Economic Analysis

Data-Dependent ... on Imaginary Data

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 18, 2018

Federal Reserve officials like to say their policy course is “data-dependent.” That sounds very cautious and intelligent, but what does it actually mean? Which data and who’s interpreting it? Let’s ask a few questions.

Where Will We Get the Cash?

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 10, 2018

Last week’s turbulence shined a harsh spotlight on the stock market. Appropriately so, if that’s where your investments are. But in the hubbub many investors are missing the deeper and far more urgent bond market issues.

Kill the Quants

Outside the Box

February 7, 2018

In the past few days we have heard endless explanations for the market’s big “Oops!” and the return of volatility. The commentary has centered on the Fed and its sister central banks as they begin to batten down the hatches on inflation and trim their balance sheets (prematurely, in my view).

In the midst of all the hoopla – and for a long time before the recent Day of Reckoning – my good friend Doug Kass has been something of a voice shouting at us from the wildnerness, with the resounding...

Don’t Buy Another Growth Stock Until You’ve Seen This


February 7, 2018

Enjoy It While You Can

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 3, 2018

If you travel as much as I do, you come to value nonstop flights. Connections introduce uncertainty and potential delays, not to mention what often feels like wasted time; but sometimes connections are just unavoidable. But you don’t want them to be too tight. Those five-minute sprints from one concourse to another are never fun. Better to have some breathing room.

A Decade of Dirtnap

Outside the Box

January 31, 2018

In today’s Outside the Box, we finish up our 8-part Strategic Investment Conference Speaker Series. It’s been quite a ride and I hope you’ve enjoyed Mark Yusko’s letter to fellow investors… George Friedman’s big call on the future of the EU… Niall Ferguson’s take on the “antisocial networks”… Grant Williams’ treatise on the consequences of excessive quantitative easing… Louis Gave’s thoughtful questions for 2018… David McWilliams’ lesson from history on speculative behavior… and Lacy Hunt’s...

Gross Domestic Problems

Thoughts from the Frontline

January 27, 2018

Fictitious Wall Street villain Gordon Gekko famously declared, “Greed is good.” I think actual Wall Street titans would mostly disagree. They would change one word. Instead of “greed,” they would say, “Growth is good.” That is Wall Street’s real mantra. Growth is the magic elixir we all need.

Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook

Outside the Box

January 24, 2018

We continue our 8-part SIC Speaker Series today with my good friend Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management. In their fourth-quarter 2017 review and outlook, Lacy and partner Van Hoisington take a definitely contrarian stance on the coming year.



How are some of the world’s top portfolio managers and geopolitical experts preparing for A World Full of Risk & Reward? Find out...

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A Fly in the Economic Ointment?

Thoughts from the Frontline

January 20, 2018

The holidays are fading from memory, and 2018 is off to a good start, economically speaking. Most of the forecasts I’ve read expect a good year – not a blockbuster year or a horrendous one, but a mild pickup that ought to satisfy investors. Even the bears seem less confident than usual.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Outside the Box

January 17, 2018

It’s week 6 of our 8-week SIC Speaker Series, and we have with us David McWilliams, Irish economist, author, and broadcaster, who I first met when, on the first evening of my first-ever trip to Ireland in 2011, he invited me to attend the opening night of a classic and much-loved Irish play by Sean O’Casey, at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin (also known as the National Theatre of Ireland). I learned that the year before David had staged his own one-man show at the Abbey, called Outsiders. It had a...