Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • When politicians have been in power for a decade, voters usually want a change no matter how popular the leader is. The hallmark of populism is anger. Left-wing populism is mostly about economics. Right-wing populism is mostly about culture. Both hate the big city elites who they believe run the world.
  • Populism gets attention but rarely wins. The real democratic populists of the late 19th and early 20th century were agrarian reformists, anti-immigration activists, advocates of prohibition and ardent believers in the moral superiority of farms and small towns – but always lost the elections. The Democratic Party when it has been successful has never been about populism.
  • Ben Bernanke was the single individual responsible for preventing the financial crisis of 2008 from turning into something much worse.
  • Brazil is the biggest country in the entire Southern hemisphere, with the 6th largest population and 8th largest economy in the world, with a government with the lowest ever approval ratings according to Reuters.

Philip Tetlock at the University of Pennsylvania said:

  • The average expert in fields like politics is no better at making predictions than anyone making a random guess.
  • Many organizations, governments, and news media never truly evaluate the accuracy of their predictions.
  • Predicting is a skill that can be honed, and can be acquired with practice by anyone with a fair level of intelligence.
  • The best forecasters tend to be open-minded, consider information from many different sources, embrace nuance, qualifying their assertions carefully, and work well with those that disagree, without being disagreeable.

Ben Bernanke said:

  • You cannot have a collapse of the financial system and the rest of the economy emerges unscathed.
  • The US economy is recovering strongly, though not benefiting everybody. Globalization, huge technical and institutional changes have worked against the worker with the high school degree and little experience with technological change – a very long term problem that monetary policy can do little about.
  • Yellen has to decide if there is enough domestic momentum to keep us growing despite the drags from abroad.

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