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George Putnam, one of the country's leading turnaround and distressed investing professionals, shares his timely insight on the economy and turnaround investing opportunities.

Emerging Markets/International Stocks

United States of Europe?

June 15, 2012

What’s the difference between Illinois and Greece? The biggest similarity is that they are both reported to be virtually bankrupt. But the big difference is that Illinois is part of the United States and Greece is part of the European Union. 

If the state of Illinois goes bust, it won’t be great for people holding its bonds, but otherwise economic life will go on pretty much as normal for Illinois residents. Moreover, there won’t be much fallout for residents of Indiana, or Wisconsin or any other state. And nobody is likely to worry about the problems in Illinois leading to the demise of the U.S. dollar. That’s because Illinois is part of the United States, and we have a federal government that can levy taxes and a strong central bank. The European Union lacks those features, and so the problems in Greece are raising fears of economic turmoil in Europe, perhaps leading to the collapse of the Euro.

It remains to be seen if the Euro-zone countries can agree on the strong measures that it will take to stem the turmoil. In the meantime, we would be very cautious about investing in most European securities. As turnaround investors, we would normally be tempted to jump into a situation like this, but right now we find the outcome too difficult to call and the downside risk still too great.

Read More Distressed Investing Blog Entries

George Putnam's Favorite Stocks for 2016

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Watch Headlines for Turnaround Stock Opportunities

Negative media headlines can be a great source of turnaround ideas. Stories about struggling companies, management turmoil, failed strategies, large financial losses, industrial accidents, lawsuits and the like can drive a stock to well-below reasonable levels and may provide a buying opportunity. Like all Wall Street axioms, however, “buy on bad news” must be accompanied by careful analysis to evaluate the potential for turnaround success. Read More.

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Retail Turnaround Trio

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MoneyShow.com interviewed George to learn more about his favorite value stock picks for today's market. In "Retail Turnaround Trio," Steve Halpern highlights three of The Turnaround Letter's recently-profiled retailers: JWN, TIF and SPLS.

 

Putnam notes, "Well the retailing sector is undergoing very fundamental change as people move away from the bricks and mortar mall doors to buying more and more online but that's not going to wipe out all of the old-fashioned retailers. Starting the middle of 2015, investors just moved away from retailers en masse and a number of them are trading at about half the level they were a year ago. We thought some of the higher quality names that definitely will be survivors looked interesting."

 

Learn more about these three retail stocks poised for a turnaround.