Insights Archives



Insights Archives 2017-10-13T01:54:33+00:00

Things are Better Than They Seem

In his new book, psychologist Steven Pinker details how the human condition has steadily improved over the past millennia.  His data suggests that we enjoy longer, healthier and happier lives than our ancestors; that we have made significant progress against disease and starvation; and we have experienced a steady decline in deaths resulting from wars, natural disasters and crime. 

By | April 30th, 2018|

Russia Update: Rising Instability, Syria and Sanctions

The last 30 plus days have seen a dramatic unfolding of events involving Russia. The combination of rising political tensions, new U.S. sanctions and another chemical weapons attack in Syria have put investors on edge. The conundrum facing investors is whether this new Syria crisis will quickly fade or linger given other cumulative effects.

By | April 16th, 2018|

The End of Risk-Free Returns

Markets are known for offering investors lessons in humility. On the one hand, Warren Buffet suggests that “humility can make you rich.” On the other hand, a lack of humility, typified by chasing unsupportable gains (aka Bernie Madoff), can lead to ruin. The difference in outcomes rests on the ability of investors to gauge the market.

By | March 30th, 2018|


Humans have an innate tendency to discern patterns and connections between otherwise unrelated things. Psychiatrists have termed this ability as apophenia. It’s an essential trait to make sense of an otherwise random world.

By | February 27th, 2018|

Stories and Storytellers

These days it is easy to be cynical. Writing this on the eve of a U.S. government shutdown, it seems that our leaders and institutions too often disappoint us. Perhaps the truth about our leaders and institutions was always oversold, yet we chose to believe differently.

By | January 29th, 2018|

2018 Investment Outlook

The U.S. economy is in the late stages of an expansion, and speculative excesses are beginning to proliferate. Risk assets will probably perform well in 2018 but increasing caution and portfolio conservatism are warranted

By | January 24th, 2018|

Monitoring Global Risk Events: Applying GDELT to Global Events

Over the course of 2017, we integrated big data analytics into Northwest Passage Capital Advisors’ tracking of global events. As part of our firm’s ongoing “Boots in the Cloud” research initiative, we are actively leveraging the vast data potential of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (“GDELT’’) to gain a fuller and better-informed perspective on world events impacting emerging markets.

By | January 11th, 2018|

2017 Q2 Fly Away on My Zephyr

William C. Slaughter
July 31, 2017

Results reflect a benign environment for fixed-income assets with EM bond markets tracking the overall strong performance of risk assets.

Back in Synch

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
July 1, 2017

The Olympic motto (“Swifter, Faster, Stronger”) captures the essence of competition; that through competition the best is brought out …

Boots in the Cloud

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
June 1, 2017

Intelligence organizations have historically relied on agents in the field employing well-honed spycraft to collect and report vital information …

2017 Q1 Cognitive Dissonance

William C. Slaughter
May 2, 2017

Fixed-income markets deliver strong returns, ignoring continuing political and economic risk, in a complete unwinding of the “Trump trade.”

Honey vs. Vinegar

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
May 1, 2017

In policy-making, everyone wants the honey without the vinegar…

Brexit Endgame

K.P. O'Reilly PhD, JD
April 4, 2017

The recent triggering Article 50 renews speculation over Brexit. Application of basic game theory sheds light on some potential outcomes.

Trouble in Paradise

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
April 1, 2017

Today, Cuba stands at a crossroads. Will it continue to rely on its old allies …

Gaming NAFTA. Trump V. Nieto

K.P. O'Reilly PhD, JD
March 15, 2017

Application of simple game theory offers unique insights on potential US and Mexican bargaining strategies for the upcoming NAFTA negotiations.

European Elections Update

K.P. O'Reilly PhD, JD
March 14, 2017

The populist surprises of Brexit and the US election, have heightened risk anxiety for national elections across Europe in 2017.

The Winner Is (Isn’t) La La Land

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
March 1, 2017

Unfortunately, there are no simple solutions to the complex problems we face …

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