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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.
  • The Musk clownshow.
    I don’t think it is funny that my 85 year old Vietnam ( LBJ’s War] veteran father and a man with a masters degree in Special Education with diagnosed with dementia is more verbally with it than a man with a finger on the nuclear trigger. There is no troll like than a liberal in self denial about putting a man in power who has obviously has cognitive decline and attacks everyone else who has eyes and ears to see it. God Bless America and it’s working class blue collar people .
  • Investor places options bet on massive stock market collapse - Steven M. Sears
    Near the end of that song: “When the air becomes Urania …” - I was waiting for him to rhyme that with “Crimea” which would have worked lyrically. Missed opportunity.
    May be nuclear attack by Russia.
    That rich investor may be Elon Musk> Elon Musk supports Russia keeping Crimea—because he’s worried about nuclear escalation and World War III ('Fortune.com'.)
    Could be. Musk could than use his “winnings” to hasten completion of his Mars spaceship. With some incredibly good luck, he just might escape this planet in the nick o’ time.
  • Investor places options bet on massive stock market collapse - Steven M. Sears
    May be nuclear attack by Russia.
    That rich investor may be Elon Musk> Elon Musk supports Russia keeping Crimea—because he’s worried about nuclear escalation and World War III ('Fortune.com'.)
  • How Coal Companies Sidestep Mine Clean Up Obligations
    makes my blood boil to read all of this. But it's no surprise. And how many talking heads are now touting "clean" nuclear lately, with prices up, and the energy crunch in Europe? Let them talk to my nuclear-waste engineer friend at the Savannah River Project. Shit. what a bunch of junk. "Clean" nuclear. LAUGH.
    ...If it weren't so serious.
  • Nowhere near as bad as ‘07-‘09 - Yet
    It's been my expectation the stock market retreat would bottom somewhere close to it's current level. But, the Fed waited for something to break in a major way before beginning to raise rates. Perhaps it will wait for something (what?) to break in a major way before easing up on their rate increases. Or, perhaps Russia will decide to go nuclear. If so, a 40%+ decline may be on the horizon. I moved about 3% from cash into stocks in late spring but have just been watching since then. The year-end distribution from my investment account has been mostly set aside. But, making a full annual distribution is not a done deal yet....
    Tracking the Coming Economic Storm
  • What is a “Blood in the Streets” Moment?
    One cannot rule out Putin's use of nuclear weapon, as he gets desperate. Now is the time to see how the China's "no limits" support really is.
  • Pessimism is deepening as bellwether companies warn of worsening economic and business conditions.
    It’s interesting that as of yet the media has not picked up on Putin’s war as a contributing factor to the demise of many global markets. I’ll cede that Fed actions / rising rates are largely to blame. But Putin’s calling up 300,000 conscripts, holding “elections” in occupied parts of Ukraine in order to annex those territories to Russia and waving his nuclear wand have to be having some chilling effect on the investment climate.
    Maybe their goal is KISS / Keep the messaging as simple as possible for their audience.
  • Gundlach says bonds are wickedly cheap compared to stocks and offers one way to get a 9 return
    Interesting proposition. Thanks @JohnN for the post. Beyond my pay grade. I do think that as a “hedge” against a total wipe-out in equities and other assets he may be right. Nobody really knows. Returns on different assets are all relative - depending on the particular macro environment. Macro worsened today. Not only the Fed moves, but also Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling.
    Personally, I’ve held GNMAs in lieu of cash past few months. Didn’t work. Lost a bit. Not giving up.
  • Whoa. Germany. Hydrogen.
    From the Al-Jazeera article: the "gotcha"-
    "hydrogen is not necessarily carbon-free: only “green hydrogen”, produced using renewable energy, is considered sustainable by experts.
    Other, more common manufacturing methods exist, but they emit greenhouse gases because they are made from fossil fuels".
    The great preponderance of hydrogen manufactured today is "grey"- that is, a significant amount of carbon is released during the manufacturing process, which involves the conversion of natural gas. "Green" hydrogen requires using electricity made by a non-polluting source- hydropower, wind, solar, or nuclear to power the electrolysis of water.
    The net effect of the whole scheme then is simply to use hydrogen as a method of storage:
    electricity > hydrogen > electricity.
    Unless the electricity used to make the hydrogen is generated by a non-polluting source, the whole thing is of questionable value from an environmental standpoint.
  • The bottom are likely in
    @hank
    It's not just the comments in Barron's, though that was surely most recent. Jamie Dimon chipped in also with a comment unlike him....economic "hurricanes" and whatnot. This current bump up looks to me simply to be a bear market rally.
    In February of this year I posted about how Putin's army sitting on the border of Ukraine was my biggest concern for 2022. Well, that's unresolved. And that needs to be resolved prior to the weather turning in Europe before the gas situation turns deadly. Not to be a complete buzzkill...but Putin's getting his ass kicked. Normally, this might be a cause for celebration, but unfortunately he does indeed have a nuclear arsenal at his disposal. Perhaps he'll stray too close to one of those dangerous open windows Moscow is famous for.
