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    Outside the Box, April 2013

    Debt, Growth, and the Austerity Debate

    April 30, 2013

    Two weeks ago I wrote about the current debate over the 2010 paper by Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart (hereinafter referred to as RR) on the correlation between debt and GDP growth. I said that the most important part of their work, which is the construction of an enormous database on debt and financial crises over the last few hundred years, was to be found in their book This Time Is Different and elsewhere. And their fundamental conclusion: debt is not a problem until it becomes one. And...

    Hoisington Investment Management-Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2013

    April 23, 2013

    Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington launch into their first-quarter "Review and Outlook," this week's Outside the Box, with a statement that some may find eye-opening: "The Federal Reserve (Fed) is not, and has not been, 'printing money'…" But given the facts of life about how money is really created (and destroyed), they are of course right: it's all about the acceleration – or deceleration – in the M2 money supply.

    But there are deeper currents here. For, as Van and Lacy say, "A review of...

    Are Earnings Expectations Realistic?

    April 17, 2013

    In today’s Outside the Box, Sheraz Mian, Director of Research for Zacks Investment Research, gives us a thorough overview of corporate earnings trends for the past several quarters, along with consensus expectations for this year and next. Then he asks,How realistic are these expectations?”

    Not very, he says, and proceeds to tell us why. If we accept his analysis – and he admits right up front that it runs counter to the consensus – then we should be asking ourselves, how does a potential...

    Taking Distortion at Face Value

    April 9, 2013

    Last Friday I was in Sonoma, California, for Mike Shedlock’s investment conference. The weather was grey and gloomy, but the conversation was animated and bright. I was fully engaged the whole day and never more than when John Hussman was speaking, commenting, or asking tough questions. John and I have talked on the phone and corresponded for years but had never met. What a consummate gentleman and scholar. We felt like we had been old friends for years and committed to finding opportunities...