Results 251–300 of 359 found.
When the Future Becomes Today
While everyone was talking about Brexit for the last month, the Bank for International Settlements released its 86th annual report. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS functions as a master hub for all the world’s central banks. It settles transactions among central banks and other international organizations. It doesn’t serve private individuals, businesses, or national governments.
Europe Is a Minefield
As Donald Rumsfeld more or less said, there are things we know and things we don’t know and things that we can’t even imagine. Brexit falls into all of those categories. So before we start speculating ourselves, let’s take a trip down Reality Lane in Europe. Then, after we have, I will offer a few of my own … speculations.
Thinking the Unthinkable
I’m going to proceed to give you an updated version of my speech from one month ago at the Strategic Investment Conference. It actually has (as you will see) more relevance today than it did a month ago. We have edited the transcript so that the speech is much shorter and tighter; and of course, going back over it, I came up with a few thoughts here and there that I would like to have inserted in the original. I like this updated version better than the transcript. Like St. Paul, I guess taking the time to organize my thoughts and perform numerous edits does improve my message.
Generational Chaos Ahead
I’m going to do something a little different in this letter in that I’m going to borrow wholesale from Neil Howe’s speech at my conference and his voluminous writings in order to give us a view of what to expect in the next five to eight years. And given that the Brexit vote looms next week and that it’s part and parcel of what Neil is talking about, I will offer some final thoughts on Brexit. That should be enough to keep us occupied for the next few minutes.
Hot Summer Economic Weirdness
We who inhabit the northern hemisphere will soon enter summer. Many would say summer is already with us – most schools are closed, and a general laziness is beginning to set in – especially for those in the “protected” class. For many of them, summer is a verb. They “summer” in the Hamptons, or Lake Tahoe, or somewhere in the tropics.
Your Portfolio Design: Assume the Fetal Position
Sometimes you can go through that process and still end up bearish on almost everything. Richard Fisher seems to be in that camp. Asked in our final wrap-up panel Friday morning how his own portfolio was positioned, Fisher answered with one word: “Fetal.” And while his answer got a general laugh and a lot of pushback on the final panel from Niall Ferguson, who thinks he sees the beginning of an inflection point, it seemed a pretty good summary of the conference.
Life on the Edge, Continued
Coaches tell athletes that if they still have any energy left when they head back into the locker room when the game is over, they haven’t played hard enough. You’re supposed to leave it all on the field. That’s pretty much how I feel right now, so I don’t have a lot of energy to write a new letter. But thankfully, the comments we received from my May 15 letter, “Life on the Edge,” were among the best we’ve ever had. So I am going to reproduce them and maybe add a few responses of my own in between.
Report from Abu Dhabi ... and Dallas
This is a slightly expanded version of a letter that I have already sent to those who will be attending next week’s Strategic Investment Conference in Dallas. It covers the agenda in detail and will give you an idea of how I go about putting a conference together and what I’m trying to learn from the speakers. If this is of no interest to you, just skip it and go to the end where I will share some brief impressions from my time in Abu Dhabi.
Life on the Edge
Populist angst is taking hold around the world. Like all anger, it isn’t necessarily rational and may not bring the desired changes, but the anger and frustration are real. People have real problems, and increasingly they don’t trust traditional leaders to solve them.
Sell in May and Go Away?
The prevailing market lore is that one should sell in May and go away, returning in October. And over the last 65 years, that axiom has on average held true. Unfortunately, we can’t live on averages in the short term, and so we have to decide what to do today. Thus – just like the Fed – we are data-dependent.
What Condition My Condition Is In
In this week’s letter we will take a quick look at the condition of a slowing global economy (the IMF just downgraded its own forecast this last week). Then we’ll grapple with a Plan B scenario, because I have a confession of sorts: I am not entirely optimistic that Congress and the new president can get their act together, so I offer a proposal from former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn as to what we, the people, can do to actually change the country’s direction without having to depend on a Congress that may prove dysfunctional. Again.
Open Letter to the President, Part Five
Without significant changes in tax and incentive structures, the US will almost assuredly enter a recession within the next few years. Then, if we lose tax revenues only to the extent we did in the last couple of recessions, we’ll be saddled with a deficit of over $1.3 trillion, and the deficit won’t fall below $1 trillion as far out as the eye can see, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Open Letter to the Next President, Part 4
Today we are going to look at what the next president might do in response to recession – and possibly even to prevent a recession. I actually think a positive path can be found, but following it will take an enormous political effort and a big shift in the current environment of noncooperation.
