Economic Analysis

Brexit Bombshell: EU Capitulates?

Outside the Box

June 28, 2016

This Is a Special Brexit Edition of Outside the Box.

As you may know, at Mauldin Economics we have a partnership with George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures. Today, I have two important Brexit stories George published over the weekend.

These two stories had an interesting origin. Last Saturday morning, I wrapped up Thoughts from the Frontline and then turned back to my packed e-mail inbox. There, I saw George’s latest Reality Check analysis, “The Surprise at Brexit and the Social Crisis...

Thinking the Unthinkable

Thoughts from the Frontline

June 25, 2016

If buttercups buzz’d after the bee
If boats were on land, churches on sea
If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows
And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse
If the mamas sold their babies
To the Gypsies for half a crown
If summer were spring
And the other way ‘round
Then all the world would be upside down!

– 17th century English children’s song

“There are decades when nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen.”

– Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, alias Lenin

“For someone...

Update on Globalization

Outside the Box

June 22, 2016

Globalization is one of the dominant economic forces in the world today and given the politics of the world it is also one of the most controversial. Globalization has been one of the leading forces of overall global growth and is continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace, yet the forces which would roll back or hinder globalization are increasing as well.

My friend Ian Bremmer, professor at New York University and founder of the Eurasia Group, is one of the foremost authorities on...

Generational Chaos Ahead

Thoughts from the Frontline

June 19, 2016

“This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent that the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”

– George Orwell

Evans-Pritchard, McWilliams, and Luntz on the Implications of Brexit

Outside the Box

June 15, 2016

In the wake of Orlando, I feel somewhat ambivalent about dragging us back to the world of economics. As I write this note, it is still unclear what the reaction of the country will be to the largest shooting massacre ever on US soil. Everywhere I turn, it seems that people are trying to spin this in one direction or another, always filtered through their own worldviews.

My friend David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors frequently offers common-sense commentary on a wide variety of topics, and he...

Hot Summer Economic Weirdness

Thoughts from the Frontline

June 11, 2016

“A lost election can have the jolt of a drop through the gallows door, leading to a dark night of the soul in which the future presses down like a cloud that will never lift.”
– James Wolcott

 “Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.”
– Ronald Reagan

Large Bank Risk: Liquidity Not Capital Is the Issue

Outside the Box

June 8, 2016

Today’s Outside the Box is a little bit different – which, considering that most Outside the Box pieces can be classified as a little bit different, is not that unusual; but this one needs to come with a warning label that you may find it a tad wonkish. It’s from my friend Chris Whalen of the Kroll Bond Rating Agency. When I want to understand something about banks, Chris is one of my go-to guys.

In Chris’s latest memo he talks about the push to increase the capital levels of the eight largest...

Your Portfolio Design: Assume the Fetal Position

Thoughts from the Frontline

June 4, 2016

Somehow in the last few months I found myself going from merely concerned about developed-world markets to outright advocating defensive positions. I thought some of the presentations at my Strategic Investment Conference would cheer me up. They did not.

Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

Outside the Box

June 1, 2016

I mentioned a few weeks ago in Thoughts from the Frontline the statistic I read that 47% of Americans have less than $400 in savings to meet emergencies. Many of those people are elderly. When I was at Rob Arnott’s Research Affiliates conference a few weeks ago, we heard two presentations on the state of the Social Security system, and looked at two approaches to fixing the system. One presentation was by my friend and Boston University professor Dr. Larry Kotlikoff, who has contributed today’s...

Life on the Edge, Continued

Thoughts from the Frontline

May 28, 2016

At the conclusion of my conference yesterday, I did a number of interviews and then made my way a few miles home, collapsed into my favorite chair, and thought back over the myriad of ideas, the whirlwind of friends, and the just general all-around fabulous time I had experienced over the past four days.