  • US Global Funds - Investor Alert - 8/19/22
    "Mutants For Nukes" is a fraternity of which I'm a member. Our logo is a happy face with ONE ear. Ya. You get the point. I have a friend who is a nuclear guy, working at the Savannah River Project, dealing with NUCLEAR WASTE. There are quarter-mile-long bladders buried underground, full of the stuff. One way to make the nuke waste inert is to insert it in the mix, and make GLASS. But how much GLASS do ya NEED? It's a big issue. I lament that the Europeans are so committed to nuclear power. And look at the situation in Ukraine, with the Army of the Poot-face occupying the biggest nuke plant in all of Europe! Bad. From every angle. They don't know what to do, so they're staffing the place with Ukrainians who DO know what to do. Nuclear sucks. It's fine, until something goes wrong. And when it goes wrong, the fallout is not rather temporary. It's not like an oil spill that does damage, but can be cleaned up and Nature is restored in a generation or two. When bad nuke shit happens, it will outlast the next 40 generations, or longer. Let the military use it. Keep it away from civilians like me.
  • US Global Funds - Investor Alert - 8/19/22
    Often when I see the phrase “climate agenda” in a story, I know the author has a fossil fuel or nuclear agenda as is the case here. No one has ever adequately figured out what to do with the highly radioactive form of nuclear waste from plants, which has a half life of thousands of years: https://eia.gov/energyexplained/nuclear/nuclear-power-and-the-environment.php
    While it probably makes sense for nuclear to be part of the energy equation, the notion that the Europeans are somehow foolish for pursuing their “climate agenda” when the earth is on fire and America only just now passed a modest bill to address climate change is far sillier to me.
  • Doom and gloom - when will it end
    Yes-I'm sure coal-burning units were considered safer than nuclear plants after Three Mile Island incident(and the eerie and prescient China Syndromerelease earlier.(not entirely snark)
  • The Top-Performing Stock-Fund Managers Over a Turbulent Year
    "Global pandemic. Brexit. Turmoil in U.S. politics. Inflation rates unparalleled since the 1980s. And now a war on Ukraine by Russia—a nuclear power.
    It’s little wonder that market strategists are scrambling to explain to their clients how “black swan” events (unforeseen catastrophes) and geopolitics have affected stock markets—and how the future is as unpredictable as ever.
    “Buckle in,” advises BNY Mellon in one such missive, warning investors to stay prepared for “significant volatility.”
    A select group of mutual-fund managers have managed to stay ahead of the curve. Their decisions to seek opportunities in market downturns, like buying attractively priced stocks their peers were overlooking, has helped them not only navigate the turmoil but post some eye-popping returns.
    “Beginning early on in the pandemic, we realized that there was a huge disparity in the value of priced-to-perfection large stocks like the giant technology companies, and companies on the other side of the spectrum, like materials and commodities” stocks, says Scott Barbee, manager of Aegis Value Fund (AVALX). “There clearly was a lot of mispricing of both value and risk.”
    Mr. Barbee’s conviction that hard assets would get a boost from the end of the pandemic and the conclusion of fiscal stimulus helped propel his fund to the top of The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly ranking of outperforming U.S.-stock mutual funds for the rolling 12 months ended March 31."
    WSJ Article
    p.s. FWIW, DHAMX and VNSYX were numerous 2&3.
  • Russia Now Going for Poland Perhaps.
    @Crash- Talk is cheap, but how many in our country are clamoring to send American lives into yet another war? What you don't seem to be understanding is that at this point NATO is not involved, and if we go it alone that's exactly where we will be. Alone.
    So how exactly would we even get troops near to Ukraine without NATO involvement? Do you really think that the NATO nations bordering Ukraine aren't thinking that Putin might respond with low-yield tactical nuclear weapons if he's pushed into a corner? Do you really think that the US isn't talking to all of them about this?
    Talk is cheap. Reality isn't.
  • Russia Now Going for Poland Perhaps.
    I apologize to anyone who feels this thread is not investment related, and I don't know what category it was started in, but as this is a much more reasonable audience to have this discussion with ( compared to Twitter or FB) I would appreciate it if we could continue. I do think unless the conflict ends quickly ( which is unlikely unless Pootin is "disappeared") it could push the world into a recession, because of commodity prices and supply chain disruptions. There are also implications for emerging markets, climate change, and big tech, all of which have to confront the potential "end of globalization"
    @Old_Joe
    In international relations, there really is no "legal agreement" that is enforceable. Treaties are supposedly not to be broken, but the Russians track record since 1917 is abysmal.
    Many people ( including my peace loving Connecticut farm girl Mother) believed we should have used military force against the Russian blockade in 1948, considering Russia did not have a functional atomic bomb until 1949. Taking the airlift way out convinced Stalin that the West was war weary and would not fight to protect democracies in the west. Thus started the Cold War.
