Outside the Box, January 2017

Is NATO Obsolete?

January 20, 2017

Inauguration is in the air here in Washington. While we all wonder what Donald Trump will say in his first speech as President, I find myself thinking of other inaugural addresses in light of today’s issues.

One that comes to mind is Thomas Jefferson’s 1801 speech. In stating that peaceful relations with other countries were one of our “essential principles,” Jefferson spoke that now-famous line, that the US seeks “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances...

Howard Marks on Expert Opinion

January 11, 2017

In a week when I have once more gone out on the old limb, in last weekend’s Thoughts from the Frontline, to bring you my forecast for the new year, and when I’m also sharing with readers of my Over My Shoulder service the tea-leaf skryings of some of the boldest and brightest among my fellow economic prognosticators, I’m feeling a need to use today’s Outside the Box to redress the balance a bit.

Thus, I have for you today a piece by legendary investor Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree...

Two Views on the New Year from Across the Pond

January 6, 2017

In today’s Outside the Box we’ll continue with our traditional New Year’s forecasting theme, but we’ll look to a couple of European voices – or I guess, especially considering the Brexit vote, I should just call them English voices.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in the London Telegraph, see a rather less optimistic 2017 than the one I’m hoping for, but we have to acknowledge that he may be correct. His title pretty much says it all: “Trump, interest rates and Chinese panic: Why euphoria...