Edge: Milevsky, Ritholtz, Zweig, Ferri and More

Edge QuestionThis year’s Edge question is What *should* we be worried about?  I put that same question to some of my friends. What should *we* be worried about?

Some of their shorter answer follow. Continue reading

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Edge: Michael Kitces

At a high level, I actually think the thing that’s getting the least attention that we SHOULD be worrying about is a good old-fashioned bear market in stocks. Everyone is SO fixated on the bear market in bonds, and either suggesting that stocks are a place to run (which I’ve expressed concern about here) or at the least ignoring that stocks aren’t exactly in a great position either (overbullish, overbought, slowing economy, yadda yadda). Continue reading

Edge: Doug Short

My candidate is the broad array of impacts on the economy driven by a secular shift in demographics. We are in the early stages of a rising elderly dependency ratio, a decline in population of both the peak earning cohort. And to make matters worse, the US birth rate is now at a historic low (see the Pew Research finding). Continue reading

Edge: Kent Engelke

I’m worried about a currency/trade war brought upon by the monetization of debt by most sovereign nations.  What are the infinite number of ramifications including inflation, plunging Europe in darkness for their inability to devalue, to the implosion of the Chinese export dominated economy. Continue reading

Edge: Tadas Viskanta

What should we be worried about? In terms of existential threats, there are no shortage of things we can worry about. As Martin Rees writes in his response to the Edge question there are a “cluster of risks with low probability but catastrophic consequences” with which we should be concerned. We were reminded in vivid detail last week of the kind of threats we are going to have to deal with over time.

Let’s leave these interesting, albeit existential discussions to those with more knowledge and focus this discussion is on finance and economics. There is a war on savers going on and it is not the one we commonly discuss. While ultra-low interest rates have dramatically changed the calculus for investors something else is going on that has little to do with Fed policy. The vast majority of American investors, or should I say savers, are being left to their own devices with not altogether satisfactory results. Continue reading

Edge: What Should We Be Worried About?

The Edge Foundation is an organization of science and technology intellectuals.  Its main activity is a website, edited John Brockman. The site is an online magazine of sorts exploring scientific and intellectual ideas.  The Edge motto is “to arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.”

In recent years, Edge has posed an annual question to its members.  The question and member answers are provided on-line and ultimately collated into a book.  As you may have seen, this year’s Edge question is “What *should* we be worried about?”  Since most Edge members are scientists, it shouldn’t be surprising that the answers generally focus on science and scientific issues.  However, several answers have particular relevance to finance, the markets an investing.  Continue reading