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    Outside the Box, August 2011

    Are the Housing GSEs and TBTF Banks Blocking the Economic Recovery?

    August 29, 2011

    This week your Outside the Box offers two views, one from the US and one from Europe, both dealing with banks and financing. First, back in July, my friend Chris Whalen at Institutional Risk Analytics wrote an important comment about how the situation in the housing market is blocking efforts by the Fed to stabilize the US economy. IRA is a rating agency that follows every US bank and consults for a number of large commercial and governmental institutions on bank performance and risk.

    ...

    The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

    August 26, 2011

    Take a good look at the image below. You'll see how a picture is not only worth a thousand words, but can explain the success of an entire nation. Crops to rivers, rivers to ports – the trade foundation of a country can be summarized in a single image. Sure it stirs up memories of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and the Mighty Mississippi, but this is the foundation of the US as a global power and a fascinating look at the backbone of the American economy. 



    http://media.stratfor.com/files/mmf/d/e/de5881d73ea2615897ac2f1bde6fe9c23c38c8cb.jpg

    We all remember junior high...

    Dynamic Economic Decision Making

    August 23, 2011

    This week’s Outside the Box is from my good friend John Silvia, the Chief Economist at Wells Fargo and fishing buddy in Maine. He has written a powerhouse book called Dynamic Economic Decision Making: Strategies for Financial Risk, Capital Markets, and Monetary Policy.

    Combining three intellectual disciplines – economics, business, and decision making – that have traditionally been taught separately, Dynamic Economic Decision Making forges a new path that redefines...

    Der Spiegel Interview with George Soros

    August 15, 2011

    This week's Outside the Box is in the tradition of showing the other side of the argument. Normally, anything George Soros says or does politically has my blood pressure up about 20 points. Yet, I posted another piece of his today in Over My Shoulder – and then ran across this longer piece from Der Spiegel. Note this is from a dedicated Europhile wanting to save the euro. He succintly outlines what must be done if it is to be saved, and does it as well as anyone. (I know that among my readers...

    The Geopolitics of Brazil: An Emergent Power’s Struggle with Geography

    August 11, 2011

    Just last week in Thoughts from the Frontline, we discussed the relative valuations of emerging markets. Any discussion of an emerging market is incomplete without understanding the underlying geopolitical forces that guide behaviors of countries and often predetermine the outcome of events. 

Today I'm sending you STRATFOR's geopolitical analysis of Brazil, a much-discussed emerging market. This is a long read, but it's the most thorough and enlightening analysis I've seen thus far on how the...

    Breakfast with Dave

    August 8, 2011

    The question we will ask ourselves in 20 years is, “Where were you when they downgraded the US and the Fed?” This week’s Outside the Box is from David Rosenberg. He has made his letter public and graciously given me permission (at 34,000 feet ) to send it to you.

    I thought about writing an immediate response to this weekend’s events but decided to wait and meditate on what has transpired. Clearly, we are at the beginning of the Endgame. And that saddens me. The events of the weekend were...

    Entitlement Bandits

    August 2, 2011

    This week’s Outside the Box is guaranteed to upset you. It is about Medicare fraud. Warning: it was written by a very conservative analyst and is “pro” the Ryan plan. I want you to read it not because I am trying to get you to support the Ryan plan but to get a handle on the size of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and just how easy it is to perpetrate.

    There may well be better ways than the Ryan plan as advocated here, but something must be done. Want to cut spending by $1 trillion in ten years?...