Recent Posts

Germany & Britain vs the USA

Greetings from London, You live in the UK and have avoided death by COVID? FT: In the UK, 4m households were unable to afford to adequately heat their homes even before the latest energy price crisis. Some 10,000 deaths a year are linked to living in a cold home, according to the charity National Energy Action. If that represents around 100 deaths per day over the average of four winter months, high energy prices are […]

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10:10 AM

Xi-unday Sankey 9/12/21

In this note, natgas hedging exposure (oops) and a China focus. My S&P500 sentiment Twitter survey yielded a result that is spectacularly unhelpful, lol. Pretty much 50:50 bullish/bearish. All I can say is that it seems I got the categories right, given an almost exact balance between the four choices. One observation made by a major market maker to me this past Friday was that the market absorbed a ton of paper last week, between […]

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12:25 PM

London Sankey 9/5/21

Enjoy the last weekend of summer, beautiful day here in London, readying ourselves for next week with a slew of oil corporate oil & energy newsflow in “conference season” starting with this week’s traditional “Lehman Conference”, as we oil old schoolers know it. For my entire career, the Lehman conference has occupied the oil/energy week after Labor Day. Post-Labor Day, for me, as a research analyst, opens the Wall Street year, back when it culminated […]

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12:08 PM

Where’s Sankey?

Good morning from London Great week last week for all our favourite sectors, the Oils, Metals & Mining, Refining, as well as recovery play JETS (exchange traded fund ETF performance is shown below for past week/year to date). Last week firmly re-establishes oils – almost even including MLPs – into the position of market leadership this year. Other leading sectors year to date, but not the past week, are Retail, Homebuilders and Communication Services.  See […]

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9:10 AM

Sunday Siesta 8/15/21

Welcome to mid-August, I am taking it easy for a couple of weeks. Good week ahead for fishing offshore Ixtapa on the Pacific. Really nothing on the calendar next week for oil analysts unless we stretch to retail such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Target, all reporting. Roblox is an interesting company. A call last week from the White House for OPEC+ to produce more oil and for the FTC to investigate high pump prices […]

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7:23 PM

Rouge Deluxe

August is upon us, with results effectively over, I am back in Brooklyn having dropped Harry for pre-season college soccer in Boston, trip review from a gasoline perspective closes this note. Speaking on sons and August, yesterday Max, who is yet to go back to college in Atlanta, was on CNBC. That is him ludicrously stationed in shot in the background of my Fast Money segment, pretending to work. You can see the clip here. […]

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10:43 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/8/21

The US has negative unemployment, by one measure. The confirmation of that on Friday led to an interesting market reaction. The data point on negative unemployment released before the market was that there are 8.6 million people considered out of work in the US and nearly 10 million job openings. This could be a moot point in the EU where movement of labour is much more challenged by language and culture, but in the US, […]

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11:47 AM

Where did it all go wrong?

With EOG rounding out oils’ earning season after the market yesterday, we had the final disappointment as oil prices test downside support levels breaking $70/bbl (Brent, WTI already broke into the upper $60s.) Expectations of an excess cash return special or splashy buyback announcement by EOG were dashed. Nothing. Just good free cashflow in a $70/bbl+ tape and the promise to pay down more debt by 2023. This is not the first disappointing Q2 earnings, […]

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8:52 AM

Rocket Science & Rocket Surgery 8/4/21

In this note: the analyst who simply thanked Pioneer, with Devon, Oxy, and ConocoPhillips all cheering battered oil investors, and really strong macro news for Big Integrated Oils (ExxonMobil etc) with their lagging exposure to soaring global natgas prices that are pushing up refining margins. Global demand strength is also bullish for the oils, regardless of the market’s deep reluctance to capitalize OPEC market management. First, Tellurian offers shares: 35,000,000 shares of its common stock […]

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9:35 AM

You’re busy let’s keep this brief

Just as your correspondent was pondering the upside surprises in capital discipline and cash return to shareholders from “4P” premium Permian pure-plays Pioneer ($PXD) and Diamondback ($FANG) announced yesterday evening, and waiting for a similar positive result from ConocoPhillips, than my friends at HollyFrontier announce a $1.8bn deal to marry perennial bridesmaid Sinclair Oil, the MidCon refiner that started life in 1916 and has been private since 1976. HollyFrontier is on a roll, completely counter-cyclically […]

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8:38 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/1/21

