Charles Hugh Smith's Blog

csmith [at] oftwominds [dot] com ()

Charles Hugh Smith writes the Of Two Minds blog (www.oftwominds.com/blog.html) which covers an eclectic range of timely topics: finance, housing, Asia, energy, longterm trends, social issues, health/diet/fitness and sustainability. From its humble beginnings in May 2005, Of Two Minds now attracts some 200,000 visits a month. Charles also contributes to AOL's Daily Finance site (www.dailyfinance.com) and has written eight books, most recently "Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation" (2009) which is available in a free version on his blog.

Where to Invest When (Almost) Everything's in a Bubble

By Charles Hugh Smith – Many things that are scarce and thus valuable cannot be bought on the global marketplace. Now that almost every asset class is in a bubble, the question of where to invest one's capital has become...

Be Careful What You Wish For: Inflation Is Much Higher Than Advertised

By Charles Hugh Smith – What the Federal Reserve is actually whining about is not low inflation—it's that high inflation isn't pushing wages higher like it's supposed to. It's not exactly a secret that real-world inflation is a lot higher than the official rates...

The Demise of the Dollar: Don't Hold Your Breath

By Charles Hugh Smith – The demise of the US dollar has been a staple of the financial media for decades. The latest buzzword making the rounds is de-dollarization, which describes the move away from USD in global payments.

On Repairing/Rebuilding 100,000+ Damaged Houses

By Charles Hugh Smith – Almost lost in all the dollar estimates of property damage is the human loss, suffering, and stress. I am not an expert in repairing flood damage, or in dealing with insurance companies, FEMA or all the other pieces...

Is the High Cost of Housing Crushing Wages?

By Charles Hugh Smith – The high housing costs crush wages argument is more nuanced. The high cost of housing means that much of the nation's available capital stock is invested in housing, rather than in productivity-boosting...

Why Wages Have Lost Ground in the 21st Century

By Charles Hugh Smith – The problem with stagnant wages is our socioeconomic system requires ever-higher incomes to function. One of the enduring mysteries for conventional economists is why wages aren't rising for the bottom 95%...

Ideology as Addiction

By Charles Hugh Smith – Solutions abound, but they aren't one size fits all ideologies. It isn't just coincidental that ideology shares so many dynamics with addiction. Though ideology is a faith-belief dynamic rather than a chemical process, both require...

There Is Only One Empire: Finance

By Charles Hugh Smith – Any nation-state that meets these four requirements is fully exposed to a global loss of faith in its economy, debt, a balance of payments and currency. There's an entire sub-industry in journalism devoted to the idea...

Can We See a Bubble If We're Inside the Bubble?

By Charles Hugh Smith – We want this time to be different so badly, we can almost taste it. If you visit San Francisco, you will find it difficult to walk more than a few blocks in central S.F. without encountering a major construction project.

Forget ObamaCare, RyanCare, and any Future ReformCare—the Healthcare System Is Completely Broken

As with many other complexities, opaque systems in the US, only those toiling in the murky depths of the healthcare system know just how broken the entire system is. Only those dealing daily with the perverse incentives...

The Problem with Gold-Backed Currencies

Any currency is only truly "backed by gold" if it is convertible to gold. There is something intuitively appealing about the idea of a gold-backed currency—money backed by the tangible value of gold, i.e. "the gold standard." Instead of intrinsically...

Want to Bring Back Jobs? It's Impossible Unless We Fix these Four Things

It's your choice, America—you can keep your cartels and the captured government that enables and protects them, or you can fix what's broken and unaffordable. If there is any goal that might attract support from across the political...

The Eight Forces That Are Pressuring Profits

These eight forces are structural, and cannot be erased by tax cuts or policy tweaks. If there is any economic assumption that goes unquestioned, it's the notion that profits will remain robust for the foreseeable future. This assumption ignores...

The (Highly Speculative) Path to $10,000 Bitcoin

So let's imagine a scenario in which tens of trillions of at-risk wealth suddenly seek an alternative--any alternative to staying in an asset class that's circling the drain. As my colleague Davefairtex observed recently, the paint isn't...

When Assets (Such as Real Estate) Become Liabilities

It will be the middle class that accepted the notion that "real estate is the foundation of family wealth" that will be stripmined by higher taxes on immobile assets such as real estate.

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