Coddling of the American Mind and other links

Coddling of the American Mind: A fantastic book, Here is the video interview with Jonathan Haidt from the Agenda:

Some quotes from the book:
“Paranoid parenting is a powerful way to teach kids all three of the Great Untruths. We convince children that the world is full of danger; evil lurks in the shadows, on the streets, and in public parks and restrooms. Kids raised in this way are emotionally prepared to embrace the Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life is a battle between good people and evil people—a worldview that makes them fear and suspect strangers. We teach children to monitor themselves for the degree to which they “feel unsafe” and then talk about how unsafe they feel. They may come to believe that feeling “unsafe” (the feeling of being uncomfortable or anxious) is a reliable sign that they are unsafe (the Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always trust your feelings). Finally, feeling these emotions is unpleasant; therefore, children may conclude, the feelings are dangerous in and of themselves—stress will harm them if it doesn’t kill them (the Untruth of Fragility: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker).”

“A. Place clear limits on device time. Two hours a day seems to be a
reasonable maximum, as there does not appear to be evidence of
negative mental health effects at this level. For younger children,
consider banning the use of devices during the school week entirely,
in order to delay for as long as possible the incorporation of devicetime
into daily routines.
B. Pay as much attention to what children are doing as you do to how
much time they spend doing it. In chapter 7, we presented the
principle that social network sites and apps should be judged by
whether they help or hinder adolescents in their efforts to build and
maintain close relationships.38 Talk with your children about the apps
that they and their friends use and how they use them. Which ones
are essential for their direct communication? Which ones do they
experience as triggering FOMO (“fear of missing out”), social
comparison, and unrealistically positive presentations of the lives of
other kids? Read Twenge’s book iGen (as a family, if you can) and
then bring your teenager into the discussion of how to minimize the
potential hazards of heavy device use. These devices and apps are extremely appealing and addictive, so it may be difficult for children
to self-regulate. You may need to use a parental-restrictions app39 or
the parental-restrictions setting on your child’s devices to manage and
monitor usage.40 And pay attention to what you are doing, too. Is your
device use reducing the quality of your time with your child?”

Epsilon theory had an interesting take related to helicopter parenting:

“But we don’t believe in free-range kids just because a safer world means we can. We believe in it because we should. In other words, we think there are important developmental, psychological, civic and philosophical reasons to walk away from constant close supervision of our children. In doing so, we express a belief that freedom from excessive guidance promotes the development of intellectual autonomy. Of adaptivity to changing circumstances. Of self-worth. Of enduring challenges, disagreement and difficulty. Of hearing and seeing disagreeable things without being drawn in or repelled by them in counterproductive ways. Of a rock-solid belief in the autonomy, sovereignty and value of others.

It is this cause that gives me pause, not only about our kids, but about us – about investors.

The transformation of capital markets into political utilities isn’t just similar to helicopter parenting. It IS helicopter parenting.

The power of capitalism that has lifted billions out of poverty is the power of price. It is the power that we have together, when we become a market, to determine what something is worth so that capital can be allocated most efficiently to produce the things and services that make our lives easier, if not always better. …..

I worry about the transformation of capital markets into political utilities – in part – because of the unavoidable tangible outcomes of that policy. Capitalism made us wealthier and more productive in part because we allowed bad ideas to fail. It made us wealthier and more productive in part because the people willing to take big, short-vol type risks were compensated commensurately. It made us wealthier in part because investors who could identify relative mispricings were paid for doing so.

Nobody today wants to do any of those things – not because they aren’t being rational or ethical, but because they are…….

What worries me is that when this Zeitgeist has grown up, when we’re all done being helicopter-parented by policymakers, we will all be crippled as investors – capable of and conditioned to allocate among asset classes which no longer have the same meaning they once did (e.g. Emerging markets), trained in the art of using shoddy empirical techniques to validate our dispositions (e.g. all you need is US Large Cap!), skilled in the assessment of which Culturally Important Institution policymakers need to leverage asset prices to protect, and utterly incapable of determining whether we should provide capital to a business or government venture, and under what terms.

The greatest threat to capitalism isn’t the AOCs or Bernie Sanders of the world. It isn’t even oligopolistic cronyism (although I suppose I could probably be convinced). The greatest threat to capitalism is a generation of investors and business executives helicopter-parented by policy-makers, a generation of people who haven’t learned how to evaluate, take and endure risk.

It isn’t us today. But it could be us in the future.

Interesting take on the fall of the Simpsons:

Some Older Wisdom from Douglas Rushkoff:

Old but I really enjoyed Lanier’s book recently:

Economic Links:

I”m just reading GaveKal’s new book: Clash of Empires: Currencies and Power in a Multipolar World. Here are some GaveKal links:
“The global growth environment remains lackluster, and the risk is that it will deteriorate from here. As a result, you need to “pay up” for what little growth you can find. And the only obvious area where you can find growth is in technology, partly because so many tech companies enjoy quasi-monopoly situations thanks to scale and network effects. In fact, being a massive company
is no longer a hindrance to growth, because you can now operate on a global scale and capture monopoly rents.”

Pair with: When will the remarkable run of the FANGs end? Peering into 2020: New decade, new paradigm
“Assuming that the US-China standoff is not merely a trade war but the start of a new cold war then
the shift in the US-China relationship will cast a long shadow over financial markets. As reviewed
above, the new cold war could end up being:
-Bearish for US technology stocks
-Bearish for the US dollar
-Bullish for Russia
-Bearish for Chinese growth
-Bullish for renminbi bonds
In short, for a world that may be going through a dramatic shift, one wants to be long the assets that
no-one today owns, like Chinese and Russian bonds, and underweight those that everyone and their
dogs are overweight like the US dollar and US technology stocks.”

Update 2019/08/24 new GaveKal links:

Teddy Vallee’s historical post on bonds using intermarket and liquidity indicators:

NOSPINFORECAST The Employment Situation: Sample report from a great economic analysis firm

ITR on Canada

“[We] have received a lot of questions regarding the timing of the upcoming cyclical low and the reasons behind our expectations for a rising trend in the economy in the second half of next year.” – ITR Director of Speaking Services Alex Chausovsky.

Update 9/23: