Skip to main content

Barron's Roundtable 2009 notes

We offered up some notes on part one of the 2009 Barron's Roundtable earlier this month, and that (as expected) turned out to be a popular feature with readers and new visitors.

Today, as promised, we finish off this year's coverage with the final installments of the 2009 Roundtable. Let's get right to it with a few quick notes on these discussions.

As is my usual custom with the Barron's Roundtable issues, I tried to limit myself to reading only the segments with the investors whose opinions I value. That basically leaves one half to two-thirds of the Roundtable untouched, and that's more than fine with me. I learned long ago that I just don't have the time for other people's nonsense.

If you'd like to evaluate all the panelists' picks, you're more than welcome to. We'll just highlight a few key thoughts from parts two and three here. Let's start off with a few words from Felix Zulauf in part two of the Roundtable issues.

" Zulauf: Last year saw the most severe bear-market decline since 1931. The instant reaction is to be bullish after such a decline, but the situation is more complex. The watershed events of 2007 and '08 lead to a different world in many ways.

The household sector is traumatized by a 20% drop in net worth, as the worst year prior to this saw a loss of just 5%. The corporate sector is traumatized by a slump in earnings, and refinancing problems. Thus, everyone will turn more cautious, not just for 12 months but several years. Deleveraging is a structural process, not a short-term process...

...We are still in a secular bear market that started in 2000 in the industrialized economies. It has several more years to run. This is a transition year after the first slump, and we will see some corrections to the upside."

I doubt this is what most of the panel wanted to hear, but there you go. Zulauf is one of the few Roundtable panelists whose thoughts and investment ideas I've found worthwhile in recent years. Take note of what he has to say.

Now let's jump quickly over to part three, the final installment in this year's Roundtable. You can read the full thing at the link above, but here's an interesting nugget from Marc Faber as a starter.

" Faber: I'm not optimistic about the global economy. The next Madoff case -- the next Ponzi scheme -- is the U.S. government. It will go bust. It is only a question of time. The fascinating thing about asset markets today is that everything is connected -- the dollar, the economy, equity and bond markets, currencies. When one thing moves, so does something else. That makes the market ideal for short-term traders."

Now why do I keep highlighting the bearish outlook? I said I'd try and look more at the bright side of things, but I just can't help thinking there's something to this.

Maybe it's because I've been thinking and reading about these things myself, or maybe it's because I remember the times in the past when Felix Zulauf and Marc Faber were right about things that seemed too crazy for most "serious people" to consider.

Well, a lot of those serious people are having credibility problems these days. Just ask some of the Barron's readers.

Related articles and posts:

1. Overheard at Barron's Roundtable 2009 - Finance Trends Matter.

2. Felix Zulauf - Barron's interview - Finance Trends Matter.

Popular posts from this blog

The Dot-Com Bubble in 1 Chart: InfoSpace

With all the recent talk of a new bubble in the making, thanks in part to the Yellen Fed's continued easy money stance, I thought it'd be instructive to revisit our previous stock market bubble - in one quick chart.

So here's what a real stock market bubble looks like. 

Here's what a bubble *really* looks like. InfoSpace in 1999-2001. $QQQ$
— David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) February 24, 2015
For those of you who are a little too young to recall it, this is a chart of InfoSpace at the height of the Nasdaq dot-com bubble in 1999-2001. This fallen angel soared to fantastic heights only to plummet back down to earth as the bubble, and InfoSpace's shady business plan, turned to rubble.

As detailed in our post, "Round trip stocks: Momentum booms and busts", InfoSpace rocketed from under $100 a share to over $1,300 a share in less than six months. 

In a pattern common to many parabolic shooting stars, the stock soon peaked and began a…

New! Finance Trends now at

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL! 

Please bookmark our new web address at

Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner.  

Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead!

As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter. You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter). 

Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter.

Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

Welcome, readers. To get the first look at brand new posts (like the following piece) and to receive our exclusive email list updates, please subscribe to the Finance Trends Newsletter.

The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series titleof the 21st century this week.

Having won their first Series in 86 years back in 2004, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it?

Quick background: in late 2002, team owner and hedge fund manager,John W. Henry(with his partners)bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $695 million.

Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship.

This brings us to one of my favorite scenes from the 2011 film, Moneyball, in which John W. Henry (played by Arliss Howard) attempts to woo Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) over to Boston with an excellent job off…