We all know the difference between reality and wishful thinking. Many of us know just how quickly the jaws of reality can crush the life out of unicorn and fairytale stories when fiction is used to cover the facts. Where the businesses and happy customers that are supposedly represented on an income statement turn out to be little more than the Non-GAAP application of a fairy’s wand and pixie dust. However, this doesn’t stop people from buying in (literally) to the illusion. And what has far more onerous consequences is when the story tellers themselves begin to believe their own works of fiction.
We have called this a tale of two graphs. But what it really describes is a clear and present danger to American capitalism fostered by an unelected monetary politburo in thrall to its own lust for power and mesmerized by its own doctrinaire group think. The tragedy is that nothing can stop them except the thundering crash of the gargantuan bubble they have single handedly enabled.
Honest price discovery is essential to capitalist prosperity since it is the miraculous mechanism by which capital is raised from savers and investors and efficiently allocated among producers, entrepreneurs and genuine market-rate borrowers. What the central banks have generated, instead, is a casino that is blindly impelled to churn the secondary capital markets and inflate the price of existing assets to higher and higher levels - until they ultimately roll-over under their own weight. The Easy Button addiction of our central bankers is thus not just another large public policy problem. It is the very economic and social scourge of our times.
I would say Apple is the most dangerous holding on the street right now for portfolio managers.
Today what we’ve come to know as “mainstream financial media” has provided nothing more than a vehicle for the exponential rise of group-think. All at the suffering of critical thought. In what seems like the blink of an eye most anything to do with financial insight whether it be the reporting of, as well as investigative analysis; has morphed into some version of a stylized regurgitation of Central banking dogma. (this also includes many of the so-called “experts” brought on to fortify the sermons).
The world’s geopolitics is changing. Gone are the fluffy days of Putin shaking hands with George Bush agreeing to keep the world supplied with oil, gone are the days of China helping US firms make profits using their cheap labour, gone are open-for-business days of Europe, gone is the Japanese military neutrality, gone are the Saudis as an unshakeable ally, gone is Israel also a steadfast ally, etc. What is happening is something deeply concerning. Globalisation is turning in on itself and it is each man for himself.
We believe ourselves to be credible and intelligent, even though nearly all our working capital, our knowledge, is corrupt and seriously tainted.
This contradicts their claim to sovereign power by way of their superior intellect, business prowess, hereditary entitlement, military strength, political power, majority consensus or whatever story they can pull out of their hat.
The pain we feel when balanced at the cliff’s edge is entirely of our own making and completely within our control to extinguish. All we need do is to abandon the certainty of belief that is presently stuck in our craw.
Dispassionate discussion of some of the vexing issues.
Only a week ago, the consensus among most mainstream economic analysts and even some alternative analysts was that a government shutdown was not going to happen. The Republicans would fold in the shadow of President Barack Obama’s overwhelming drive for socialization, spending would continue to grow unabated, and the debt ceiling would be vaulted yet again to feed the bureaucratic machine with more fiat. Today, there is no consensus, very few people continue to be so blithely self-assured and even the mainstream is beginning to wonder if a much bigger game is afoot here.
Be it BBQ judging, investing, picking out an outfit, or even choosing whether or not you’re going to show up for work tomorrow – ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes that there’s a decision making process occurring. Quite simply, decision making is the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a final choice among several alternative scenarios. Final choices can be opinions (as in “This brisket is an 8”) or actions (such as “I will invest in tech stocks”), and decisions are both conscious and unconscious. For investors, financial decisions and how we tend to arrive at them are of particular importance. The following is a cautionary tale of the 'Top 10' common biases that creep into the decision making process. Recognizing and eliminating these biases from your financial choices will make you a sharper and smarter investor... or BBQ judge... or whatever it is that you do.
Ben Bernanke blames fiscal policies out of Washington. However, it is starting to look more and more like Fed policy is equally to blame for the lackluster U.S. GDP growth.
The Military mind is a dangerous mind. It promotes a lack of critical thinking.
Turning your growth trade into a value trade is the quintessential sign of a losing trader on Wall Street.