About: Todd Dierks

Recent Posts by Todd Dierks

DAX-Sentiment: Correction went too far for investors

24 August. German fund managers weren’t intimidated by the recent equity-market weakness. They entered into dip-buying strategies this week to push our Bull/Bear Index to its third highest reading of the year… http://www.boerse-frankfurt.de/EN/index.aspx?pageID=44&NewsID=6089

DAX-Sentiment: Consolidation is likely

17 August 2011. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). This week’s survey from the Börse Frankfurt revealed a story that was nearly inevitable: the influx of optimism from those who were bargain-hunting right up until last week’s poll is all but gone this week. Some two-thirds of those actors went directly into the bear camp, and the othersContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: Controlled resistance against uncontrolled panic

10 August 2011. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Admittedly, what equity traders were expected to deal with this year in the middle of their usual summer-holiday period was no day at the beach. The exponentially escalating credit crisis in the eurozone and the contentious US debt-ceiling debate were enough to fray any seasoned investor’s nerves, but aContinue Reading

Lies and respectability

  I’m probably not the only soul on earth who thinks politics is defined by mendaciousness, and I guess that many people would nod in resigned agreement if I said that politicians lie from time to time. Nevertheless, elected officials are able to endure in a charade that they serve truth and justice by benefitContinue Reading

The Comic Alternative

In a statesmanlike show of generosity, Donald Trump yesterday congratulated President Obama’s directive against Osama bin Laden as a ‘job well done’. Perhaps it was the verbal thumping he endured at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner last weekend that prompted Mr Trump to bestow congratulations on a leader other than himself.

Tokyo’s Shifting Tolerance for Atomic Crisis

Had someone informed Tokyo’s residents on the day of the earthquake and tsunami that, in less than two-weeks, their city would be engulfed in a cloud of fallout, their water-treatment plants would be compromised, and their food supplies would soon be contaminated by radioactivity, it’s possible that we would have witnessed the largest mass exodusContinue Reading

Gorch Fock… Get Me Out of Here!

Germany’s Navy has been disparaged following the unfortunate death of a 25-year old female cadet early last November. The trainee died in a 100-foot fall from the rigging of a tall ship, the Gorch Fock, and a leaked report by the parliamentary liaison to the German military revealed a culture of revelry and hazing widelyContinue Reading

(Tax) Money Really Can Buy Happiness

Dan Buettner wrote about countries and societies with the longest life expectancy in the world for his first book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Buettner’s new book, Thrive, focuses on happiness found in the ‘blue zones’ and elsewhere, and what makes those societies different from others.

Flight to Dogville

If one were to compare only the seventh and the first chapters of the Dogville story, you’d disbelieve that anyone could possibly devolve into such cruel and unbearable degradation of another person in the space of five acts. Lars Von Trier’s masterpiece about pretty heroine Nicole Kidman’s relinquishment of power to a populace in constant needContinue Reading

Now is the Winter of Our Dissent

‘You must welcome dissent; you must welcome serious, systematic, proselytizing dissent—not only the playful, the fitful, or the eclectic; you must value it enough, not merely to refrain from expelling it yourselves, but to refuse to have it torn from you by outsiders’

Power to the People

Fortune magazine announced this year’s list of the 50 most powerful women in the world yesterday. Seeing that Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s CEO was #1 for the fifth time and Oprah was installed at number 6, fellow blogger Unwonted Candor raised the question: what is power?

Who are the super rich?

A law professor in Chicago recently complained in a blog that the biggest expense for his family is ‘financing the government’. Along with his medical doctor wife’s salary, the family’s combined income of just over $250,000  puts them in the realm of those who will no longer be sheltered when the Bush tax cuts expire atContinue Reading

The limits of the endowment effect

The endowment effect is used by the shopping television channels to their great advantage. By offering revolutionary new technology at a low price and with a money back guarantee, we are already tempted to rise from the sofa and take the bait. The goodies thrown in ‘if you order now’ are the masterstroke, designed onlyContinue Reading

Beware the free upgrade

Living the past two decades as a US expatriate, I can attest to the fact that my host country isn’t going to bend its norms to suit my sensibilities. Nevertheless, it’s a lesson that I seem destined to continue learning. The recurrent threat to my psychological well-being is the default option in many of Germany’sContinue Reading

Trading advice

An analyst is often asked if he throws his own money after the advice he gives to others in the financial markets. When one says no most querents are left feeling a little bewildered, if not indignant, by the answer. Their reply is always the same: why should they be persuaded when the analyst doesn’t even trustContinue Reading

September’s infamy

‘Sell in May, go away; but remember, come back in September.’ Or was it November? Traders love to recount how Septembers have treated them terribly and October is already famously known as the month of the Crash.

