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Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money & Finance

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Three Things I Think I Think – Weekend Edition

Here are some things I think I am thinking about. 1)  No, Rand Paul would not have profited from a US government default.  Here is a strange piece in the Nation claiming that Rand Paul would have profited from a US government default during the debt ceiling discussions last year. The author writes: According to… Read More

Three Bearish Charts

Okay, I promised I’d offer some bearish views after offering my bullish views yesterday. It’s always nice to challenge your own views so going through this was kind of a nice exercise.  I hope these two posts offer some perspective. 1)  Margin Debt as a % of GDP is back at dangerous levels.  We know… Read More

Three Bullish Charts

The most difficult part about managing assets is the constant roller coaster ride of emotions.  I don’t just carry the burden of my own emotions around with me. I have to be mindful of the emotions of every person I work with. It’s a lot to handle especially during times like these when the markets are… Read More

Is This Gold’s Magazine Indicator Moment?

For the record, I hate gold as an investment. I don’t like owning it individually in a portfolio as I don’t believe it’s an “investment” or even a currency in our monetary system. That said, the contrarian in me starts to perk up when I am reading different mainstream media sites that virtually guarantee the demise… Read More

Has Canada Engineered Successful Fiscal Austerity?

Steve Williamson has a new post up arguing that Canada has successfully engineered an austerian recovery.  I have a few issues with the post though. First, the extent of Canada’s “austerity” is somewhat controversial. According to the most recent IMF data on cyclically adjusted budgets the Canadian government is still running deficits and their deficit… Read More

Myths About the USA’s Fiscal Union

The FT ran a piece about the fiscal union in the USA and why this system couldn’t be replicated in Europe to help resolve the Euro crisis. I wanted to touch on the author’s main points to highlight some of the errors in the thinking there. Myth # 1 – “So let’s state three facts… Read More

Could we Still be In the Middle of the Business Cycle?

Last year I talked about the modern era of expanding expansions. That is, the last few business cycles have been extremely long relative to historical cycles.  Going back to the 1800’s the average cycle has lasted 39 months.  But here we are in month 72 of the current cycle. It is tempting to say that… Read More

Are We Nearing Peak Commodity Hatred?

Commodities have been crushed in the last 5 years. Gold is down over 40%, silver is off 70%, copper is down 45%, oil is down 55% and the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down 60% from its 2008 peak. We all know by now that many of the theories for owning commodities ended up being dead… Read More