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Blog

corn

Much of grains and oilseeds make their way into feed for hogs and cattle. So while corn (pictured above) and soybean meal are selling off sharply, it is interesting to see Live Cattle go limit up.

livecattle

Major takeaway: as people earn more income, the first thing they change is their diet.

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Whitey Bulger, the fugitive Irish mob boss who Jack Nicholson depicted in the movie The Departed, was nabbed in Santa Monica, CA yesterday.

A good buddy of mine who is on the job spoke to me on the condition of anonymity about how the arrest went down:

Police: “Do you know why we’re here Mr. Bulger…Do you know what we do?”

Bulger: “Sir, yes, sir. I have an idea…”

Police: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s say you have no idea and leave it at that, okay Mr. Bulger? No idea. Zip. None. If you had any idea about what we do, we would not be good at what we do now would we? We would be (another word for film producers). You calling us (another word for film producers)?”

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I don’t care what they say, that’s Howard in the light blue…

Where does he fall to…whose trading desk is that?

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From agrimoney:

“Market softness in agriculture, which has brought steep declines to crop prices, has spread to the farmland market, a survey showed, even as Westpac analysts warned over a commodities correction.”

“We are beginning to see some of the air exiting the farmland price bubble,” Ernie Goss, economist at America’s Creighton University said.

I have an article coming out next week that will put the grain and oilseed markets into perspective. I am bullish on the entire grain complex and farmland too for the next 20 years. You’ll see why next week.

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Mark Spitznagel, who now runs Universa out here in LA, and who worked with NNT at Emperica is launching an ETF that will emulate their style of management for institutional investors.

Here’s how the article starts off:

“With Santa Monica’s trendy beaches a block away, Mark Spitznagel and three fellow traders spend their days placing a couple dozen bets that a disastrous event will rock equity markets or cause inflation to soar. On roughly 95 trades out of 100 they lose money.”

Some takeaways from the text:

First of all, Santa Monica’s beaches are not trendy to say the least, but I guess saying so give a better contrast to Spitznagel’s look. The runoff meets the Pacific ocean in Santa Monica. Anyone who has a brain on the Westside is either heading up to Malibu, or going to the South Bay – Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or Hermosa Beach…but I digress…

What do you think of the mathematical expectation of a Universa trade? If such a trader has a 5% accuracy rate, what does the ratio of the average winner to average loser have to be for the ethos to be worth while investment?

What does that say about the manager’s need to be correct – do you think Spitznagel’s ego is tied up in his need to be correct?

“People have a natural bias to look at returns and not to look at possible losses,” says Taleb. “If you reduce big losses, your overall returns will be higher.”

I’ve always said, that your winners will only look like winners to the extent you keep your losses small.

Hat tip Meb Faber.

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