Jan 30, 2018

Ayn Rand on ignoring reality

We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

~ Ayn Rand

Jan 26, 2018

Donald Trump from Davos

America's future has never been brighter.

~ Donald Trump, POTUS, 2018 World Economic Forum, January 26, 2018

Jan 25, 2018

Marc Benioff on optimism from Davos

It's an economic freight train.  Every CEO is bullish.  One of the things about Davos is that it tends to be a tremendous measurement of where things are.  You [interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin] and I were both here in 2008, '09, '10 and you can see when everyone is walking around with their head down.  No one's walking around with their head down.  People are excited and they're feeling good about the world.

~ Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce.com, CNBC interview from Davos, 2018 World Economic Forum, January 23, 2018

Scott Minerd on the euphoria from Davos

I am starting to consider that Davos may be a valuable contra-indicator.  While I am hesitant to jump to a conclusion, I am troubled by the euphoria undergirding the gathering here.

~ Scott Minerd, chairman of investments at Guggenheim Partners, 2018 World Economic Forum, January 22, 2018

(He notes that the sentiment is so positive that discussions at the forum will focus on just how good it can possibly get. He contrasts that with sentiment in January 2016, where the consensus was convinced that the world was on the brink of recession.)

Ray Dalio from Davos: "If you're holding cash, you're going to feel pretty stupid." (2018)

We are in this Goldilocks period right now where we have had this beautiful deleveraging.  Inflation isn't a problem.  Growth is good, everything is pretty good with a big jolt of stimulation coming from changes in tax laws.

[...]

There is a lot of cash on the sidelines...  We're going to be inundated with cash.  If you're holding cash, you're going to feel pretty stupid.

[...]

You can't have a significant rise in interest rates without knocking over the whole asset markets.  The Fed is going to determine what the level of real interest rates are.

~ Ray Dalio, founder, Bridgewater Associates, CNBC interview from Davos, 2018 World Economic Forum, January 23, 2018

Jim Coulter on Davos 2018: "My biggest concern is how little concern there is"

My biggest concern is how little concern there is...  There's a risk that we've gone from the Goldilocks economy to the Pollyanna economy.

~ Jim Coulter, co-founder and CEO, TPG Capital, CNBC interview from Davos, 2018 World Economic Forum, January 25, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Will Durant on empire

... it is the fatality of empire to breed repeated war.  For the conquered must be periodically reconquered, and the conquerors must keep the arts and habits of camp and battlefield; and at any moment the kaleidoscope of change may throw up a new empire to challenge the old.  In such a situation wars must be invented if they do not arise of their own accord; each generation must be inured to the rigors of campaigns, and taught by practice the sweet decorum of dying for one's country.

~ Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, Page 355

Will Durant on bureaucracy

The king dies, but the bureaucracy is immortal.

~ Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, Page 363

Arthur Conan Doyle on history and legacies

What you do in this world is of no consequence.  The question is: what can you make people believe you have done?

~ Arthur Conan Doyle

Walt Whitman on war and history

The real war will never get in the history books.

~ Walt Whitman

Dan Brown on history

By its very nature, history is always a one-sided account.

~ Dan Brown

George Washington on learning from the past

We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.

~ George Washington

African proverb on historians

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always have their historians.

~ African proverb

Jan 13, 2018

Charlie Munger on how the economics profession has been flummoxed the past 20 years

The whole situation is quite weird. Who would’ve guessed that you could have 20 years of real interest rates at zero [in] a lot of different advanced nations? Who would have guessed we could print as much money as we did and have as low inflation as we did? My attitude towards the economic situation has always been one of skepticism. I don’t think these people know what the hell they are doing…They’ve been confident in various formulas, but economics is not physics. The same formula that works in one decade doesn’t work in the next. Economics is a difficult subject. And a lot of overconfidence has been removed from the economics profession over the past 20 years. They’ve been really surprised.

~ Charlie Munger, CNBC interview, January 10, 2018

Abby Joseph Cohen on the global economy: "signs of sustainable growth everywhere"

The economic fundamentals are good. One of the reasons 2017 was a good year for the markets was because the economy accelerated globally. There are signs of sustainable growth everywhere; the momentum will continue for a while.

~ Abby Joseph Cohen, Barron’s Roundtable, January 13, 2018

Jan 4, 2018

Ludwig von Mises on protectionism and war

The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war.

~ Ludwig von Mises