I’ve struggled with faith my whole life. When I was younger I believed in G-d because it seemed like the only answer to why everything exists. However, growing up Catholic made me a little too neurotic and guilt ridden, so I was a militant atheist by the time I was 14. I met a girl […]
Murder in Chicago: Finding the Ferguson Effect in 10 Graphs
On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. Since that time, murder rates in some cities have spiked. Our current President has extrapolated a society in chaos from that spike. Indeed, we’re tempted to draw the conclusion that the Ferguson killing caused the spike in murder rates. While proving a causal relationship can […]
Trump’s China Pivot: Brilliant or Disastrous?
Even though I voted against Donald Trump and think he could be dangerous for American democracy, I like to keep an open mind about his potential policy pivots. Bureaucratic thinking gets stuck in routine. Case in point, not talking to Taiwan’s elected leader in order to placate the mainland communist dictatorship. Taiwan acts much like […]
Trump won because he had a plan and Hillary did not
It’s fascinating to watch all the pundits debate why Hillary lost and Trump won. We hear about likability, trustworthiness, FBI letters, Wikileaks, etc. But at a very basic level, Trump had a plan and Hillary did not. You could point to Hillary’s policy papers and past political positions and whatnot, but who actually reads any of […]
The Great Trump Reflation?
When thinking about Trumpism, it’s hard to come upon a unifying theme. But here’s a shot: inflation. Every one of Trump’s domestic policies should raise prices. Let’s recap: Throwing 2-3 million low-paid workers out of the country? Fewer workers should result in higher wages. Unless those workers return to their home countries to produce goods for export […]
What do markets say about Brexit?
The UK vote on Brexit presents some fascinating political questions. Will Scotland now leave the United Kingdom? Will Northern Irish Catholics tolerate border controls with the Republic of Ireland? Let’s leave those aside and focus on the economic issues. Is Britain worse off leaving the EU? There are good libertarian arguments for leaving the EU […]
401K vs. Roth IRA: How Should You Save?
Have you thought about how you should direct your retirement savings? You should. There’s a variety of ways to save, and you should find the best way. For example, should you max out your 401K contribution? And I’m not just talking about getting the company match. I’m wondering if you should save beyond the match, or would you be better off putting you extra savings in a Roth […]
Take cover in these interesting value plays
I’ve said stocks are fairly valued, and my expectation of long-term yields and current stock valuations still justify that analysis. But like in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some stocks are more fairly valued than others. I’ve looked into Warren Buffett’s picks for value ideas. But with so much cash to invest, he’s necessarily biased towards […]
Do rent yields follow other returns?
A few weeks ago I put together a graph on 10-year treasury yields vs. S&P earnings yield. For those of you tired of hearing how stocks are overvalued, or in a “bubble”, you can take solace that there’s a reason stocks are valued as they are. P/E ratios are tightly, inversely correlated to 10-year treasury yields. […]
Not in a bubble, yet?
This article in the most recent issue of the Economist seems to agree with the point I’ve been making for a while now, that stocks are fairly valued. The author starts by saying that the 1990’s tech bubble was, indeed, a bubble. I couldn’t agree more. Valuations went far beyond anything reasonable. The below graph […]