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John Mauldin's Outside the Box

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  • Networks and Hierarchies

    I have a big-picture piece for you today from a big-time thinker, my good friend Niall Ferguson. This is a little bit different for Outside the Box, but then isn’t that what this letter is supposed to be? Something to make us think and to come at a problem with a little bit different viewpoint?

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  • Popular Delusions: The bull case for safe havens

    I am sending this OTB from the Lindbergh Terminal of the Minneapolis–St. Paul Airport, on my way back from Bismarck, ND. I have now been to 49 states, with only South Dakota to go. The Bakken oil field is amazing and the helicopter tour was eye-opening. I am going to write about it this weekend as part of looking at the larger picture of energy and change.

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  • Still Home Sick

    Everyone is curious about the state of housing in the US. My friend Gary Shilling recently did a lengthy issue on housing as it is today. I asked him to give us a shorter version for Outside the Box, and he graciously did. And you want to know what Gary thinks, because he is one of the guys who really got it right early, from subprime to the bubble and the price collapse, and has been right all along. No one is better. This very readable edition is full of charts and fast reasoning.

    The quid pro quo for getting him to give us something that is normally behind a velvet rope is that I put a link in to let you subscribe to his wonderful monthly letter. He really is one of the better analysts out there. He has spoken at my conference the last two years and is one of our highest-rated speakers.

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  • The Cognitive Dissonance of It All

    I get a lot of client letters from various managers and funds, as you might imagine. I read more than I should. But one that shows up every quarter or so makes me stop what I am doing and sit down and read. It is the quarterly letter from Hayman Advisors, based here in Dallas. They are macro guys (which I guess is part of the magnetic attraction for me), and they really put some thought into their craft and have some of the best sources anywhere. So today we take a look at their latest letter, where they cover a wide variety of topics, with cutting-edge analysis and sharp insight. I really like these guys, and suggest you take the time to read the entire letter.

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  • Hoisington Fourth-Quarter Report

    Long-time readers of Outside the Box are familiar with the names Dr. Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington. They are a regular feature here, as quite frankly, anything that Lacy writes or says I pay serious attention to. This is their regular quarterly report, where they outline seven things that are likely to retard US growth. An easy read, but take the time to think this through.

    Hoisington Investment Management Company (www.hoisingtonmgt.com) is a registered investment advisor specializing in fixed-income portfolios for large institutional clients. Located in Austin, Texas, the firm has over $4 billion under management, composed of corporate and public funds, foundations, endowments, Taft-Hartley funds, and insurance companies.

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  • Global Aging and the Crisis of the 2020s

    From the fall of the Roman and the Mayan empires to the Black Death to the colonization of the New World and the youth-driven revolutions of the twentieth century, demographic trends have played a decisive role in many of the great invasions, political upheavals, migrations, and environmental catastrophes of history. By the 2020s, an ominous new conjuncture of demographic trends may once again threaten widespread disruption. I am, of course, talking about global aging, which is likely to have a profound effect on economic growth, living standards, and the shape of the world order.

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  • The Next Decade: Where We've Been... And Where We're Going

    This week I'm sending you a real treat. My friend & geopolitical expert George Friedman has written a fascinating new book, The Next Decade: Where We've Been... And Where We're Going. His previous book, The Next 100 Years, hit the New York Times bestseller list, so it's not just his fishing buddies like me that think he's good.

    I've had the pleasure of reading a galley copy, and after a grueling arm-wrestling match, won the exclusive privilege of sending you the Author's Note and Introduction a few weeks before the book's release. The Author's Note will give you a sense of George & why he set out to write this book. The Introduction sets up this concept of the U.S. as an unintended empire (a striking phrase, but he backs it up well). You can view them both below.

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  • The Rational Optimist

    One of my great and increasing pleasures is the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition. I have grown to really look forward to reading Peggy Noonan, maybe my generation’s most gifted essayist. That would be enough reason to pay the subscription price. To read her wordsmithery (is that a word?) is a sublime joy to this humble journeyman writer.

    And the Review section in the WSJ has become a revelation over the last few years. The essays are getting better and better. And the book reviews make me weep, because there are so many great books and I will just not be able to get to them all. But at least I can read the reviews and remind myself of what I should have learned. I spend a few hours every weekend trying to get through the treasure in those pages – on the treadmill, at the coffee shop, or at brunch. I commend it to you. And getting the Journal online here on the ocean is cool. (www.wsj.com)

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