Whether he likes it or not, portfolio manager Bill Miller attracts a fair amount of attention – especially when he is underperforming the market.

Jonathan R. Laing at Barron’s explores the factors behind the poor performance of Miller’s flagship fund, the Legg Mason Value Trust (LMVTX). The question as always is whether this performance is merely a blip on the radar screen or the beginning of a sustained period of weaker performance. One analyst weighs in:

Morningstar’s Dan McNeela, for one, thinks Miller’s woes are merely temporary: “He’s bold and long-term in investing strategy. Value Trust is now at bargain levels for an investor with a long-term perspective.”

The crew at breakingviews (via Wall Street Journal) delves into the stock-specific reasons behind Miller’s recent performance. They find his bets on Internet and housing stocks and against energy stocks have in large part driven performance.

Still on the topic of Miller, Random Roger makes an important point on the importance of analyzing the exposures of actively managed funds.

DealBook has collected a number of links that take a look at the fast-growing distressed-lender, Fortress Investment Group.

There seems to be some growing support for the idea that long-only commodity futures investments may be distorting the oil market. Norm Alster in the New York Times reports on the debate.

We love historical analogies, especially ones that compare Google (GOOG) to Napoleonic France. (via DealBook)

Mark Hulbert in the New York Times reports on a study that shows the options market may be the playground of smart money.

Burton Malkiel in Barron’s doesn’t think an inverted yield curve is necessarily pointing towards a recession.

Going Private has been reading the Economist and has been tracking the price of the stock of Deutsche Telekom, so you don’t have to.

Ian Salisbury in the Wall Street Journal on the difficulty facing coming up with enough stocks for certain narrowly defined ETFs.

John Carney at DealBreaker.com passes along an item on Warren Buffett and hypocrisy. There are two things you don’t often see in the same sentence.

Steven Levy at Newsweek highlights a contrary voice on the “wisdom of (digital) crowds.”

Adam Warner at the Daily Options Report passes along a link to a funny post on “how to be an expert in anything.”

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