Economic Analysis

Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2018

Outside the Box

April 18, 2018

Lacy Hunt is in the very top rank of US economists. He would have made an excellent Fed chairman, if you ask me (no one did who mattered); but he goes on holding down the fort, along with partner Van Hoisington, at Hoisington Investment Management in Austin; and so you and I continue to have the benefit of Lacy and Van’s quarterly updates, which I always feature here in Outside the Box.

Mauldin Alert

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Top Hedge Fund Managers Suddenly...

How to Get Your Tax Weekend Back

Thoughts from the Frontline

April 14, 2018

This weekend millions of Americans and/or their accountants are preparing to file income tax returns. Tax day is an annual event as significant as the Fourth of July – though far less fun.

Fed “Policy Mistakes” – a View from Across the Pond

Outside the Box

April 11, 2018

I have talked at length in recent months about the well-proven limitations of Federal Reserve modeling of the economy. (See for instance “Data-Dependent ... on Imaginary Data.”) And come to think of it, I’ve been on their case for years. The Fed’s predictive capacities are demonstrably abysmal. In today’s Outside the Box, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the intrepid international business editor of the Daily Telegraph of London, joins the fray.

Ambrose’s criticism of the Fed’s current posture on...

Assumptions Equal Problems

Thoughts from the Frontline

April 6, 2018

The future is tantalizing because it is both unknown and unknowable. At best, we can make educated guesses about tomorrow or next year. Sometimes, it’s actually hard to understand what happened in the past, much less to chart how the future might unfold.

Is Risk-Free Really Risk-Free?

Outside the Box

April 4, 2018

In Outside the Box I try to bring you ideas that are, well, outside the box. This is increasingly important as we all find ourselves locked into confined social, political, and economic spaces that prevent us from seeing different perspectives. Often those perspectives are important, and sometimes they’re critical.

If you're looking for the 'next Bitcoin'... You're missing the bigger picture.

Today we will go even further outside the box than usual and consider a thought that is practically unspeakable to many. Is short-term US Treasury debt really “risk-free,” as...

Springtime Chart Fling

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 31, 2018

Here in Texas you know spring is here when our state flower, the bluebonnet, pops up everywhere. I was at the Masters in Augusta last year, and the azaleas were beautiful. But they are cultivated and take a lot of work to bring out their beauty.

Question Your Assumptions

Outside the Box

March 28, 2018

I always thought I would learn more as I grew older. In fact, the opposite is happening: The older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know. Maybe that’s why my search for answers seems to widen and intensify each year.

If you're looking for the 'next Bitcoin'... You're missing the bigger picture.

Our questions differ, but we’re all seeking answers. Our digital technologies, led by search, theoretically make it easy to find answers, too – but they aren’t necessarily the right ones. This is a growing problem. Whatever crazy thing you want to believe, a quick...

Squares, FAANGs, and Stock Valuations

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 23, 2018

Valuing a stock isn’t hard. Each share is worth exactly as much as a buyer offers you when you try to sell. Quite simple. But of course, there’s more to it.

SIC Perspectives

Thoughts from the Frontline

March 18, 2018

It’s been a week and I’m starting to recover from my post-SIC high. It’s a weird feeling. I love SIC, yet processing it all takes time. Imagine one of those brain maps that shows the neurons opening new pathways. That’s what SIC does. It opens connections that I didn’t previously have.

What is up?/Inflation

Outside the Box

March 14, 2018

Folks, John Mauldin is feeling ill today, so this is Patrick Watson jumping in to help. John’s doctor has ordered him to stay in bed and not even think about the economy for 24 hours. He is now snoozing, but before signing off asked me to select today’s Outside the Box story.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to look too far. The prolific Peter Boockvar has a very interesting reaction to today’s Producer Price Index report. I’m skeptical of the rising-inflation narrative. I see inflation in certain...