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Over My Shoulder

Ray Dalio: “Populism: The Phenomenon”

March 24, 2017

Okay, it's late at night and this report has shown up from a couple sources. It's Ray Dalio's most recent Bridgewater report, and this time it's a 61-page historical examination of populist movements. In more gory detail than you might want to know. I skimmed it and determined that I'm going to read it, but I've already taken my sleeping pills and know that I won't be functional in 30 minutes, and this one is going to take more than 30 minutes. Populism is a big deal in our time. I think we need to understand it, and Dalio is graciously doing our homework for us on all the other major popular movements of the last 200 years, how they developed, and what happened. Of course, as far as I can tell, he doesn't come up with a @#$%$#3 solution or an analysis of what all that history means for us today – maybe it's buried in some paragraph deep in those 61 pages. But for those of us who are history buffs and trying to figure out what the hell is going on in the wide wide world of populism, this is going to be a serious few hours' read.
I normally don't pass Dalio's material along as they are very proprietary about it, but when it's already out there this far, I think my OMS readers should get a shot at it as well. If you're interested. I would be interested to know if you like things like this. In fact, I think we're going to try to put a "Like" on my Over My Shoulder postings so I can get a sense of what you like and don't like. I did get a lot of comments on my last few thought pieces, which kind of surprised me, so I'm going to put out more of them, but it would be good to know how many of you like them. I need feedback, dammit. I want to give you what you want, but I can guarantee you I am reading 20 times more than what you're seeing. Maybe we should even split OMS up into two groups who get pieces with a different emphasis, or can elect to choose both, so that you don't get overwhelmed with stuff you don't want. Give us your feedback and thoughts. I do this for you.

Download - Bridgewater~Dalio~Populism~3.22.2017.pdf

Steve Blumenthal: “On My Radar: A High Probability Way to Forecast Recession”

March 21, 2017

My friend Steve Blumenthal writes an excellent letter that is always packed with charts. Note that the global recession probability indicator is low (from Ned Davis) but that it can change quite quickly. And pay attention to the Grantham chart toward the end of the letter.

Download - cmgwealth.com-On_My_Radar_A_High_Probability_Way_to_Forecast_Recession_Recession_No_Sign_Just_Yet.pdf

Bob Lefsetz: “Attention”

March 14, 2017

OK, if you were actually looking over my shoulder, you would have noticed that I've read this piece about every other day for the last two weeks. It is theoretically about the music business, but it is actually about everything. I find it helpful as I think about my own business, and so I thought I would pass it along. I hope it is worth at least one read for you.

Download - Attention.pdf