Among his posts this past week were entries about the Iranian election, Apple and macro economics.
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Reformist Appears to Win Iranian Presidential Election
Originally published on Saturday, June 15 at 2:14 p.m. EDT.
Reformist candidate Hassan Rohani has apparently won the Iranian election for president with 50.7% of the vote.
He was the most open to the West/nuclear discussions/internal freedoms/women's rights than any of the candidates.
The Iranian people have spoken and they might be delivering a message that they want a less hostile relationship with the world community and a focus on repairing their economy.
Rohani was not the favored candidate of the supreme leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei -- so quick change might be problematic.
However, the election does seem to be a step in the right direction and the people's voice will have to be listened to by Khamenei.
It is too early to make any predictions, re Iran/Israel/U.S./nuclear issues, but a "reformist" win can't be bad and could over time help risk assets.
When smart investors are queried about systemic risk -- the Iran/Israeli nuclear weapons issue is often at top of the list.
Near term limited market impact, however.
Is Apple Becoming a Copycat
Originally published on Thursday, June 13 at 11:19 a.m. EDT.
Lack of recent innovation has weighed on Apple's shares.
Today we learn the company is considering larger screens and a variety of colors for its iPhones.
This sort of copycat action is not what the market wants to hear.
I fear many have overestimated the company's ability to move the needle with new product offerings.
Indeed, that has been my concern since last September.
For this reason and others, Apple remains a trading sardine, not an eating or investing sardine.
At the time of original publication, Kass had no positions in the stocks mentioned.
More on Macro
Originally published on Tuesday, June 11 at 2:31 p.m. EDT.
Never in history has our domestic growth trajectory been so dependent on policy.
Macro is important for several reasons:
-- Liquidity. Central bank easing has provided the liquidity to the capital markets. Without it, an important source of demand for long-dated assets (stocks) is eliminated or reduced.
-- Profits are dependent upon global prosperity. The largest U.S. corporations are important exporters. This is particularly true of our technology companies. Large S&P companies are reliant/somewhat dependent on the health of Europe and other markets around the world. Their health is important to overall corporate profitability.
-- U.S. economic growth. Four years of easing has failed to produce much more than +2% real growth domestically. The uncertainty of a non-self-sustaining recovery will weigh on stocks if QE is tapered.
-- Interest rate cliff. Tapering could result in ever higher rates. Our consumers, corporations and government are addicted to low rates. Moreover every discount dividend model depends on a cap or interest rate. Higher rates, in theory, reduce the value of future cash flows. Here is my previous column on the interest rate cliff.
In other words, Jimmy, no corporation is an island!
Never in history has our domestic growth trajectory been so dependent on policy, especially monetary.
We are in an experiment, a big experiment. Buffett told the audience in Omaha in May that he knows not how they exit this experiment nor what the ramifications might be.
There are other reasons why macro is important, but the above are some of the major reasons.