Views from the Crows Nest: January 2013 Issue

Welcome to the January 2013 issue of Views from the Crows Nest.

Well, the folks in Washington D.C. certainly did another number on investment markets with a slightly- later-than-eleventh-hour “fiscal cliff fluff deal” that does nothing to address a life-threatening spending addiction by the US federal government. And now we get to listen to endless yammering about raising the debt ceiling.

Over the next six weeks this debate will escalate, with the predictable grandstanding, digging in of heels, standing on principle, then caving in at the last minute to prevent both a shutdown of the US Federal Government and any kind of default on outstanding US debt obligations. It will likely become the primary hot button topic for everyone, cause a significant rise in market anxiety and serve as a wonderful distraction from everything else that is happening. In a democracy, a nation gets the government it deserves.

[Read more…]

Views from the Crows Nest: 2013 Annual Forecast

Welcome to the 2013 Annual Forecast Issue of Views from the Crowsnest. Over the last six weeks we’ve been hunkered down in quiet contemplation of what 2013 may bring. The world continues to edge closer to the second major downturn in what I believe is The Second Great Depression.

Final editing of this edition is happening on December 30th, before the “fiscal cliff” negotiations have been resolved…so we could start 2013 with a bang, though we’re not certain where the gun is pointed! It’s better to be out of the markets and wishing you were in, than to be in and wishing you were out of the markets…so we’ve been rather conservatively positioned for over a week now.

[Read more…]

Views from the Crows Nest: 2012 Annual Forecast

Welcome to the December 2011 edition of Views from the Crows Nest, which doubles as our 2012 Annual Forecast issue. Your author took an unplanned break from publishing for November. The bottom line is that we were so busy with client meetings across western Canada and ongoing market research that there simply wasn’t time available.

Our 2011 Annual Forecast created quite a stir, with many readers remarking that your author’s view of the world seemed unrealistically dark and pessimistic. Unfortunately, the majority of the risks we identified either contributed directly to extreme market volatility, or have at least continued to worsen on the periphery. There are two kinds of people in the world: people with too much class to say “I told you so,” and people like me. That being said, there is negligible pleasure in being correct about negative situations.

[Read more…]

Views from the Crows Nest: 2011 Annual Forecast

Welcome to the December 2010 issue of Views from the Crows Nest, which also serves as our 2011 Annual Forecast. Having spent most of my professional career serving people with common sense and very competent critical thinkers such as engineers, accountants, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, etc, I understand the need to provide evidence of my views. Electronic delivery of newsletters makes it easy to provide source references, which you will find embedded throughout. I suggest reading it once with clicking on the various links and once without doing so, in whichever order you prefer. Taking some time between readings might be helpful, because there’s a lot to digest…and some “holiday cheer” might help wash it down. However you approach this holiday meal, I believe it will be worth your time and intellectual energy.

[Read more…]