Open Letter to the Next President, Part 3
Today we continue my series of open letters to the presidential candidates. In the meantime, we’ve drawn a little closer to knowing whom the two major parties will nominate. A few people are vowing to consider minor parties, too.
An Open Letter to the Next President
As the entire world is painfully aware, it is election year in the United States. I realize the images my non-American friends see may not inspire confidence. Our process is messy in the best of circumstances, and this year we are not at our best.
ZIRP & NIRP: Killing Retirement As We Know It
The zero interest rate and now negative interest rate policies of our central banks are gumming up the global retirement machinery. The Federal Reserve and other central banks have spent so many years subsidizing debt and punishing savings that it is now extremely difficult to guarantee future income streams at a reasonable present cost. And future income streams are the very heart and soul of retirement. Without adequate future income streams, retirement as we know it today is off the table.
The Fed Prepares to Dive
This week’s letter has two parts. The first deals with some of the practical aspects of negative rates and what the Fed is really signaling. The second part, which is somewhat philosophical, deals with why the Fed will institute negative rates during the next recession. This letter is longer than usual, but I think it’s important to understand why we will see negative rates in the world’s reserve currency (and the currency in which most global trade is conducted). This policy trend is truly a foray into unexplored territory.
A Little Chaos Is a Good Thing
Longtime readers know that I rarely delve into partisan politics. That’s not the usual focus of this letter. While I am sure that most readers suspect that I generally lean Republican, I try not to let that enter into our macroeconomic and investment discussions. And I’m not really going to change that policy today. What I do want to talk about are the rather arcane topics of how the delegates to a national convention are chosen and what a “brokered convention” would actually look like.
Tokyo Doubles Down
I’ve been busily writing a letter on oil and energy, but in the middle of the process I decided yesterday that I really needed to talk to you about the Bank of Japan’s “surprise” interest-rate move to -0.1%. And I don’t so much want to comment on the factual of the policy move as on what it means for the rest of the world, and especially the US.
China’s Year of the Monkees
China isn’t the only reason markets got off to a terrible start this month, but it is definitely a big factor (at least psychologically). Between impractical circuit breakers, weaker economic data, stronger capital controls, and renewed currency confusion, China has investors everywhere scratching their heads.
2016: Surprises & Scenarios
Today we’ll look at 2016 forecasts from some professionals I trust. I know most of them personally and have been friends with some of them for years. I know they aren’t just “talking their book.” They may turn out to be wrong, but if so, it will be for the right reasons. After we review the forecasts, we’ll look at some common threads among them, as well as important differences.
Economicus Terra Incognita
Welcome to 2016. Tradition dictates that you spend the first few weeks or so reading forecasts for the coming year. I can say with certainty that most of them will be wrong. A smaller number may hit the target. Unfortunately, no one knows which forecasts will fall into which category.
How to Get Rich: Fade Drudge
I always felt that Matt Drudge was linking to things I found important—things I wanted to read, particularly about surveillance/privacy, which is a hobby horse of his, and mine. As I write this, let’s see what’s going on over at the Drudge Report.
The Seven Fat Years of ZIRP
In today’s letter we are going to examine the problematic credit markets, and I want to focus on something that is happening off the radar screen: the continuing rise of credit in private lending. I predicted the rise of private credit back in 2007 and said that it would become a major force in the world, but I got strange looks from audiences when I talked about the arcane subject of private credit. Today the shadow banking system is taking significant market share from traditional banking.
George Friedman’s World of Geopolitics
In today’s letter, I have transcribed a conversation George Friedman and I had a few days ago. In it, we talk about how our new joint effort came about and why George has left Stratfor to create his new firm, Geopolitical Futures.
You Have Questions, I Have Answers
Rather than dive deeply into a single topic today, I will weigh in on some of the week’s top financial stories. I recently did a webinar debate with my friend Frank Trotter, hosted by Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives, on whether the Fed should raise rates in December. I argued they should, for reasons I’ve written about before, so we won’t go into that. But we did get a number of incisive, timely questions during and after the webinar. I will try to answer most of them in this letter.