We found ourselves standing on the North Slope, Alaska, above the Arctic Circle, surveying the endless flat tundra. There there is no sunlight from October to early March; total darkness over half the year. For the rest of the year, the sun does not go down – no darkness. That place, my friend, is Far North. The nearest city is Anchorage, 1,000 miles south, itself as distant as Perth Australia; palpably remote; strange and distant […]

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1:25 PM

Friday Evening Sankey 7/30/21

SAVE the DATE: Sankey/Jan Stuart summit, Vienna, December 2021 OPEC meeting. Likely December 2nd.  World Petroleum Conference in Houston December 5th – 9th forces their hand to an early in-person Vienna meeting early December. I plan on attending both, and Jan and I will host a “thought leadership” drinks party in Vienna on the eve of the meeting. Join please! Save the date. 2nd Spoke to a big player who trades Utilities, and he said […]

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9:06 PM

Morning Sankey 7/29/21

When we wrote The Renaissance Thesis of US E&P in 2017, we argued that oil companies had to stop pursuing growth, reduce capex, increase returns and free cashflow and stop hedging. We also highlighted that management pay relative to performance was an insult to shareholders (those shareholders that remain). The anti-hedging argument was originally made successfully to the refiners. In fact, the overall thesis on E&P was based on success earlier in the decade, changing […]

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9:29 AM

Sunday Sankey 7/25/21

Greetings, It is all about the presentation this week; please click on the attached file for a look at what is in store for the week ahead – earnings; OPEC chat; what to buy when US natgas prices hit $4/mmbtu, which they did this past week; factor performance disconnection; and our only solution since we wrote The Renaissance Thesis of US E&P in 2017, namely hard cash return to shareholders. These oils have to bribe […]

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12:39 PM

Friday Sankey 7/23/21

The “Why we prefer buybacks” note yesterday got a lot of feedback. There was some comment that it had no conclusion, to which my response was 1) it should have been titled Part 1 because this will be a continued theme for us through earnings and beyond because 2) my old line “you don’t buy cheap stocks and sell expensive ones, you buy good management” is the key. The chart on Sankey Stars would indicate […]

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9:12 AM

Why we favour oil buybacks (at this time)

Thesis: there is little differentiation in the market between the merits of individual big oils; factor investing (ie thematic baskets) has rewarded the most levered oil companies, given the surge in oil prices from historic lows. There is a major opportunity with an immediate catalyst of Q2 2021 results for differentiation among oils in terms of the strength of their earnings at $70/bbl Brent (with weak refining). There are two types of leverage, operational and […]

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10:06 AM

Viernes Sankey 7/9/21

It was the optimum Happy Hour last night, with two expert witnesses, Kathleen Kelley and Jan Stuart, both highly tenured oil market experts, and a mix of long-only and long-short investors, mutual fund and hedge fund. We were also spread across the globe from Amsterdam to Mexico, with Kathleen struggling in a New York flash flood situation that resulted in a viral video of a lady wading into waist deep water to the NYC Subway. […]

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12:03 PM

Manana Sankey 7/6/21

Reading back on my Sunday note, I did a horrible job of highlighting the link to the “Oils share of the S&P500 earnings vs oil’s share of the S&P500” presentation that was attached. One key highlight was to buy Pioneer and EOG and to be negative on Oxy. The non-consensus call was bullish Apache. We were also cautious refiners. Here is the note which is a short presentation of all the charts. This is a […]

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9:57 AM

Sunday Sankey 7/4/21

Happy July 4th Here’s to democracy and freedom. Usually, I make some dumb joke about being British and not celebrating any Independence on July 4th, but this weekend marks the first anniversary of Sankey Research. My first note, quoting Public Enemy as a statement on freedom of speech, was sent out the Friday of July 4th weekend 2020, and for long as it may continue, the anniversary of Sankey Research will be Independence Day weekend. […]

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12:30 PM

Morning Sankey 7/1/21

 Having heartily joked that I have been snowed under all week… with soccer… yesterday was absolutely jammed with newsflow, and this morning we got an answer on our question of whether Saudi wants $80/bbl+ oil. The OPEC meeting story seems to be no July  increase, with the market having lowered expectations to 500kb/d. Great call from Goldman on $80/bbl, which we always agreed with as regards demand. Once again yesterday in the US DOE data […]

