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    Thoughts From the Frontline, June 2011

    The Contagion Risk of Europe

    June 25, 2011

    I am back from Europe. The last three weeks I spent quite a bit of time talking with money managers and investors from a lot of countries, as well as numerous locals about the European situation. This week’s letter is a collection of my thoughts, as I recover from jet lag. I expect the letter will thus be shorter than usual, but hopefully a few pithy comments will emerge. But first…

    As you know, I am a firm believer that the state of the global economy is such that we as investors have to be...

    Could the Eurozone Break Up?

    June 17, 2011

    Is it possible for the Eurozone to break up? It was so inconceivable when they formed it that there is nothing in the treaty that mentions a member leaving or being removed; but now, if we’re to be honest with ourselves, we need to think about how that would work. This Friday finds me in Kiev for the first time ever, with my youngest son, Trey; and the small tour we went on last night was fascinating. Since I know not if I will ever get to this fascinating city again, I am going to write a...

    Time to Get Outraged

    June 10, 2011

    This week we look at data from the Bank of International Settlements, by which (if someone does a lot of work) you can figure out how much US banks have written in credit default swaps to banks in Europe on Greek, Irish, and Portuguese debt. The details should not make you happy. I meditate on whether one should buy a house now, and then discuss “the way out” of all this mess and why we will Muddle Through. Oh, and I’ll ask you for help on yet another book project, on creating jobs....

    Economic Whiplash

    June 3, 2011

    Do you feel as if you are suffering from some sort of economic whiplash? Between focusing on the European crisis (and it is a crisis), then looking at softening data in the US and political turmoil in Japan, not to mention the Middle East, you can be forgiven for feeling like someone just slammed into the back of your “economic recovery car.” This week we look at today’s US employment numbers, then at a troubling slowing of economic velocity, precisely at a time when it should be...