Latest Articles

Total student debt in America now exceeds cost of Iraq War

We’ve all seen the headlines: the cost of university education in the United States has become completely debilitating. And student debt keeps rising to record high levels.

It’s almost commonplace now for a 22-year old to graduate from university with $50,000+ in student debt.

According to data from the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student debt in the United States is now $1.5 trillion.

That’s more than the estimated $1.3 trillion[...] Click here to continue reading

Treasury Department reports $1.2 TRILLION loss in 2017

Earlier this month, the United States government released its annual financial report for the year 2017.

This is something the government does every year, similar to how large companies like Apple, or Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, publish their own annual reports.

Unlike Berkshire and Apple, though, whose financial reports typically show strong, positive results, the US government’s financial statements are a complete horror show.

Right at the beginning of the report, the[...] Click here to continue reading

Warren Buffett isn’t buying. Why should anyone else?

Over the weekend on Saturday morning, amid its usual fanfare and attention, Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway released its annual report to the public.

This is a pretty big deal each year. Investors and financial reporters typically wait with baited breath to hear what the Oracle himself has to say in his legendary annual letter.

Buffett’s topics in previous letters have covered a lot of ground-- the state of the US economy, value[...] Click here to continue reading

Why the most-recent selloff was just the beginning

On October 19, 1987, the Dow experienced its biggest one-day percentage loss in history – plunging 22.6%.

It was “Black Monday.” The selloff was so fast and so severe, nothing else even comes close.

The second worst percentage loss for the Dow was October 28, 1929 (also Black Monday) when the exchange fell 12.82%. It fell another 11.73% the next day (you guessed it… “Black Tuesday”). Then the Great Depression hit.

A[...] Click here to continue reading

South Africa’s brand new president vows to confiscate land from white farmers

If you’ve been following much international news, you’ve probably heard that, after literally years of scandal, abuse, and incompetence, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma was finally forced to resign last week.

This is a big deal for South Africa.

The country has been suffering for nearly a decade under Zuma’s corruption.

And people are certainly hoping that the new President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will represent a positive, new chapter for South Africa.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Meet the Italian government’s Orwellian new automated tax snitch

By the end of the 3rd century AD, the finances of ancient Rome were in terminal crisis.

Years and years of debasing the currency had resulted in severe hyperinflation-- a period of Roman history known as the Crisis of the Third Century (from AD 235 through AD 284).

During the time of Julius Caesar, for example, the Roman silver denarius coin was nearly 98% pure silver.

Two centuries later in the mid-100s[...] Click here to continue reading

088: The dangerous, false logic of “Common Sense”

On the morning of May 18, 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan, a 55-year old municipal worker named Andrew Kehoe used a timed detonator to set off a bomb he had planted at the local school.

Kehoe was Treasurer of the School Board, so he had unfettered access to the school.

According to friends and neighbors, he was having personal issues with his wife (who he had murdered days prior) and extreme financial difficulties.[...] Click here to continue reading

Bitcoin back above $10,000

Cryptocurrencies exist in dog years.

That’s how my colleague Tama Churchouse explained the rapid innovation and massive volatility in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The technology is advancing so quickly that one year in the crypto sector is like seven years anywhere else.

And the price action reflects this breakneck pace.

Bitcoin returned 1,318% in 2017. The S&P 500, for comparison, returned less than 19%.

But bitcoin’s rise comes with massive[...] Click here to continue reading

Terrified of Bitcoin, banks forced to innovate for the first time in 40+ years

Yesterday morning, several banks in Australia started rolling out a new payment system they’re calling NPP, or “New Payments Platform.”

Until now, sending a domestic funds transfer in Australia from one bank to another could take several days. It was slow and cumbersome.

With NPP, payments are nearly instantaneous.

And rather than funds transfers being restricted to the banks’ normal business hours, payments via NPP can be scheduled and sent 24/7.

[...] Click here to continue reading

087: You won’t want to miss this crypto podcast

As I write this, bitcoin is trading at $8,600.

That's down more than 50% from the December highs of $20,000.

But is this selloff a natural correction, or something to be worried about?

That's one of the questions I ask my guest Tama Churchouse in today's podcast.

Tama was an investment banker for a decade, most recently with JPMorgan. Then he went on to manage a family office. And in 2013,[...] Click here to continue reading