I began writing Things That Make You Go Hmmm... in 2009 in an attempt to make sense of what was a seemingly never-ending disconnect between economic reality and the direction being taken by markets.

Back then, we knew that central banks would pump liquidity into the markets but I think it's safe to say that none of us knew the extent to which they would be both forced and willing to extend that lifeline.

Five years on, the disconnects are getting larger by the day and the degree to which markets have become stretched has reached extremes unheard of in modern times.

We are all going to bear witness to how this chapter ends one day - perhaps soon - and my aim is to chronicle that eventual denouement as best I can.

I do not think it ends with sunshine and strawberries.

A healthy distrust of the 'narrative' is an essential tool to have - though I readily admit it may have been the cause of missed profits.

What it hasn't been is the cause of a loss of capital.

The need to do one's own research has never been more crucial.

Simply following the momentum at this stage really is the proverbial picking up of nickels in front of the steamroller. It's fine for a computer-driven algorithm but for more complex human beings who share the twin traits of greed and fear, it is potentially a shortcut to penury.

In the pages of Things That Make You Go Hmmm...I will continue to try and make sense of the complex world in which we find ourselves and I'm delighted to share that journey with you.

The next phase of Things That Make You Go Hmmm... begins today.



13 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. I cannot find a simple way to “LOG OUT”. How about adding that to the tool bar where it’s easy to see and click?

    Otherwise, I hope many people who read your excellent reports via John Mauldin will follow you here.

    Re the Save Our Swiss Gold Initiative, it was “a bridge (to reality) too far”. Had it separated the first two items and the last into two initiatives, my Swiss friends tell me the first two would have passed: no more sales of Swiss gold and bring our gold home.

    1. Hi Adam. Working on the Log Out button. It’ll be done. The SGI was doing fine until the SNB realised it had some traction and so pulled out ALL the stops (Largely in contravention of the rules of such things but hey, who’s keeping score?). I agree 100% that what sank it was the stipulation that no gold could ever be sold again.

      1. My Swiss friends tell me it was not “no further sales” of Swiss gold, but the part about keeping a ratio of gold to currency that doomed this initiative. That is what the central bankers, who are highly respected in Switzerland, were most disturbed about and the average citizen still trusts them.

    2. I enthusiastically followed you when you moved from John Mauldin’s website. With my first paid issue (Jan 3) I noticed how much more difficult it is to read TTMYGH on your website. First, there is much less contrast between the letters and the background. Second, the type size and/or font are harder to read. Third, the width of the columns is much less reader-friendly. The first page had quotes bouncing all over the place: on the Mauldin website one clearly followed another, even though some were indented and others not.

      Ease of reading is important to me. You are making it very tough for me. I suggest you get a communications expert in to help you redesign your format for maximum easy of reading. It will make a difference to your subscribers.

      With the greatest continued admiration for your insights,


  2. Hi Grant

    Thanks for the opportunity.
    I value your work very highly and look forward to continuing to read you outpourings into the future. Finance with a cynical eye to the status quo is a necessary antidote. The standard MSM fare is mostly tripe (but without the onions) that most have become used to. TTMYGH and Zero Hedge ARE my required reading.:-)

    Best Regards


    1. Hey Bill, many thanks! Having a cynical eye in today’s world is a blessing and a curse. Hard to remember a time when things weren’t SO messed up but so few are paying attention. Eventually it will give those who are the upper hand, but until then it’s exasperating…

  3. Grant: I look forward to the electronic relationship in 2015 and beyond. I will attempt to chip in my own thoughts (usually energy or WMD related). I don’t have your narrative skills.. But I do hope my 44 years of all around International energy involvement (especially the all important electricity sector.. the basic food group that feeds the revolutionary digital age) will add the odd bit of insight to the workings of the world’s economy.

    Best regards. And may the New year bring good things to you and yours.

    Tom Drolet

    1. Hey Tom! Happy New Year to you. I have a feeling 2015 will be the year our paths finally cross in person but, in the meantime, please keep me posted on your thoughts – they are always incredibly insightful.

