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Latest Issue

Secular Versus Cyclical: Notes from SIC 2015

May 16, 2015

The consensus I’m hearing and reading from the 500+ attendees at the recent Strategic Investment Conference is that this was the best ever. It was certainly intense, with more divergent views presented this year than at previous conferences. Plus, the range of topics was rather dramatic. This year I was able to listen to all but one of the presentations, and I want to share with you my notes and takeaway thoughts. (In addition to my own notes as a source for this letter, my associate Pat Watson sent me his notes, as well as links to a summary by attendees Chris Bailey and my good friend Steve Blumenthal. I borrow freely.)

I put a great deal of effort into planning the speaking lineup for my conference. It is routinely called the best macroeconomic investing conference in the country each year, and I have to humbly agree. It takes work to make it that way. Last fall, when I began to consider my lineup for this year’s conference, one of the big questions on my mind and the minds of nearly everyone I was speaking to was Federal Reserve policy, so I specifically looked for a few new speakers who could address that concern. The topic of what the Fed would do and what the effects would be was a running theme throughout the conference. That concern is mirrored in the following quote from Stan Druckenmiller. (I think I’ll try to get him to come to the conference next year.)

Earnings don’t move the overall market; it’s the Federal Reserve board. And whatever you do, focus on...

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