Outside the Box, March 2011


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What Happened to the American Declaration of War?

March 31, 2011

You're probably aware by now that I'm an avid reader of the global intelligence company STRATFOR. But this piece by their founder George Friedman is truly exceptional. If you're an American voter, interested in politics, or anyone interested in or affected by U.S. military actions (in other words, everyone), you should read this article. Why has no one else asked this question? And, as George points out, if this one part of the Constitution can be so repeatedly and publicly ignored by...

The Confidence Game

March 29, 2011

This week’s Outside the Box is a little different. It’s a stroll down history lane and thoughts on confidence, from Grant Williams, in the form of an introduction to his letter Things that Make You Go Hmmm. Grant currently resides in Singapore, and I find him a very thoughtful read and a wonderful resource. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

And for those interested, I think I am scheduled to be on Marketplace on your local NPR Radio station on Tuesday, which is today for most readers. Good to be back...

Japan, the Persian Gulf, and Energy

March 17, 2011

The Prime Minister of Japan recently stated that his nation was facing its worst crisis since World War II. While most of the world is focused on tragic images of floodwater and rubble, and fixated on radiation levels, there is a bigger picture to be examined – one that also includes energy, coal and the Strait of Hormuz.

Human nature draws our focus to the present. We look for immediate repercussions to a devastating world event. But the real advantage lies in understanding the broader...

Game Changer

March 14, 2011

This week we look at another except from Ed Easterling’s gonzo book on stock market return projections, called Probable Outcomes. This section is entitled “Game Changer,” and it is that and more. (Again, thanks to Ed for letting us read his work!)

“Game Changer” is a thought-provoking, somewhat detailed analysis, with two major surprises. The first is that GDP growth was well below average last decade (a trend that could continue this decade); and second, slowing growth has a substantial...

The Cognitive Dissonance of It All

March 7, 2011

I get a lot of client letters from various managers and funds, as you might imagine. I read more than I should. But one that shows up every quarter or so makes me stop what I am doing and sit down and read. It is the quarterly letter from Hayman Advisors, based here in Dallas. They are macro guys (which I guess is part of the magnetic attraction for me), and they really put some thought into their craft and have some of the best sources anywhere. So today we take a look at their latest...

The Complexity of Persian Gulf Unrest

March 3, 2011

While the world's attention was (and still is) on the fighting in Libya, George Friedman – founder of a global intelligence company called STRATFOR – told his employees to watch the tiny island of Bahrain. Libya's protests are more violent, but the unrest in Bahrain, he said, will have much stronger strategic implications.

It's easy to look at the news event that makes the most noise (and makes for good television). It's much more critical to pay attention to the event that, depending on its...

Want a New Cardiovascular System?

March 1, 2011

This week’s Outside the Box is again a little unusual. Some of you will think, “There goes Mauldin again, dreaming of a brave new world of biotech.” Except this time the brave new world is here. My friend Pat Cox of Breakthrough Technology Alert has written a piece for me on what he and I think is potentially one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the last few decades. Normally I don’t mention specific companies, but in this case we can’t talk about the breakthrough without...