Posts by Tim Price

Tim Price is a London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International. While most of the investing herd crowds into dangerous, overpriced stocks, Tim Price lives and breathes value investing 24/7 as he searches for great investments all over the world for his clients.

  • First post: 04/12/2012
  • Posts written: 64

Latest Articles

Inside the battle for control of the Federal Reserve

shutterstock_165763190
[Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and author of Price Value International.]

A Shandong 5000 electroglide flatbed currency printing machine named ‘Ted’ has edged ahead in a fiercely competitive fight for the chairmanship of the US Federal Reserve, narrowly in front of its major rival, the Heidelberger Druckmaschinen high speed sheet fed rotary offset press, christened ‘Heidi’.

In an ominous sign for supporters of the Heidelberger Druckmaschinen[...] Click here to continue reading

Sage investment advice from Mike Tyson

tyson-money
[Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

In a crisis, it helps to have good counsel. Consider the following sage advice from investment strategist Mike Tyson:

“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.”

Or as German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke the Elder put it, somewhat more formally:

“No battle plan ever survives contact with the[...] Click here to continue reading

What’s the last dollar they can print before financial crisis?

Money-printing-inflation
[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International, is filling in for Simon today.]

In the field of mathematics, chaos theory studies the behavior of systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.

The idea in chaos is that, like life itself, where you start today has tremendous influence on what happens next.

In chaos, even very tiny changes to initial conditions can lead to wildly divergent[...] Click here to continue reading

History repeats

warren-buffet-history
“The proper behaviour all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.”

- P.J. O’Rourke.


On May 29th 1969, Warren Buffett wrote to his partners at the Buffett Partnership, informing them of his intention to retire, and wind up the business. The letter expressed his concerns with admirable candour:
“Quite frankly, in spite of any factors[...] Click here to continue reading

The hike before Christmas

janet-yellen-christmas
“Christmas at my house is always at least six or seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we'll be seeing six or seven.'

- W.C. Fields.
‘Twas the hike before Christmas, and all over the shop
Short end traders were waiting for prices to drop.
Bloomberg and Reuters, the FT all there
To capture the moment – if Yellen would[...] Click here to continue reading

Clearly we lack the intellect to question our central bank overlords

Mario-Draghi-intelligence
[Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

Leon Walras, one of the original economists and idiots who adapted most of his theories from the world of physics, once posited the fancy-sounding General Equilibrium Theory to explain market behavior.

Investor George Soros advocates an alternative theory which he terms ‘reflexivity’:
“[F]inancial markets can create inaccurate expectations and then change reality to accord with them.[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s how to trigger a bank run

Banks-collapse
[Editor’s Note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

On August 6, 1979, Paul Volcker as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve was determined to eliminate the terribly high inflation that had taken hold of the system. And he succeeded.

The Fed’s primary interest rate stood at 11% when Volcker entered office. By June 1981 he had hiked them all the way to 20%.
[...] Click here to continue reading

The most undervalued investment markets in Asia

asian-markets
[Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

Seven years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed.

There is no longer a perception of panic. $14 trillion of central bank stimulus has seen to that.

But at the same time, a predicament brought to crisis by too much borrowed money has been exacerbated by much[...] Click here to continue reading

Forty centuries of wage and price controls

price-rationing-pledge
[Editor’s Note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

Léon Walras is the patron saint of modern economics.

In other words, he was a clueless failure who hijacked immutable principles from the world of physics and misapplied them to the economic realm.

The result, predictably enough, is that modern economics doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work because it masquerades as a science when it[...] Click here to continue reading

The Courage to Print Money

Ben-Bernanke-courage
[Editor’s Note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

If you’ve seen the movie The Usual Suspects, you know that wonderful line “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

We believe the greatest trick central bankers ever pulled was convincing the world they were acting in the interests of anyone other than the banks.

With that in mind,[...] Click here to continue reading

Lunch with the Man who Saved the Universe

Ben-Bernanke-grin
[Editor’s note: What follows is Tim Price’s hilarious, satirical take on a recent Financial Times fawning article on “Lunch with Ben Bernanke” by associate editor Martin Wolf.]

---
After literally saving the universe while at the helm of the US Federal Reserve, its former chairman is now quietly pursuing lucrative speaking engagements and sinecures at hedge funds. Marty Fox meets him in Chicago:
---

At the allotted time of 2pm I am sitting[...] Click here to continue reading

Central Bank strategy: “The beatings will continue until morale improves…”

USA-fed-reserve
[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

In Tobe Hooper’s 1982 horror film ‘Poltergeist’, strange things start happening in the Freeling household.

