In July, Mad Magazine announced it would cease publication after 67 years. While the magazine might be ending, the image of its iconic mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, will live on for years to come. In many ways, the character with his gap-tooth, carefree smile as the world around him is collapsing epitomizes current market reactions to recent negative headlines.
Economically speaking, Western civilization might be engaged in the most elusive search since the fabled quest by King Arthur’s knights to find the Holy Grail. Today’s investors face a no less formidable or elusive quest. Investors are desperate to seek out quality sources of income at a time when central banks are intent on undermining them.
The phrase “batten down the hatches” has nautical roots. The captain had complete control of the timing of readying the ship for the storm. Captain Donald Trump would like the same discretion over the timing and actions of the Fed, although he is unlikely to get it.
Here in Milwaukee, the Fourth of July is kicked off every July 3 with a large-scale fireworks show held on the lakefront. The panoramic backdrop makes for quite a show in the night sky. Looking through the fireworks induced haze marking the celebration of another Fourth of July, I was struck by the parallels between staging a successful fireworks show and managing the current economic cycle.
The ongoing trade war between China and the United States is exposing their opposing worldviews. The Chinese government prefers to control production whereas the US authorities find it easier to promote demand.
In the classic comedy movie Airplane, one of the more memorable scenes is when the characters engage the autopilot to keep their plane airborne. The catch, however, was that the autopilot could not land the plane.
Across the U.S. a subtle shift has been going on for some time with many Americans appearing to adapt a more European way of life. In towns small and large, you will find sidewalks transformed into trendy outdoor cafes. In many cities, espresso bars are as commonplace as the traditional corner tavern. Even the long running American love affair with the automobile is being reconsidered as urban centers move to adopt public transportation systems resembling those found in many European centers.
It has been said that the act of giving is a gift in itself. It is widely believed that giving can be psychologically more beneficial to the giver than the recipient. Our policymakers must truly believe in this power of giving and its benefits politically.
The U.S. and China share many similar traditions, only they are celebrated in different ways. The Trump administration must consider the importance of Chinese culture and tradition if it intends to be successful with trade talks.
Once in Golconda by acclaimed financial reporter John Brooks chronicles the market events leading up to the 1929 crash and its aftermath. Golconda was a term used in the late 1880s to describe great wealth. The use of the word is a reference to Golkonda, a medieval fort in Southern India, home to some of the world’s most productive diamond mines. In fact, it’s where the Hope Diamond was discovered. Indian folklore refers to the city as a mythical place where everyone who passes through acquires wealth.