Bonfire of the Absurdities

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”
– Ecclesiastes 1:2, King James Version (attributed to King Solomon in his old age)

This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.

Wondering if it was just me, I recently sent an appeal to a what became a large number of my friends and fellow writers and analysts, asking for their graphic examples of this paranormal economic activity. Suffice to say, it is not just me who sees absurdities. I received so many responses that I may have to extend this letter another week or two. (Note: This letter will print long, as there are lots of graphs.)

Some of what you’ll see depicted in the following charts originated a decade ago in the Global Financial Crisis – or was caused by the reactions of central bankers to that crisis. The many shocking, previously unimaginable acts by central banks and governments left us so numb that I think we started to simply accept them without much thought. That was our mistake: We must confront the unthinkable, not just shrug our shoulders at it. Because when we have our next crisis, I will bet you dollars to donuts that central banks and governments will react in ways that are even more unthinkable.

Before we get our thinking caps on, let me remind you that early registration is now open for my next Strategic Investment Conference. The dates are March 6-9, 2018, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. We’ll have a wonderful time with an all-star cast including Jeffrey Gundlach, Mark Yusko, John Burbank, Niall Ferguson, and George Gilder. I’m in negotiations with other well-known names, too.

This year we’re making a special effort to sell out the conference as early as we possibly can. I really want to focus my full attention on designing the program and working with the speakers to deliver an outstanding experience. That’s much easier when I don’t have to think about whether there are still unsold seats.

To that end, we’re offering exceptionally generous discounts for early registration. If you’ve already decided to attend, you would do us both a big favor by registering now. You’ll save a few hundred dollars and avoid getting stuck on the waiting list. Click here to register or get more information.

Now on to the bonfire.