Economic Analysis

The World Turned Upside Down

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 14, 2017

Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree.

– Lyrics from the theme song of The Hunger Games

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.

– Lyrics from a 17th...

Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook, Third Quarter 2017

Outside the Box

October 11, 2017

Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington Investment Management do not exactly get us off to a hopeful start in their third-quarter review, today’s Outside the Box:

The worst economic recovery of the post-war period will continue to be restrained by a consumer sector burdened by paltry income growth, a low and falling saving rate, and an increasingly restrictive Federal Reserve policy. Additionally, with the extremely high level of U.S. government debt and deteriorating fiscal situation, the...

2 Charts That Show Smart Money And Dumb Money Are Moving In Opposite Directions—Here’s Why

Editorial

October 9, 2017

Uncle Sam’s Unfunded Promises

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 7, 2017

Here’s a surprisingly profound question: What is a promise? Dictionaries offer various definitions. I like this one: “An express assurance on which expectation is to be based.”

The Catalan Question and the Future of Europe

Outside the Box

October 4, 2017

It is 5 AM in Lisbon, and I am sitting in an airport lounge with wifi, writing this week’s OTB on my iPad, clumsily. GaveKal has written a very candid analysis of the Catalonia vote/debacle, which was a hot topic at the conference where I was speaking – Spain is right next door. There were numerous past and current foreign ministers and other parliamentary leaders here, all very pro-EU, and they were aghast at Rajoy’s heavy-handed response.

Howewver, they all agreed that Catalonia could never...

Global Retirement Reality

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 30, 2017

Today we’ll continue to size up the bull market in governmental promises. As we do so, keep an old trader’s slogan in mind: “That which cannot go on forever, won’t.” Or we could say it differently: An unsustainable trend must eventually stop.

Low Inflation Is No “Mystery”

Outside the Box

September 27, 2017

When is a mystery not a mystery? When Janet Yellen is puzzling over a lack of inflation, that’s when. So say Brian Wesbury, chief economist, and Robert Stein, deputy chief economist of First Trust, in today’s Outside the Box. The bottom line: QE didn’t work, and Janet knew it was unlikely to work, from the start.

So where did all that easy money go? I think I’ll let the authors tell you. I think you’ll enjoy this brief, clear-headed essay.

The essay was sent to me along with a rant by my...

Big-Name Investors Are Dumping Popular ETFs—Here Are 3 ETFs They Buy Instead

Editorial

September 25, 2017

Build Your Economic Storm Shelter Now

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 23, 2017

If you’re idly conversing with someone you don’t know well, the weather is usually a safe topic. It affects everyone in some way, so it’s a shared experience – but there’s something else, too. The weather is no one’s fault. It is what it is, so you need not worry that the other person will blame you for it. None of us can control the weather. And lately, the weather has been interesting, unless you had to live through its more extreme manifestations. Then it’s been hell. Before this week, I...

The Key To Success In Investing In P2P Loans

Editorial

September 21, 2017