Economic Analysis

2003 Forecast

Thoughts from the Frontline

January 11, 2003

We cover the globe, currencies, the US economy, bonds, stocks, deflation, inflation, gold, oil and more!

For the last three years, making annual predictions has been relatively easy, at least as compared to this year. You try to discern the dominant theme for the year and then everything else usually flows from there. In 2000, it was an over-valued stock market. In August of 2000, the interest rate yield curve went negative, and as I wrote at length at the time, Federal Reserve studies...

Collectivized Risks

Thoughts from the Frontline

January 3, 2003

This week we are in for a very special edition of the Millennium Wave Online. I have persuaded my good friend Bill Bonner of Daily Reckoning fame to give us a special preview of his new book "The Soft Depression of the 21st Century: How to Survive the Crisis of Degenerate, Mass Capitalism," (working title) due out in September. In it, he and fellow Daily Reckoneer Addison Wiggin, argue that popular democracy, aging populations and bad economic theories doom the US and other Western economies...

Whose Investment Prediction Should You Believe?

Thoughts from the Frontline

December 27, 2002

"The ability to see that some things cannot be foreseen is a very necessary quality." -- Jean Jacque Rousseau.

It's the season when so many analysts participate in a group masochistic ritual: the annual yearly predictions. Like lemmings, they rush to the edge and leap. That they are so often wrong does not seem to deter them from making the same mistake the next year. And there they differ from lemmings, in that they live to repeat the act every year.

Why Demographics Tell Us the Market Will Fall

Thoughts from the Frontline

December 20, 2002

As we come to the close of the year, my Christmas gift to you is an analysis of some very interesting research on the connection between demographics and the stock market. It falls in line with much of our recent investigations, and adds a further piece to the puzzle as to where the eventual bottom of the stock market lies and when we might get there. For most investors, knowing where the stock market is going and when it will get there might be useful. Then I show you how you can get involved...

The Doom and Gloom Fed

Thoughts from the Frontline

December 13, 2002

Today we explore the very interesting differences between what the Fed told us about its last interest rate cut and what they actually said in the meeting. Then we look at my analysis of how Japan can have deflation when the money supply grows 21%, which will annoy the gold bugs among my readership. Then we look at why gold is really going up, and why it will continue to do so, which will make gold bugs happy. All that and more, as along the way we look at why it is so hard to predict anything...

Fighting Deflation at Point Blank Range

Thoughts from the Frontline

December 6, 2002

My letter last week on Fed Governor Bernanke's speech drew a great deal of comment from readers. I still read every one of your letters to me, even though I cannot answer them all.

Bill Gross of Pimco fame also weighed in on the implications of the speech this last week. Because I think this speech represents a defining moment for investors and our economy, we are going to touch upon points of it again, but from a different angle. I shall attempt to show why I disagree with some of the...

What the Fed Believes

Thoughts from the Frontline

November 28, 2002

Today we are going to look at a very important speech by new Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke. I think this is one of the more important letters I have written in a while. The speech has received a lot of publicity for some of it's speculations about potential Fed policy. Some seem to find very dire and immediate negative implications in the speech. I, frankly, do not.

However, I do think the speech is important because it gives us insight into the nature of the operational (and...

Sucker Rally or New Bull?

Thoughts from the Frontline

November 22, 2002

Today we are going to look at the world economy, muse on why the dollar is holding its own and when and why it will drop. Then I make a few comments on the current stock market rally. Finally, in a departure from the normal letter, I am going to close the regular e-letter, but add a PS in the form of an essay on the risk of derivatives for those who find the subject interesting.

The US Muddles Through

The world economy is clearly not healthy. Let's look at the US, and then we will go...

Will You Be Able To Retire?

Thoughts from the Frontline

November 15, 2002

Today we turn our attention to the question of retirement: Will the Boomer Generation be able to retire on time? Will Social Security go bankrupt? Is Harry Dent in his book The Roaring 2000s right when he asserts that we will have a boom until approximately 2008-9 because Boomers are saving and spending? And then watch as things go bust (an actual depression) because Boomers start selling stocks and retiring?

Valuation Madness

Thoughts from the Frontline

November 8, 2002

This week we will look at a fascinating debate between two well-known investment analysts, I show you how to spot a stock market cheerleader, and ponder the significance (if any) of what the surprising GOP win of the Senate portends for our investments.

I am on the road as I begin to write this week's letter, speaking at the National Endowments and Foundations Symposium on the prospects for the economy and the markets for the coming year. Interestingly, when I spoke at this conference last...