"It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises - but only performance is reality."
- Howard Geneen, ex-CEO of ITT
On September 23, 2019, the politicians of the world gathered in New York for an annual United Nations meeting. And man, were they surprised to find themselves subjected to a tongue lashing the likes of which I have never seen.
"Ah, it was in New York so it must be Donald Trump who was speaking," you're thinking. Nope. He did make an appearance, but he missed the fireworks at this event.
The individual berating the leaders of countries around the world was none other than 16-year old Greta Thunberg of Sweden. She was angry that more isn't being done to address man-made climate change. After reading her speech, I couldn't help being reminded of the biblical advice, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."
The thousands of people that read this newsletter are adults. Unlike children who often view issues as purely black and white, Adults understand that the world is complicated. Let us discuss the issue like adults and allow children to continue thinking like children. They will learn in time.
With all the talk about socialism, democratic socialism, capitalism, and the like, I've been wanting to walk you through the story a bit. Fortunately, someone else did it for me...and they did it brilliantly!
Watch the video above. Show it to your kids. And then think.
Happy anniversary! It’s been ten years since the end of the Great Recession.
And darn it, we are doing it again. If you hold bonds in your investment portfolio, you should continue reading…
"Every generation, civilization is invaded by barbarians. We call them children."
- Hannah Arendt
As most of my readers know, my wife’s a teacher of intellectually gifted children and she is phenomenal at what she does. Teacher of the Year, coach of a nationally competitive robotics team, highly competitive cheerleading coach, etc. If you were to assume that we read a lot, you would be correct. She loves historical fiction and I miss Tom Clancy’s writing more than I can express. Of course, we also read the “hard stuff” and have books on history, biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, physics, energy, and economics floating around. She and I spent a few minutes calculating the number of books that we have accumulated over the years…that now rest in her classroom and our home. Ten thousand. I know that sounds high, but we did the math and two people can do that over a few decades.
My wife and I love to learn and we value education. I believe most of us do.
That love of education explains why the nation was outraged when the WSJ broke the story of Lori Loughlin’s (of Full House fame) involvement in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal; and why it was outraged again when it read of the scandal in which 38 families in Illinois released guardianship of their children to other family members in order to game the system and receive more financial aid; and why the rage turned to fury upon hearing of the Jack Zhao scandal where he purchased the home of Harvard's fencing coach for more than $400,000 above the market price, sold it 15 months later for a $330,000 loss... but Jack’s son found himself on Harvard’s fencing team.
As ugly as those stories are, our higher education problems run much deeper than mere fraud. The good news is that it is within our power to bring sanity back to our higher education system. That said, old ways die hard…
"Humans who acquire the Bomb never lose the ability to make them and they only get cheaper with technology."
- Eric Weinstein, PhD - Managing Director of Thiel Capital
Last year, I wrote a newsletter supportive of America's use of tariffs against China that surprised a lot of people, especially given my strong belief in free trade. With the volatility of the markets recently, I’ve received a lot of calls asking if I still hold that view.
The reasons for my position include issues of commerce, but they go far beyond it. What follows is a 4-point examination of why I believe China is a danger to the liberal world order.
For the sake of the free world, I encourage you to read it.
Entrepreneur, financial guy, husband and father of two great kids.