Commentaries

Syntrinsic Commentaries strive to describe, explain, and shine a fresh light on that place where economics, politics, history, literature, and philosophy intersect, to find lessons, questions or at least a bit of humor in the challenging themes that define our era. Writing—like investing—is but one means of expressing one’s opinion about past experience and future expectation, and like investing, reveals an active commitment to one’s ideas and ideals. We hope that these original pieces challenge and inspire, entertain and inform. And we hope that you will connect with us occasionally to share your perspectives as well.

Risky Business

09/25/12

No one can pinpoint the start date, but many experts acknowledge that as of the dot.com bust, Volatility had earned the de facto title of America’s Greatest Risk Factor. By the beginning of... Continue

The Great Debate: 3Q2011 vs. 1Q2012

05/16/12

(Patriotic music starts. Camera pans audience of diverse college students, respectable elderly, and concerned baby boomers. People cheer and clap as they watch themselves on the screen above the... Continue

Catch 2012

03/22/12

An older man named Yossarian stopped by the office the other day. No first name, just Yossarian. I mentioned that Yossarian was the main character in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, the satirical 1961... Continue

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

11/28/11

Dear Friends, This week, we forward you a letter recently written to our good friend, Credit Markets, someone who has been taking a beating of late and yet one who has made a tremendous difference in... Continue

The Hero

09/24/11

Imagine the Lone Ranger galloping over the horizon, confident that he and his sidekick Tonto will face down any evil before them with nothing more than a white stallion, silver bullets, and a healthy... Continue

Sub-Standard & Poorly

08/06/11

Yesterday’s Syntrinsic Commentary spoke to the larger implications of an unsustainable approach to capitalism, specifically, capitalism that requires inexhaustible credit to function. Today, as... Continue

Bad Capitalists?

08/05/11

Are Americans bad capitalists? As we confront the consequences of an unsustainable economic model, it’s a question we must consider. Bad capitalists: · misallocate assets · lock... Continue

Once Upon a Balance Sheet

06/27/11

Once upon a time, there was a balance sheet. It belonged to a mighty nation in the Western Hemisphere that had grown wealthy and powerful. Its people traversed the globe with confidence and bold... Continue

The Businessman

04/18/11

I had a most unusual conversation the other day. In the wee hours of morning, in a darkened coffee shop, a man sat off in the corner, no coffee, no scones, just an intense visage and furrowed brow.... Continue

(Good) Governance

04/06/11

If one were to pick a single word to capture the essence of the 1960’s, it might be “ferment,” or “struggle.” The 1970’s could be embodied by “malaise” or “despair”. For the... Continue