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Outside the Box, June 2012

The Futility of European Elections

June 28, 2012

After I sent out this week's OTB on Germany, I remembered this very intriguingly titled piece by my friend George Friedman, founder of a geopolitical analysis company called Stratfor.

The piece was written a few days ago, but when it comes to someone as ahead of the pack as George, who managed to write a book called The Next 100 Years, well, let's just say what he writes is pretty timeless.

The content of this report is as bold and thought-provoking as the title. Some nuggets:

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What Will Germany Do?

June 26, 2012

This week all eyes are on Germany, and the question is "What will Germany do?" We are going to look at four quite-short essays. Two are from GaveKal, one is from Dennis Gartman, and the last is from Kiron Sarkar – all on this very topic.

One of the reasons I really like to read the research from GaveKal is that they are very public when their analysts disagree, and you get to listen to the back and forth. Some of the best analysis I see is when Charles and Louis Gave...

Flirtin’ with Disaster

June 19, 2012

This week I offer a main course, a veritable piece de resistance, for Outside the Box readers, from my friend Rich Yamarone. Rich is Chief Economist for Bloomberg and one really sharp talent. He helps write Bloomberg Brief: Economics, a daily notebook that comes out every business morning with an all-encompassing view of what's happening and will happen.

I have been on stage with him several times recently and have spent even more time with him over dinners. He keeps...

A Conversation on Europe’s Political Economy with George Friedman and John Mauldin

June 14, 2012

My travels last week took me to Austin, and I was able to stop by Stratfor to visit my friend and fellow thinker George Friedman. We had a great discussion about Europe, and luckily he had the wherewithal to video it. It is short for a discussion between George and me, but we got our points in. I think you'll enjoy hearing George's point of view on political economy versus economy, and our back and forth. I don't always agree with him ... but disagreement produces the best conversations. 



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Necessary But Not Sufficient

June 12, 2012

We woke up this weekend to a €100 billion "rescue" of Spanish banks, and the initial reaction of the market was relief. But did we not just see this movie, but with Greek subtitles rather than Spanish? Was this another of those "necessary but not sufficient" plot lines that Europe is so good at? Kick the can down the road and hope for a happy ending?

Pardon my skepticism, but I see numerous problems. In the first place, €100 billion will not be enough. While the...

Macro-EU: The Solution Illusion

June 5, 2012

Nobody, in my book, slices and dices data more thoroughly or convincingly than Greg Weldon. In this week's Outside the Box, he first dispels the illusion that either of the two most-expected outcomes of the growing eurozone crisis is really any kind of a solution – neither expelling Greece nor keeping Greece in the club is going to work, he argues – and then, in a feat of legerdemain, he conjures up an alternative that just might work – and backs up his idea as only Greg can. But is this...