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Feature Article

Gyro Gearloose redux .

The arc of monetary evolution is the subject at hand. A question for the dollar-holding subscribers of Grant’s: What’s really in your wallet?

Grant's Archive

Subscribers may download whatever they wish. Non-subscribers may search the archives and download past issues at the cost of $115 per issue.

To license individual articles for reprint, please email us at reprints@grantspub.com

June 14, 2019, Vol. 38, No. 12

All in favor

In monetary matters, Mike Pence agrees with Donald Trump. And because Larry Summers agrees with Pence, it follows that the former president of Harvard University is on the same page as the sitting commander-in-chief. A hardened consensus of financial opinion ought not to be comforting.

Long-shot nation

A gamble on the long-running inflation-devaluation-corruption-default-recession-statism champion of the Western Hemisphere.

Its own planet

No valuation like it, not on this planet.

Future shop

Opportunities for self-insuring against the unexpected.

Curve ball

What the historical record suggests for an investment strategy in the 12 months following an inversion of the 10-year/3-month yield curve.

May 31, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 11

Fresh faces for America’s currency

An action plan to advance the cause of monetary diversity in America.

In which we erred

In the issue of Grant’s dated May 3, we had bullish things to say about a trio of baby bonds that yielded more than 6%. We wrote before we truly understood what we were talking about.

New misery index

Presenting the New Grant’s Misery Index. For a financialized America in which the S&P 500 has taken over the national mood.

Small big bet

China’s “special administrative region” isn’t your father’s Hong Kong and confidence is the most important kind of capital.

Headline news

Investors seek risk in muni-land.

Total addressable hope

The levitating share prices of a pair of hot stocks may point to the certain and final automation of the bond market – or to nothing more newsworthy than the familiar fact that EZ money is good for the stock market.

Dots need connecting

When do deficits matter?

May 17, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 10

Just call it the ‘bizzle’

History may remember these times as a golden age of invention and entrepreneurship, but those flattering descriptors should come with an asterisk. Introducing the bezzle’s first cousin.

For steeper and choppier

A fund for anyone who expects, or dreads, a reversal of the steady states of being in fixed income today.

Free interest rates!

On May 7, the editor of Grant’s addressed the Bradley Foundation Prize event in Washington, D.C. What’s to be done about Jack Daniel’s-grade financial disinhibitors?

Fear factor

A case of soaring revenues failing to deliver where it counts.

Cash wanted

An update on a certain global avatar of growth-at-any cost.

On your honor

Across the Atlantic, a controversial fund and its founder presage trouble for America’s illiquid-securities business.

On strike

The bet on a more dovish Fed is not predicated on a slowdown in inflation but in the S&P 500. What’s the strike price of Chair Powell’s put?

May 3, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 09

Buried alive in ‘Businessweek’

Things have come to such a sorry pass for the ancient scourge of paper money that Bloomberg BusinessWeek has written its obituary. Inflation dead declaims the April 22 cover story. “Dormant” is the word, we demonstrate.

Update on GE

On the inadvisability of having a taxable address in the City of New York.

Energy super-bulls

“When this is all over, every publicly traded Permian Basin name will be taken over.” Herewith the meaning of the word “this,” along with an assortment of bullish investment ideas related to that suggestive pronoun.

Corporate debt pre-mortem

A must-read anticipatory analysis of what will go wrong in the next, yet unscheduled, financial train wreck.

Risk and reward

Wary of both the income famine and the private-equity boom that prompt the outpouring of middle-market corporate debt, we nonetheless find bullish words for a pair of business development companies and a triplet of BDC baby bonds.

Charge it – off

It’s not just the flat yield curve that worries America’s bank chieftains.

Let’s emulate China

Doubtful advice from the senior, non-voting kibitzer of American monetary policy.

April 19, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 08

In the words of Paul Krugman

Propounded by the economist Abba Lerner, modern monetary theory is an old thing made new. A close and lucid reasoner was Lerner, but his disciples? Not a model, rather an “attitude.”

Lifting the veil

Half of the moon is dark, but 85% of the leveraged-loan market is shrouded. Shedding a new bright light on the credit profile of that $1.1 trillion accident-waiting-to-happen.

‘It is not a cycle’

“China will elect to float the renminbi,” speculated Russell Napier, leadoff speaker at the Spring 2019 Grant’s Conference, “and a jarring deflationary shock will quickly give way to rip-roaring global inflation.”

The power of ideas

“If you pay a price expecting an incremental reinvestment of 14% and it’s on its way to 7%, it can be an expensive lesson.”

Outside the lines

“I’m looking forward to having my Warhol Campbell’s Soup painting arrive at my doorstep in an Amazon van.”

FOMO headed here

“You will get new highs on all of the averages,” observed Wall Street’s best stock-market technician.

Muse to central bankers

On money and banking and the duty of a central bank to clean up after a boom: Thoughts from the Greatest Victorian prove especially timely.

In the Age of Trump

“I like the market here, but I don’t like the direction we’re going.”

Deflation on the brain

“You don’t need much of an increase in inflation to change the market tone of TIPS, because expectations right now are a deflationary kind of thing.”

A retiring country

“In Mexico, people retire when they are 72 years old, in Brazil at 59, so this is an impossible system.”

Interest-rate overview

Seated with your editor onstage at the Plaza, the financial market historian Richard Sylla came prepared with a multi-millennia view.

