European Bank Stocks, Moral Hazard and Untangling Bank Regulations, Part I

Published on March 26, 2021 Time is a bit warped in the COVID-continuum. Still, some of us may remember a little less than a decade ago when European financial stability occupied major headlines for what seemed like an interminable amount of time. Bank stocks there were going to implode, and Europe could not get out of its own way to stop them.  Amidst increasing regulatory and product complexity,…

A Survey of Capital Controls and Black Market FX: A Refresher for Developed Market Investors

For this first February post, I am stepping back to cover a broader topic important for international investors to understand. We will talk about FX regimes, capital controls, and black market FX—parallel market foreign exchange in PC lingo. Few investors from the US or Europe born after 1980 have never had to deal with the uncertainty surrounding foreign exchange rules, buying, or selling international securities. The dollar has been floating since 1971, and although many European countries have switched from Francs, Lira and D-Marks to Euros, the rules have been pretty straightforward. We’ll let our currency float and occasionally talk it down (rarely up) if it appreciates (depreciates) too much.

Beyond Gazprom Stock and The RSX ETF:
The Investment Case for Russia Right Now, Part 1

One cannot write long about international and Emerging Markets investing without covering Russia. Russia is a member of the BRICS ensemble and, back in the ‘90s, was the first home-run emerging markets trade of the modern era. Many EM veterans cut their teeth in the ‘98 Russia default and its privatizations earlier in that decade on the equity side. Perhaps ironically, the Russian market’s lack of excitement today makes many of its companies a compelling opportunity now.