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Latest Issue

World War D—Deflation

May 27, 2015

Everywhere I go I’m asked, “Will there be inflation or deflation? Are we in a bull or bear market? Is the bond bull market over and will interest rates rise?”

The flippant answer to all those questions is “Yes.” And that can be the correct answer as well, but it depends on what your time frame is and what tools you use to measure the markets and inflation. One of the newer members of the Mauldin Economics team is Jawad Mian, who writes a powerful global macro letter from his base in Dubai. He has been making the case for the “end of the deflation trade” (or more properly the return of a reflationary period) and the knock-on effects that would cause. Longtime readers know that I am in the secular deflation camp and ask me why there’s such a seeming difference my views and Jawad’s.

The answer is that Jawad and I are more or less on the same page over the longer term; the difference lies in the time frame of our perspective writings. I tend to think and forecast about longer periods of time, whereas Jawad’s main audience is portfolio managers and traders who are focused on the next 6 to 18 months. I tend to think in secular cycles, while Jawad is focused on the cyclical horizon. When you read the section below that Jawad writes, you will find a fairly upbeat analysis.

And that difference opens up a very important discussion for this week’s letter. I will start off by explaining why I think we are still in a long-term secular bear market in US stocks, even while I can...

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