Minyanville Underground Railroad: Minyan Reports from the Front Lines
By Todd Harrison Jan 01, 2011 12:00 pm
A Minyan is someone who is very good at what they do and better at who they are.
Greetings from the front lines of Minyanville where men are men and sheep are nervous.
It's been a few weeks since our last correspondence and I wanted to share some thoughts as we do our part to affect positive change through financial understanding.
I'm happy to report that the first tranche of the Minyanville capital raise was completed a few weeks ago and we've been adding human capital to our Circle of Trust. These are tough times-the current rally notwithstanding-but it remains our view that the ability to add capacity into this economic downturn will define the winners of the new world.
To that end, as Old School Minyans will attest, I'm an optimist by nature but a realist when it comes to the current financial condition. In my humble view, two potential scenarios exist as we edge our way down this prickly path.
The first is an orderly destruction of debt, deflationary pressures and an eventual path towards an "outside in" recovery that paves to the way towards true globalization. The result would be a higher dollar and lower asset classes in the intermediate term but a sustainable foundation for economic expansion thereafter.
The other is continued socialization of markets, bearded nationalization of troubled institutions and the specter of hyperinflation. A significantly lower dollar is a necessary precursor-but no guarantor-of this dynamic and could potentially "jack" anything denominated by this measuring stick in kind. If this occurs, it would paradoxically punish savers who preserved capital.
The qualifier of this discussion is the elasticity of debt, which is stretched by historical standards. Total outstanding credit obligations are 350% of GDP and the consumer (70% of GDP) is hamstrung by wealth destruction and historically low savings rates. As such, I would place the back-of-the-envelope odds at 3-1 that the former storm manifests.
The popular press is reporting that the economy has turned the corner and recovery is underway. That is diametrically different than the anecdotal inputs we've received from Minyans in the 122 countries that comprise our community. Therein lies the "ask" of this week's Murmurs:
Can you please, in one paragraph or less, offer your "take" on the current state of affairs in your region? With Ambassadors in all fifty states and 35 countries, the collective feedback from ye faithful will help paint a truer picture of the socioeconomic state of affairs.
A few housekeeping items before we flip lids and juggle struggles:
As some of you know, I'll be unleashing Memoirs of a Minyan next week, which is a first person account of a young man programmed to believe that net worth was self-worth and success was measured by money. I chased the cash register looking for validation in a bank account but never took the time to realize there was a difference between having fun and being happy. Some might say I feel into a trap, bowing to the false idolatry of money, and perhaps I did.
I've been compiling this for ten years and many of the stories have never been told in public or private. It was originally written as a book-and I received an offer to publish it-but decided instead to release it as an eBook, posting one chapter each Wednesday over an 18-week period. As an Ambassador of the MUR, you will be sent each chapter before it is released and I will humbly ask that it stays in your inbox.
Secondly, as part the Railroad, we want to leverage your Minyanville knowledge to be our first-line beta testers for select site development initiatives. In the coming weeks we will ask you to help us shape Minyanville's new live chat and community features. We're still in the development phase of this project but we wanted to give you a heads up that it's in motion.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't end this missive by expressing sincere gratitude to each and every one of you. We often say that the definition of a Minyan is someone who is very good at what they do and better at who they are. A dream is only as powerful as those who believe in it and not a day passes when I don't count my blessings that I'm able to do what I love with people I respect while serving the greater good.
For that, I'll simply say thank you, thank you and thank you.
With passion and purpose,
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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