"There's no such thing as analysis of what's coming. We don't know anything about the future, and you can't prove anything about the future. But if you've been in business and you've seen some cycles, and you've gained some experience and you've gone through those cycles with your eyes open saying 'What are the implications of cycles for our behavior?', then I think you can reach a point where you say, 'You know what, it just feels like the power is in the hands of the issuers, not the buyers. It feels like there aren't many sellers, just a lot of buyers. And the market is not acting in a disciplined way.' We want to buy when the market in panicked, not when the market is sanguine. Buffett says that 'The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we must conduct our own affairs.' When other people are optimistic, we should be worried. When other people are panicked, we should turn aggressive." -Howard Marks (source)
Two Decades of Winning by Not Losing - by Steven Romick [H/T @Wexboy_Value] (LINK)
Grant’s Podcast: Taxi! Taxi! (LINK)
Uber comes under the Grant's lens.Grant's Podcast [previous]: The biggest pyramid scheme the world has yet seen (LINK)
Grant’s talks to China authority Anne-Stevenson-Yang.China’s Debt Crackdown Is Driving Borrowers Into Riskier Territory [H/T Matt] (LINK)
China’s crackdown on debt is driving some companies to a murkier form of financing as it gets harder to secure bank loans or tap the bond market.
New loans from so-called trusts, firms that raise money from individuals and corporations to plow into riskier areas of the economy, reached 882.3 billion yuan ($129.5 billion) in the first four months of this year, according to data from the People’s Bank of China, nearly five times as much as the same period in 2016.
Trust firms, which often charge borrowers higher rates than banks, occupy a middle ground between banking and asset management. They are licensed and loosely regulated by China’s banking watchdog, but they lack some of banks’ protections, such as government deposit insurance, and they have more flexibility to invest in risky areas than banks do.
Chinese Banks Face Up to Funding Squeeze[H/T Matt] (LINK)
Beijing is squeezing its financial system. Its banks may soon find themselves gasping for breath.
Household deposits—long the backbone of China’s economy, funding inexorable loan growth—are fleeing: Around 1.2 trillion yuan ($176 billion) left the banking system last month. Meanwhile, growth in corporate deposits has slowed, reducing the rise in deposits overall to a crawl.
The exodus is proving a double whammy for China’s banks. Not only are they losing a stable source of funding, they are also bearing the brunt of higher costs to raise cash as financial conditions tighten.
92nd Street Y: Destined for war with China? Graham Allison and Gen. David Petraeus (Ret) (video) (LINK)
Related book: Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? [There's also another recent video on the book and topic, with a panel that includes Niall Ferguson as well, HERE.]
Steve Keen on the Hidden Forces podcast (LINK)
Related book: Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?
The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Nick Szabo (The Tim Ferriss Show) (LINK)
Getting Hacked, Lessons Learned - by Fred Wilson (LINK)
The Thoughts of a Spiderweb - by Joshua Sokol [H/T @BenedictEvans] (LINK)
Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn’t fully confined within the head.The energy expansions of evolution - by Olivia P. Judson [H/T @AlexRubalcava] (LINK)
The history of the life–Earth system can be divided into five ‘energetic’ epochs, each featuring the evolution of life forms that can exploit a new source of energy. These sources are: geochemical energy, sunlight, oxygen, flesh and fire. The first two were present at the start, but oxygen, flesh and fire are all consequences of evolutionary events. Since no category of energy source has disappeared, this has, over time, resulted in an expanding realm of the sources of energy available to living organisms and a concomitant increase in the diversity and complexity of ecosystems. These energy expansions have also mediated the transformation of key aspects of the planetary environment, which have in turn mediated the future course of evolutionary change. Using energy as a lens thus illuminates patterns in the entwined histories of life and Earth, and may also provide a framework for considering the potential trajectories of life–planet systems elsewhere.