Economic Analysis

Train Crash Preview

Thoughts from the Frontline

May 18, 2018

Today we will summarize something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Exactly how will we get from the credit crisis, which I think is coming in the next 12–18 months, to what I call the Great Reset, when the global debt will be “rationalized” via some form of nonpayment. Whatever you want to call it, I think a worldwide debt default is likely in the next 10–12 years.

Credit-Driven Train Crash, Part 1

Thoughts from the Frontline

May 11, 2018

In last week’s letter, I mentioned an insightful comment my friend Peter Boockvar made at dinner in New York: “We now have credit cycles instead of economic cycles.” That one sentence provoked numerous phone calls and emails, all seeking elaboration. What did Peter mean by that statement?

Thoughts from the Mailbox

Thoughts from the Frontline

May 4, 2018

Since last week’s letter, I have flown enough to send me over 100,000 miles on American Airlines this year and make Executive Platinum. That is not necessarily a good thing. But wow, I learned a lot between all those flights.

Economy with a Fever

Thoughts from the Frontline

April 27, 2018

Getting a fever is no fun. You likely get chills, you sweat, and you’re just generally uncomfortable. You get tired easily and need to rest. But here’s the weird part: Fever isn’t the real problem. It’s a symptom of something else. You must treat whatever that is to relieve the fever.

Us vs. Them

Outside the Box

April 25, 2018

This is the final Outside the Box. It is a little emotional to me, like parting with an old friend. How can one possibly sum up almost 14 years? Well, quite simply, you can’t. I would like to say, however, that it is been my extraordinary pleasure to send out more than 600 issues of Outside the Box, and I sincerely hope they helped your research and thinking.

While reminiscing on Outside the Box this week, I meandered through the archives and stopped at the very first issue, sent on September...

China Plays It Cool

Thoughts from the Frontline

April 20, 2018


Photo: Getty Images

China is the world economy’s elephant in the room. We can’t possibly ignore it, yet many try anyway. Admitting China’s influence forces us to admit the world is changing—and we all must change with it.

Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2018

Outside the Box

April 18, 2018

Lacy Hunt is in the very top rank of US economists. He would have made an excellent Fed chairman, if you ask me (no one did who mattered); but he goes on holding down the fort, along with partner Van Hoisington, at Hoisington Investment Management in Austin; and so you and I continue to have the benefit of Lacy and Van’s quarterly updates, which I always feature here in Outside the Box.

Today’s is an amazing piece of academic economic analysis. Lacy and Van kick it off with this trenchant...

How to Get Your Tax Weekend Back

Thoughts from the Frontline

April 14, 2018

This weekend millions of Americans and/or their accountants are preparing to file income tax returns. Tax day is an annual event as significant as the Fourth of July – though far less fun.

Fed “Policy Mistakes” – a View from Across the Pond

Outside the Box

April 11, 2018

I have talked at length in recent months about the well-proven limitations of Federal Reserve modeling of the economy. (See for instance “Data-Dependent ... on Imaginary Data.”) And come to think of it, I’ve been on their case for years. The Fed’s predictive capacities are demonstrably abysmal. In today’s Outside the Box, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the intrepid international business editor of the Daily Telegraph of London, joins the fray.

Ambrose’s criticism of the Fed’s current posture on...

Assumptions Equal Problems

Thoughts from the Frontline

April 6, 2018

The future is tantalizing because it is both unknown and unknowable. At best, we can make educated guesses about tomorrow or next year. Sometimes, it’s actually hard to understand what happened in the past, much less to chart how the future might unfold.