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12:04 PM

Morning Sankey 6/30/21

ConocoPhillips is hosting a market update call today at 10am ET, and the press release reads great. I hate to repeat a press release, but this one is so pretty, and concise, it bears highlighting. Increasing anticipated Concho transaction-related synergies and savings to $1 billion annually; Reducing 2021 capital expenditures and adjusted operating cost guidance by $200 million and $100 million, respectively, due to stronger-than-projected business execution; Increasing 2021 planned share repurchases by $1 billion, […]

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9:54 AM

Morning Denbury

A major client writes: Hi Paul – hope all well, you need to put Denbury on your radar – the only way to play CCS in US. They’ve emerged from Chapter 11 and have 1,000 miles of massively under-utilized CO2 pipes on the Gulf Coast, Brad Whitmash (former Noble IR) is their new IR, no bulge bracket coverage and worth a look! This was a great heads up, that immediately interested me, so I spoke […]

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8:47 AM

Souki Sankey 6/25/21

Overview: we hosted Tellurian Chairman Charif Souki on Happy Hour. Key conclusion: we are, like Souki, past and future mega-bulls on long-term LNG demand and US LNG supply. As such, Tellurian provides an excellent high-risk/return play on the mega-theme. However there are major risks regarding contracts (2 are signed, 5 are needed), project capital cost and execution (the claimed $550/tonne of gasification capacity cost needs to be sealed), and financing/level of shareholder dilution. Compared to […]

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1:19 PM

Morning Sankey 6/24/21

Tonight 5pm June 24th on Happy Hour we have Charif Souki, Chairman and co-founder of Tellurian, the integrated Haynesville gas-to Driftwood LNG export project play. Should be a great chat! Register here Charif Souki on Sankey Happy Hour Next week, on Thursday July 1st, please attend the Sankey Research 1st anniversary party in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Email me for details on this informal get-together in one of the great destinations in NYC. Guess who is talking […]

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10:15 AM

Morning Sankey 6/23/21

Tomorrow June 24th on Happy Hour we have Charif Souki, Chairman and co-founder of Tellurian, the integrated Haynesville gas-to Driftwood LNG export project play. Should be a great chat! Souki is one of the select legendary executives to be featured in The Frackers, an entertaining book about the key characters in the US unconventional revolution.  Register here Charif Souki on Sankey Happy Hour Next week, on July 1st, please attend the Sankey Research 1st anniversary […]

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9:03 AM

Friday Sankey 6/18/21

Fun fact: Australia’s biggest export is boomerangs. It’s also their biggest import. What actor could never play Quasimodo? Humpfree Bogart Doctor: Your body ran out of magnesium. Me: 0mg. The urge to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight is just a whim away. A client writes: Paul! One day doesn’t make a market, but your next letter can’t come soon enough. Is the run in oil done? Dear clients, Key bear triggers were twofold yesterday. First, […]

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8:42 AM

Morning Sankey 6/15/21

At the last in-person Shell analyst meeting at the NYSE, I raced the head of upstream in a life-sized side-by-side Pennzoil NASCAR simulator and then moved on to talk to CEO Ben van Buerden. One key message: sell the Permian. My argument was that Shell would never be recognized as a Permian player, would never get credit, even if they out-performed the industry, and valuations were riding high. Shell should be a mega-project player in […]

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8:46 AM

Sunday Sankey 6/13/21

The note today is delayed by England vs Croatia, thankfully the currently ongoing Austria vs North Macedonia game is not imperative for me to watch.  There are some great slides in today’s presentation. For example on how solar projects do not deliver their IRR, on worrying Indian oil demand, on the global petchem balance by company, and our new mega-theme, of new young CEOs following through on our “Renaissance” theme of US E&Ps. This new […]

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2:22 PM

Friday Sankey 6/11/21

What do you call an Engineer who doesn’t know how to use a calculator? A project manager. What did the medieval knight say when he got caught doping? “I was just getting my lance arm strong.” What’s the worst thing about wild alligators? Their wild allegations. Did you hear about the guy who invented the knock-knock joke? He won the no bell prize. There were two big moments in the market yesterday, the inflation number, […]

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8:44 AM

Friday Sankey 6/4/21

I’ve just had my vaccine, but they administered it in my leg. My Pfizer hurting. I got my first shot. I’ll get my second one as soon as I get the bartender’s attention. Why do gay people have parades in June? Because Pride comes before the Fall. What do you call an Englishman at the Euro 2021 soccer final? Referee. Surgeon: “Don’t be nervous Jeff, you should be able to handle this operation easily.” Patient: […]

