Browse by Tags

Thoughts From The Frontline

Blog Subscription Form

  • Email Notifications
    Go

Syndication

Archives

  • The Implications of Velocity

    This week we do some review on a very important topic, the velocity of money. If we don’t understand the basics, it is hard to make sense of the hash that our world economy is in, much less understand where we are headed.

    But before we jump into that, I want to let my Conversations subscribers know that we have posted a recent conversation with two hedge-fund managers, Kyle Bass of Hayman Advisors [and his staff] here in Dallas and Hugh Hendry of the Eclectica Fund in London. Our discussions centered on what we all think has the potential to be the next Greece, but on a far more serious level. It was a fascinating time.

    ...
  • A Conversation with John

    This week I am in New York, and have a whirlwind of meetings (and I admit, a lot of fun on the side) and not much time to write. I have been saving today's letter for a month or so, for a time such as this. Damien Hoffman of the Wall Street Cheat Sheet interviewed me and posted the transcript on his web site. I thought it was one of the better interviews I have done recently, and so it is this week's Thoughts from the Frontline. In addition to the wide-ranging economic questions, he asks for my thoughts on how one becomes an investment writer. I often demur when asked that question (what do I know?), but did my best to answer this time. I think you will enjoy the letter. (By the way, he does a lot of interesting interviews, which he posts for free on his web site at www.wallstcheatsheet.com.)

    ...
  • The Glide Path Option

    The present contains all possible futures. But not all futures are good ones. Some can be quite cruel. The one we actually get is dictated by the choices we make. For the last few months I have been addressing the choices in front of us, economically speaking. Today I am going to summarize them, and maybe we can look for some signposts that will tell us which way we are headed as we walk down the path. For those who are new readers and who would like a more in depth analysis, you can go to the archives and search for terms I am writing about. And I will start out briefly touching on today’s ugly unemployment numbers with data you did not get in the mainstream media.

    ...
  • Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

    The Efficient Market Hypothesis, according to Shiller, is one of the most remarkable errors in the history of economic thought. EMH should be consigned to the dustbin of history. We need to stop teaching it, and brainwashing the innocent. Rob Arnott tells a lovely story of a speech he was giving to some 200 finance professors. He asked how many of them taught EMH - pretty much everyone's hand was up. Then he asked how many of them believed it. Only two hands stayed up!

    And we wonder why funds and banks, full of the best and brightest, have made such a mess of things. Part of the reason is that we have taught economic nonsense to two generations of students. They have come to rely upon models based on assumptions that are absurd on their face. And then they are shocked when the markets deliver them a 'hundred-year flood' every 4 years. The models say this should not happen. But do they abandon their models? No, they use them to convince regulators that things should not be changed all that much. And who can argue with a model that was the basis for a Nobel Prize?

    ...
  • While Rome Burns

    When I sit down each week to write, I essentially do what I did nine years ago when I started writing this letter. I write to you, as an individual. I don't think of a large group of people, just a simple letter to a friend. It is only half a joke that this letter is written to my one million closest friends. That is the way I think of it. This week's letter is likely to lose me a few friends, though. I am going to start a series on money management, portfolio construction, and money managers. It will be back to the basics for both new and long-time readers. I am not sure how long it will take (in terms of weeks), but it is likely to make a few people upset and provoke some strong disagreements. Let's just say this is not stocks for the long run. And because many of you want some continuing analysis of the current crisis, each week I will throw in a few pages of commentary at the beginning of the letter....
  • Whatever Happened to Decoupling?

    The old mantra was that if the United States sneezed, the rest of the world would catch a cold, as the US was seen as the main driver of world growth. That was then. Economists and analysts began to argue that China and the developing markets were starting to provide a consumer base for the world. And Europe's new and growing markets would be able to stave off problems from abroad and stay on their own growth path. The world, we were assured last year, would not suffer from problems in the US economy. Today, we look at evidence that this might not quite be the case. And if it is not, those who look for diversification in global markets may be disappointed. Also, I quickly look back at my January forecasts and feel it may be time for a mid-course correction. It seems I may have been a little too optimistic. It should make for an interesting letter....
  • Why Investors Fail

    This week I am in South Africa and am not as connected as I would like to be due to meetings and slow Internet, so we are going to look at some material from my book, Bull's Eye Investing, which I think is more pertinent than ever. And since lately there has been rather large growth in the readership, there are a significant number of new readers for whom this material will be fresh....
  • Is it a Bull, Bear or Cowardly Lion Market?

    Bull, Bear, and Cowardly Lion Markets Market Cycle Math Where Are We Today? Analyze and Strategize Switzerland and American Airlines Are we in a bull, a bear, or a cowardly lion market? As we will see, the answer can make a huge difference in your investment...
  • Black Swans and Endogenous Uncertainty

    Ubiquity, Complexity Theory and Sandpiles Fingers of Instability A Stable Disequilibrium General Equilibrium with Endogenous Uncertainty Identity Theft and New York How does the risk of default in California or Thailand get spread throughout the world...