  4. Hi Grant,
    I enjoy your writing hence I’ve enrolled with your blog for 2015 – but I have my doubts about wether you’ll be a winning coach or merely an amusing ‘Monday morning quarterback’. As a former believer in the gold narrative , that you especially were good at articulating, I’ve come to question many of the underlying tenets of the gold as an alternative currency that is the natural haven/defence against the coming ‘hyperinflation’ and the ‘collapse of the US$’ – which is the core of the gold story, most hysterically articulated by Jim Willee, the grandmaster of ‘conspiracy central’.
    But other esteemed bloggers like Chris Masterson (a gold bug/inflationist) and Mish Shedlock (a gold bug deflationist) have got it wrong as well. Now Chris (who you know well) is a great talker and writer, on wide variety of subjects, and his ‘Crash Course” was an invaluable tome that bought together many important subjects – the 3 E’s etc, but having successfully warned about the housing crisis and the possibility of the 2008 crash, he’s assumed the mantle of ‘guru’ and has been predicting another even bigger market crash for several years now and the inevitable assent of PM’s – wrong – like Hussman he’s been a disaster as a financial advisor. But ‘peak oil’ still exists, as does peak gold, peak soil etc.

    John Hussman is the most eloquent articulator of the overvalued market thesis, and the dilemma it presents – ” you can decide to look like a fool before the (stockmarket) crash or after “, but he has been a disaster as a real time investor advisor – yes, like all Cassandra’s he may be proved right someday, but in the mean time only those who have gone to cash will be financially alive, ready and able to cash in on the opportunities of the ‘post crash’ world, unless its a post WW4 world where ‘cash’ will be meaningless.

    The bottom line appears to be that one cant fight the Fed – the US financial equivalent of the Pentagon. The IOUSA has never been more powerful – even compared to the end of WW2, when they had the world’s most powerful military, their economy was 50% of world GDP, and the world owed them megabucks – now they still have the world’s largest, richest, most powerful and dynamic economy (with tentacles in every other major economy ala the giant squid on the face on humanity) and the most powerful military, BUT now, they owe the world so much money that the world’s elite cant let them fail – which is only as long as the US$ is the de-facto world currency, which means that the Fed can print money out of thin air to pay bills and purchase foreigners lands and possessions —— how and when will this end, if ever ?

    Only Jim Puplava has got it right – a former gold bug, who made lots out of riding gold from the bottom to the top of the last (ever) gold bull market – sold his gold and mining shares when the top was clearly established, and being a believer in the power of the Fed and its ‘financial repression’ has been consistently advocating stocks, especially dividend stocks for over 4 years !! Gold bugs hate him, but he’s a rationalist – he lets the markets dictate and he reacts pragmatically to a combination of technical and qualitative analysis – is there any other way.

    Yes, all markets are rigged, primarily by ‘financial; repression’ which forces yield seeking behaviour and the down playing of risk—- but — whats the alternative – play by TPTB rules or sit on the sidelines, with your money in the bank(s) which can be attacked like Cyprus banks ??
    Capital controls already are in place, and there’s really no place to hide or run to that not within reach !

    So Grant will your new blog be reality based or faith based – Hmmm ? Will it be similar to the ‘Automatic Earth’ blog – an opinion attached to links to many other commentaries ? Several years ago the amazing Nicole Foss predicted a deflationary depression, and derided precious metals as a refuge against financial collapse – memorably in a podcast interview with Jim Puplava when he was still a gold bug and an inflationist. Jim now doesn’t talk to “doom and gloomers” which means Nicole and especially hyper-inflationists like John Williams of Shadow Stats —-

    I recent read David Collums great annual summary (available on Peak Prosperity and Zero Hedge) and like him, I am predominantly in cash, and await a correction – entering these markets at the top is something one does only with lottery winnings, where one is not concerned with value , but only with ownership – Chris Martenson recently said in a conversation with Mish that if inflation really got going, only then would he rush into ‘assets’ including stocks (LOL) – amen to that brother – better late than never ! ? ! ?

    Cheers, GBB

  5. Hi Grant – I enjoyed your free newsletter for several years, and wasn’t surprised when you decided that for all of your effort you deserved to be paid. I will rarely part with more then $10 for a magazine subscription, so it was a real splurge to subscribe, but I couldn’t imagine life without your witty and prescient observations. Best of luck on your new endeavor.

    Cheers, Di

    1. Thank you Diane! It’s great to have you aboard and I really appreciate your support.

      Don’t be shy to let me know if I’m not holding up my end of the bargain!