The Wedge Goes Deeper

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Photo credit: JJMustang_79 via Flickr

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: John Mauldin is off this week on a well-deserved honeymoon vacation. In his place, John asked his longtime colleague and protégé Patrick Watson to write Thoughts from the Frontline. John will be back next week. – Ed D’Agostino, publisher

In last week’s letter, John Mauldin had some harsh words for the Federal Reserve leaders whose hubris pushed us into our current monetary corner. Now, with no good choices left, all we can do is pick the least-bad one.

I could easily pile more criticism on Janet Yellen and the gang, but I have a different question: Why are powerful people so consistently clueless about the harm they inflict on everyone else? We’ll look at some new research for a possible answer.

Then we’ll apply that information to last month’s biggest corporate news story: Amazon’s $13.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods Market. It will have effects way beyond those two companies. You’ll see what I mean shortly. Fair warning: It’s not good news.

First, a little business. John had a fascinating interview at our recent Strategic Investment Conference with Altegris Investments CIO Matt Osborne. Along with the economic outlook, they discussed some personal investments of John’s that he rarely reveals. Due to the nature of those investments, we had to restrict the session to “qualified purchasers.”

If you fit that description but missed the conference, we now have an audio recording, slides, and transcript available. Just follow this link and answer a few questions to see if you qualify. You will then be given direct access to the materials.

Now, on to our story.