September 2009 - John Mauldin's Outside the Box

John Mauldin reads hundreds of articles, reports, books, newsletters, etc. and each week he brings one essay from another analyst that should stimulate your thinking. John will not agree with all the essays, and some will make us uncomfortable, but the varied subject matter will offer thoughtful analysis that will challenge our minds to think Outside The Box.

John Mauldin's Outside the Box

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  • Into the Fourth Turning

    This week for your Outside the Box reading pleasure I am pleased to offer you the beginning of a very intriguing interview with Neil Howe he did with my friend David Galland at Casey Research. I think Neil is one of the premier forward looking thinkers of our time. His book The Fourth Turning is one of the more important books of the last two decades. 12 years ago, he and the late Richard Strauss basically outlined the psycho-social dynamics of our current time and his predictions have been uncannily accurate.

    Basically, he and Strauss demonstrated that the Anglo-Saxon world has a pattern of four repeating generational types. As each generation assumes its period of dominance, the character of the various nations change in a pattern that rhymes throughout 500 years of history. We are in the beginning–middle of what he calls the Fourth Turning. This is a lengthy (17 pages) but fascinating interview but one you definitely should read. It is too long for me to put up in its entirety, but if you want to read more there is a link to the full interview at the end of the article. Just type in your email and the people from Casey will send it to you. They will also add you to their very interesting letter written by members of their research team. And of course you can easily unsubscribe if you like, but you might want to read it for a few weeks to see if you like their angle on things.

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  • A German Pre-Election Win and Lingering U.S. Tensions

    You may not think that what happens in Kabul affects the sale of GM's Opel division -- but it's recognizing the connection between seemingly unrelated global events that puts you ahead of the game in investing. This week I'm sending you a video by my friends at STRATFOR. It links cars, jobs, German elections, and the situation in Afghanistan in a way that's truly insightful and informative.

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  • Penury, self-imposed or inflicted, the new normal?

    One of my favorite sources of information is The Liscio Report by Philippa Dunne & Doug Henwood. Among other things, each month they survey all the states about tax revenues, expenses and then give us the results in a very pithy fashion. No one pays taxes unless they have to, and thus taxes tell us a lot about the current spending and income situation. Taxes are a far more reliable indicator then surveys, which most 'data' is based on. They also look at various trends in a variety of topics. No surprise, this issue they talk about the numbers on retail sales, noting certain segments are up (essential spending) but sales for non-essential items are way down. This is very interesting to me. It is, as they point out, part of the journey to the new normal. They graciously allowed me to send this letter on to you as this week's Outside the Box. Those of you who might wish to learn more about theme can go to www.theliscioreport.com or drop them a note at online@theliscioreport.com.

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  • Brazil: Reactions to a Proposed Energy Law

    With the current financial crisis, we have to be even more astute in locating worthy investment opportunities. I've written lately about choices we're facing as a country – but we have choices as individuals as well: choices that demand solid insight to make well-informed decisions and recognize opportunities at a time when they're not as plentiful as they used to be. It's not enough to know what's happening on Capitol Hill or Wall Street, we must expand our investigations to a global perspective.

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