Thoughts from the Frontline: Tag = "maudlin"

The Coming Supercyclical Crisis
  • June 14, 2024

The Coming Supercyclical Crisis

You know I’m highly concerned about government debt in the developed world, particularly the US. I’ve said for years a crisis is coming. We’ve blown right past all our chances to avoid it. Now all we can do is imagine what the crisis will look like… and how much it will hurt.

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Geopolitical Breakdown
  • June 7, 2024

Geopolitical Breakdown

I’m writing you from Cape Town, South Africa, where I’ve been warmly welcomed and reminded how much I enjoy international travel (well, except for jet lag!). Our world has so many wonders most people never get to experience. Of course, “there’s no place like home,” but seeing other places makes me happy, too.

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Inflationary Perceptions
  • May 31, 2024

Inflationary Perceptions

A quandary of writing a weekly letter is I notice myself saying the same things repeatedly. Something comes to mind as I write, I start to include it, and then I vaguely remember, “Wait, didn’t I say that last month/quarter/year?” I check and sure enough, it’s right there. Should I say it again?

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Artificially Intelligent
  • May 24, 2024

Artificially Intelligent

When new inventions turn into market frenzies, the contrarian part of me wants to be skeptical. But the optimistic part of me wants it to be true, especially when the idea promises to change life for the better. Reality is usually somewhere in between. And that, I suspect, is where the current artificial intelligence frenzy will go.

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An Inflation Conversation
  • May 17, 2024

An Inflation Conversation

Sometimes two seemingly opposite things can be true at the same time. Right now, we can correctly say inflation is both a) better than it was and b) higher than it should be.

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Chinese Exceptionalism
  • May 10, 2024

Chinese Exceptionalism

Any way you care to measure it, the United States has the world’s largest economy. It is not, however, the fastest-growing economy. And growth rates matter because, other things being equal, a faster-growing economy might eventually challenge US leadership. China is doing so now. Where is this going? That was a frequent topic at this year’s SIC.

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Liminal Space
  • May 3, 2024

Liminal Space

I’m entering my annual post-SIC decompression period. I say that only half-jokingly. The last two weeks were my version of a dive deep into the sea, where you see shocking things and endure crushing pressure. The weeks of preparation are fun, but the sheer volume of information creates its own kind of pressure. You don’t just shift back into normal life after that. Like diving into deep water, you have to come up and adjust slowly.

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When Absolute Returns Are Not Absolute
  • April 26, 2024

When Absolute Returns Are Not Absolute

This week is part two of our conversation about alternative investments. As I pointed out last week, this space has evolved into a distinct asset class of its own. I believe investors need to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of investing in alternatives.

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There Is No Alternative
  • April 19, 2024

There Is No Alternative

Today, we look at the world of “alternative investing.” I put it in quotes because this was originally a somewhat pejorative term. Back in the 1960s (and maybe before?), brokers sold you stocks and bonds, saying that was how smart people invested. Of course, by pure coincidence, they sold these securities at markups and commissions that would choke a horse by today’s standards.

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Dividends on Offense
  • April 12, 2024

Dividends on Offense

This week continues our series on dividends and dividend growth stocks. This is one part of my strategy to try to get through what I see as a coming crisis by the end of the decade with as much of my buying power as intact as possible.

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