A view of the equity markets from the perspective of a historian and business investor. A combination of conversations with select market participants as well as original material. If you like investments that pay dividends, you will like this podcast. If not, then not.
Episode 23: Paul Schmelzing on the long-term decline in rates
Financial historian Paul Schmelzing takes on many of the assumptions of 20th century financial economics–about risk-free rates, real rates, risk premia–and suggests that they fail the “out of sample” test. How has he done that? By meticulously creating an 800 year data set that indicates more than six centuries of declining returns. In the process, he takes on Thomas Piketty’s claim that returns on financial assets have consistently exceeded broader economic growth, leading to ever greater economic inequality. Not so says Schmelzing. If you are thinking about asset allocation for the next decade or so when rates are supposed to return …
Episode 22: Ed McQuarrie on the importance of 19th c data for your 2022 asset allocation.
Consider the shibboleths of our trade, deeply embedded in our risk models, our IPSs, our return expectations: stocks are better than bonds over time, stocks are risk assets, bonds are risk-control assets, a resulting equity risk premium, with real growth from equities. What if it turns out that these are not exactly true? What if these conclusions are based on incomplete data? That would be a problem, wouldn’t it? And what about the present time, what’s unusual about it compared to earlier investment periods? These answers and more when Edward McQuarrie, retired business professor from Santa Clara University, joins me …
Episode 21: Getting perspective, with the brilliant & wide-ranging Will Goetzmann
How does an art historian, TV producer and art museum director end up teaching quantitative finance? I am joined by Will Goetzmann, the Beinecke Professor of Finance at Yale’s School of Management, to discuss the virtues of changing careers, being interdisciplinary, and following your curiosity. He is one of the most interesting people you are likely to encounter.
Episode 20: The economics of education, with university president David Finegold
Ever wonder about the economics of higher education? Are the people in the classroom, “students” or “customers”? Who is accountable to whom? Who is in charge? Chatham University President David Finegold joins me to view higher education through the lenses that we often use to examine businesses: value creation, accountability, and future trends. It makes for sober listening.
Episode 19: Kristy Ironside, “The Full Value Ruble” & current debates on currency, inflation, & monetary policy.
Thinking about the dollar, crypto, fiat currency, MMT? Get some perspective on the purpose of currency, managing money supply, inflation, wage pressures and all the currently popular financial issues……from a review of how Soviet bureaucrats grappled with similar challenges in the 1950s. Yes, Soviet bureaucrats. Seem remote? Of course, on one obvious level it is. On many other levels, however, the challenges were quite similar. Professor Kristy Ironside from McGill University joins me on the show to discuss her just published Full Value Ruble: The Promise of Prosperity in the Postwar Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2021).
Episode 18: Big user of index funds/ETFs? Better look under the hood.
The brilliant Adriana Robertson, professor of law and finance at the University of Toronto, joins me to discuss what’s really going on behind the scenes at “passive” ETFs and index funds. You might be surprised to learn that they are nowhere near as passive as you think. Investing is about making decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Modern finance, including the mountain of marketing and academic literature behind index products, seems to offer a way around that fundamental human challenge. Not so. Hear why.