Economic Analysis

Open Letter to the Next President, Part 3

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 27, 2016

“The liberating army we need in the Americas today is one of leaders who come together in peace, in the spirit of cooperation.”

– Oscar Arias

“There are two Americas – separate, unequal, and no longer even acknowledging each other except on the barest cultural terms.”

– David Simon

Peter’s Perspective on Chinese Real Estate

Outside the Box

March 23, 2016

My doctor and good friend Michael Roizen (head of the wellness center and a director at the Cleveland Clinic) has some 23 million books in print in scores of different languages around the world. He called me on Monday remarkably enthusiastic (even for him) about his recent trip to China.

While there, he was the weekend guest of an extraordinarily rich businessperson who read one of Michael’s books and credits the lifestyle and diet that Mike advocates with turning his life around, if not...

Open Letter to the Next President, Part 2

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 21, 2016

“Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.”

– Margaret Thatcher

“Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Nobody in Europe will be excluded. Europe only succeeds if we work together.”

– Angela Merkel

Whatever Happened to the Invisible Hand of Capitalism?

Outside the Box

March 18, 2016

It has been an interesting week for Fed observers and markets. There is an odd disconnect between the data that we are told the Fed depends on and the press release and follow-on press conference that the FOMC conducts after its meetings. But clearly the market likes it that way. This week’s Outside the Box deals with the philosophical issue of the Federal Reserve setting the price of money. My friend and well-known value investor Vitaliy Katsenelson goes back to his youth in Russia, where some...

An Open Letter to the Next President

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 14, 2016

“When America closes its doors, so does everybody else.”

– Jon Huntsman, Jr.

“Globalization and free trade do spur economic growth, and they lead to lower prices on many goods.”

– Robert Reich

Japanese Policy Failure Means Disaster For Us All

Outside the Box

March 9, 2016

This week’s Outside the Box is a little bit different. I’m going to start with a selection from Mohamed El-Erian’s latest note. Mohamed himself is soft-spoken and calm, and I tell you that because the piece that follows is as close to capitals, underlining, and bolding with lots of exclamation points as Mohamed can get. He continues to get more concerned about the direction of central bank policy around the world and its unknown and unintended potential consequences. I will just cut and paste...

Growth Is the Answer to Everything

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 7, 2016

“Growth is never by mere chance. It is the result of forces working together.”
– James Cash Penney

If Only We Could Blame China

Outside the Box

March 4, 2016

I regularly read Niels Jensen’s monthly letter, and this month’s edition is exceptional. Longtime readers will know that he has been featured in Outside the Box several times over the years. Today, Niels challenges the widespread belief that the steep drop in commodity prices is all about the economic slowdown in China. He also questions whether China is in fact more a victim than a villain of the recent plunge in global equity markets. He arrives at the conclusion that high and rising debt...

ZIRP & NIRP: Killing Retirement As We Know It

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 28, 2016

“Baby boomers who are counting on the stock market are in trouble.”

– Robert Kiyosaki

“Pension and health care costs for our employees are going to bankrupt this city.”

– Michael Bloomberg

The New Mind Control

Outside the Box

February 26, 2016

In today’s Outside the Box, Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, warns us of a insidious and pervasive new form of mind control: search results.

That’s right, search results. And not just any search results: Google search results. Since 2013 Epstein and colleagues have conducted a number of experiments in the US and India to determine whether search...