Cornelius Vanderbilt died in 1877. His fortune was built in the railroad and shipping industry. At the time of his death, he had amassed a fortune worth an estimated $215 billion in today’s dollars (that’s more wealth than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos combined). In 1977, roughly three generations later, the family gathered at Vanderbilt University (named in his honor) for a family reunion. One family member remarked that there wasn’t a millionaire left among all of the descendants. On the other hand, the Rockefeller empire chugged on like a freight train, becoming one of the gold standards in preserving legacy wealth. Obviously, two families starting with fortunes took very different paths.
In this exclusive Quarterly Webinar, David Hay reviews what’s happening with central banks, inflation, the economy, bubbles and debt, yield curves and spreads, energy and the stock market.
Ben Bernanke popularized the term “global saving glut” in March 2005 when speaking to the Virginia Association of Economists in Richmond, Va. In his statement, he argued that several forces had created a high volume of global savings and that this “saving glut” helped explain the many years of historically low yields. And that was long before the Fed and its fellow central banks, through their coordinated actions, engineered the virtual extinction of interest rates!
In last week’s edition of our Guest EVA, we ran the first half of a condensed version of Grant Williams’ exceedingly popular Things That Make You Go Hmmm. No one ever accused Grant of short-changing his readers as his weekly missives often run to 30 pages or more. But they are chock full of some of the best non-consensus insights, spiced with biting humor, this side of another Grant (as in Jim Grant).
Definitive statements tend to separate “legends” from “losers”. “Legends” live in lore as women or men with the clairvoyance and courage to make a bold (and correct) prediction in a time of uncertainty. Think of Winston Churchill’s stirring speech: “Men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”