Month: November 2017

The Bear’s Lair: Under funny money, we’re all living in Vegas

“True investing is not the same as gambling” said Isabella Kaminska in the Financial Times recently. Yet in today’s world, I’m damned if I can spot the difference. Bonds are a one-way bet to losses, the stock market is at levels it should not have reached until 2075, London real estate is at levels it […]

The Bear’s Lair: Let’s leave the world economy death spiral

Capitalism requires capital. The process of industrialization is partly one of technological advance, but it is also one of increasing capital use in the economy. But when the return to capital is forced below zero, as in the last decade, the capital base shrinks, the economy misbehaves and productivity declines, in spite of technological wizardry. […]

The Bear’s Lair: Hollowed-out blue chips are the next subprime

Subprime mortgages caused much of the 2008 financial crisis by defaulting in much greater concentrations than the experts expected. The next financial crisis is likely to be caused by a similar disaster that surprises the experts. I have an excellent candidate: Fortune 500 companies that have been repurchasing their shares like maniacs for a decade, […]

The Bear’s Lair: Keep Engels’ paws off the economy

My much-esteemed ex-colleague Andrew Stuttaford has written several times on the dangers of robotics. He believes that our living standards may come to suffer an “Engels Pause” similar to the impoverishment Friedrich Engels, writing in 1844, saw resulting from the early Industrial Revolution. Having studied that period in my work on Lord Liverpool, I will […]