Purple bills, black money

Comrade-in-arms Mutter relates a story in which the lady in front of him at the neighbourhood supermarket paid for a quarter-pound of butter and ten eggs with a 500-euro note.

Even gold won’t help then

Gold analysts who want to maintain at least some credibility, i.e., those who see gold prices edging towards $1,500 or $2,000 per troy ounce, are about as rare on the ground as the metal they doggedly cover. The rest have pushed their target prices significantly higher, say to $5,000, $8,000, or even $10,000 in orderContinue Reading

Counter to Barry Ritholtz

As an enthusiastic follower of economist Barry Ritholtz, an entry in his highly regarded blog, The Big Picture, last week piqued my curiosity. The post had to do with two opposing world-views in economic theory – the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) and behavioural economics – and how they bear on the bubble allegedly forming inContinue Reading

Fresh wind in Jackson Hole

I saw an article1 this morning that suggests behavioural economics has made its way into the Jackson Hole Symposium, the annual conclave of central bankers in Wyoming. In the report, I read that the Kansas City Fed President2 had a brilliant idea that eventually led him to rip up the usual invitation list and writeContinue Reading

The Pyongyang approach to fund management

Fifa, world football’s governing body, has ended an investigation as to whether North Korea’s national team was sanctioned after its poor performance in this year’s World Cup tournament. A few weeks after the world championship games, news circulated that the team had been submitted to six hours of public humiliation and that the trainer wasContinue Reading

What’s the deal with evil speculators?

Forex traders are once again plagued with accusations of evil-doing, this time as the yen broke through all-time highs against the US dollar. And, as so often is the case when a series of events changes history, the broadsheets are full of opinions: many commentators were quick to blame ‘sinister’ speculators as the mischief-makers.

The bubble patrol

The latest meme flying around financial markets is the ‘bond bubble’, in which traders and commentators are quick to liken the present US debt market to last decade’s dot-com bubble. Cautioners note that $6,000bn was wiped off the stock markets in the dot-com crash, so we would do well to heed their words this timeContinue Reading

Weber didn’t fold

Commentators blasted Axel Weber for changing his opinion on the ECB’s current emergency policy of supplying unlimited funds in weekly, monthly, and three-month refinancing operations. Mr Weber was accused not only of morphing from a hawk to a dove in one swoop, some critics charged that the Bundesbank president had folded under pressure to betterContinue Reading


Fellow blogger Mutter tells of a recent incident where he arrived a half-hour too early at Frankfurt’s central railway station to collect his wife and children. He remembered that he had his BahnCard First 50 (a loyalty card with lounge privileges for frequent travellers) in his pocket though, and figured out a way to escape fromContinue Reading

Short-sale short-circuit

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions about short-selling, but an article in today’s Financial Times Deutschland does raise scepticism: the headline of the piece translates roughly as ‘Short-selling Ban Calms Markets’.

Somewhere in Iowa

On a recent trip home, I was lollygagging around in front of my parent’s big screen television when Big Sis breezes in and says, ‘You are such a load! Why don’t you get off the sofa so we can all drive up to the water-park and have some fun this weekend?’

Japan’s economic wreck

   Japan’s economic output fell significantly more in the second quarter than analysts had expected. Moreover, its GDP has now slipped below China’s to place the country at number three in the world’s economic rankings. China was able to muster $1,337bn in output for Q2, while Japan ‘only’ managed to produce $1,288bn. The news spreadContinue Reading

The wine glass with ‘Bouquet Drive’

Among wine connoisseurs it is something of a revolutionary sensation: a new wine glass design which promises to significantly intensify a wine’s bouquet .

Three Cold Beers and One Hot Topic

I was kicking back with a few friends after work the other night when I mentioned that a popular talk show host had been accused of providing false narrative to promote the sale of ‘safe investment alternatives’ for an unregulated gold dealer, whose markups were as high as 208 percent.

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