Argonautica

Professional investors can review published thought leadership and market updates from the Argonaut Investment Team.

53 posts found by Barry Norris

‘The hedgehog market’

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” Ancient Greek poet Archilochus The hedgehog knows only one very important thing: when in danger it will curl up into a prickly ball to defy the cunning fox, who despite knowing an infinite variety of things, is defeated. The Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin (in his essay on Tolstoy in 1953[1]) divided up historical figures between hedgehogs and foxes: those who believed in a central unified philosophy in which all other things made…

‘Déjà vu Trichet 2008: Central banks tightening monetary policy into an economic downturn’

Ignoring the gathering storm in US sub-prime mortgages and tangible signs of a slowing European economy, the then ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet infamously presided over an ECB rate hike in July 2008, subsequently seen as hastening the onset of the global financial crisis. Then inflation in the Eurozone was running at 4% and the ECB’s backward looking models suggested that a 25bps hike to 4.25% was appropriate. This hike was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Just three months later…

‘The cruellest month’

 “April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain” TS Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922    “October is the cruellest month, longs are going down on good numbers, shorts are going up on profit warnings, it’s getting darker outside with cold rain” BJ Norris, Argonautica Blog, 2018     Most investors will have been frustrated by the apparent cruelty of the stock market during October. Glamourous growth stocks got crushed.…

‘Stock picking Alpha and the fear of unknown unknowns’

“As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.” Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defense (2002) [1]    During market dislocations it is common to witness rapid price falls on individual stocks that appear indiscriminate in nature and often contrary to the positive rationale which fundamental…

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