Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nassim Taleb on Antifragility at Princeton

 

Nassim Taleb discusses the concept of Antifragility at Princeton. 

If you want to understand the long-term consequences of market interventions and other attempts to delay or remove stressors from real-world systems, watch this video. 

Taleb also makes clear that we are at an unprecedented point in history, in which those in power benefit on the upside while having no real risk (no "skin in the game") on the downside. In other words, our supposed "leaders" hold their positions and accrue benefits from them without having to display courage or face the consequences of their actions and decisions.

You can hear more from Taleb on this topic in an excellent econtalk interview from earlier this year. 

His new book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder is available on Amazon.   

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Google earnings: surprise!

An inauspicious start to earnings season for the technology sector. 

A profit decline vs. last year's 3rd quarter for Intel (INTC) was followed today by a surprise (prematurely leaked) report from Google (GOOG). The early, and disappointing, 3Q report sent GOOG into a midday plunge, down 9% before trading in the stock was halted.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Retail stocks: the middle vs. high end

Took a glance at some names in my retail watch list and noticed (again) that Sotheby's (BID) and Tiffany (TIF) both topped out back in spring-summer of 2011. 



Are these two stocks sending a message on the state of the "merely affluent" buyer (or even the very rich, as some of Sotheby's customers may be categorized)?

Meanwhile, "everyman luxury" jeweler Zales (ZLC) has rebounded strongly off its spring 2012 lows and is currently near a 2-year high. 



Is this recent strength specific to ZLC or is there more here to suggest a pickup in buying power for middle-income customers?