Commentary

Beijing’s Dilemmas

Many analysts project China will soon be larger by GDP than the US—which shouldn’t be so hard with a population four times larger—but it’s not clear to me that China’s seemingly unlimited linear growth will continue three or four more decades. I can remember when the same was said about Japan.

Commentary

Year of the Bookends

Today I’ll continue the annual forecast I began last week. New COVID developments are unfolding rapidly. If we’re lucky, they may carve out a nice bookend for us. But my worry is that rather than bookends it could be economicus interruptus. 2019 was not portending the most robust of economies. What if, in Groundhog Day fashion, we end up back where we were?

Commentary

A Path-Dependent Year—WWJD?

Twenty-two years of tradition dictate I begin the new year by forecasting what lies ahead.

Commentary

Three of My Top Picks for 2022

Thompson Clark sits down with Mauldin Economics publisher Ed D’Agostino to discuss three of his top stock picks for 2022, how inflation could affect his Wealth Accelerator strategy, and how investors can better prepare for the year ahead.

Commentary

Add the Amazon of South Korea to Your Watchlist

For many Americans, between Christmas presents and their regular Amazon (AMZN) deliveries, the number is high. After all, Amazon delivers over 600 million packages a year. That’s a lot of cardboard. Things are a little different in South Korea. The country’s ecommerce powerhouse, Coupang (CPNG), offers all the perks Amazon does, like free delivery. But it takes a “zero packaging” approach, with 75% of deliveries arriving in reusable packages.

Commentary

Coming to America

I’ll share a story from my good friend Vitaliy Katsenelson. He immigrated to the US with his family from Russia over 30 years ago. I’ve always been fascinated by this story when we get together. All he knew of America came from movies and propaganda, which wasn’t altogether flattering.

Commentary

Inflation by the Numbers

Last week’s What Really Caused Inflation letter generated an unusual number of questions and comments. That tells me I need to go a little deeper. We know inflation by the higher prices it generates, but exactly how it flows through the economy isn’t always obvious.

Commentary

What Really Caused Inflation

Today we’ll “war game” what the Fed is facing as it wrestles with inflation, growth, employment, and political considerations. We’ll try to entertain those thoughts as if we’re sitting in the conference room with Jerome Powell.

Commentary

Capital Excess

The employers who kept DB plans without adequately funding them and/or generating returns sufficient to pay the promised benefits. It is a systemic problem that affects others. Today we’ll discuss this problem and some of its macro-level consequences.

Commentary

Worth a Thousand Words

The charts and comments below are drawn from the “Clips That Matter” feature of our Over My Shoulder service. Because we know a picture is worth a thousand words, my co-editor Patrick Watson and I select a few important charts and graphics and send them to subscribers each week with some brief comments. Many say these clips are their favorite part of the service.

Commentary

Shortages Are Relative

In some simplistic economic theories, shortages never happen. Supply and demand for any particular good are always perfectly balanced in a given time and place. If you can’t get what you demand at that moment, you pay a higher price or you demand something else.

Commentary

Live from New York, Etc.

I am writing in the middle of a whirlwind week in New York. We are going to discuss what I’m learning, some takeaways from the conversations I’ve had, changes in my personal portfolio, and thoughts around the topic of the day: inflation. As well as a few random things that I have read this week. All delivered to you within my 3,000-word limit. Let’s jump in…

Commentary

Energy Complexity

We have plenty of other problems and don’t need more, especially rising energy prices as the economy slows. Nonetheless, that seems to be what we will get. Today I’ll dig into what’s happening and what I think would be better.

Commentary

Trick or Treat Economy

Today, I’ll describe what I think will happen over the next year or so. I rarely make short-term forecasts because I’m usually early. Reaching the major turning points takes longer than we think.

Commentary

When Tools Stop Working

Today’s letter will be the first of at least two parts. Next week I’ll describe where I think this is heading, and how we still have a chance to save the recovery if certain people/institutions make the right choices. But first, I want to establish three important points. They are foundational to my outlook. Here they are, summarized in one sentence.