The History of Modern Finance

A pictorial and musical journey in Grant's cartoons. . .

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Grant's strives to produce rigorously researched and thoroughly analyzed investment ideas.

Current Issue

November 28, 2014, Vol.32, No.23


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Quest and ye shall find

There ought to be deflation, these pages have long contended. As the cost of making things falls, so should the price of buying them. Which brings us to a certain Big Board-listed case study in the progress of the species.

Built by bonds

RIP, Jim Lebenthal.

Preferred income

Mortgage REITs deliver income but not always serenity. The common shares pay big dividends until the yield curve becomes disarranged or mortgage prepayments accelerate. Then—poof! There are safer yield vehicles.

Opportunity in confusion

Herewith a survey of risk and opportunity in the junk bond market, post the energy bust. This is the time for security analysis.

Rootin’ for Putin

As to credit risk, these bonds share the triple A credit rating of their issuer. As to currency risk, they bear the mark of Cain. If a widow or orphan is reading, would he or she kindly now refrain?

Trap of a different kind

Try as they might, all the central banks can’t devalue every currency. At least, they can’t successfully devalue—all at the same time—against each other. But they seem to be testing the possibilities.

Books by the editor

James Grant is the author of these books on finance and American history.

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About James Grant

James Grant founded Grant's Interest Rate Observer in 1983 following a stint at Barron's, where he originated the "Current Yield" column.

His books include works of financial history, finance and biography. They are: “Bernard M. Baruch: The Adventures of a Wall Street Legend” (Simon & Schuster, 1983); “Money of the Mind: Borrowing and Lending from the Civil War to Michael Milken” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992); “Minding Mr. Market” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993); “The Trouble with Prosperity” (Times Books, 1996);  “John Adams: Party of One” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005); “Mr. Market Miscalculates” (Axios Press, 2008); and “Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, the Man Who Broke the Filibuster” (Simon & Schuster, 2011).

 

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