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Tag Archives: Debt

Strongest Economy Ever? I Warned You About Negative Revisions

Over the last 18-months, there has been a continual drone of political punditry touting the success of “Trumponomics” as measured by various economic data points. Even the President himself has several times taken the opportunity to tweet about the “strongest economy ever.” But if it is the “strongest economy ever,” then why the need for aggressive rate cuts which are “emergency measures” to be utilized to offset recessionary conditions? What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and...

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The Fed’s Massive Debt for Equity Swap

“All assets are priced where they are today because of central banks. That’s modern finance — it’s not about psychology or flows anymore, it’s about what the central banks are going to do next.” – Mark Spitznagel Cause and Effect Rene Descartes, a 17th-century mathematician, asked the fundamental question of how causal power functions. He was interested in how things relate to each other in terms of causality and how the thought of an action gets translated into a physical action. The...

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China’s Big Risk(s): Running Out of Room To Tackle

The Chinese simply did what every Economics textbook currently in print says you are supposed to do. When confronted with a downturn, no matter its size you borrow your way through it. In fact, it says the greater the contraction the more you need to lean on finance. The neo-Keynesian model is unyielding on the matter. Using debt to boost aggregate demand in the short run is already tempting fate. But let’s set that aside for a moment. There’s a more basic and bigger problem to consider, one...

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The 5-Mental Traps Investors Are Falling Into Right Now

I recently wrote about the “F.I.R.E.” movement and how it is a byproduct of late-stage bull market cycle. It isn’t just the “can’t lose” ideas which are symptomatic of bullish cycles, but also the actual activities of investors as well. Not surprisingly, the deviation of growth over value has become one of the largest in history. This divergence of the “performance chase” should be a reminder of Benjamin Graham’s immortal warning: “The investor’s chief problem, and even his worst enemy,...

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A Baker’s Dozen of Reasons Not to Worry about Government Debt

(EDIT: It’s not sufficiently clear in the original post, but I wrote this as a sort of compendium of arguments one might use in response to claims that the federal debt is a binding constraint on new spending. I’m not saying these are the best or only reasons to reject the idea that federal government cannot borrow more. I’m saying that these are arguments that seem to have some traction in the mainstream policy world, such that you could use them in a newspaper op-ed or conversation with...

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F.I.R.E. – Ignited By The Bull, Extinguished By The Bear

Do you remember this commercial? The Etrade commercial aired during Super Bowl XLI in 2007. The following year, the financial crisis set in, markets plunged, and investors lost 50%, or more, of their wealth. However, this wasn’t the first time it happened. The same thing happened in late 1999. This commercial was aired 2-months shy of the beginning of the “Dot.com” bust as investors once again believed “investing was as easy as 1-2-3.” Why this trip down...

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Debt & The Failure Of Monetary Policy To Stimulate Growth

A fascinating graphic was recently produced by Oxford Economics showing compounded economic growth rates over time. What should immediately jump out at you is that the compounded rate of growth of the U.S. economy was fairly stable between 1950 and the mid-1980s. However, since then, there has been a rather marked decline in economic growth. The question is, why? This question has been a point of a contentious debate over the last several years as debt and deficit levels in the U.S. have...

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INTERVIEW: Raoul Pal – The Coming Debt-Driven Crisis & Why The Fed Can’t Stop It.

I recently had the privilege to visit with Raoul Pal, the founder of Real Vision, to discuss a variety of topics including: The risk of recession in the U.S. What Trump’s nomination of Judy Shelton to the Fed means. Can you have a gold standard AND zero interest rates. The future of the ECB and monetary policy in Europe The real value of gold. After we stopped rolling tape on the interview Raoul and I kept going and discussed Facebook‘s Libra, cypto currency, and how much you should own. The...

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The One Lesson Investors Should Have Learned From Pension Funds

Just recently I ran a 3-part series on the variety of things individuals believe about saving and investment which is either erroneous or misunderstood. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) The feedback I get when challenging some of the more commonly held beliefs is always interesting. In almost every single case, the arguments against “mathematical realities” comes down to either: An inability, or unwillingness, to sacrifice today to save more for the future, or; A “hope” that markets will continue to...

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Questions About The “Stellar” June Jobs Report (Which Also Confirm The Fed’s Concerns)

On Wednesday, Jerome Powell testified before Congress the U.S. economy is “suffering” from a bout of uncertainty caused by trade tensions and slow global growth. To wit: “Since [the Fed meeting in mid-June], based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.” That outlook, however, would seem to be askew of the recent employment report for June...

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