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The global hunt for yield has translated into a voracious appetite for bonds that has been piqued by investors' aversion to risk. Put together, these components of yield hunger and risk aversion have led to huge demand for government bonds. This has produced some interesting outcomes in recent times, including the South African rand's exceptional performance that looks like it will extend to take the currency into "six-rand-to-the-dollar" territory before the rand heads for "eight" territory.

A month ago the world seemed obsessed with one thing: BP (see my post on the subject, Uncle Target , makes me a member of this cluster). However, now that BP seems to not have broken the world, attention can shift to other pressing matters. On this front, two issues have moved front and centre in the last few weeks: the results of the stress tests applied to European banks; and the related matter of the risk of "double dip".

I haven't posted anything on the stress tests.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama described the oil spill that has resulted from the April 20 explosion and fire on BP's oil rig as "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced".

The link below connects to an article that I contributed to the business section of iafrica.com which looks at the metrics of the JSE's two largest diversified resources companies.

My argument goes in favour of Anglo offering better value than BHP Billiton.

http://personalfinance.iafrica.com/


I won't be the last
I won't be the first
Find a way to where the sky meets the earth
It's all right and all wrong
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It is widely held that the financial mess the world's advanced economies find themselves in is a hangover from the funds spent in recent years to rescue failed banks and bail out heavily indebted homeowners.

There are elements of this view that are important in explaining and understanding the financially-stressed state of many advanced economies. However, in explaining sovereign stress, bailout spending pales into insignificance when compared to the social spending obligations of advanced economies.

Chris Mayer’s article, Useless Investing Variables: We Are Our Own Worst Enemy , which was recently published by The Daily Reckoning , provides support for the view that the toolkit of successful investors includes an acceptance that to build portfolios that deliver results, it is necessary to be contrarian.

An unfortunate reality of the investment industry is that even the greatest managers make mistakes.

A note on Cannon Asset Managers' annual roadshow

Last night we finished the last leg of our annual roadshow, which sees Cannon Asset Managers' team travel around the country visiting clients over the course of two weeks. It is always a fascinating time, as it gives us a chance to see different parts of the country in a short period and to interact with people from our own industry as well as many others from a wide range of South African industries and firms.

Last week saw Warren Buffett mail out Berkshire Hathaway’s annual letter to shareholders. As always, the letter is filled with gems. Below are nine such gems that stood out to me in terms of the way sensible investment thinking is fashioned and great businesses are run.

1.