Eric Fry

Investors always talk about bulls and bears…but no one ever talks about Chihuahuas. Maybe they should. The Chihuahua in your editor’s household, “Tango,” spends most of his time finding the warmest spot on the floor…and sitting there…until someone offers him food or some other enticing attraction.

Tango doesn’t worry about much of anything. When he’s out and about, he trots along the sidewalk, darts in and out of the shrubs, chases after birds and generally enjoys himself. And when he’s not out and about, he’s lying on some sun-drenched floor tile.

Tango doesn’t fear much – not even much bigger dogs – but he’s terrified of the rain. So when you add it all up, you get a happy-go-lucky little pooch who loves sunshine and hates rain.

Investors could do worse than to “be a Chihuahua.” Find the sunshine and repose…until the rain clouds begin gathering.

Throughout most of the global financial atmosphere, the barometric pressure is dropping. Scattered clouds are encroaching upon what has been a delightful two-year run of warm, sunny weather. Japan is radioactive; the Middle East of hyperactive; and most of the Western world is insolvent.

Thankfully, a few select companies are providing selective investment opportunities. But even selective investors must pay close attention to the clouds overhead. There aren’t a lot of breezy cirrus clouds these days; it’s all nimbus. The US economy is visibly slowing down, while the growth rates of places like China, India and Brazil are contracting.

At the same time, the desperate financial conditions of countries like Ireland and Portugal – as well as states like California and Illinois – are retuning to the front pages. These are real crises, dear reader. Feels like time to avoid the rain…and to try finding the sun wherever you can.

Here in the US, the economic recovery is providing very little legitimate sunshine. This so-called recovery is a tanning booth, powered by outrageously large and expensive “stimulus measures.” Unfortunately, now that the stimulus dollars are spent, and vast portions of the real American economy have failed to revive as hoped, we Americans are left standing out in the rain with our fake tans…and no sign of sunshine anywhere.

A quick foray through today’s headlines tells the story…

“Uncertainty Fuels Portugal’s Financial Tailspin”

“More Radioactive Water Spills at Japan Nuke Plan”

“Disposable Incomes Drop For First Time Since September”

…and lastly, “Harry and David File for Bankruptcy.” Yes, it’s true; the gift-box retailer that began selling fruit by mail in the 1930s has filed for bankruptcy protection. Gift-box buyers – as well as “re-gifters” of gift boxes – will no longer be able to rely on Harry and David as their “go-to” present of last resort.

Lost, temporarily, amidst these disturbing headlines is the even more disturbing fact that nations cannot spend their way to prosperity, no matter what clever name they slap on the escapade. From FDR’s “New Deal” to Lyndon Johnsons’ “Great Society” to Obama’s “Build America Bonds,” the programs follow a familiar path: spend first, ask questions never.

Eric Fry

for The Daily Reckoning

Eric Fry

Eric J. Fry, Agora Financial's Editorial Director, has been a specialist in international equities for nearly two decades. He was a professional portfolio manager for more than 10 years, specializing in international investment strategies and short-selling.  Following his successes in professional money management, Mr. Fry joined the Wall Street-based publishing operations of James Grant, editor of the prestigious Grant's Interest Rate Observer. Working alongside Grant, Mr. Fry produced Grant's International and Apogee Research, institutional research products dedicated to international investment opportunities and short selling. 

Mr. Fry subsequently joined Agora Inc., as Editorial Director. In this role, Mr. Fry  supervises the editorial and research processes of numerous investment letters and services. Mr. Fry also publishes investment insights and commentary under his own byline as Editor of The Daily Reckoning. Mr. Fry authored the first comprehensive guide to investing internationally with American Depository Receipts.  His views and investment insights have appeared in numerous publications including Time, Barron's, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Business Week, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Money.

  • smithcreek

    Harry and David going bankrupt? Christmas wouldn’t be the same without their chocolate truffles. Damn, those things are good.

  • JMR

    How does Harry and David go bankrupt? They sell 50 cent apples for over $20 each.

Recent Articles

In the Year 2024

James Rickards

Panopticon goggles? Severe market panic in 2018? Gold confiscation by 2020? Jim Rickards' shocking thought-piece in the spirit of A Brave New World or 1984. Click to see how markets, economics, your money, gold, privacy, wealth building and more look a decade from now in the year 2024...


Our Ebola Stocks Could Double Overnight

Paul Mampilly

I believe we are in the midst of one of the greatest profit opportunities you’re ever going to see in your lifetime. Stop listening to what the government is telling you. Turn off CNN. Forget what you see on the news. And for God’s sake, forget about the market crashing. Right now, we are in the early innings of the greatest profit opportunities of the 21st century. A biotech boom that’s about to hit epic proportions thanks to Ebola. If I’m right, we are going to see Ebola in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. And when this happens, every single stock that has anything to do with Ebola is going to soar. Let me explain to you how I believe this huge Ebola bubble is going to unfold.


Why We Hold Hard Assets II

Henry Bonner

Right now we’re seeing a surge of strength in the U.S. dollar, as the bottom falls out of our competitors’ currencies, and Jim Grant has the best analysis of what it means for investors. For one, it means the Federal Reserve can’t keep interest rates low forever. And mainstream investors may be very surprised when the Fed gives in…


Housing Bulls Gave Up Here… Big Mistake

Greg Guenthner

Another one of Wall Street’s broken forecasts has plopped a new trade in your lap. If you’re listening to the lunatics on the financial news, you’re hearing that there’s no hope for the markets. Just get rid of your stocks and pound sand. Better safe than sorry—none of these talking heads want to get bullish on anything right now because they’re afraid to look like an idiot if the market keeps dropping. For them, selling stocks now is your only chance to make it to the end of the year without pawning the family cat to buy Christmas presents. Can the market survive? Greg Guenthner explains…


A Quarter-Century’s Conclusion on Our Cancer Woes

Ray Blanco

Breakthrough technologies can hold the most undiscovered money-making potential. What we’ve accomplished in a quarter century with cancer research could make you serious money and save countless lives. Ray Blanco has more on this ground breaking story...