines capitalist prosperity and showers speculators with vast windfall gains.
Stockman’s career in Washington began in 1970, when he served as a special assistant to U.S. Representative, John Anderson of Illinois. From 1972 to 1975, he was executive director of the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference. Stockman was elected as a Michigan Congressman in 1976 and held the position until his resignation in January 1981.
He then became Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, serving from 1981 until August 1985. Stockman was the youngest cabinet member in the 20th century. Although only in his early 30s, Stockman became well known to the public during this time concerning the role of the federal government in American society.
After resigning from his position as Director of the OMB, Stockman wrote a best-selling book, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed (1986). The book was Stockman’s frontline report of the miscalculations, manipulations, and political intrigues that led to the failure of the Reagan Revolution. A major publishing event and New York Times bestseller in its day, The Triumph of Politics is still startlingly relevant to the conduct of Washington politics today.
After leaving government, Stockman joined Wall Street investment bank Salomon Bros. He later became one of the original partners at New York-based private equity firm, The Blackstone Group. Stockman left Blackstone in 1999 to start his own private equity fund based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
In his newest New York Times best-seller, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America (2013), Stockman lays out how the U.S. has devolved from a free market economy into one fatally deformed by Washington’s endless fiscal largesse, K-street lobbies and Fed sponsored bailouts and printing press money.
Stockman was born in Ft. Hood, Texas. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University and pursued graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School.
He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife Jennifer Blei Stockman. They have two daughters, Rachel and Victoria.
Trained as a professional journalist, I always consider myself a life-long learner motivated by intellectual curiosity and self-enhancement. Equipped with two degrees in journalism and communication, I spent the first half of my 28-year career as a media man and latter half a self-made entrepreneur (covering property consultancy, media production, eco-technology and energy management).
By 50, I had made a fortune good enough to stop working to make a living. So gladly I retired and started enjoying life.
Since retired, I continued to learn investing by intensive reading and having paid mentor-ship. Having been enlightened by the brilliant minds of the SA contributors for a few years, I must confess that I have become "street-wiser, less naive and more sophisticated" in identifying market traps, reading technical analyses and finding deep undervalued stocks. Now I trust it is my turn to contribute.
Founder and Director of Gerring Capital Partners.
Publisher of The Universal marketplace service on Seeking Alpha.
Instructor at Ursinus College in the Department of Business and Economics.
Faculty Advisor to the Ursinus College Finance Scholars.
Baijnath Ramraika, CFA is a cofounder and the CEO/CIO of Multi-Act EquiGlobe Limited. Baij learned and perfected his investment philosophy and process under the capable guidance of Mr. Prashant Trivedi, the founding Chairman of Multi-Act. Having spent the first few years of his investment career researching companies globally, he had something of an epiphany as he made a shift from resorting primarily to fundamental investment research to leaning towards quantitative investment processes. Old habits die hard. Not surprisingly, much of the quantitative processes developed and practiced by him are driven by lessons learnt as a fundamental analyst. Apart from working on his quantitative models, he continues to spend some of his time on fundamental analysis of companies as well. His investment philosophy primarily rests on buying high quality businesses at bargain to reasonable prices and shorting poor quality businesses at prices that discount blue skies and have poor price momentum. Baij writes on several investment and other topics of interest to him. Baij’s author page at SSRN lists some of his research papers including his research papers on high quality stocks. With George (Yiorgos) Allayannis, Baij co-authored an academic case study (Comerica Incorporated: The Valuation Dilemma) and a technical note (Bank Valuation Issues). Baij earned his MBA from Darden Graduate School of Business at University of Virginia in 2009 where he was the Sr. Portfolio Manager of the Cavalier fund at Darden Capital Management (DCM). In 2004, he completed all the three levels of CFA program of the CFA Institute and is a CFA charter holder. He earned his chartered accountant qualification in 2001 from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) with a 41st rank in the final examinations on an all over India basis. He earned his undergraduate degree (B.Com) from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Groakhpur Univeristy (DDUGU). Baij and his wife live in the city of Pune with their two little angels.
Jeff is the President of NewArc Investments Inc., manager of both individual and institutional investments. Jeff is a registered investment advisor, and portfolio manager for NewArc's investment programs. Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy. Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc. Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client. Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
Daniel Moore is the creator of FinancialRelativity.com, a web portal created for the purpose of tracking the status of financial markets and providing investment analysis and portfolio management insights to investors. Based on the systematic investment research, he writes about the market and publishes his views through internet market publications. He has over 25 years of management experience in corporate finance in a variety of high technology start-ups and public companies. A graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 1988, he has spent the last 10 years managing investment portfolios seeking high risk reward returns for fixed income investors.
Doug Short is first-wave boomer with a lifelong interest in markets and the economy. His professional career had been a satisfying split between academia (English Professor at North Carolina State University) and Information technology (IBM and GSK).
Doug retired in 2006 to devote himself full-time to his dshort.com financial website. The domain has now been acquired by Advisor Perspectives, and Doug has been appointed the Vice President of Research.
Doug is especially interested in the economy, long-term market trends and behavioral finance.
Joseph has been an analyst, investor, and student of economic theory; money and banking; and statistical methods for evaluating and implementing risk/reward trading algorithms since 1972. Joseph is also an occasional contributor to financial publications and his essays are frequently cited by other financial websites and publications.
Since the end of the Great Recession, Joseph came to recognize that traditional methodologies for forecasting economic growth and investment asset pricing are no longer of value, and a broader understanding of the post Glass Steagall, financially engineered world that has driven markets and economies since the turn of the century is required today.
He has a good grasp of Shadow Banking, High Frequency Trading, and Dark Pools, and their impact on today’s markets. He has also spent considerable time understanding the new global paradigm of central bank involvement in experimental policy designed to better control economies.
Joseph doesn’t subscribe to a specific school of theory on economics. Rather, his thinking is based on a combination of the Classical School, the Austrian School, and the Keynesian School. He even sees the writings of Karl Marx as particularly instructive.
Joseph is particularly fond of the following quote from Albert Einstein and sees his own work as driven by that same passionate curiosity that Einstein refers to:
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Coming in a close second in terms of favorite quotes that express his views, Joseph embraces Lord Acton’s views expressed here:
“The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.
Every class is unfit to govern."
Lawrence is the Managing Director of Fuller Asset Management. He has 20+ years of experience managing investment portfolios and serving the needs of individual clients. He began his career as a Financial Consultant in 1993 with Merrill Lynch. He worked for First Union Brokerage, Morgan Stanley and ING in the same capacity before realizing his long-term goal of complete independence. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science in 1992.