Influential Reads – May 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“When you first start to study a field, it seems like you have to memorize a zillion things. You don’t. What you need is to identify the core principles – generally three to twelve of them – that govern the field. The million things you thought you had to memorize are simply various combinations of the core principles.” — John T. Reed in Succeeding

Apologies for the silence.  As I alluded to earlier, my family and I embarked on a six week trip to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in early May.  

We’re back now and “decamping” a bit.  And starting to get ready for our next trip.

Here are my most influential reads from back in May – in no particular order:

  1. The Great Pandemic Mortgage Refinance Boom – “Approximately one-third of outstanding mortgage balances was refinanced during the seven quarters of the refi boom, and an additional 17 percent of mortgages outstanding were refreshed through home sales during a time of high demand for housing.”
  2. DoubleLine’s Gundlach warns of echoes of S&L crisis at regional banks – “This is kind of the same phenomena, and I don’t really see what’s going to make it stop, unless the Fed is going to cut interest rates, which there’s no inclination of cutting interest rates at the next meeting,”
  3. These 4 free apps can help identify every flower and tree around you – “The easiest to use is Seek.”  SMS: We used this a bunch on our trip and it was super fun.
  4. Despite Fed Tightening and Bank Collapses, It’s Still an Astoundingly Loose Financial Situation in La-La-Land – “So, despite the rate hikes and QT by the Fed, financial conditions are still looser than the long-term average, though they have become somewhat less loosey-goosey than during the free-money era.”
  5. Press Pause – “What we do know is the fastest set of rate hikes in modern times have been breaking things, and if it continues, it’s likely to get worse.”  SMS: I would argue we broke things on the way up (i.e., housing prices); people just tended to find those outcomes more fun.
  6. The Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence – “Congrats. You are no longer reliant on bosses or clients. You can deal with them if you want, and you probably will. But only if you want, when you want, with who you want. Which feels good.”
  7. The Druck hates to lose money – “If I get an idea and I think it’s attractive for whatever reason . . . I generally go ahead and buy it, and then tell the analysts to poke holes in it and if it turns out I was wrong I get out. I don’t like to wait around. “
  8. Some Things I Think – “A big problem with bubbles is the reflexive association between wealth and wisdom, so a bunch of crazy ideas are taken seriously because a temporarily rich person said it.”
  9. The Fed’s Interest Rates Are still Fueling Inflation rather than Dousing it, and People Getting Used to this Inflation – “When we look back 60 years, we see what an extraordinary period this QE and interest rate repression since 2008 has been. During almost the entire 14 years — except for a few months in 2019 — the Fed’s policy rate was far below the rate of core CPI.”
  10. How to Make Friends as an Adult – “Therefore, fairly late in life, you have to teach yourself to deliberately make time and space for friendships. “.

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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