Let's have a thought game. What if the Eurozone breaks up? My friend and very serious philosophical thinker Charles Gave (of GaveKal) thinks that would be a positive event. To quote his conclusion:
"But we return to the most simple of questions, namely: Was the end of the USSR a negative event? When Americans stopped wasting capital building empty condos in Florida or Arizona, was that bad news? If, like us, our reader answers "no" to the above questions, then the Greek crisis should be seen as a reason for hope, rather than despair."
Now, that is a truly Outside the Box proposition and one which I found very compelling. His partner, Anatole Kaletsky, elsewhere argues that the ECB will enlarge their mandate to try and save the day by printing enormous sums of money, ultimately making things worse.
The team at GaveKal gave me permission to share this with you, as I think it deserves a wide audience. Warning: the first part is philosophical in nature. You will need to think through it. This is not one for speed reading. But if you grasp what he is saying, I think it will give you a major insight into the plight that is now engulfing Europe. Note. Even though Marc Faber calls the GaveKal team "euro perma-bears" GaveKal is mostly quite bullish on everything else. They always seem to find the bright side of the street to walk on, or at least a few spots in the sun in which to sit.
Read this and learn why the break-up of Europe might be a bullish event. As I said, Outside the Box is for ideas that challenge the status quo, and this, if anything, does just that.
This week in Outside the Box, Louis-Vincent Gave, Charles Gave, Anatole Kaletsky, and company of GaveKal Research delve into the underlying misconceptions that presumes money velocity is and will remain constant, in the equation that says MV = PQ (Money*Velocity = Prices*Quantity) when M is increased. GaveKal Research strive to show that in application this relationship does not hold, and that investors ought to look to velocity to rebound to gauge market recovery or further deterioration. This is an important concept and holds major implications for the inflation debate.
GaveKal venture on to address the Banking crisis in England, how Mervin King & Co. at the BoE responded to the Northern Rock debacle, and why the appropriate response was hindered by political malaise than by BoE incompetence, though mind you there was some to speak of. Furthermore, the Fed 50bps reduction is taken to light on account of the uncertainty of whether such (and potentially further) reductions will prevent the economy from falling into recession.
GaveKal further discusses how the dollar breaching record lows, will affect the inflationary pressures in China, and how the dollar is affecting the oil markets, which happen to be denominated in dollars. I have attached below graphs of the Euro/Dollar conversion rate, and the current (WTI) cost of oil.
Finally, my publisher is running an advertisement for my friends at International Living. I normally don't think abut the ads, but this one is interesting in that it is two years for the normal one year price for a publication that I enjoy. If you travel or think about living somewhere else, this is a good place for information, or to just dream. Enjoy your week.
My friends have at GaveKal have been whale watching for some time. But not for Blue whales or in an ocean. There theory is that Central banks keep throwing dynamite (in terms of liquidity) into the ocean during credit problems, watching little fish die and don't stop until a whale floats to the surface, thereby giving a signal that the credit crisis is close to being over. They think they have spotted that whale.
This week in a very interesting and decidedly different Outside the Box, Charles Gave writes about the current liquidity crisis and the problems surfacing in England. Remember, it was problems in Asia and then Russia that created the problems in 1998. We should all pay attention to what is going on. Are there more whales getting ready to float to the top?
Today's "Outside the Box" will be one of the more controversial pieces that I have sent out over the past year. My long-term readers are well aware of my views on oil and energy, yet despite my beliefs, I find it valuable to read thoughts from those who have different views. These challenging view points come from my good friend, the very intelligent and always thought-provoking Charles Gave.
Charles is one of the co-founders of GaveKal, a global investment research and management firm that provides an array of financial services worldwide. They are best known for their study of monetary policy, fiscal policies, secular trends, technical analysis and asset class valuations which they use to form a unique perspective on the relationship between the financial markets and the global economy. In his article, "Oil: Will the Malthusian View Carry the Day?" Charles postulates that the price of oil could fall over the next several years. He defends his position with some teaching on the dynamics of energy, a review of historical cycles, and some thoughts on alternatives. I agree that there will be large energy substations, for which he makes a solid case, but I disagree with his conclusion that the price of oil will permanently drop. I think that the growth of the world GDP and thus the need for energy and oil will offset the energy substitution he outlines.
Charles goes on further to describe a commodity of which has been far less volatile than oil and has never had a down month since 2001 and one in which he thinks has great potential in the future. (I won't spill the beans on what it is just yet.)
My aim is that you will broaden your understanding and gain insight as a result of reading a contrarian's perspective. Enjoy this week's Outside the Box.