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Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Teacher

Don’t bother taking an apple to school to give your favorite teacher, unless you want to leave it in front of a machine. The schoolteacher is about to join the sorry ranks of the service station attendant, the elevator operator, and the telephone operators whose professions have been rendered useless by technology. The next big […]

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The Wisdom of Crowds

I happen to be a firm believer in the wisdom of crowds, which argues that the actions of millions of participants can deliver a far more efficient answer than any single individual. Think of ants building a colony, where each ant is senseless, but collectively can beat mainframe computers for their utility in design. Any […]

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Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing. As a fanatical follower of the price of everything, I have long been an avid viewer of the television program, Antiques Roadshow, for 14 years, and the English version of the show well before that. This is where you learn what stuff like majolica is. […]

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Money Down the Drain?

Who was the top paid state employee in California last year? The governor? The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? How about the leader of the Senate? Nope. It was a prison psychiatrist who took home an eye popping $838,706, most of it in overtime. I love it! The state drives people insane by sending […]

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The Death of the Consumer

I often get asked why I never put out ‘BUY’ recommendations on consumer discretionary stocks. I promptly send them in search of the latest consumer spending figures at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which do not paint a pretty picture (click here for the link). Since 2008, quarterly spending has come in at a scant […]

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Inside Story on Apple’s Steve Wozniak

I first spoke to Steve Wozniak via HAM radio when I was 12 and he was the 14 year old president of the Homestead High School radio club in Cupertino, California. With seven children, my dad was pretty stingy with allowance money. But when it came to electronic parts, I had an unlimited budget, as […]

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Don’t Hold Your Breath for Residential Real Estate

Every few weeks I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I see my old house for sale in the Wall Street Journal. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s the 8,500 square foot, four bedroom, seven bathroom white elephant perched on a mountain peak, with a dramatic waterfall pouring into a marble swimming pool, and […]

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Why I Love/Hate the Oil Companies

The first thing I do when I get up every morning is to curse the oil companies as the blood sucking scourges of modern civilization. I then fall down on my knees and thank God that we have oil companies. You’ve got to love ExxonMobile (XOM). The world’s largest company announced an unbelievable $125 billion […]

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Who is Ben Bernanke?

Since nothing less than the fate of the free world depends on the judgment of Ben Bernanke these days, I thought I’d touch base with David Wessel, the Wall Street Journal economics editor, who has just published In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic. I doubted David could tell me anything […]

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My Briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff

I have always considered the US military to have one of the world’s greatest research organizations. The frustrating thing is that their “clients” only consist of the President and a handful of three and four star generals. So I thought that I would review my notes from a dinner I had with General James E. […]

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Why the JGB Market May Be Ready to Collapse

When I first arrived in Japan in 1974, international investors widely expected the country to collapse, a casualty of the overnight quadrupling of oil prices to $12 and the global recession that followed. Japanese borrowers were only able to tap foreign debt markets by paying a 200 basis point premium to the market, a condition […]

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CNN’s John Lewis: the Death of a Colleague

I was deeply saddened by the death of my old friend, CNN Asia correspondent, John Lewis, a legend in television journalism. I first met John in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan back in 1974, when he was a decorated Vietnam vet from Ohio trying to claw his way into TV, bootstrap style. […]

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Diamonds Are Still an Investor’s Best Friend

Diamonds Are Still an Investor’s Best Friend. If you forgot to buy your loved one a Valentine’s Day gift and spent a week sleeping on the sofa, eating canned food, and cleaning out the cat box, you now have a chance to redeem yourself. A revolutionary new website has just launched called Mazal Diamond, which […]

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Iran Should Fold Its Nuclear Program, Or Else

“We have 3,500 nuclear weapons left over from the cold war we don’t need, they take 20 seconds to re-aim, we’re not afraid to use them, and by the way, they’re already aimed at you.” That is the approach James Baker III thinks America should take with Iran, Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff and Secretary […]

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What Will the World Look Like in 100 Years?

George Friedman, geopolitical forecaster and founder of the Austin, Texas based private intelligence firm, Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) (click here for the link at https://www.stratfor.com/ ), delivers a fascinating list of future political, military, and economic scenarios in his new book, The Next 100 years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. Friedman claims the current Islamic […]

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