Good morning, everyone. I wanted to apologize that I’m going to be in absentia for the trading day, as I have some important family business to attend to (if any outside contributors want to put up a draft, great, because I’ll probably find a spare moment to post it).
In the meantime, I wanted to offer up a book review of A Rabble of Dead Money, recently published and written by Charles Morris, an esteemed economic historian. It describes itself on the cover as about “The Great Crash and Global Depression: 1929-1939”, but the vast majority of the book is about the period prior the the depression itself.
For me , the book was a “10” for about 60% of the text and a “5 to 6” for the other 40%. The problem isn’t the writing – – Mr. Morris is an engaging writer with an exhaustive vocabulary and deeply-researched scholarship. The reason a big chunk of the book was, for me, skimmable, was that it focused so much on international economic data such as trade deficits, national account balances, currency exchange rates, and, more than any other topic, the gold standard.
Greetings from – where else? – the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge, where I’m enjoying butternut squash soup, pecan rice, and Brussels sprouts. One of my beloved children just declared to me, without prompting, “I don’t like it here (that is, Las Vegas). It goes against everything I stand for.” So……..no paternity test needed.
Anyway. Back on February 1st, I did a post called A Fool and His Money, which was a fairly epic post, partly about a chap who called himself “Yolowolf” who ostensibly lost a $2.5 million inheritance with really horrible “trading.” If you haven’t read the post, please do, as it’s quite good.
Disclosure (which I feel, given the post’s content, should be reiterated): I am not short even a single equity of any kind. I am only long selected stocks and cash at this time, but surely subject to a change of status in the future.
Why, did you know that in a note to clients Tom Lee wrote that Donald Trump’s term could usher in major bull market akin to those preceded by Ike and Reagan? He did, in a note to clients and the MSM really wants you to know about it! Now, there is a case that eventually his favored areas of Energy, Mining, Basic Materials, etc. will out perform. But that word “eventually” is an important one, unless you are a died in the wool trickle downer willing to ride the big correction or bear market that is likely first.
Trump win could produce major bull market – here’s what I’m buying
“Notably, the two longest bull markets in history 1953-1974 and 1982-1999 were preceded by a Republican ‘revolution,’” he wrote.
Lee likened Trump to the Republican presidents in this way; Eisenhower in the early 1950s invested in infrastructure, and Reagan pursued tax cuts and deregulation, Lee wrote, much like what Trump has promised to carry out in his presidency.
About a week ago, I saw a tweet from someone who was praising a new book I hadn’t heard about called Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley. Needless to say, I was interested, so I had it shipped straightaway to my hotel in Dallas.
It’s nearly 2 in the morning, and I’ve just arrived in Dallas, having flown here from San Francisco. On the flight over, I got a chance to read a new book that my publisher (John Wiley) just sent to me. The book is called The Committee to Destroy the World: Inside the Plot to Unleash a Super Crash on the Global Economy, and in spite of its splashy, dramatic title, it’s a serious book by a widely-respected economist named Michael Lewitt.
A thoughtful Sloper recently bought me a new book called The Rise and Fall of American Growth which you can see on Amazon by clicking here. I’ll save myself some typing and just paste a partial description of the book from the publisher:
In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, home appliances, motor vehicles, air travel, air conditioning, and television transformed households and workplaces. With medical advances, life expectancy between 1870 and 1970 grew from forty-five to seventy-two years. Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth provides an in-depth account of this momentous era. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end?