Author Archives: Notable Quotable

Notable Quotable

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“My studies of the 17 major financial crises since the founding of the Republic reveal that over-optimism is an important driver of the bubbles that eventually become busts. As the legendary investor, Sir John Templeton, once said, ‘The four most dangerous words in investing are ‘This time is different.’ Such was the mind-set that real estate prices could only rise (2008), dot-com companies would forever grow and be profitable (2001), or that the Russian government would never default (1998). “

Robert F. Bruner
The Hill

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Notable Quotable

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“I expect that the coming decade – and possibly even the next 12 months – will be a disaster for the U.S. stock market. … Measured from current extremes, I expect that the unwinding of this bubble will drag S&P 500 total returns below Treasury bill returns for least a decade, and possibly two. Yet like other bubbles, I expect that most of the damage will come off the top, resulting in market conditions that are reasonably investable within a year or two. Presently, the valuation measures we find best correlated with actual subsequent market returns are at the most extreme levels in U.S. history. Moreover, as I’ve detailed before, the low level of interest rates does nothing to improve those prospective returns.”

John Hussman
Hussman Funds
(November 2021)

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Notable Quotable

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“Too, the crisis [in 2008], incredibly, made the biggest banks bigger. And it made the Federal Reserve, an unelected body, even more powerful and therefore more relevant. The major reform legislation, Dodd-Frank, was named after two guys bought and sold by special interests, and one of them should be shouldering a good amount of blame for the crisis. Banks were forced, by the government, to save some of the worst lenders in the housing bubble, then the government turned around and pilloried the banks for the crimes of the companies they were forced to acquire. The zero interest-rate policy broke the social contract for generations of hardworking Americans who saved for retirement, only to find their savings are not nearly enough. And the interest the Federal Reserve pays on the excess reserves of lending institutions broke the money multiplier and handcuffed lending to small and midsized enterprises, where the majority of job creation and upward mobility in wages occurs.”

 Michael Burry
Physician and famed investor
(The Big Short)

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Notable Quotable

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“Deflation is a threat posed by a critical breakdown of the financial system. Slow growth and recurrent recessions without systemic financial disturbances, even the big recessions of 1975 and 1982, have not posed such a risk.  The real danger comes from encouraging or inadvertently tolerating rising inflation and its close cousin of extreme speculation and risk taking, in effect standing by while bubbles and excesses threaten financial markets. Ironically, the ‘easy money,’ striving for a ‘little inflation’ as a means of forestalling deflation, could, in the end, be what brings it about.  That is the basic lesson for monetary policy. It demands emphasis on price stability and prudent oversight of the financial system. Both of those requirements inexorably lead to the responsibilities of a central bank.”

Paul Volcker
Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government
(2018)

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Notable Quotable

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“I have a theory that computers started to suck when dumb people started to use them. The same is also true of precious metals, which turned into a speculative football in 2011. Those geeks are gone, and only the die-hards are left — the shiny rocks passed from weak hands to strong hands.”

Jared Dillian
NewsMax Finance

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Notable Quotable

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“I don’t believe life is going back to normal once we get to the end of the tunnel. There hasn’t been enough thought given on how behavior has been fundamentally altered from this past year of social distancing, travel restrictions and other curbs to movement, working from home.” (2/21/2021)

David Rosenberg
Rosenberg Research
themarketNZZ interview
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Notable Quotable

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“[C]learly going back to before even history human beings have been in love with gold. It just has something very particular about it, that copper or platinum or silver do not have. I feel that the gold price should bottom at about $1600 or thereabouts and it would be fine to start buying some. The reason being that the central banks of the world are still going to keep policies loose and governments in the western world are starting to engage in a lot of fiscal stimulus. Gold is a mysterious metal but it is in buy territory now.”

Mark Matthews
Julius Baer

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Notable Quotable

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“I’ve been saying for years that central banks can never step away from this. They can threaten to. And they can bluff, and they can do some probing bets like they did last year, and the market may fall for that, or call that bluff in the short term. But yes I think we’re in a position now where central banks can never back away, which sort of begs the question how can this ever end. Can asset markets get inflated forever?”

Mark Spitznagel
Universa
Bloomberg interview

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Notable Quotable

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“The ‘threat’ is best seen through the emergence of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which allow investors to get a proxy physical gold exposure through an investment via their stockbroker. In truth, these products are, in many cases, more expensive than trading and storing physical gold (especially for larger investors with a long-term investment time frame), have less trading flexibility, and are less secure than owning real physical gold.”

Jordan Eliseo
ABC Bullion/Australia

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Notable Quotable

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“For we have reached a critical point. In a sense, it is true that the mists are lifting. We can, at least, see clearly the gulf to which our present path is leading. Few of us doubt that we must, without much more delay, find an effective means to raise world prices; or we must expect the progressive breakdown of the existing structure of contract and instruments of indebtedness, accompanied by the utter discredit of orthodox leadership in finance and government, with what outcome we cannot predict.”

John Maynard Keynes
The Means to Prosperity (1933)

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Notable Quotable

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“Markets tend to veer between two extremes: fear and greed. But right now, the dominant emotion appears to be confusion. . . As one top hedge fund manager says: ‘No one has a view, and everyone is positioned accordingly.’”

Robin Wigglesworth
Financial Times

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Notable Quotable

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“Sometimes I wonder if the world as we knew it really did end in December 2012 as so many mystics, psychics and psychonauts predicted. Not in a nuclear holocaust or giant meteor obviously, but in the beginning of an unravelling of the glue that holds human behavior patterns in place. There certainly hasn’t been a normal US presidential election since that date, and there doesn’t seem to be one on the horizon in the foreseeable future. Things have been getting stranger and stranger ever since, and this trend appears to be accelerating rather than slowing down. Things are weird, and they’re only going to keep getting weirder. Buckle up, buttercup.”

Caitlin Johnstone
Medium Blog

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Notable Quotable

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“The logic that Modern Monetary Theory, for example, with its academic aura and blissful projections of deficits without tears (and money creation sansinflation) has slowly left the fringe of economics and entered its forefront as a sound, indeed ‘logical’ new path forward. Equally, ‘logical’ are the titles given to such popular policies as ‘Yield Curve Control’ or ‘Quantitative Easing,’ which, as many of us already understand, are just clever, even logically titled concepts masking the far more pernicious reality of extreme debt expansion supported by extreme money creation which leads logically to extreme currency debasement.”

Matthew Piepenberg
Gold Switzerland

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Notable Quotable

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“One of the most important warnings offered by firefighters is simple: get out early. In the face of wildfires, some homeowners get the idea of staying in their homes and riding it out. As one firefighter warned, ‘The point is to go.’ But if you don’t, it’s better to stay than to panic and run in the midst of a firestorm of smoke and embers. It’s not the fire that gets you. It’s the heat. Even before the flames reach the house, it can be fatal to stand outside trying to protect what you have (h/t John Galvin). Similarly, our ‘Exit Rule for Bubbles’ is straightforward: You only get out if you panic before everyone else does. You have to decide whether to look like an idiot before the crash, or look like an idiot after it.”

John Hussman
Hussman Funds

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Notable Quotable

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“For we have reached a critical point. In a sense, it is true that the mists are lifting. We can, at least, see clearly the gulf to which our present path is leading. Few of us doubt that we must, without much more delay, find an effective means to raise world prices; or we must expect the progressive breakdown of the existing structure of contract and instruments of indebtedness, accompanied by the utter discredit of orthodox leadership in finance and government, with what outcome we cannot predict.”

John Maynard Keynes
The Means to Prosperity (1933)

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