Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jeremy Grantham's 3Q Letter

Jeremy Hartman, making his long awaited Kenny K debut, writes in about the economic crisis and attached Jeremy Grantham's 3Q letter to investors. It's a fantastic read because it walks through the issues we have and he's fairly optimistic at the end of it. He's long term optimistic, which mirros my thoughts (maybe that's why I like it). Some cool facts that I pulled out of it.

  • Great rif on the type of people who can spot a Bubble like we have had vs. the Fortune 500 CEO who can't spot it, but is probably the right type of person to navigate it.
  • Chinese Economy has Capital spending make up 39% of its GDP. That is just staggering. The US is  at 19%, which is staggerlingly low. In my opinion, these numbers need to converge. Investment in capex can make our workers far more productive. They should be made.
  • A great point on how the misallocation of capital (bubble) can get people to postpone necessary investments -- like in education. What a great point. How many people didn't get their graduate degree because they were making coin in the mortgage industry? How many PhD went into Finance instead of Biotech?
  • The financial industry's share of all corporate profits went from 10% in 1982 to 27% last year. Wow.
  • Finally, he advocates a Marshall Plan-like effort to make the US the world leader in alternative energy and infrastructure. I completely agree with him and would love the see the resulting boom in technology and jobs an effort like that would bring.
The full article is below. Big thanks to Jeremy Hartman for his thoughtful submission.