I’m going to be on the C4 Show today on WBAL, Baltimore’s main news-talk station, talking about business, investment, and economics. I’ll be on with a guest host for the hour @ 1 PM Eastern Time. If you want to listen live, you can click here, and then click on the “listen live” button on the middle top of the webpage. A popup will emerge; I’m listening as I write.
I would like to mention that Aleph Blog Lunch went well. I had seven guests:
- A former boss, who is a bond manager
- A former colleague, who works for an accounting firm
- Ed Harrison, of the excellent blog Credit Writedowns
- A well-regarded local hedge fund manager
- Another fellow who works for an RIA.
- And two more retail investors
I came prepared to give a short talk, but when I saw the conversation was going so well, I abandoned it because it was an interesting gathering of people, of whom few knew each other. So, after 90 minutes, we wished each other a Happy New Year, and disbanded. The hedge fund manager and I tossed out a few investment ideas as we left.
I did give guests a handout, the opening of which stemmed from a question from a well-known finance writer: Seeing anything interesting out your way? I reproduce my answer here:
The big six problems are still out there
1) China forcing exports / overbuilding capacity, along with much of the emerging markets
2) China, emerging markets, OPEC swallowing down a lot of developed country debt, especially that of the US…
3) Eurozone is broken and will either centralize or fall apart
4) Demographic eclipse in the West, extending to some emerging markets as well… China, Turkey, Mexico… world population will likely peak sooner than many experts predict… with negative effects on systems that require younger people to take care of older people. US will fare better than most.
5) State budgets are hopelessly broken, mainly due to underfunding of benefit plans because the pension accounting and funding rules gave lousy guidance on how much to contribute. Cash costs only go up from here until 2040.
6) General overleverage leads to punk aggregate demand, and governments are still attempting “hair of the dog” and “beggar thy neighbor” strategies.
Aside from that, things are great. If I had to pick out one anomaly here — it’s that implied option volatility is so low, which leaves debt spreads low as well, which is probably due to QE for now.
And then I attached printed versions of the following old articles of mine to illustrate some of those points:
- Rethinking Comparable Worth
- The US Dollar and the Five Stages of Grieving
- Nonidentical Twins: Solvency and Liquidity (III)
- Promises, Promises
- Efficient Markets Versus Adaptive Markets (just for fun)
Anyway, it was a great time, and I look forward to having a great time on the C4 show today. If you can listen in at 1 PM Eastern, please do.
Happy New Year to all readers! May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you in the coming year.