Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

Author Archive

Are Expectations Too High For Trump?

Back in early 2009 the public was euphoric about President Obama and the change he was ushering in. At the time I asked if expectations were too high: On the bright side, [Obama’s] entering office when things are downright awful, which likely means we’re closer to the bottom than the top.  But you still have… Read More

Paul Krugman is Right (For the Wrong Reasons)

Excuse me while I dust off my nerd suit and jump into an extremely dorky debate. I won’t criticise you for falling asleep half way into this article….   Paul Krugman has made a bunch of big league predictions over the last few years.¹ He predicted lower rates, low inflation, marginal impact from QE, insufficient stimulus, etc.… Read More

Passive Investors – Dumb Money or Smart Money?

Michael Maubboussin’s latest piece on passive investing is, predictably, awesome. Since this is one of the topics I’ve spent WAY too much time thinking about I wanted to expand on his thoughts and see if we can’t add some further clarification here because I still think this industry is making a bit of a mess… Read More

The Top Research Papers of 2016

SSRN, the #1 research repository in the world, recently released their top research papers of 2016 and I was lucky enough to have TWO papers on the list. The first, of course, is my older paper “Understanding the Modern Monetary System” and the second is the paper I published in March of 2016 titled “Understanding… Read More

Modern Finance is (Still) a Rip-Off

I’m going to tell you a secret that most of my industry doesn’t want you to know – modern finance is a rip-off. We call it “modern” finance, but the only thing that’s modern is the technological advancement. The fee structure remains antiquated. Yeah, it’s true – expense ratios and costs are falling rapidly. For… Read More

Don’t Get Trumped in 2017

The holiday parties are over and I’ve recently awoken from a white chocolate sugar cake induced coma to think back on the many investing discussions I always get bombarded with at this time of year. While I was attempting to win an award for mass carbohydrate consumption I was repeatedly interrupted by people who seem to… Read More

The Best Value Vacations this Winter

My general view on foreign exchange is that no one can really predict the short-term movements of currencies.¹ They are zero sum games with fairly high frictions with so many moving parts that they’re virtually impossible to predict. So trading foreign exchange is usually a bad decision.  There’s one exception to this – foreign travel.… Read More