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Vitaliy N. Katsenelson
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Blog Entries by Vitaliy N. Katsenelson

Two Contradictory Thoughts About Elections

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 11:21 AM

The election is over. I am left with two very contradictory feelings. First is the one of appreciation -- every four years we peacefully replace our government.

I remember my parents in the late 1970s discussing Soviet politics at our house with their close friend. Their friend...

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Seek Out People Who Disagree With You

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 1:42 PM

I am back from Buffett's Omaha. Every year I come back feeling supercharged for the year ahead. This year was no different. From morning until night I had the pleasure of sharing and debating ideas with investors from all over the world. Though I did not plan it this way,...

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China Bubble Today vs. Japan Bubble in the '80s

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 4:10 PM

I am back from San Francisco, where I had the great pleasure of attending and speaking at FAME Symposium, diligently put together by students at San Francisco University. One of the other speakers was a famous international investor, Charles De Vaulx. During a break Charles and I were discussing the...

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Dot-Social and Dot-Cloud Bubbles

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2012 | 2:14 PM

At the FAME Symposium I was asked if we are in the midst of another bubble -- the social and cloud bubble. I said that if one really wants to make some money quickly he should start a company and call it "SocialCloud." I read a lot of...

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Not Buying Best Buy

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 1:49 PM

Best Buy's CEO Brian Dunn did a courageous and proper thing for shareholders by resigning. He was not the right person to lead Best Buy into battle against online-only competitors that use Best Buy's spacious and beautiful stores as the showroom for their products. To make things even worse, smartphones...

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Bullish. Bearish. Brokish!

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 1:23 PM

Though the market keeps raging to the upside, I keep seeing bearish signs in market sentiment -- the VIX is hitting multi-year lows, NYSE short interest is hitting a four-year low, the ratio of insider selling to buying is running at what John Hussman calls "panic...

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Some Thoughts on Buffett's BRK Buyback Announcement

(1) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 5:35 PM

Most CEOs are not good capital allocators when it comes to their stock:

■They are not objective analyzing their company and thus not objective in share buyback. In majority of cases they think their stock is a buy all the time. Why? Because they spend long hours trying to grow...

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You Are Not as Dumb as You Think

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 7:07 PM

I was going to write something smart and pithy about this recent market decline, but then I realized that I've written about this in the past (more than once). So here is an excerpt from the Little Book of Sideways Markets. In addition, here is a copy of...

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We Are Not AAA

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2011 | 12:29 PM

I have received many emails and a few calls from friends, asking one question: What are the consequences of the downgrade? So I decided to put my thoughts on paper. I break up the consequences into three categories: fundamental (the impact on the economy), emotional (the short-term impact on the...

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Thoughts on Brown & Brown: Stay Away

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2011 | 4:53 PM

I looked at Brown & Brown about a year ago (May 2010), here are my thoughts which are still relevant today:

Risk of growth by acquisition

Very significant portion of Brown & Brown's (BRO) growth in the past came from acquiring brokers. I am naturally skeptical of sustainability of this...

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The Chinese Black Swan

(5) Comments | Posted July 6, 2011 | 8:00 PM

Party rulers in China are trapped in a position that chess players deeply fear -- zugzwang -- where any move made puts you at disadvantage. In China, the potential cost of both action and inaction is economic collapse.

China is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions --...

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The Boulevard of Broken Charts

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2011 | 5:40 PM

Markets are efficient, or so we've been told. I am not here to put a rebuttal to this academic nonsense, but let me give you one of the core reasons why markets are and will remain inefficient: because human beings are efficient.

To function in everyday life, our brains are...

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Set the Bar High

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 11:16 AM

The world today is riddled with unique economic, political, and demographic risks. Finding attractively priced assets that will perform well in spite of these challenges is excruciatingly difficult. For investors, though, one segment of the market -- the highest-quality stocks -- still offers attractive risk-adjusted returns.

First, it's important to...

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QE2: Beware the Perils of Its Success

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 11:13 AM

FYI: I'll be traveling to NYC with my wife next week to support my upcoming Little Book. (I'll be on CNBC's Fast Money on Monday). We are going to be in NYC only for a few days, but I wanted to meet my friends and my growing number...

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Recommended Book List 2010 - Part 2

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 12:39 PM

Updated for 2010 and in time for the holidays, here is the latest installment of my recommended books. I originally wrote this list in 2008 and again last year. I intend to keep adding to and revising it every year. It contains seven sections: Selling, Think...

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Recommended Book List 2010, Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 3:37 PM

Updated for 2010 and in time for the holidays, here is the latest installment of my recommended books. I originally wrote this list in 2008 and again last year. I intend to keep adding to and revising it every year. It contains seven sections:...

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Post-Steroid Economics

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 10:23 PM

During the '80s and '90s, ignorance was bliss. The global economy was growing nicely, and analyzing it (or even paying attention to market cycles) seemed like a waste of time, as the economy came in only three flavors: good, great and awesome. Even if you misread the flavor, the downside...

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Shadow Over Asia

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 9:25 PM

The summer is over in Denver. Of course, in Denver the summer was officially over Labor Day weekend, when the outdoor swimming pools were drained and locked for the winter. For most people, summer ended a few weeks later, when the leaves turned bright yellow. But not me, I wanted...

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Capitalism -- A True Love Story

(9) Comments | Posted August 10, 2010 | 5:48 PM

In the 1980s, in Soviet Russia, a few times a year my class walked to a movie theater where we were shown a documentary. Attendance was mandatory. The documentaries were different but the themes were the same: to the accompaniment of patriotic music, we learned about the righteousness of socialism,...

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Japan: Land of the Rising Debt

(6) Comments | Posted July 30, 2010 | 5:45 PM

Investors are understandably scared of the sovereign debt crisis unfolding in Europe. Amid their angst, however, they are ignoring a more likely and significantly larger debt catastrophe that is about to hit the nation with the second-largest economy in the world -- Japan. Two decades of stimulative, low-interest-rate fiscal policy...

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