Outside the Box, December 2016

Dalio on Trump

December 21, 2016

I have never had the pleasure of meeting Ray Dalio, although I have talked with many people who work with him, and I make it a point to read everything he writes that I can get my hand on. (His outfit, Bridgewater Associates, is notoriously guarded about letting their writings out. I know for a fact that many folks at Bridgewater read my letter – which is admittedly free and certainly doesn’t come with the gravitas of running $150 billion – but in the spirit of the Christmas season I wonder if...

Italy’s Day of Reckoning Is Coming

December 14, 2016

Italy has a new government, and Matteo Renzi is not in charge of it. The former prime minister kept his word and resigned following his constitutional reform plan’s crushing defeat at the polls. Is all now well in that beautiful land?

Not exactly, though we did see a glimmer of hope this week. Unicredit, Italy’s largest bank, announced job cuts and asset sales that may buy it some time. This does not, however, mean the crisis is over. At best, it means the beginning of the crisis is over. We...

Putting the Boot into Italy

December 7, 2016

When Charles Gave, paterfamilias of Gavekal, chooses to express displeasure over an economic trend, an asset class, or what have you, he does not exactly mince words. If you happen to be in the room when he does so, he can sound like the Voice of God Himself, declaring from on high. And with his longish flowing white hair, he actually looks like central casting setting over to play the part.

Today Charles is exercised about Italy. He first reminds us that when Italy adopted the euro in 1999,...