Green Means Stop

As in, head for the hills.
On a recent roadshow in London, a midday meeting with a prominent investment banker provided insights into some of the lesser known indexes being adopted to better understand the economy’s overall health.
As explained to us, the newly conceived Green Light Index leverages insights gained from the number of taxi cabs available for hire during rush hour. Simply put, the more green displayed on cab roofs during peak hours, the more belt-tightening by individuals and, thus, the more bearish the overall sentiment. If you are now seeing a lot of green, consider that your portfolio might be seeing a lot of red. And if it is raining, fuget about it.
Our banker friend also shared the Crane Index with us. His theory goes something like this: If you see a sea of building cranes when surveying the skyline, watch out. He postulated that by the time big real estate plans are put into action, the dizzying market heights that spurred such enthusiasm might be over. A recession may be imminent. “Real estate never gets it right,” he growled. This might tick off some moguls out there but it’s something to consider.
So if the daily machinations of the stock market leave you wondering what’s really going on, survey your local landscape for some additional guidance.



You Know Things are Bad When

…a headline reading, “Citigroup $2.5 billion loss soothes investors” appears on your computer screen.
Yes, this loss was better than expected, but how bad have things become when a $2.5 billion loss from any company is something to cheer about?


Laurie Berman, Senior Vice President,

Update: Buffett Lunch for $2.1 Million

Whether Zhao Danyang needed a doggy bag is unknown. What is known is that the investment fund manager paid a little more than $2.1 million for lunch with Warren Buffett at the famed meatery Smith & Wollensky in Manhattan. In the previous blogpost it was noted that the Glide Foundation was hosting an auction on eBay for lunch with Buffett to benefit the charity.