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8:57 AM

Morning Sankey 6/3/21

Last week, we highlighted Tellurian traction on Reddit Wallstbets. Today, they announced a further deal. Tonight we have Mark Viviano of activist Kimmeridge on Happy Hour (5pm ET) for a general discussion, such as pertains to a 3rd ExxonMobil board seat going to the activist slate (announced yesterday), views on the market dynamics that are occurring thanks to activism, etc. Mark has deep experience as a long-only investor at Wellington management. This is expressly NOT […]

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8:46 AM

Morning Sankey 6/2/21

The ostrich school of analysis would suggest that I resolutely defend my short term bear call on oil and oil stocks made only at lunchtime on Monday, but the fact is that no sooner had I hit send on the email to clients and website post, than the short term thesis caught fire and sank like Iran’s biggest warship just did: June 2, 2021, Associated Press: “The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire […]

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8:44 AM

Memorial Monday Sankey 5/31/21

OIL RISK HIGH. We have an OPEC meeting tomorrow, and the word is that Iran is pumping into storage on anticipation of successful negotiations with the Biden administration, which, for reasons I do not fully understand, is very keen to make a nuclear deal. This will allow Iran back into global oil markets. We understand that OPEC is warning Iran not to flood the market, and Iran is saying “we are going to flood the […]

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1:34 PM

Morning Sankey 5/26/21

Of course one of the most egregious aspects of Oxy’s deal for Anadarko was that a shareholder vote was deliberately avoided by CEO Vicki Hollub. This doubly bad because a preferred $10bn deal with Warren Buffett was the route taken to get a deal cash-rich enough to avoid a shareholder vote. Activist Carl Icahn took revenge by issuing warrants to all shareholders – but not to preferred Buffett – and effectively capped the Oxy share […]

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9:06 AM

Morning Sankey 5/25/21

We have Valero CEO Joe Gorder and team on Happy Hour this Thursday at 5pm. This is great timing, even if any time with Joe is good time spent. It is not so much that Memorial Day is imminent, the traditional start of driving season peak US demand, but also this week might be one of the most significant in the US oil history. We are referring to the release of the Ford F150 Lightning […]

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9:02 AM

Morning Cimarex-Cabot 5/24/21

Cimarex and Cabot to merge as equals, the new company will be called Cimmabon. No, Cabarrot. Only kidding, they have not announced the new name.  Call at 8:30am ET – imminently. Also we mention Tellurian, which is rising in the meme stock world – most mentioned on Reddit (see lists below). Overall, we love LNG plays, but US export competition is fierce, and our key play is Cheniere, $LNG. Years ago under Souki they snagged […]

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8:18 AM

Sunday Sankey 5/23/21

Watching Iran, but 1mb/d of oil exports are already in the market. Huge week ahead for ExxonMobil, with the Shareholder Meeting and board vote on Wednesday this week. We wrote about it on Thursday, see the note on www.sankeyresearch.com or emailed. Noted that Halliburton shareholders rejected the company’s pay proposal last week, which is encouraging. The pay of oil executives relative to shareholder returns has been an abomination for years. Executives should try a few […]

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12:19 PM

Sunday Sankey 5/16/21

Good day, The week ended with the guided announcement from Marathon Petroleum that its deal with Seven & i to sell the massive Speedway gasoline retail network had closed for $21bn cash, and upside guidance from Marathon Petroleum on an imminent Dutch Auction for $4bn of stock, within a $10bn open buyback authorization. It was uncertain how much debt would be paid down, but that was announced light at $2.5bn. MPLX, the 63% MPC-owned MLP, […]

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12:59 PM

Morning Sankey 5/12/21

*INVITATION * Today * 10am ET * – Happy Coffee with Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar. Ajay is extremely strong on all things to do with his business, of re-cycling lithium-ion batteries. By extension, he is extremely strong on batteries, EVs, and particularly Li-Ion factories. He is absolutely at ease with battery market dynamics. Join a conversation with Sankey + a few clients. Yesterday the company announced an agreement with Ultium Cells, a joint venture of […]

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9:01 AM

Morning Sankey 5/11/21

Noted: private equity selling down $PXD, and Antero $AR issuing. No sooner had we highlighted the Goldilocks oil market, with strong refining margins implying good demand, the potential for further upside in demand from COVID recovery especially in global jet fuel, and the “Saudi Put” back in effect since January, than a bunch of Russian hackers show up and spoil the fun. The issue is that major negative volatility events like this are negative – […]

