When we published our letter on hard assets in late-December, there was no way of knowing what geo-political events would unfold only a week later. But, when the US attacked one of Iran’s most beloved and decorated generals on January 3rd, shockwaves reverberated around the globe, stoking fears of further conflict in the Middle East.
A century ago, the Roaring Twenties were an era marked by economic prosperity, technical innovation and societal progress. Following the end of the Great War (now known as WWI) and “The Forgotten Depression” (which occurred between 1920 and 1921 when GDP plummeted by 24%), the stock market surged for the better part of the decade, jumping 250% through late-September of 1929.
40 years is a very long time, at least in human terms. But when it comes to inflation, the not-so-fine 1979 seems like 400 years ago. It was in that difficult year — with spiking oil prices pushing the CPI up at close to a double-digit rate — President Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker as the head of the Federal Reserve.
One of the main goals of this newsletter is to examine both sides of a particular issue or viewpoint, be it on the economy, financial markets, or even the pros and cons of artificial intelligence (AI).
The physical and digital universes have something in common: sheer size with respect to volumes that are so large that they require special measurement units. Once one gets used to these new dimensions, concepts like “large” and “small” take on new meaning.