Thoughts From the Frontline, January 2011

A Bubble in Complacency

January 29, 2011

This week I had the privilege of being on the same panel with former Comptroller General David Walker and former Majority Leader (and presidential candidate) Richard Gephardt. A Democrat to the left of me and a self-declared nonpartisan to the right, stuck in the middle and not knowing where the unrehearsed conversation would take us. As it turned out, to a very interesting conclusion, which is the topic of this week’s letter. By way of introduction to those not familiar with them,...

The Unsustainable Meets the Irresistible

January 22, 2011

This week’s letter is a result of two lengthy conversations I had today, which have me in a reflective mode. Plus, I finished the last, final edits of my book, all of which is causing me to mull over the unsustainability of the US fiscal situation. There is a true Endgame here, and it may happen before we are ready.

The first conversation was with Kyle Bass, Richard Howard, and Peter Mauthe, over lunch (more on Peter, who has come to work with me, below). Kyle is the head of Hayman Advisors,...

Thinking the Unthinkable

January 15, 2011

Last week, in the first part of my annual forecast, I suggested that 2011 would be better than Muddle Through, with GDP growth in the US north of 2.5%. World GDP growth should be even better. This week we look at what I see as the real downside risks to that prediction. Oddly enough, the risks are not in the US but on the other side of both our oceans, in Europe and China. Plus, we will visit a few other items, assuming we have space (Bernanke’s recent speech just screams for some...

Forecast 2011: Better than Muddle Through

January 7, 2011

It is time once again to throw caution and wisdom to the wind and actually make my 11th annual forecast. I have to admit this is the most stressful letter I write each year. I do at least 5-10 times more research and thinking about this issue than any other. On a positive note, this may be one of the more optimistic forecast letters I have done in a long time. But there are some asterisks, as always. We will survey the world, trying to peer through the fog of the future. There are some very...

Special Offer: Free Issue of Browning Newsletter

January 7, 2011

Browning Newsletter

For those who wish to subscribe you can go to and either use PayPal or use a credit card. This is clearly not a letter for everyone, but for those of us who try to get a look at all the pieces of the puzzle as we figure out what the picture is, this is a latter which allows us to look at a piece which is often ignored, but is very important. It is very technical, and the initial reading may seem complex, but over time Ibn Browning’s daughter, Evelyn, has been able...