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Observations Lab

Non-Linear Views on Financial Markets and the Economy, based on Friedrich Hayek's paper on decentralized knowledge, "The Use of Knowledge in Society".

Dr. Brian Taylor, Chief Economist
Global Financial Data, February 27 2020
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Tony Coniaris, Portfolio Manager
Harris Associates, September 5, 2019
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By Daisuke Ikeda, Toan Phan, and Tim Sablik
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Economic Brief, No. 20-01, January 2020
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Mark Robertson
Aviva Investors,  30 September 2019
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Dr. Brian Taylor
Global Financial Data, Aug 14 2019
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Latest Observations
Articles: 1-20 / 956
 of 48

Demographics & long-term growth

Demographics is not destiny, but it can set parameters.

Kim Catechis, Investment Strategist, Franklin Templeton Institute
Franklin Templeton Institute, 28 July 2023

A regime change for Japan?

Japan has been in deflation for years, but a regime change in inflation finally may be emerging. We consider the implications for monetary policy, government bonds, and the yen.

Carol Lye
Brandywine Global, 8 August 2023

The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest

In the beginning was the loan, and the loan carried interest. For at least five millennia people have been borrowing and lending at interest. The practice wasn’t always popular—in the ancient world, usury was generally viewed as exploitative, a potential path to debt bondage and slavery.

Edward Chancellor
Atlantic Monthly Presss, August 2022

The Death of Alexander the Great

After his death, the military fought for control over the land Alexander had conquered and this, combined with the silver Alexander had brought from the Middle East, led to one of the first inflations in history.

Dr. Bryan Taylor, Chief Economist
Global Financial Data, August 7, 2023

Three Colliding Macro Trends

It’s ironic that I had planned this column a couple days ago and started writing it yesterday…because the very concerns I talk about below are behind the overnight news that Fitch is lowering its long-term debt rating for US government bonds one notch to AA+. That matches S&P’s rating (Moody’s is still at Aaa).

Michael Ashton, CFA, Managing Principal
Enduring Investments, August 2, 2023

Peeling back the onion: A concentric approach to investment decision making

Portfolio Managers Greg Wilensky and Jeremiah Buckley offer a framework for interpreting economic news for investment decision making.

Greg Wilensky, Head of U.S. Fixed Income, Portfolio Manager; Jeremiah Buckley, Portfolio Manager
Janus Henderson Investors, 19 July 2023

The Rise and Fall of the German Stock Market

"It is interesting to compare the performance of the German and Austrian stock markets between 1845 and 1914. Between 1845 and the 1880s, the two markets behaved similarly, in part because corporations in Austria listed on German exchanges and vice versa. The first stock to list on the Frankfurt exchange was the Austrian National Bank."

Dr. Bryan Taylor, Chief Economist
Global Financial Data, July 17, 2023

''Elsewhere is where they always are.”


Sir Roger Scruton
National Conservatism, Europe at a Crossroads: The Virtue of Nationalism conference, London, May 13, 2019.

The new age of conformity and uniformity

Anyone remember Apple's commercial of the late 1990s, ”Here's to the crazy ones”?

InvestmentOffice, June 2023

”Did Lockdowns Work? The Verdict on Covid Restrictions

”Our conclusion is clear: the world was sold a bill of goods about lockdowns. Covid lockdowns represent the biggest policy mistake in modern times.”

Steve H. Hanke
June 2023

Milton Friedman on the fallacy of interest rates and monetary policy

Excerpt / Quote

Milton Friedman
Hoover Institution, Hoover Digest: Reviving Japan, April 30, 1998

Who holds sovereign debt and why it matters

BIS Working Papers No 1099

Monetary and Economic Department

Xiang Fang, Bryan Hardy, Karen K. Lewis
BIS, May 2023

Ditch the Angst. The BoE Chief Economist’s Inflation Comments Were an Off-Target Bore

Context is always a friend.

Elisabeth Dellinger
Fisher Investments, 27 April 2023

“The Crowd: a Study of the Popular Mind”

An influential book from 1895 on the social psychology of crowds, originally written in French (“Psychologie des Foules”).

Gustave Le Bon (1841 – 1931), May 2023

Investment Review April 2023

Many impossible things are happening in the investment world at the moment; like the bluebottle which sits upside-down on the ceiling, we have to come to realise these things were not so impossible, after all.

Jonathan Ruffer, Chairman
Ruffer, Investment Review, 3 April 2023

Measuring the Quality of Money

Vytautas Žukauskas
The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Spring 2021

Inflation and Individual Investors' Behavior: Evidence from the German Hyperinflation

Forthcoming, Review of Financial Studies

Fabio Braggion, Felix von Meyerinck, Nic Schaub
University of St.Gallen, School of Finance

Hanke's Currency Watchlist

Prof. Steve H. Hanke
Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering, 24 March 2023

Hanke's Inflation Dashboard

In this week's inflation roundup, #Zimbabwe is in 2nd place. On Mar 23, I accurately measured Zim's inflation at 473%/yr, almost 2x ZimStat's official inflation rate of 243.8%/yr. Phony measurements from Taguma Mahonde & ZimStat.

Prof. Steve H. Hanke
Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, 23 March 2023
Articles: 1-20 / 956
 of 48