    Our obligations to Ukraine stem from the Budapest Memorandum, which convinced them it was safe to give up their extensive nuclear arsenal. To convince them to do so, US and NATO agreed to protect them from future Russian aggression. While the language does not specifically say NATO will use military force, it clearly commits us to an obligatory defense of Ukraine in today's circumstances.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine
    https://www.npr.org/2022/02/21/1082124528/ukraine-russia-putin-invasion
    "But they were told at the time that the United States and Western powers — so certainly at least the United States and Great Britain — take their political commitments really seriously. This is a document signed at the highest level by the heads of state. So the implication was Ukraine would not be left to stand alone and face a threat should it come under one.
    So they had this faith that the West would stand by them, or certainly the United States, the signatories, and Great Britain, would stand up for Ukraine should it come under threat."
    In great power politics, intent and projection count, as do standing up to your commitments. While Biden has done a great job unifying NATO and using sanctions to destroy the Russian economy, this will probably not be enough to force Pootin to peace talks. He apparently is willing to destroy Ukraine. A continued war only makes sense if Pootin believes Russia can withdraw economically from the world, confiscate any property of Western firms that refuse to do business with him, and rely on it's energy and commodity resources ( and China) to outlast the West's ability to isolate him. So far it looks as this is his game plan.
    From what I have read, most people think the West's united response has given the Chinese significant pause concerning Taiwan. But all it may have done is convince China that the West will not fight to defend Taiwan, and as long as China's economy and foreign reserves are isolated enough from western sanctions they can eventually go ahead. This may take another decade. Hopefully in that time the US can become "chip independent" and eliminate the need for 50% of our chips coming from Taiwan. But this doe little to alleviate our dependence on Chinese sources for rare earths etc.
    There is a large amount of insightful military analysis of the Russian debacle so far on the internet. Logistics are their weak spot and may prove to be their downfall.
    I recommend reading Maj General Mike Ryan( Australian) @Warinthefuture or mickryan.com.au
    https://warontherocks.com/2021/11/feeding-the-bear-a-closer-look-at-russian-army-logistics/
    It gets into the weeds about the track gauges of the European vs Russian railroads.
  • US Gasoline Prices at Pump
    "Russia is one of the players in the OPEC cartel"
    Yes- that's one of the reasons that the Saudis have been reluctant to help out on the situation. The other main factor seems to be that the US has a rather poor relationship with Saudi Arabia at the present time, for a multitude of legitimate reasons.
    Also, overshadowed by the war news, is the fact that Iran has broken off the talks with the US over the nuclear sanctions situation. Iran is essentially allied with Russia, at least with respect to relations with the US, and while they could theoretically supply significant extra oil to the Western nations evidently have chosen not to.
    So we have the rather ludicrous situation that Iran and Saudi Arabia, enemies, are, if not allied, at least both reluctant to help out against Russia.
    Also in the background noise are tentative considerations regarding Venezuela, who all of a sudden may not be such a pariah after all. At least for now.
    What a world.
  • Someday soon a car could power your home, say PG&E, Ford and General Motors
    I'm not sure how or if THIS LINK will work for non-subscribers to the SF Chronicle, but the news article content is fascinating to me, and I'd like to share it if possible.
    Some excerpts:
    The automobile could become an unlikely crucial new backstop for keeping the lights on in an era of more frequent wildfires, hotter heat waves and aging power infrastructure in California.
    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and General Motors announced Tuesday that the companies are in the early stages of developing a system for people to electrify their homes using vehicle batteries — it’s the latest corporate collaboration exploring this new use for the largest battery most people own. And it could minimize power disruptions from rolling blackouts or emergency shutoffs during dangerous weather.
    Last year, Ford Motor Co. and San Francisco-based solar installer Sunrun announced the debut of an all-electric pickup capable of electrifying a house. Scheduled to be available later this year, the Ford F-150 Lightning is advertised as being able to provide power to a home for up to three days on a fully charged battery, or longer if power is rationed.
    The idea for using electric vehicles as emergency power sources first came about in Japan during the nuclear disaster of 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. With communities turned to rubble, gasoline became scarce, but electric cars were crucial for moving emergency responders, refugees and supplies.
    Japaneses automakers soon after began manufacturing electric vehicles with two-way charging systems capable of stepping in during emergency power outages,but that technology hasn’t yet reached United States consumers.
    Most electric vehicles already have the capacity to be sources of power, said Rick Spina, General Motors’ vice president of electric vehicle infrastructure. What’s needed is further development of battery software and hardware to bring that power into the home.
    The system the company is developing will include safeguards so people can control the outflow and ensure the battery retains enough of a charge so they can drive a certain amount of miles. That could be essential during an emergency, Spina said.
    Vehicle batteries could become a linchpin for solar power during emergencies, said James Bushnell, an energy economist at UC Davis.
  • Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, attacked and on fire
    A headline stating the obvious: "Nuclear reactors ‘not meant to be exposed to missiles’, analyst says"
    That was a live feed from Al Jazeera a few hours ago which has since vanished.