Is Silicon Valley in Another Bubble . . . and What Could Burst It? (LINK)
Bill Gross' September 2015 Investment Outlook: Sizing Up the Global Economy (LINK)
What to do as an investor? Recognize that the above recommendations are politically Pollyannaish. The Merkel dominated EU will not change any time soon, nor will Bernie Sanders be elected U.S. President. Global fiscal (and monetary) policy is not now constructive nor growth enhancing, nor is it likely to be. If that be the case, then equity market capital gains and future returns are likely to be limited if not downward sloping. High quality global bond markets offer little reward relative to durational risk. Private equity and hedge related returns cannot long prosper if global growth remains anemic. Cash or better yet “near cash” such as 1-2 year corporate bonds are my best idea of appropriate risks/reward investments. The reward is not much, but as Will Rogers once said during the Great Depression – “I’m not so much concerned about the return on my money as the return of my money.”Yanis Varoufakis on his experience during his Euro crisis negotiations with the Eurogroup (video) [H/T @ProfSteveKeen] (LINK)
Michael Pettis: If we don’t understand both sides of China’s balance sheet, we understand neither (LINK)
Book of the day: Sun Above the Horizon: Meteoric Rise of the Solar Industry
Quote of the day, from Seth Klarman in June of 1998, though it sounds like it could be written today:
You might think that the increasing percentage of investor funds managed by professional ("professional"?) money managers would serve as a check on market excess. If you did, you would be seriously wrong. Very few professional investors are willing to give up the joy ride of a roaring U.S. bull market to stand virtually alone against the crowd, selling overvalued securities without reinvesting the proceeds in something also overvalued. The pressures are to remain fully invested in whatever is working, the comfort of consensus serving as the ultimate life preserver for anyone inclined to worry about the downside. As small comfort as it may be, the fact that almost everyone will get clobbered in a market reversal makes remaining fully invested an easy relative performance decision. Isn't this what always happens at the top of historic bull markets? The answer, of course, is of course.
Investors and the financial media, always eager to grasp at straws, however slim and brittle, jumped on the year-end shareholder letter of legendary investor Warren Buffett as fodder for the bull case. The Dow immediately rallied 200 points. What Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said is that at today's level of interest rates, and assuming prevailing levels of corporate profitability, in his view U.S. equities as a whole are not overvalued (and, just as assuredly, not undervalued.) Virtually no one explored his real message, equally prominent, suggesting that today's unprecedented level of corporate profitability may well be unsustainable; future profits may fall far short of today's lofty expectations.