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Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

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The Top Research Papers of 2016

reading

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

macro

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

strategy

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

life

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

Did the Failure of Orthodox Economics Contribute to Trump’s Win?

macro

Here’s a provocative piece from the Institute for New Economic Thinking declaring that orthodox economics has been dealt a “mortal blow” by the Trump victory. Sanjay Reddy writes: “Trumpism is a crisis for the most prestigious methods of understanding economic and social life, ennobled and enthroned by the metropolitan academy of the last third of… Read More

A Lesson from the Market’s Overreaction to Trump’s Win

strategy

There were many dire predictions about the stock market in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. These predictions even looked credible in the moments after his win when the S&P 500 immediately collapsed 5% on the evening of the election. Then, miraculously, the S&P 500 bounced right back and is up about 2% since election day.… Read More

Curating a Social Media Feed to Make Better Decisions

macro

One of the most common problems in economics and finance is the fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition occurs when you fail to understand the entirety of an argument. As an example, a common fallacy of composition in finance includes the cash on the sidelines myth. The cash on the sidelines myth is the… Read More