Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

Author Archive

How Scared Should we be About Future Returns?


McKinsey had a really nice piece this week on the future of financial market returns. The basic conclusion – lower your expectations and hunker down for some lean years in the financial markets.  McKinsey says that equities have benefited from unusually favorable conditions in the last 30 years such as low valuations, falling inflation, falling… Read More

Three Things I Think I Think – Thinking Edition


Please don’t kill me for the lack of creativity in that title. I was trying my best….Anyhow, here are some things I think I am thinking about:

1) Asset allocation and stock activism.
2) Endowment fund spending and portfolios.
3) Safe assets….

The Coming Catastrophe for High Fee Active Managers


Back in 2009 I wrote a very critical piece on mutual funds basically calling them antiquated products that do the American public a disservice.¹ My general message wasn’t to bash active management. After all, I agree with Rick Ferri here – there’s no such thing as passive investing. There are only degrees of active investing.… Read More

“There are no Good Gold Analysts”


Joe Weisenthal recently asked for a recommendation for a good gold analyst to interview on Bloomberg.  I said: @TheStalwart There are no good gold analysts. — Cullen Roche (@cullenroche) April 21, 2016 I was sort of kidding, but let me explain. Gold is one of the most interesting assets because it is viewed by many… Read More

2 Concerns About the US Government’s Debt


The comedy website had some responses to the recent uproar over the TIME magazine article referring to the US government as insolvent. The two big concerns were in fact funny which is good because comedy websites are supposed to be…funny. Specifically, they said: The US government can’t afford the interest on the national debt. Foreign… Read More

The Myth of Declining American Living Standards


One of the running themes of this website over the last 6 years is the idea that the US economy is not doing nearly as well as it should be, however, that it’s also not doing nearly as bad as some people would have us believe. Unfortunately, whenever I publish something like the recent post on the solvency… Read More

Thinking About the Great Normalization


There’s a lot of talk these days about how bad the economy is and how we seem to be in a state of permanently low growth. But it’s amazing what a macro view of the world will do for you because it shows us that a lot of this could just be recency bias at… Read More

Janet Yellen (Might Have) Nailed It*


Coming into 2016 it looked like there was an increasingly high chance that the weakness in emerging markets posed a serious threat to the US economy. I repeatedly said that the Fed would be irrational to raise rates based on the following: The risk with rate hikes is creating an extreme divergence in global policy… Read More