Unbeknownst to its occupants, the house is built on ancient Indian burial ground. The TV set comes to life; glasses of milk break all by themselves; furniture starts moving of its own accord.

Having spent the day watching the[...] Click here to continue reading

“Doubt may be uncomfortable, but certainty is absurd.”

uncertain-stock-market
[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

As investors we are all suckers for narrative. The current narrative appears to be: China is slowing down, so the sky is falling in.

Everybody in the West used to be concerned that China was taking over the world. Now they’re concerned that it isn’t.

But being sceptical about the investment case for China[...] Click here to continue reading

Don’t tell my mother I’m in finance– she thinks I work in a brothel

dark-side-of-finance
[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first pay too much.

How else to account for the astonishing $200 million lawsuit filed last week by billionaire bond investor Bill Gross against his former employers, Pimco?

Like so many legal actions, this is one case where you wish both sides could lose.

Then[...] Click here to continue reading

Deutsche Bank study shows stocks, bonds, and real estate in 15 countries at all-time highs going back to 1800

US Dollar Decline
September 21, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s Note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent contributor to Notes from the Field, is filling for Simon today.]

As a child I was fascinated by the concept of a neutron star, the tiny but immensely dense thing that’s left after a massive star explodes.

Imagine something eight times as massive as our sun packed into a sphere with a six mile radius.

Gravity compresses[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s time to do absolutely nothing.

Clock-with-no-hands
August 25, 2015
Spoleto, Italy

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, frequent contributor to Sovereign Man’s Notes from the Field, and editor of Price Value International.]

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our early ancestors had a unique way of dealing with volatility.

If something was truly threatening, our instincts would kick in. So we would either dispose of threats by hitting them with a rock ('fight') or by[...] Click here to continue reading

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

they-live-bubblegum
August 3, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, frequent contributor to Sovereign Man’s Notes from the Field, and editor of Price Value International.]

‘They Live’ may not be John Carpenter’s best film. But over time it became a cult classic, in no small part due to a robust central performance by Roddy Piper, better known as a WWF wrestler.

The plot has Roddy Piper as a[...] Click here to continue reading

China takes advice from Mario Draghi. Failure ensues.

Draghi-china-market
July 13, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter comes from Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

“Nobody knows anything.”

That was famed Hollywood producer William Goldman’s sardonic assessment of the movie business in his classic memoir ‘Adventures in the screen trade’.

In finance, things are subtly different. “Nobody learns anything,” appears to be the mantra.

If one generation happens to stumble upon knowledge – probably[...] Click here to continue reading

China cheers up small investors: “Beautiful sunlight always comes after the rain…”

China-sunshine-rain
July 7, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor, is filling in for Simon today.]

History, wrote John W. Campbell Jr., doesn’t always repeat itself. Sometimes it just screams, “Why don’t you listen to me?” and lets fly with a big stick.

The definitive new millennium bubble, namely the NASDAQ Composite Index, peaked on the 10th of March 2000, at a level of 5,132.
[...] Click here to continue reading

An American biologist sums up financial markets

E.-O.-Wilson-financial-markets
June 22, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

The great biologist E.O. Wilson once observed:

“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.”

In few arenas are our mental shortcomings thrown into more[...] Click here to continue reading

News from the richest country on earth

Zimbabwe-starving-billionaire
June 15, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.]

Today marks the end of the most notorious example of fiscal insanity in modern times.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe today begins a process to “demonetise” its now irrelevant currency, the Zimbabwe dollar.

Between now and September 30, Zim dollars can be exchanged for the US variety.

Holders[...] Click here to continue reading

Tim Price’s hilarious take on what FIFA tells us about overpriced stocks

FIFA-headquarters-bunker
June 2, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International, is filling in while Simon travels to Buenos Aires today.]

FIFA headquarters seem more like a nuclear bunker than a swanky executive facility – or perhaps they are both.

They take up 11 acres on the Zürichberg, cost 240 million Swiss francs, and of the building’s eight floors, five of them are underground.

[...] Click here to continue reading

When Jamie Dimon highlights risks in the market, it’s time to get out.

Jamie-Dimon-market
April 20, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management in the UK and editor of Price Value International.]

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, the Queen would sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

She is probably working in the bond markets now.

The average yield on all German government debt is now less than zero,[...] Click here to continue reading

Danish sex therapist is the definitive example of our ‘greater fool’ financial system

Denmark-interest-rates
March 9, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management in the UK and editor of Price Value International.]

