Can You “Get Smart”?
One of our missions at “A Dash” is helping investors see opportunity through a better understanding of organizational behavior, especially that of government.
This is fertile ground. As far as we can tell, no one else in the investment blogosphere is pursuing these themes. Meanwhile, many top pundits and fund managers believe they have all of the answers. What more could we ask?
A Fresh Approach
A few days away sometimes brings a fresh approach. We ask readers to do something really difficult — shed their preconceptions. Pretend that you are a foreign agent, assigned to interpret what is happening in U.S. economic policy.
We admit that this approach was inspired by the recent movie Get Smart and the old TV show, now playing incessantly on the family room TIVO. [A note to regular readers: The presence of a cool teenager in our family just means that the Old Prof became a parent late in life. I enjoyed watching Get Smart when I was Derek’s age and I am older than Doug Kass!)
In our old classroom days, we often found that pulling the problem outside of the traditional framework enabled students to get insights they would miss in any other way.
So suppose that you are a Russian agent. You have no preconceived notion about U.S. policy, the state of the economy, how CEO’s behave, or what the various government agencies might do next.
- Would you report to your superiors about what the intentions were of “The Government”, as if it were a unitary body? Or would you report that various factions had differing opinions? Remember, your career could depend upon your choice!
- Would you suggest that the entire U.S. Government had engaged in a plan to prop up stock prices? What would be your evidence?
- Would you suggest that all of the major bank CEO’s had embarked upon a plan of systematically lying about their assets and their prospects? Knowing that they would soon be exposed? What would be your evidence?
- Would you report to your Chief that the U.S. Government was simply postponing the inevitable cleansing collapse that capitalist theory says is essential? What would be your evidence?
Some months ago someone told us to look at traffic counts and how to do it. We know that posts like this one, articles that really challenge readers to think for themselves, do not attract much attention. We mention this as a pointer for astute investors.
A real understanding of government policy is one of the best ways to make money. The reason? No one is doing it! That includes the Kudlow show. We watch it daily since it is the best information on the subjects of interest. It still lacks a real government expert.
When you have an analytic technique that people do not understand or follow, you have a meaningful edge.