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Posts Tagged ‘Mauldin’

Angst in America, Part 5: The Crisis We Can’t Muddle Through

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2017

Thoughts from the Frontline, By John Mauldin

April 23, 2017

– Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States

“It is your concern when your neighbor’s wall is on fire.”

– Horace

The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist. They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment. Typically, high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer, not better, investment.

– Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater Associates

When you spend a couple of decades writing weekly letters to hundreds of thousands of people you think of as friends, your readers naturally come to associate you with a few key ideas. I have certainly become known for at least one. My longtime regular readers think of me as the “Muddle Through” guy. That’s not an image I have tried to cultivate, but I have it anyway.

I have to confess that it’s usually accurate. In a typical letter I will describe some sort of potentially scary problem, explain what might happen, then conclude that we’ll probably avoid the worst and muddle through. That has almost always been the right call. The worst doesn’t happen, and we all survive. “Muddle Through” can mean widely varying outcomes for individuals, but for the world at large, things generally work out OK.

As a statistical matter, this stance makes sense. The extreme tails of any distribution curve comprise outcomes that almost certainly won’t occur. The most probable outcomes cluster around the fat middle. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions

Posted by hkarner - 18. April 2017

By John Mauldin, April 16, 2017

– Ben Stein

“Lady Madonna, children at your feet
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet
Who finds the money when you pay the rent?
Did you think that money was heaven sent?”

– “Lady Madonna,” The Beatles Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Stock Market Valuations and Hamburgers

Posted by hkarner - 10. April 2017

By John Mauldin, April 9, 2017 

To refer to a personal taste of mine, I’m going to buy hamburgers the rest of my life. When hamburgers go down in price, we sing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in the Buffett household. When hamburgers go up in price, we weep. For most people, it’s the same with everything in life they will be buying — – except stocks. When stocks go down and you can get more for your money, people don’t like them anymore.

– Warren Buffett, Fortune magazine: “The Wit and Wisdom of Warren Buffett”

A few weeks ago I spent two days giving multiple speeches alongside my friend Steve Blumenthal of CMG in a very cold New Jersey on the heels of a rather strong blizzard that had left the countryside white and beautiful. I listened to Steve do deep dives on stock market valuations. He started each of his presentations with Warren Buffett’s hamburger story, quoted above, before jumping into multiple charts. After a while, we began to go back and forth during his presentations, as I had my own insights on market valuations, generally in sync with his. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Angst in America, Part 3: Retiring Broke

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2017

By John Mauldin

April 2, 2017

“The trouble with retirement is you never get a day off.”

– Abe Lemons

“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”

– George Burns

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ‚tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.”

– Shakespeare, Hamlet Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Men Without Work

Posted by hkarner - 29. März 2017

By John Mauldin

March 28, 2017

I have been promising a review of Nicholas Eberstadt’s very important book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis. The book is relatively short at 216 pages, but it is packed with meaty facts and insights. One of the reasons I seldom read an actual physical book anymore is because I can highlight text and make notes in my Kindle app on my iPad and then find those notes and highlighted sections on my Amazon page for later review. I actually highlighted 36 pages with 22,000 words from this book to go back and review. And while I will be using a lot of quotes in this letter, I hope this simply spurs you to order the book and read it for yourself. The “invisible crisis” that the author is writing about is at the very center of our economic and political turmoil.

At its heart, the book is about the fact that there are some 10 million American men of prime working age (25 to 54) who have simply dropped out of the workforce, and the great majority of them have not only dropped out of the workforce, they have also dropped out from any commitments or responsibilities to society. It is not just the labor force they are not participating in; they are not participating in the normal ebb and flow of community life.

This is not a recent phenomenon. I used the following graph last week, but it is important to illustrate the point. Male participation in the civilian labor force has been steadily dropping for 60 years, through boom and bust years, periods of inflation and deflation, Republican and Democratic administrations and congressional control; the trend seems to be relentless – except that it has been accelerating since 2009. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tax Reform: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly—Part Five

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2017

By John Mauldin, March 7, 2017

“A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform”

– Russell B. Long

“Corporate tax reform is nice in theory but tough in practice.”

– Andrew Ross Sorkin

“I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

– Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison. January 30, 1787 (230 years ago) Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tax Reform: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly—Part Four

Posted by hkarner - 2. März 2017

By John MauldinMauldin Forbes

March 1, 2017

– Jared Diamond, Collapse, 2005

Tax reform means, “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree.”

– Russell B. Long, Democratic Senator from Louisiana, longtime chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (and a strong believer in capitalism who was a champion of tax breaks for businesses) Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tax Reform: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly—Part Three

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2017

By John Mauldin, February 19, 2017mauldin

“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.”

– Milton Friedman

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

“Real change requires real change.”

– Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Today we come to part 3 of my tax reform series. So far, we’ve introduced the challenge and begun to describe the main proposed GOP solution. Today we’ll look at the new and widely misunderstood “border adjustment” idea and talk about both its good and bad points. What follows may make more sense if you have first read part 1 and part 2. Next week we’ll explore what I think would be a far superior option, though one that is based on the spirit of the current proposal. If House leadership thinks they can get the present proposal through (doubtful), then they should stop messing around and do something really controversial by changing the entire terms of engagement. As my friend Newt Gingrich has often told me, “John, real change requires real change.”   Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tax Reform: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Part Two

Posted by hkarner - 14. Februar 2017

By John MauldinMauldin Video

February 12, 2017

– Mark Skousen

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

– Ronald Reagan

Taxation is almost never an exciting subject, nor do we want it to be. The best tax system would be silent and unobtrusive. It would raise enough revenue to cover essential government functions and not a penny more. Sadly, our US system is nowhere near the ideal.

In part one of this series, I talked about whether the new tax proposals would actually create jobs and discussed the proposed “Border Adjustment Tax” and some of its possible complications. In part two, today, we will look more closely at the rest of the tax proposals. Then next week we will go much deeper into the BAT and then into what I think the tax system should actually look like, which will be far different from anything I’ve suggested in the past. That discussion will make more sense if we have placed the ideas in full context. That is today’s objective.

The BAT is not a stand-alone policy. It is one component of a broader House Republican tax reform plan, which in turn is part of an even broader federal government reform proposal called “A Better Way.” In theory, the different parts all work together, which is good but makes it hard to discuss any one element in isolation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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