The Feedback Loop of Doom: When Mobile Creatives and Capital Abandon Unaffordable, Dysfunctional Cities

When the 4% who generate the jobs and tax revenues have had enough and leave, the effects quickly impact the 64%. At the end of any trend, everyone’s a true believer: this trend is so enduring, so broad-based, so based on unchanging fundamentals that it will never ever reverse. One such […]

If “Getting Ahead” Depends on Asset Bubbles, It’s Not “Getting Ahead,” It’s Gambling

Given that the economy is now totally and completely dependent on inflating asset bubbles, it makes no sense to invest for the long-term. Beneath the endlessly hyped expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) of the past two decades, the economy has changed dramatically. The American Dream boils down to social and economic […]

America’s Forced Financial Flight: Fleeing Unaffordable and Dysfunctional Cities

The forced flight from unaffordable and dysfunctional urban regions is as yet a trickle, but watch what happens when a recession causes widespread layoffs in high-wage sectors. For hundreds of years, rural poverty has driven people to urban areas: cities offer paying work and abundant opportunities to get ahead, and these […]

How Empires Fall: Moral Decay

There is a name for this institutionalized, commoditized fraud: moral decay. Moral decay is an interesting phenomenon: we spot it easily in our partisan-politics opponents and BAU (business as usual) government/private-sector dealings (are those $3,000 Pentagon hammers now $5,000 each or $10,000 each? It’s hard to keep current…), and we’re suitably indignant when […]

The Next Financial Crisis Won’t Be Caused by Fraud: This Time Will Be Different

Extreme levels of debt and overvaluation characterize the entire global economy, and are not limited to any one nation or sector. Financial crises come in two flavors: fraud and credit-valuation over-reach.Fraud-based financial crises may differ in particulars, but they share many traits: perverse incentives are institutionalized; the perverse incentives reward […]

The World’s Hypocritical Silence as China Imprisons its Ethnic Muslims En Masse

The entire world’s ruling elites are silent because they’re terrified that even mild murmurings might limit the blood-soaked billions they want to reap from trade with China. Imagine the reaction in the global Muslim community if a western nation imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Muslims solely for being Muslim and subjected […]

Notre Dame and the Identity of France

These are not matters solely of politics and finance; they are manifestations of the elite war on the identity of France. As rationalists, we’re supposed to take the dramatic and profoundly tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as random chance or bad luck. But I cannot be the only […]

No Fix for Recession: Without a Financial Crisis, There’s No Central Bank Policy Fix

There are no extreme “fixes” to secular declines in sales, profits, employment, tax revenues and asset prices. The saying “never let a crisis go to waste” embodies several truths worth pondering as the stock market nears new highs. One truth is that extreme policies that would raise objections in typical times […]

Fitness without the Long, Grueling Workout

Pondering what Nature selected as advantageous in our long existence as hunter-gatherers helps us understand why walking and occasional short bursts of intensive exercise together yield the vast majority of the benefits of exercise/fitness. What if there was a way to get rich by merely investing a modest amount of […]

Assange and the Unforgivable Sin of Disemboweling Official Narratives

The entire global status quo is on the cusp of the S-Curve decline phase. There is really only one unforgivable sin in the political realm, and that’s destroying the official narrative by revealing the facts of the matter. This is why whistleblowers who make public the secret machinery of the elaborately […]

Blind Faith vs. the Bottom Line

There is more than a little “let them eat brioche” in the blind faith that the masses’ patience for pillage is infinite. We’ve reached an interesting moment in history where we each have a simple choice: we either go with blind faith or we go with the bottom line, i.e. the facts […]

Beneath the Surface of Brexit

Geography matters, the balance of power matters, and democracy–it’s not yet clear if democracy matters or not. I’ve been asked to comment on Brexit. I’m happy to do so, but not by promoting a position yes or no, or by attempting to unravel the political machinations, as I have neither the knowledge nor the […]

Here We Go Again: Tech Bubble 2.0 but “This Time It’s Different”

The doses of Delusionol(tm) required to believe “this time it’s different” are becoming dangerous. Here we go again, another tech bubble is expanding like a supernova and the financial media is declaring (as it does during every bubble) “this time it’s different.” File Tech Bubble 2.0 under memories are getting shorter or this time […]

Trade Deal Follies: The U.S. Has Embraced the World’s Worst Negotiating Tactics

The world’s worst negotiating strategy is to make a crazy tulip-bubble stock market rally dependent on a trade deal that harms the interests of the U.S. The world’s worst negotiating tactics, the equivalent of handing the other side a loaded gun while waving a squirt gun around, are: 1. Declare […]

Here’s What It’s Like To Be a Bear in a Rigged Market

Central bankers and media handlers must be laughing at how easy it is to slaughter the Bears and doubters with another fake-news round of trade-deal rumors and another Fed parrot being prompted to repeat some dovish mumbo-jumbo. It’s not just tough being a Bear in a market rigged by trade […]

The Japanification of the World

Zombification / Japanification is not success; it is only the last desperate defense of a failing, brittle status quo by doing more of what’s failed. A recent theme in the financial media is the Japanification of Europe.Japanification refers to a set of economic and financial conditions that have come to characterize Japan’s […]

Are the Rise of Social Media and the Decline of Social Mobility Related?

Social media offers hope of achieving higher online social status without having to succeed financially in a winner-take-most economy. I’ve often addressed the decline of social mobility and the addictive nature of social media, and recently I’ve entertained the crazy notion that the two dynamics are related. Why Is Social Media […]

The Hidden Cost of Losing Local Mom and Pop Businesses

What cannot be replaced by corporate chains is neighborhood character and variety. There is much more to this article than first meets the eye: In a Tokyo neighborhood’s last sushi restaurant, a sense of loss “Eiraku is the last surviving sushi bar in this cluttered neighborhood of steep cobblestoned hills and […]

Dear Stock Market: You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Eventually reality will intrude in this pleasant madness. OK, let me see if I have this right: the stock market is soaring because the economy is softening, so the Federal Reserve panicked and went from raising rates to considering cutting rates. It seems markets are now assuming a rate cut is […]

The Fed Guarantees No Recession for 10 Years, Permanent Uptrend for Stocks and Housing

Those who own stocks and housing now will continue getting richer, those who don’t will be priced out of these markets. A classified Federal Reserve memo sheds new light on the Fed’s confidence in its control of the economy and the stock and housing markets. In effect, the Fed is guaranteeing […]