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Outside the Box, May 2013

Are We There Yet?

May 28, 2013

Vitaliy Katsenelson is a modern-day American success story, the kind we need more of. He grew up in Murmansk, in the extreme northwest corner of Russia, north of the Arctic Circle and close to the Finnish border. He says he barely escaped a career in the engine rooms of Russian Navy vessels when his family wrangled a visa to emigrate to the US in 1991.

He finished high school here, knocked out a BA in finance at the University of Colorado at Denver, and followed up with an MS in finance and...

Can Two Senators End “Too Big To Fail’?

May 20, 2013

I am often on a panel or at dinner with Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture), and he will remark, "I am going to have to rethink my position – I agree with John, and that can't be right." While I don't share that bias, I do agree with Barry about his recent take on legislation – which might actually pass – that would deal with too-big-to-fail banks in the US. Barry's latest take on that issue is this week's Outside the Box.

I have not written all that much on the topic lately, other than to say...

Geopolitical Journey: Europe, the Glorious and the Banal

May 14, 2013

Standing at the edge of the old world and the beginning of the new one, at the tip of Portugal, Stratfor's George Friedman is moved by the exploits of 15th-century European explorers and dismayed by the present fear pervading the Continent that "any decisive action will tear the place apart."

Europeans wreaked much havoc as they spread throughout the world, but they also "left as [their] legacy something extraordinary: a world that knew itself and all of its parts." But now, George asks,...

Is Abenomics Going to Put Japan Back on the Map?

May 8, 2013

In a special Outside the Box today, Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist for Money Morning, dissects "Abenomics," the radical, not to say outlandish, fiscal moves that the newly installed government of Japan is making. And Keith has a ringside seat: he spends much of each year in Japan.

In an attempt to cut the Japanese a little slack, Keith comes up with four things that will have to happen for Abenomics to work – but when all is said and done, he says, Abenomics is a recipe for...