Thanksgiving amid the Threats
For today, in this week’s letter, I’m going to let other people do most of the talking. I gave you my own thoughts on the Paris attacks and Europe’s future last week in “The Economic Impact of Evil.” Today I’ll share some of the most interesting post-Paris analysis that has crossed my path over the last two weeks.
The Economic Impact of Evil
Terrorism is global. So is the economy. We can’t separate them. I’m sure you have spent time reading about the reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris. I have been reading and thinking a great deal about the effects of recent events on the European Union. Much of what I’ve read seems to miss what I think is the larger context and what may be the real longer-term economic and geopolitical implications of these attacks.
The Gig Economy Is the New Normal
It’s not just Uber driving or AirBnB. There are literally scores of websites and apps where you can advertise your services, get temporary or part-time work, and do so from anywhere you happen to be. Some “gigs” actually pay pretty good money, but they are for people with specialized skills who prefer to live a somewhat different lifestyle than the typical 9-to-5’er does.
Crime in the Jobs Report
In today’s letter, we are going to look briefly at the latest employment numbers. Then we’ll explore some of the deeper, less understood facets of the employment data. For some of you this may be a lot of detail, but for those of us who think about employment (and you should, as it is THE ultimate driver for your business and investments), understanding how the numbers work and what they mean is important.
Your Own Personal Inflation Rate
This week’s letter is all about how we create the sausage that is called inflation. The Fed has a target of 2% inflation. Aren’t we almost there at +1.9% CPI? Not really, as the Fed uses something called the PCE, and it is barely at +1.3%. Which is different again from other measures of inflation. Confused? Hopefully, we can make sense of inflation today and have some fun along the way with crazy government statistics.
Someone Is Spending Your Pension Money
We are going to talk about the slow-motion train wreck now taking shape in pension funds that is going to put pressure on many people who think they have retirement covered. Please feel free to forward this to those who might be expecting their pension funds to cover them for the next 30 or 40 years. Cutting to the chase, US pension funds are seriously underfunded and may need an extra $10 trillion in 20 years. This is a somewhat controversial letter, but I like to think I’m being realistic. Or at least I’m trying.
The “Age” Age
As I mentioned in last week’s letter, I traveled to San Francisco last Monday with my friend Patrick Cox, who writes our Transformational Technology Alert newsletter. We had dinner with Dr. Mike West of Biotime and then spent the next morning at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Pat and I decided we would jointly report on what we learned.
If recovery from a banking crisis can take ten years and we are only seven years in, I expect (barring aliens) that we have a few more years to go. A slow, muddle-through recovery may not be exciting – but it’s better than the alternatives. As I noted at the beginning, I am quite worried about the possibility of a recession in our slow-growth, barely limping along at stall speed economy.
Balloons in Search of Needles
It would be hard to miss an analogy to the stock market. Everything’s peaceful and calm, you’re drinking some fabulous wine, eating some fantastic fresh game and fish, looking at all the beautiful animals as you drift easily with the current. Anybody can steer the boat in a bull market. Until the rapids hit and the bottom falls out.
Merkel Opens the Gates
This is all well and good for nations like Germany that need immigrants, but much of Europe is really not in need of new workers, given their present severe unemployment problems. Not to mention that in those countries budgets are already strained and taking on the task of housing tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees is not cheap.
Needed at the Fed: An Inverse Volcker
I believe the Federal Open Market Committee should hike rates ASAP. A number of very astute analysts and Fed observers agree with me. On the other hand, an equal-sized army of similarly smart analysts think they should not. It seems to me this recovery is getting long in the tooth. The Fed needs to give itself some room to stimulate when the economy turns down again. As it stands now, their only weapons are to take interest rates negative or to resume quantitative easing. We don’t want either of those.
Muddling Through Shanghai
China is in transition, a transition that was clearly telegraphed if you have been paying attention. Our recent book on China (A Great Leap Forward?) clearly laid out this new path. Today we are going to talk about this precarious, difficult transition, which may impose profound impacts on much of the rest of the world. This transition is going to change the way global trade has worked in the past. There will be winners and losers.
Riding the Energy Wave to the Future
Today I’ll tell you about some big shifts in the energy industry. These shifts are about as positive as can be, unless you need high oil prices to run your country. In the long run, these changes are bullish for the whole world, which I think this will surprise many of you. And though we’ve been used to thinking about energy and technology as two different facets of modern life, today they are inextricably linked.
Results 251–300 of 359 found.