Economic Analysis

The Election: Making Difficult Choices

Thoughts from the Frontline

November 6, 2016

I have a letter halfway done on economic/investment themes, but I’m putting it aside. For over 16 years I have written each week about what has interested me and what I have thought important. And frankly, what is really on my mind is the same thing that is likely on your mind, and that is Tuesday’s election results. So I am going to write a shorter letter on my thoughts on the election, trying to put an economic spin on the political process (since economics is the beat of this letter, not...

The Origins of American Incivility and Fear

Outside the Box

November 2, 2016

My friends and associates know that it is very rare that I am sitting at my desk at 4 AM, as I was this morning. I am not an early morning person. But every now and then I wake up and the mind turns on, and rather than fight it, I go sit at my desk. And almost immediately this morning, I was greeted with this paragraph from my friend Michael Lewitt in his latest letter:

The 2016 presidential election is carving deep scars on the American soul. The country is on the cusp of a constitutional...

Earnings ex-Losers Look Great

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 30, 2016

“Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.”

– J. Paul Getty

“Any jerk can have short-term earnings.”

– Jack Welch

Hoisington Management Quarterly Review and Outlook, 3Q 2016

Outside the Box

October 26, 2016

By now, you are probably aware that the US budget deficit jumped to $590 billion for fiscal 2016. What you might not be aware of is that US government debt rose by $1.4 trillion last fiscal year. That difference between the deficit and debt increases is an enormous number, and I bet you’re just as curious as I was to know what in the heck we spent that additional $800 billion on.

In this week’s Outside the Box, my friends Dr. Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington actually tell us the answer to that...

How to Rebuild Healthcare Right

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 23, 2016

“I reject the insurance model. I think we should have a free-market approach to healthcare.”
– Gary Johnson

“The goal of real healthcare reform must be universal coverage in a cost-effective way.”
– Bernie Sanders

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves….”
Julius Caesar (I.ii.140–141)

“The numbers [referring to the growth in the aging population and its relationship to Alzheimer’s] point to a disaster that will be the real zombie apocalypse. Western societies simply...

Restoring America’s Economic Mobility

Outside the Box

October 19, 2016

I can remember writing in the ’90s and early 2000s that one of the great things about the United States was our economic mobility. By that term, economists mean the ability of people to shift around on the economic spectrum – to move from being a low-income family to being a high-income family, for example. Karl Marx, in the 1850s, even cited the US as an exception to his struggle-of-the-classes theory, because the economic classes in the US kept changing so much.

The last few years have seen...

Taking a Wrench to Healthcare

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 17, 2016

“The US has the most dysfunctional healthcare system in the world.”

– Elizabeth Holmes

“Healthcare is the cornerstone of the socialist state.”

– Monica Crowley

“You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden, 25 million more people have health care and then the people that are out there busting it – sometimes 60 hours a week – wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”

– Former President Bill Clinton last week in Flint, Michigan

Cassius: “The fault, dear...

The Good Ole Days Aren’t Coming Back

Editorial

October 13, 2016

Desperate Central Bankers

Outside the Box

October 12, 2016

I have been pounding the table over the mistakes made by central banks all around the world for some time now. When I started I was almost alone because markets were still going up and are no there were obvious market overvaluations. My argument back during QE3 was that over time an uber-dovish monetary policy would lead to excesses. We have now come to that point and I am no longer alone in my criticism. There is a growing concern from many corners of the globe that monetary policy, far from...

Federal Repression System

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 9, 2016

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

– Winston Churchill

And from “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”:

Scottish version:

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' Mice an' Men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

English translation:

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of Mice and...