May 2012 - 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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  • To the Class of 2012

    It is the season when students all over the country are graduating and listening to graduation speeches. I have heard more than my share over the years. But never one like this week's Outside the Box essay, from my friend and world-class demographer Neil Howe. Neil was co-author of The Fourth Turning, which way back in 1997 absolutely nailed the coming generational changes we are now living through, giving us a fascinating and eerily accurate guide to our future. The premise is that a generation is a 20-year period and that generational social tendencies repeat roughly every 80 years and have done so in the Anglo-Saxon world for hundreds of years. And now the Millennial generation is coming of age in a world dominated by Boomers, and we are seeing another cycle change.

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  • One Nation (under Germany)

    For this week's Outside the Box I want to share with you a singularly interesting conversation between Niall Ferguson and Ben Laurance, in the Sunday Times of London. What really grabbed me about it was the way Niall goes right out on a limb and yet makes such a convincing case that, when push really comes to shove, Germany will bite the federalist bullet, because it's overwhelmingly in their interest to maintain a united eurozone.

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  • The Clash of Generations

    There are plenty of books about the entitlement disaster in our future, but few come with the backing of an academic press. The Clash of Generations is an exception. Written by economist Larry Kotlikoff, one of the creators of generational accounting, and my good friend of long standing, Scott Burns, Clash shows what current policies have already done to young people, tells stories about how both parties have allowed it to happen, and offers actual policy solutions– for banking, taxes, healthcare, and Social Security.

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  • China: Two Economic Models and the Ideological Divide in Chongqing

    There are political sides in America...and then there are political sides in the communist state of China. Here, it's a matter of the right and the left. In China, it's a matter of private enterprise and strong foreign investment versus highly centralized and debt-heavy state enterprise.

    According to the geopolitical analysis company Stratfor, the left may be losing ground in China, and Beijing may be headed down an economic path that focuses on private enterprise. If the trend becomes the national strategy in the long term, this could mean greater room for private business in China.

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  • A Leaderless World

    I recently had a chance to speak at a conference where Dr. Ian Bremmer spoke after me. I was very impressed with his thought process and asked him to give me an outline of his speech to share with you for this week's Outside the Box. It's a shorter version of his powerhouse book, Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World. I highly recommend it.

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  • U.S. Consumers: Still Key to the Outlook

    What I like most about Gary Shilling's economic analysis is that it's thorough. In the piece that follows – an excerpt from Gary's monthly INSIGHT – he ranges from the importance of US consumer spending and the unemployment rate, to the actions of the Fed, to business cost cutting and productivity, to the housing crisis and household debt, to state and local government fiscal issues, to US exports – Etc.! So by time he gets ready to deliver conclusions, you know they're well-supported. And Gary's overall conclusion here, regarding the rest of 2012, is a strong one and maybe not quite what you'd expect.

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