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Eating the Inner Organs of Beasts and Fowls

January 14, 2016

31 Comments

Mr. Leopold Bloom was clearly given to sensuous pleasures but he wasn’t entirely immune to the pleasures of the mind. Following yesterday’s market action, most of us probably feel the need to scale back a little from our sensuous pleasures, such as eating the “inner organs of beasts and fowls”, and give more weight to reflective […]

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These are the times that try men’s souls.

April 13, 2013

21 Comments

I recently spent some time in a flyover state and had some surprising discussions with people who, despite their extreme views, appeared in every other respect to represent the solid heartland of America. By that I mean they were not rednecks, but rather, enterprising, middle class, church going citizens with strong family values. They included […]

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Investors At The Edge Of The Fiscal Cliff

December 5, 2012

6 Comments

The fiscal cliff is a combination of large spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to be automatically enacted at the start of 2013. There is nothing unusual about any of these spending cuts and tax changes in isolation, but it’s the sheer number of them happening simultaneously at the beginning of next year that’s […]

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Experiments In Living

November 6, 2012

19 Comments

I recently came across the following quotation from Edmund Burke (1729-1797) – “For us to love our country, our country must be lovely.” and for some reason it has been bouncing around in my head ever since. However, I finally realized that I did not like the word ‘lovely’, because it reminded me too closely of […]

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Naive and Sophisticated Economics

October 30, 2012

40 Comments

Imagine a financial planner who tricked his or her clients into behaviors that were against their long-term best interests, encouraging them to spend, when years of overspending had left them in perilous financial shape, and scheming to have them sell their safe, conservative assets and instead, have them invest their funds in unsuitable risky assets. Furthermore, what if […]

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Does Anarchy Have A Bad Rap?

October 23, 2012

19 Comments

The other day someone tried to cut in line at my local Starbucks and although it was probably unintentional, the sense of outrage from the other customers was palpable. It was as if customers had suffered a grievous personal blow, and it was not directed at their grande mocha cookie crumble frappuccino. Their sense of fairness […]

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The Future Of Currencies

October 12, 2012

16 Comments

In an earlier post I wrote about the likelihood of continued market volatility as asset prices veered back and forth between the effects of monetary stimulus and the deflationary forces unleashed by a generational deleveraging event. In this tug-of-war between the forces of inflation (money printing) and deflation (deleveraging) the dollar is the medium through which […]

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A Little Rebellion Now And Then Is A Good Thing

September 24, 2012

10 Comments

I often have cause to drive from Nevada to California on interstate 15 and so have been stopped innumerable times by the California Fruit Border Control, and asked where I am coming from and whether I have any fruit in my car. The ostensible purpose of these checkpoints is to protect California from exotic invasive species. While there are […]

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The Unintended Consequences Of Human Action

September 20, 2012

6 Comments

With QE3 the Federal Reserve has initiated another massive round of money printing, buying $40 billion worth of mortgage securities while continuing to reinvest its income from the securities  purchased during QE1 and QE2. In addition the Fed has changed the emphasis of its mandate, from targeting price stability to making itself responsible for employment, promising […]

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Abundance Or Stagnation?

August 20, 2012

10 Comments

This morning I congratulated a client on the successful surgery she underwent to replace one of her knees. At 82 she was delighted to be pain free and resume her regular activities after years of degenerative arthritis. She described the technology used in the operation in almost reverential terms. Truly, we are living in an amazing world, full of wonderful possibilities. Technology in […]

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Eating Fried Chicken Reduces Breast Cancer

August 13, 2012

3 Comments

Starbucks will give me 10 cents off  my next drink if I bring in a reusable tumbler and save a paper cup.  Their advertising blurb encourages me to think of the effect on the environment if thousands of people traded their paper cups for Starbucks’ reusable mugs.  Retailers are feeling increasingly charitable these days.  The […]

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Pickled Onions and Thatched Cottages

July 26, 2012

4 Comments

I’m writing this while on vacation in England, in a beautiful thatched cottage in Devon, built in the early 1700’s. There’s no internet so it is easy to ignore unsettling news from the outside world, the Batman massacre, Eurozone concerns and Middle Eastern turmoil. The setting, gardens and décor are idyllic.  The cottage has seen witchcraft […]

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Human Nature – Take Your Pick

July 7, 2012

9 Comments

Sinceritus: People are basically good. Most of the world’s problems could be solved if only we all learned to act a little less selfishly. It just comes down to education and changing the environment, so we can help make people better. Economicus: I disagree with your basic premise. Man is an imperfect, selfish, fallible creature […]

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Bond Buyers Beware

June 19, 2012

2 Comments

Interest rates fell earlier this month to the lowest level in U.S. history.  The fall in the rate of the 30-year Treasury bond since 1990 alone is 65%. This has happened despite record money printing by the Federal Reserve, which many predicted would lead to rising rates.  However, in an uncertain world, U.S. bonds have […]

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