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

Can Money Printing Cause Deflation?

Marc Faber

"There has been an issue that has preoccupied my mind for a long time," writes Dr. Marc Faber. "In economics, it is generally accepted that if the quantity of money and credit is increased, prices will rise… However, since economics is so complex… I question whether the expansion of central banks' balance sheets and policies of zero interest rates could have a deflationary impact…" The good doctor wrestles with the question, in today's essay...


Forget the Oil Crash – Crush the Market With Biotech Stocks

Greg Guenthner

The Biotech iShares ETF is up 23% since the Oct. 15th bottom. No, that is not a typo. Biotechs have torched the S&P over the past two months--more than doubling the returns of the big index. And biotechs as a group are up more than 38% year-to-date. In fact, since we first highlighted the June comeback, the Biotech iShares have gone nowhere but up.


How Low Will Oil Go – And What Can You Do?

Matt Insley

The oil market has been under siege for six months. From service providers to producers this downturn has been painful. Of course, we’ve known all along that oil prices were a little toppy over the summer. In fact, when asked just how low oil prices could go I usually answered with a simple “lower than you’d expect…”


Cuba’s Berlin Wall Moment

Peter Coyne

Our forecast that Cuba would be open and integrated within 5-10 years is on track after yesterday's big announcement. Ahead of schedule, even. Click here to see how some investors have profited and what the island's likely future is...


The $4 LED Trend You Don’t Want to Miss

Chris Mayer

The opportunity to sell and install LEDs is enormous. We’re talking about over a billion lighting fixtures. And the areas with the largest potential -- like parking lots -- have barely begun to change. Banker to the presidents Chris Mayer says you could triple your money in this new tech trend. Here's what you need to know.


How to Make the Casinos Pay You for a Change

Greg Guenthner

It's a theme we've shared with you since April. And it's only gotten worse. The gaming industry has come under all sorts of pressure--a situation I first noticed in the charts. The powerful, multi-year uptrends started showing cracks. And it wasn't long before those cracks turned into gaping holes you could drive a friggin' truck through. That's where things stand today.