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9:02 AM

Sunday Sankey 5/9/21

Happy Mother’s Day! $AMTX – this small-cap generated way more response than my more-or-less throwaway comment on Friday ever intended, highlighting of a Twitter post. It was about related party transactions and we said it read poorly. Because it did. Apologies if your Friday was adversely affected, there is certainly hedge fund interest here. We have some strong bulls on the stock, who have done way more work than I have. The CEO is controversial, […]

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12:18 PM

Morning Sankey 5/7/21

A salesman knocks on a door, answered by a 12-year-old boy wearing slippers, an oversized silk dressing gown, smoking a fat cigar in one hand, a huge snifter of brandy in the other. Stunned, the salesman asks “Are your parents in?”  The boy replies “What the fk do you think?” Americans love T shirts. They have the constitutional right to bare arms. Wife: “You need to do more chores around the house.” Husband: “Can we […]

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8:44 AM

At the close Sankey 5/6/21

Some quick notes: Low Key Happy Hour tonight, tell me if you are interested. 5pm ET. Clashes with some results. Notably EOG and ET Energy Transfer. Market expects a huge beat from ET on Texas storms, after Kinder blew it out. On EOG, we have seen some market darlings such as XEC with mixed results. Expectations would be high that EOG management quality handled the storm well. There is low expectations for a Devon-style surprise […]

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4:16 PM

Morning Sankey 5/4/21

As we hoped, oils’ results are going great. The sector is powering higher, with the overall steady outperformance grind that has resumed in value over growth. The oil price for Q2 is tracking well ahead of these results, further boosting the EPS upgrade cycle. Huge result from Suncor; great commentary on cash return from COP, a surprise beat from Marathon Petroleum with major disposal and buyback coming… good results from head-to-head rivals Diamondback and Aramco, […]

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8:41 AM

Sunday Sankey 5/2/21

All presentation today, see attached link, after the Sunny Saturday Sankey published yesterday and emailed to you, outlined the past week. The week ahead is extremely busy with results – you can see my diary in the attached presentation. The monster week of earnings is behind us, with impressive results from FMAGA – Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Alphabet. Week ahead also has Secretary of State Blinken travelling to Ukraine. “I can’t tell you that we […]

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12:25 PM

Sunny Saturday Sankey 5/1/21

Winner winner chicken dinner: Hess this past week. ExxonMobil, we think won of the mega-oils. Hess is the “last great oil NAV play” on Guyana, the stock is worth $100/share+ if you believe $80/bbl is coming down the strip; Goldman clearly does, we get there too, with a weak US$ and not dissimilar balances – a demand boom is coming. Wildcards vs GS are Iran and India, alongside the potential for rising US interest rates […]

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3:11 PM

Morning Sankey 4/29/21

If you have the strength, Happy Hour Tonight 5pm Register Here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84981726924 Let’s see who can be the most bullish on the call! Using $60/bbl long term we can get to a $90 net asset value for Hess, but that work is subject to a conversation with the company. At $70 long term oil we get to $100 NAV/share. It is not as crazy as the old Hess, which ostensibly was trading at a 50% […]

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8:56 AM

Sunday Sankey 4/25/21

Monster week of earnings ahead, a clash in the titanic battle of growth vs value. The forces of growth over-ran us values, but we started a fightback that saw several battles won since the terrible relative lows of August 2020. In Q1 this year, value began to rampage against growth. April has seen a growth fightback, with the US$ holding and US interest rates even rallying. I asked a market player if he was bullish […]

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1:52 PM

Morning Sankey 4/23/21

Well, it’s feedback Friday! The age-old client meeting line gets used again: Client Q: “Paul, what is the most common question that clients are asking right now?” Paul A: “What is the most common question that clients are asking you right now?” True joke, but being Friday, we are not done – here they are: Newsflash: US customs have intercepted $2m of lumber being smuggled in shipments of cocaine What do you call an anti-vax […]

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9:12 AM

Morning Sankey 4/22/21

Comparative advantage in ideas. Under the fundamental trade principle of comparative advantage (Ricardo, 1817), if you have two goods, and I have two services, we trade; to have one good and service each, more efficiently produced for each. Under a theory of trade of ideas, If we have two ideas each, and we trade; we each have four ideas. THAT’S RIGHT FOLKS, HAPPY HOUR IS BACK, TONIGHT AT 5PM. Muttering to myself about the latest […]

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8:25 AM
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