Blog en The Marginal Buyer Holds The Pin That Pops Every Asset Bubble ]]><p>Those of you who took an Economics class in college may remember the saying that prices are set &quot;at the margin&quot;. That&#39;s a fancy way to say that prices are set by the person (or people) willing to pay the most.</p> <p>This person willing to pay top dollar is called the &quot;marginal buyer&quot;. Most of us don&#39;t really think about him, but he (or she) is very, very important.</p> <p>Why? Because the marginal buyer not only determines price levels, but also their stability and degree of volatility. The behavior of the marginal buyer, as well as the degree of competition for his/her &quot;top dog&quot; spot, sets the prices of nearly every asset class held by today&#39;s investors.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog Bank of Japan bubble capital controls central banks China competition economics economy hedging home prices housing bubble housing crash housing market Issac Newton marginal buyer Palo Alto Picasso prices real estate S&P 500 Silicon Valley South Sea Bubble stocks vancouver volatility Fri, 19 Aug 2016 06:01:34 +0000 Adam Taggart 100798 at Chris In Asia This October ]]><p>As many of you know, earlier this year Chris was&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">recruited by the United Nations</a>&nbsp;to participate in one of its Advisory Groups. The mission of this particular group is to award a $1 million grant to a promising innovator in the field of sustainable transportation.</p> <p>In April, the Group, made up of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">high-ranking officials and experts from around the globe</a>, convened its for first meeting at the UN&#39;s headquarters in New York.</p> <p>Its next meeting is taking place in&nbsp;<strong>Hong Kong</strong>&nbsp;over&nbsp;<strong>October&nbsp;7-9th</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog Asia Hong Kong speaking event U.N. UN United Nations Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:20:26 +0000 Adam Taggart 100793 at The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 ]]><p>In our household, we measure inflation with the &quot;Burrito Index&quot;:&nbsp;<em>How much has the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck gone up?</em></p> <p>Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you&rsquo;re a self-employed free-lance writer), I can track the real-world inflation of the Burrito Index with great accuracy: the cost of a regular burrito from our local taco truck has gone up from $2.50 in 2001 to $5 in 2010 to $6.50 in 2016.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s a $160% increase since 2001; 15 years in which the official inflation rate reports that what $1 bought in 2001 can supposedly be bought with $1.35 today.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog burrito Charels Hugh Smith college consumer prices Education Food healthcare inflation Tuition Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:31:48 +0000 charleshughsmith 99392 at Making The Wrong Choices For The Wrong Reasons ]]><p>Life is full of examples where folks make bad choices for noble reasons. Not every decision is a winner: sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don&#39;t.</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">In 1962,&nbsp;Decca&nbsp;Records passed on signing a young new band because it thought that guitar-based groups were falling out of favor. That band was The Beatles.</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Napolean Bonaparte calculated he could conquer Russia by assembling one of the largest invading forces the world has ever seen. He marched towards Moscow in the summer of 1812 with over 650,000 troops. Less than six months later, he retreated in failure, his forces decimated down to a mere 27,000 effective soldiers.</li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">1985 217 separate investors turned down an entrepreneur trying to raise the relatively modest sum of $1.6 million for his vision of transforming a daily routine shared by millions around the world. That company? Starbucks. &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>In these cases, those making the decision made what they felt was the best choice given the information available to them at the time. That&#39;s completely understandable and defensible. Fate is fickle, and no one is 100% right 100% of the time.</p> <p>But what&#39;s much harder to condone -- and this is the focus of this article -- is when people embrace the wrong decision even when they have ample evidence and comprehension that doing so runs counter to their welfare.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog basketball behavioral economics central banks Dan Ariely Golden State Warriors Ludwig von Mises Napolean Bonaparte Rick Barry the Beatles Wilt Chamberlain Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:54:42 +0000 Adam Taggart 99965 at On Our Way To Freedom Fest ]]><p>For years now, a number of Peak Prosperity readers have been encouraging Chris and me to attend&nbsp;Freedom Fest, a conference&nbsp;billed as &quot;The world&#39;s largest gathering of free minds&quot;.&nbsp;</p> <p>Every Spring, the calls and emails begin:&nbsp;<em>Are you guys going to&nbsp;Freedom Fest&nbsp;this year?