Monday, April 30, 2012

Deja Vu All over Again and Again??

It has been awhile since my last email commentary on the markets, but there are some important developments playing out. For those of you I have had the opportunity to meet with in 2012 I’ve shared my theme of “Policy Driving”. Policy being driven by Governments and Central Bank actions are continuing to have a substantial effect on the markets. You turn on CNBC or Bloomberg there is constant talk of “QE”, “LTRO”, “Stimulus”, etc. The latest iteration of that was the European Central Bank (ECB) Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO) that was in effect from December 2011 until February 2012. The market responded extremely well. So I must have a Mae Culpa for not predicting the effect this would have on the markets as a lot of our positioning was defensive. However a lot of the funds in the portfolios by design did take advantage of the rally. 

Going forward the market since March and really April has been hitting some resistance. This seems to be playing out similarly to 2010 & 2011 where the US stock market tops around April then runs into trouble during the summer followed by stimulus from governments/central banks making the markets take off. So I think remaining in the defensive positioning going into summer is very prudent. Especially when one of my main concerns is that the US Debt Ceiling is projected to be breached after August in an election season no less! When the debt ceiling was extended it was suppose to be good until 2013, but the government deficits so far have been larger than projected. I will be monitoring this extensively as we get closer to the date. So for the time being let's hunker down and wait for intervention. Hopefully the market takes to the "medicine" like in 2010 and 2011. What I fear and what keeps me up at night is when the "medicine" doesn't take. But that's another post in the future because it's not a question of if, but when....

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