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Thoughts from the Frontline

What’s on Your Radar Screen?

September 14, 2014

Toward the end of every week I begin to ponder what I should write about in the next Thoughts from the Frontline. Much of my week is spent in front of my iPad or computer, consuming as much generally random information as time and the ebb and flow of life will allow. I cannot remember a time in my life after I realized you could read and learn new things that that particular addiction has not been my constant companion.

As I sit down to write each week, I generally turn to the events and themes that most impressed me that week. Reading from a wide variety of sources, I sometimes see patterns that I feel are worthy to call to your attention. I’ve come to see my role in your life as a filter, a connoisseur of ideas and information. I don’t sit down to write with the thought that I need to…

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Barry Rose

Sep. 15, 8:31 a.m.

John - enjoyed the comments from Jawad Miam, and his reference to Adam Smith’s ‘The Wealth of Nations’. His description of the New Normal seems to mirror what Dr. Ben Hunt has been writing in his Epsilon Theory newsletter, an excellent (and free) publication. Thanks for including Jawad’s views, and for your efforts to cover lots of ground in your newsletters. We appreciate it.

JOSEPH HAGEDORN

Sep. 15, 5:45 a.m.

It is good to know jobs are coming back to the U.S.  In about 2000, I learned from a relative (a Canadian citizen) that home prices in Canada were much higher than in the U.S.  I wonder why the bubble has not burst in Canada.  Why are the Canadian banks having problems?  I thought Canada had reformed its economy. 

It is a continual battle to keep good health.  I used to travel 50-75% mostly by car.  It was hard to find exercise facilities in hotels/motels.  When I was in my late 40s I lifted 65 lb weights that I carried in my car.  I ran and lifted weights when home. I will be 79 on Sept 29 and took up weights and running again after heart blockage and stents in 2001 and pacemaker and prostate cancer in 2003 (radiation, hormone blocker and now testosterone to restore me to good bone health).  Weight is a constant battle.  I will soon achieve the weight I was when I graduated from college and was in the U.S. Army the first time.  A reduction of 69 lb.  I was stuck at a 57 lb reduction until I learned some nutritionists no longer recommend whole wheat bread, because the calories are worse than the small amount of fiber benefit.  As soon as I eliminated two pieces of whole wheat bread per day with lots of margarine and jam, I lost another seven pounds.  No alcohol.  I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, mostly organic, stopped all processed foods except olives, egg beaters, Greek yogurt and milk as best as I can recall, do not use canned food (coatings may cause cancer and excess Estradiol), do not eat meat (too much bad fat), use Egg Beaters and eat plain salmon daily cooked in homemade soup (I like the flavor of salmon without anything added).  I prepare my own vegetable soup daily with many organic vegetables.  I keep the soup overnight in the refrigerator, add to it as needed, and reheat daily; no spices or salt except onion, garlic and 1/2 of 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. 

This is what I have to do to stay healthy as I age and lose my immunity to infection and disease and other health problems.  I probably should do even more.

William Maddaford

Sep. 14, 10:12 p.m.

I agree with John that Canadians are obsessed with houses and condos. (I am Canadian) One of the reasons is that “Principal residences”  are exempt from capital gains tax. That appeals to Canadians. However, the financial repression by the Bank of Canada has driven real estate into a bubble with people loading up on debt to finance the huge mortgages required. It is hard to see how it can end in anything but tears. I find it fascinating that 4 out of 5 bank CEO’s have retired early this year. I live offshore for a lot of the year so missed that.

jerry murphy

Sep. 14, 4:07 p.m.

Two of the Cdn bank CEO’s were well over 60 years of age when they retired - hardly youngish. Somebody needs to do their homework - Google is good for that. On a more general note American commentators have been clueless about the Canadian economy for years, but I guess if you’re a bear long enough eventually things swing your way. Seeing everything through an American prism has its limitations.

Craig Cheatum

Sep. 14, 2:20 p.m.

Hey John, thanks for pointing out the positive manufacturing cost trends (lower costs) developing in the US and China.

harry.moser@comcast.net

Sep. 14, 2:20 p.m.

John wrote “Why not bring that manufacturing home – which is what we are seeing?” 
For details on manufacturing coming home, otherwise known as reshoring, see www.reshorenow.org.  The U.S. has gone from losing about 150,000 manufacturing jobs/year in 2003 to net zero loss in 2013.