Commentary

Why Americans Want Socialism

I don’t believe they really want socialism. Few even understand what it is. What they want is change. They see little hope for improvement in their situations, no matter how hard they work and sacrifice. They don’t see anyone in authority trying to help them. So, when someone offers what sound like easy answers, they jump aboard.

Commentary

Depending on the Undependable

Today we’ll extend the GDP discussion, looking at where these numbers originate, what they miss, and what the Fed in particular does with them. As you’ll see, we need better data… but it’s not at all clear Fed officials would use such data correctly, even if they had it.

Commentary

The Hits to GDP

Today I want to look at some aspects of GDP we rarely consider, thinking about how they affect our analysis and choices. But first, let’s talk about where GDP is now and where it may go in the near future.

Commentary

Dismissing the Experts

As you will see today, sometimes I get it really, badly, completely wrong. Thankfully, not too often.

Commentary

Nose Blind to Inflation

The Federal Reserve doesn’t see the inflation others notice. Their data says inflation isn’t a problem, so they ignore indications otherwise. We see this in their policy decisions. And it’s not just the Fed; other central banks, Wall Street analysts, economists, and politicians have the same affliction.

Commentary

Looking on the Bright Side

Good things are happening, too, and will keep happening as we move through the 2020s. Occasionally I like to note them, and that’s what we will do today.

Commentary

Decade of Living Dangerously, Part 2

In Part 1 of this forecast I described my relatively benign outlook for the next 12 months. The calm may last into 2021 and even beyond. But beneath the surface, pressure will still be increasing. It will grow slowly, almost imperceptibly, but eventually explode.

Commentary

Decade of Living Dangerously, Part 1

Welcome to the 2020s. Some weren’t sure we would make it this far, but we did. Now we face a new decade and new challenges. How we handle them will determine what kind of conversation we have in 2030.

Commentary

Prelude to Crisis

There is almost no willingness to face our top problems, specifically our rising debt. The economic challenges we face can’t continue, which is why I expect the Great Reset, a kind of worldwide do-over. It’s not the best choice but we are slowly ruling out all others.

Commentary

Time to Do the Hard Thing

Much of the reaction to last week’s Inflationary Angst letter boiled down to, “Get government out of the way and the free market will work.” Others said the opposite: Government must help people even more than it already does. I wish it were that easy. Neither of those options are what we need, and today I will explain why.

Commentary

Inflationary Angst

We don’t have much time to get our house in order, either in the US or globally. Everything I’ve said today applies, to various degrees, throughout the developed world. Thinking that 2% inflation or zero interest rates coupled with massive deficits will somehow help is beyond wishful thinking.

Commentary

Advice Worth Taking

I have some time-honored advice that may help. Both Dennis Gartman and Bob Farrell are legendary traders, and they kindly shared the rules they’ve found most helpful. I know they help me. So read these, and I’ll have a few more words below.

Commentary

Muddling for Solutions

Should just being “employed” make people/workers happy? On one level, any job is better than no job. But we also derive much of our identities and self-esteem from our work. If you aren’t happy with it, you’re probably not happy generally. Unhappy people can still vote and are often easy marks for shameless politicians to manipulate. Their spending patterns change, too. So it ends up affecting everyone, even those who are happy.

Commentary

The Road to Default

We will spend the latter part of the 2020s going through a kind of worldwide bankruptcy. We won’t call it that, and it will take a lot of argument because we won’t have a court to take charge. But we will collectively realize the situation can’t go on and find a way to end it. I’ve taken to calling this “the Great Reset.”

Commentary

Slowing but Not Stopping (Yet)

Today I want to focus on that “entering a rough period” part. The signs are growing clearer and the bumps bigger.