Category Archive: Debt and the Fallacies of Paper Money

The Big Myth

Don Watkins of the Ayn Rand Institute wrote an article, The Myth of Banking Deregulation, to debunk a lie. The lie is that bank regulation is good. That it helped stabilize the economy in the 1930’s. And that deregulation at the end of the century...

Farewell, Welfare State

The tweet was never sent and never received: “Lying Otto von Bismarck set us up for bankruptcy! What was he thinking? Sad!!” Instead, Mr. Trump said last weekend that, far from trying to curb the promises and cut the costs of the welfare state, he was...

Is an Inflation Comeback in the Works?

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – Amid all the sound and fury of the Trump news cycle, hardly anyone noticed. There is a specter haunting this economy. It is the specter of inflation…

How to Outperform Hedge Funds with Just a Few Trades

In their efforts to beat the market, many investors are spending a lot of time searching for rare undiscovered gems or sophisticated trading rules. There is actually a simpler way. I will show below how one could have beaten the market by a sizable...

When Trumponomics Meets Abenomics

What will President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talk about when they meet later today? Will they gab about what fishing holes the big belly bass are biting at? Will they share insider secrets on what watering holes are serving up the...

Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting, Q1 2017 and Some Additional Reflections

The quarterly meeting of the Incrementum Advisory Board was held on January 11, approximately one month ago. A download link to a PDF document containing the full transcript including charts an be found at the end of this post. As always, a broad range...

India: The World’s Fastest Growing Large Economy?

India has been the world’s favorite country for the last three years. It is believed to have superseded China as the world’s fastest growing large economy. India is expected to grow at 7.5%. Compare that to the mere 6.3% growth that China has “fallen”...

The Futility of Predictions

Back in late 2013 I wrote a piece on human nature which was in part inspired by the bullish exuberance exhibited by a MarketWatch article predicting the DJIA at 20,000 in the near term future. Yesterday afternoon, a bit over three years later, that...

Don’t Blame Trump When the World Ends

There was, indeed, a time when clear thinking and lucid communication via the written word were held in high regard. As far as we can tell, this wonderful epoch concluded in 1936. Everything since has been tortured with varying degrees of gobbledygook.

With Trump Optimism of Small Business Soars

“You boys know what makes this bird go up? Funding makes this bird go up. That’s right. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.” - Gordon Cooper and Gus Grissom, The Right Stuff (film). Things are looking up for the United States economy in 2017. You can just...

Donald and the Dollar

John Connally, President Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury, once remarked to the consternation of Europe’s financial elites over America’s inflationary monetary policy, that the dollar “is our currency, but your problem.” Times have certainly changed...

US Financial Markets – Alarm Bells are Ringing

When discussing the outlook for so-called “risk assets”, i.e., mainly stocks and corporate bonds (particularly low-grade bonds) and their counterparts on the “safe haven” end of the spectrum (such as gold and government bonds with strong ratings), one...

Crony Socialism and Failed CEOs

Whenever a failed CEO is fired with a cushy payoff, the outrage is swift and voluminous. The liberal press usually misrepresents this as a hypocritical “jobs for the boys” program within the capitalist class. In reality, the payoffs are almost always...

Trump’s Trade Catastrophe?

It is worse than “voodoo economics,” says former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. It is the “economic equivalent of creationism.” Wait a minute – Larry Summers is wrong about almost everything. Could he be right about this?

Trump’s Plan to Close the Trade Deficit with China

Jack Ma is an amiable fellow. Back in 1994, while visiting the United States he decided to give that newfangled internet thing a whirl. At a moment of peak inspiration, he executed his first search engine request by typing in the word beer.

Regime Change: The Effect of Trump’s Victory on Stock Prices

On January 20 2017 Donald Trump will be sworn in as the new president of the United States. On the stock market his victory has triggered a lot of advance cheer already: the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by a sizable 7.80 percent between the...

Money Creation and the Boom-Bust Cycle

A Difference of Opinions, In his various writings, Murray Rothbard argued that in a free market economy that operates on a gold standard, the creation of credit that is not fully backed up by gold (fractional-reserve banking) sets in motion the menace...

A Trade Deal Trump Cannot Improve

BALTIMORE – People can believe whatever they want. But sooner or later, real life intervenes. We just like to see the looks on their faces when it does. By that measure, 2017 may be our best year ever. Rarely have so many people believed so many...

A Biased 2017 Forecast, Part 1

A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to see a live one hour interview with Michael Lewis at the Annenberg Center about his new book The Undoing Project. Everyone attending the lecture received a complimentary copy of the book. Being a huge fan of...
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