</em></p> <p>They tell us this is consistently the most stimulating week of their entire year. And that, like at our annual seminars, the people you meet and relationships you make there are well worth the price of admission alone.</p> <p>Well, this year we decided to take up the invitation.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog economy energy environment Freedom Fest freedomfest mark skousen Rand Paul Ron Paul Steve Forbes Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:18:45 +0000 Adam Taggart 99676 at The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets ]]><p>In the conventional investment perspective,&nbsp;<em>risk-on assets</em>&nbsp;(i.e. investments with higher risks and higher potential returns) such as stocks are on a see-saw with&nbsp;<em>risk-off assets</em>&nbsp;(investments with lower returns and lower risk, such as Treasury bonds). When risk appetites are high, institutional managers and speculators move money into stocks and high-yield junk bonds, and move money out of safe-haven assets such as gold and U.S. Treasuries.</p> <p>But recently, markets are no longer following this convention. Safe haven assets such as precious metals and Treasuries are soaring at the same time that stock markets bounced strongly off the&nbsp;post-Brexit&nbsp;lows.</p> <p>Risk-on assets (stocks) rising at the same time as safe-haven assets is akin to dogs marrying cats and living happily ever after.&nbsp;</p> <p>What the heck is going on?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog Abenomics assets banks bonds Brexit capital central banks Charles Hugh Smith China debt dollar economy Europe Fed Federal Reserve gold growth inflation interest rates Japan Kyle Bass Markets money precious metals QE risk safe haven silver stock market stocks Treasurys Fri, 08 Jul 2016 19:03:43 +0000 charleshughsmith 99516 at Our Future Is (Literally) Crumbling Before Our Eyes ]]><p>The sorts of predicaments the world faces -- ranging from over $200 trillion in debt, to our unsustainable addiction to fossil fuels, to our over-stressed ecosystems -- all require that we get deadly serious about confronting them ASAP, and make difficult decisions and trade-offs.</p> <p>However, our global leaders always seem to opt to kick the can down the road if at all possible. Short-term thinking and near-term priorities dependably get precedence over doing the right thing for the future. Tomorrow&rsquo;s generations are thrown under the bus by selfishly motivated actors today.</p> <p>As I&rsquo;ve put forth over and over again: we&rsquo;re simply not going to make it unless we get much more serious about our efforts than we have been to date.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog concrete Wed, 06 Jul 2016 05:10:34 +0000 cmartenson 99486 at Fortunes Will Be Made & Lost When Capital Flees To Safety ]]><p>Little did I realize when creating the short video below how prescient it would quickly become in the wake of last night&#39;s&nbsp;Brexit&nbsp;vote...</p> <p>It&#39;s message is simple: there&#39;s a preponderance of data that shows the world&#39;s major asset markets are dangerously overvalued. And when these asset bubbles start to burst, the &#39;save haven&#39; markets that investment capital will try to flee to are ridiculously small. Investors who do not start moving their capital in advance of crisis will be forced to pay much higher prices for safety -- or may find they can&#39;t get into these markets at any price.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog Bitcoin bonds cryptocurrencies cryptocurrency derivatives dollar gold precious metals safe haven silver stocks Fri, 24 Jun 2016 20:46:30 +0000 Adam Taggart 98985 at Tensions Between US/NATO & Russia Are Flaring Dangerously ]]><p>As if there weren&rsquo;t enough crises to worry about in the world already, from shooting rampages to accelerating species loss, the US and NATO continue to &lsquo;poke the bear&rsquo; and risk an outbreak of war with Russia.</p> <p>I wish this were idle speculation. But if you haven&rsquo;t been paying close attention, you&#39;ll probably be shocked at just how much direct military and diplomatic provocation has been going on between NATO/US and Russia over the past several years -- and in recent weeks, in particular.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog NATO Russia war Fri, 17 Jun 2016 21:16:39 +0000 cmartenson 99008 at An Everyman's Guide To Understanding Cryptocurrencies ]]><p>When an asset rises by almost 30% in a few weeks, it tends to attract attention.&nbsp; Recently, that asset was bitcoin (BTC). The price of BTC in dollars rose from $454 on May 23 to $590 on June 6<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p>When an asset doubles in a matter of months, it tends to attract attention.&nbsp; The cryptocurrency Ether (part of the Ethereum platform) doubled from around $7 in April to roughly $14 in early June.</p> <p>Are these&nbsp;cryptocurrencies&nbsp;mere fads? Or are they potentially game-changing alternatives to the conventional currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Chinese&nbsp;RMB, Japanese yen or European Union euro?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Blog Bitcoin central banks Charles Hugh Smith cryptocurrencies cryptocurrency currency debt digital currencies ether etherium inflation money Fri, 10 Jun 2016 21:51:07 +0000 charleshughsmith 98830 at