‘It just ain’t so’

“You can have no certainty that stocks will beat bonds over multi-decade intervals,” our speaker informed the Grant’s audience, “and I would not assume that you can get 6.6% real in stocks.”

Melting to the upside

Volatility takes a cat nap.

April 5, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 07

To the gnomes of Zurich

On April 4, the editor of Grant’s addressed the wealth-management forum of the Swiss publication Finanz und Wirtschaft. Opportunities abound from central bank manipulation.

Class of 1929

You have money to invest, but stocks are trading near all-time highs and investment-grade bonds, half of which are rated a single notch away from junk, yield a measly 3.7%. A trio of closed-end funds, trading at deep discounts to NAV, offer the value-minded, bubble-phobic investor a fighting chance.

Standing on a box

A little-known fact about unicorns is that they feed on interest rates. They like low, little rates – the tinier, the better. What do unicorns, the humans of private equity and the bulls of Wall Street all have in common?

Cost of low rates

In the post-2008 bull markets, think of the “everything bubble” as the moon overhead. We see but one side, the assets. It’s the obverse, the liabilities, that cry out for attention.

Snowflakes of leverage

Is a 3% interest rate an economy-killer?

March 22, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 06

Larry Summers sings the blues

“Secular stagnation” is upon us – watch out, or we’ll become Japan.

What everyone needs

A trio of ideas for the income-famished investor.

Monetary pain points

A speculation on the investment consequences of the central bankers’ big ideas.

Don't look down

All about a business strategically situated at the intersection of ingenuity, credit, price control and bull-market psychology.

Lights out

The not so little statistical white lies of the People’s Republic start to add up.

March 8, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 05

The ‘Post’ rates New York

“Strong budgetary management” is not what you think of first when you gaze upon City Hall.

Can’t stand 1%

Corporate rivets begin to pop when the real rate of interest approaches even 100 humble basis points.

Not so ‘cheep’

On perhaps the greatest retail stock of the 21st century, we make bold to be bearish.

Eyes unblinkered

If the pulse on which Grant’s has its finger is indeed the pulse of investor sentiment, credulity is a short sale. A speculation on a turn in the Wall Street zeitgeist

Dollars take flight

Russia’s central bank goes to cash.

February 22, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 04

The great non sequitur

The trouble with investing in the 21st century is that you become blasé about the quirks of the age. Before you know it, you start to think, well, negative-yielding debt isn’t so bad. Someone’s buying it.

All ahead full

You can have low prices and bad news or high prices and good news, but you can’t have low prices and good news. A survey of the opportunities in ocean-going shipping.

Dim the lights

Safety is inherent in no investment. And not in the securities of many a putatively safe and secure American electric utility. A demonstration of how little utilities in general, and one utility in particular, answer the description of port in a storm.

Dueling prices

We continue to identify Masayoshi Son’s corporate creation as one of the top contenders for the unwanted cyclical crown of Least Likely to Succeed.

How to stop a bear market

January was one for the record books with RMB 4.6 trillion ($687 billion) in new credit issued to Chinese borrowers. What ever happened to Xi Jinping’s deleveraging drive?

February 8, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 03

An open letter to Bill Dudley

What I was writing to tell you is that the Fed is technically insolvent.

Political risk in America

Even if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez winds up losing the 2020 presidential election, one tax-related shock looms unavoidable. A survey of deeply discounted opportunities in a bond market not exactly overflowing with bargains.

Fast food take out

You could almost say – we’ll say it – that the tribulations of the American restaurant industry are a mirror to the 2019 state of the Union. A parable of ultra-low interest rates and put-upon franchisees.

Out with the old

If all goes according to plan, the post-Libor transition will be the money market’s own version of the anticlimactic, year-2000 computer-clock changeover, Y2K.

Growth? Not much

After opening up the taps to businesses in December, bankers are having second thoughts.

January 25, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 02

A 500-year bull market shows its age

It’s nobody’s idea of breaking news that interest rates have tended to rise and fall in generation-length intervals. More striking is a young scholar’s contention that these decades-long undulations are only the wavelets of a half-millennium decline, a trend that will carry to still lower lows in the next recession.

RIP, John C. Bogle

Jack insisted he has enough money. His fans may doubt he received enough thanks.

Peak superhero

Creative destruction costs money, as the holders of low-yielding debt in heavily encumbered businesses may presently be reminded.

Waldo's the name

A new/old method of regulatory arbitrage.

Hospitalized biotech stocks

Illiquid, unfollowed, undesired and battered, micro-cap biotech stocks tick nearly every contrarian’s boxes.

They ask so little

This may be a problem for newly invigorated bond buyers.

January 11, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 01

On returning to life as the stock market

The man who could topple the Commander-in-Chief is himself constrained by a greater power.

No waiting required

Netflix, Inc. was the best-performing stock in 2018, with a total return of 39%. It is also the only FAANG to generate negative free cash flow. Herewith a connection between these facts and a collection of stocks that just might excel in 2019.

Lottery Tickets, Inc.

The rolling-up of the red carpet of liquidity makes for winners and losers alike. Within this varied grouping, a trio of investment candidates, of which the reader will confront the daunting vocabulary that redirected many a would-be doctor to

Sacrificial securities

Suspense remains the order of the day for the Old Continent’s banks and their black-and-blue shareholders.

Dancing in the dark

This poses a conundrum for the Federal Reserve: Our money mandarins are “data dependent,” or so they tell us, but on what data can they rely?

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