Thursday, January 1, 2015


"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let each new year find you a better man." -Benjamin Franklin

If you haven't signed up for the Five Good Questions email list, I highly recommend it. Jake does a great job, as can be seen with the interviews he's already done, HERE. (LINK)

Ten Golden Nuggets (LINK)

Insect-eating bats implicated as Ebola outbreak source (LINK)

Some recent comments from Hugh Hendry's November letter (LINK)
My much thumbed copy of Kindelberger's Manias, Panics and Crashes aided and abetted my thinking as I correctly anticipated and monetised profits from the crisis of 2008 for example. But it isn't always good. Kindelberger has been absolutely detrimental to my investment performance for the last six years and as a result I have changed. I still believe that the attempt by central bankers to prevent the private sector from deleveraging via a non-stop parade of asset price bubbles will end in tears. But I no longer think that anyone can say when. Look back on the last five years and I think that it is indisputable that mass injections of loose monetary policy have both fuelled asset prices and staved off further crisis. I am also absolutely persuaded that the global economy remains so fragile that modern monetary interventions are likely to persist, if not accelerate. They will therefore continue to overwhelm all qualitative factors in determining the course for stock prices in the year ahead.
So I have come to embrace the French philosopher Baudrillard's insight. "Truth is what we should rid ourselves of as fast as possible and pass it on to somebody else," he wrote. "As with illness, it's the only way to be cured of it. He who hangs on to truth has lost." The economic truth of today no longer offers me much solace; I am taking the blue pills now. In the long run we will come to rue the central bank actions of today. But today there is no serious stimulus programme that our Disney markets will not consider to be successful. Markets can be no more long term than politics and we have no recourse but to put up with the environment that gives us; the modern market is effectively Keynesian with an Austrian tail.
My suspension of disbelief on all this has won me many detractors. These investors reject my notion of imagined realities and prefer to speculate instead on movements in capital markets in a manner similar to making propositions about chemistry, biology, or physics: they describe a cold, rational, mind-independent reality and focus on the inevitable outcomes; they have no interest in fanciful flight paths. I think they are missing the key to success: the fact that markets are vulnerable to forces far more variable and subjective than the tenets of stock valuation. In this new imagined reality there is every chance that risk markets grind higher for much longer. The Fund, you will be pleased to hear was up another 5% in November. Year to date returns are now almost 8%.