Influential Reads – October 2022

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“If you stick to a path that is no longer worth pursuing, whether it’s a relationship that isn’t going well, or a stock that you’re invested in that’s losing money, or an employee that you’ve hired who isn’t performing, that is when you lose ground.” – Brain Food, Farnam Street

I have some thoughts here, but have not had the time to put them into writing.  So I am not sure if they are good thoughts or not.  

I continue to feel the risks here are massive and still mostly hidden, and there is a good chance of getting squished.  Which I would prefer not to have happen.  Squishing mechanisms include but are not limited to U.S. treasury market illiquidity, imbalances created by the currency market / massive USD strength, and real estate market trend changes.

Midterm elections will be interesting.  But I cannot watch.  There seems to be a faction of people that are “bat shit” crazy.  And there is not a rational middle ground between “bat shit” crazy and not “bat shit crazy”.  So, we should just stop trying.  But tolerating “bat shit” crazy is not a good option.

And, I think you have witnessed peak Zuckerberg and Musk, but for slightly different reasons.  Do you want to be bold and call peak Private Equity while we are at it?

Continuing to notch some “easy” reads:

And that got me to my objective:

Here are my most influential reads for the month – in no particular order:

  1. Rare Skills – “People don’t like leaving opportunities on the table, and it’s counterintuitive to realize that you’ll likely end up with more than those whose appetite for more is insatiable.”
  2. Brief amicus curiae of The Onion filed – “Rising from its humble beginnings as a print newspaper in 1756, The Onion now enjoys a daily readership of 4.3 trillion and has grown into the single most powerful and influential organization in human history.” SMS: Not a follower of the Onion, but this is some inspirational writing.
  3. August JOLTS report: the game of reverse musical chairs in the jobs market is ending – “This is simply more confirmation that consumption leads employment, and we should expect monthly jobs numbers to decelerate further, and go to virtually zero m/m by early next year.”
  4. Harvard predicts looming markdowns to private assets – ” Private funds, however, have not been adjusted to reflect new market conditions, and many have gained in value through to the end of mid-year — a disconnect Harvard predicts will hit portfolios later.”
  5. What to Buy? Bonds. When? Now. – “Looking at the latter half of the 1970s, however, rates increased from 5% to 10%, yet bonds kept making money.”
  6. Summary of My Post-CPI Tweets – “It’s a mistake, the same one people are making in rents & home prices. Rates of change could mean-revert. Prices will not. Prices are permanently higher, b/c the amount of money in the system is permanently higher. This chart shows the price level. Not going back to the old days.”
  7. E-Bikes Need Their Own Classification System on Public Land – “Rapidly increasing E-mountain bike (eMTB) use on non-motorized trails is increasing these conflicts and impacts.”  SMS: Explain to me how a eMTB is not a motorized vehicle?  Is a Tesla not motorized?
  8. You weren’t supposed to see that – “In total, the Federal government created $4.3 trillion in direct economic stimulus of which $3.95 trillion was dropped onto the economy, as if by helicopter, in a period of under 18 months.”
  9. 3 Reasons International Investing Hasn’t Paid Off – “…the U.S. dollar has recently enjoyed its strongest run in 20 years.”
  10. The bond market massacre of September 2022 – “The fear is that as central banks end the long period in which they systematically supported bond markets, deep cracks will be exposed. “

Note: This is based on when I read the article, not necessarily when it was first published.  Unfortunately, my backlog of things I would like to read always seems to dwarf the amount of time I can devote to reading.

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