Danish sex therapist Eva Christiansen (pictured left) stands a good chance of becoming the definitive example for future historians of our current interest rate insanity.

As reported by Zero Hedge, the New York Times, and others, the 36-year-old businesswoman was approved for[...] Click here to continue reading

What do you do when none of the clocks have any hands?

Clock-with-no-hands
February 23, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

“We are all at a wonderful ball where the champagne sparkles in every glass and soft laughter falls upon the summer air. We know, by the rules, that at some moment the Black Horsemen will come shattering through the great terrace doors, wreaking vengeance and scattering the survivors. Those who[...]

Click here to continue reading

Bubble? Meet the $25 million grilled cheese truck

Grilled-Cheese-truck
February 9, 2015
London, England 

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based manager and editor of Price Value International is filling in for Simon today.]

There are some time-honoured signs of an impending market top.

One of them is that margin debt has peaked.

Another is that interest rates are going through the floor.

Another is that the velocity of money is also going through the floor.

Another is that Goldman[...] Click here to continue reading

Voltaire would certainly be in his element

Voltaire Candide Freedom
January 12, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This article was penned by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

On All Saint’s Day, 1st November 1755, an earthquake measuring roughly 9 on the Richter scale struck the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. At least 30,000 people are estimated to have perished.

A little over half an hour after the original quake, a tsunami engulfed the lower half of the city.
[...] Click here to continue reading

How to invest when the pursuit of certainty is absurd

Investing
January 5, 2015
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

The start of the New Year is traditionally a time for issuing financial forecasts. But there seems little point in doing so given the impact of widespread financial repression on the price mechanism itself.

Are prices real, or fake? The cornerstone of the market structure is the price of[...] Click here to continue reading

Yes, it’s possible for a gold-backed renminbi to dethrone the dollar

Gold-backed-renminbi
December 15, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]
“[W]e want to use our reserves more constructively by investing in development projects around the world rather than just reflexively buying US Treasuries. In any case, we usually lose money on Treasuries, so we need to find ways to improve our return on investment.”
- Unnamed senior Chinese official, cited in[...] Click here to continue reading

We seem to have miscalculated

Gold
December 8, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

You can be for gold, or you can be for paper, but you cannot possibly be for both. It may soon be time to take a stand.

The arguments in favour of gold are well known. Yet they are widely ignored by the paperbugs, who have a curious belief[...] Click here to continue reading

“I am a hard working taxpayer who is getting pretty fed up. . .”

Unemployment-Angry-Computer
December 1, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

So the Swiss have decided not to force their central bank into underpinning its reserves with harder assets than increasingly worthless euros.

At least they had the chance to vote.

But in the bigger picture, the rejection of the “Save Our Swiss Gold” initiative flies in the face[...] Click here to continue reading

Avoid this accident waiting to happen in investment markets

shutterstock_151408784
November 10, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

In 1975, Charles Ellis, the founder of Greenwich Associates, wrote one of the most powerful and memorable metaphors in the history of finance.

His essay is titled ‘The loser’s game’, which in his view is what the ‘sport’ of investing had become by the time he wrote it. His[...] Click here to continue reading

Into the Unknown

Dollar-Debt-Pit
November 3, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: This essay was penned by Tim Price, a London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

Strange things are happening in the bond market.

Few of them are stranger than the reports Jeremie Banet, a French fund management colleague of former Pimco executive Bill Gross, quit the bond business altogether to sell croques-monsieur from a food truck.

Bill Gross, whose management style has[...] Click here to continue reading

Quantitative Easing is like “treating cancer with Aspirin”

Crisis-money-pit
October 27, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: This essay was penned by Tim Price, a London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

Shortly before leaving the Fed this year, Ben Bernanke rather pompously declared that Quantitative Easing “works in practice, but it doesn’t work in theory.”

There is, of course, no counter-factual.

We’ll never know what might have happened if the world’s central banks had not thrown trillions of[...] Click here to continue reading

One simple chart to explain the defining problem of our times

Bending Time, Lost in Time
October 13, 2014
London, England

[Editor’s note: Tim Price is a London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International.]

“When sorrows come,” wrote Shakespeare, “they come not single spies, but in battalions.”

True. And Jeremy Warner for the Daily Telegraph identifies ten such sorrows in his ‘ten biggest threats to the global economy’:

1)  Geopolitical risk;

2)  The threat of oil and gas price spikes;

3)  A hard[...] Click here to continue reading