#110 - Bryan Taylor - “At Some Point, the Stresses Are Going to Be So Great that Some of the Countries (In the European Union) Are Eventually Forced to Leave"

61 minutes

In Episode 110, we welcome author and market data expert, Dr. Bryan Taylor.

Meb begins by asking how Bryan built the massive financial database that is Global Financial Data. Bryan walks us through how the database developed over time.

The conversation soon turns to Bryan’s book, Debts, Defaults, Depression and Other Delightful Ditties from the Dismal Science. Bryan tells us this is actually the first of two books. It includes stories about the past that people might find interesting – some of the crazy things that have happened in the financial markets, as well as an inference about what that might mean for the future. The follow-up book will focus on a number of specific cases, from The East India Company, all the way up to some of Trump’s companies.

Next, Meb changes gears – there are a few contenders getting close to becoming the first $1T company. Meb uses this as a chance to look back at the first $1B company.

Bryan tells us that title goes to Standard Oil. He then walks us through its history, including its practice of pushing prices down to drive competitors into bankruptcy, the Sherman Anti-trust Act, the break-up of Standard Oil, and the effect on shareholders.

This conversation dovetails into a conversation about which company today – Apple, Amazon, Facebook, or Google – is more likely to face a threat from government oversight. Listen in to get Bryan’s thoughts.

The guys then get into inflation. It turns out, the 20th Century had the highest inflation ever. What might be in store for us in the 21st Century? Bryan and Meb discuss this, touching on various governments’ ability to pay debt, growth rates, Bryan’s red-flag metric (when the interest coverage ratio to GDP exceeds 5%), as well as the most likely path for US and global interest rates.

Meb then uses his recent trip to Greece as a springboard for a discussion about the future of the EU. Bryan tells us it’s an all-or-nothing situation. And the concern now isn’t over Greece, it’s over Italy. It might be the first country to drop out of the Euro. If so, it will face severe consequences in trying to be independent. Plus, it could have a domino effect, leading to other countries leaving and the entire system falling apart. He concludes by telling us that “at some point, the stresses are going to be so great that some of the countries (in the European Union) are eventually forced to leave.”

Next, Meb moves toward Asia. He brings up a quote from Bryan about the future market-cap of Asian stock markets (as the biggest in the world) and asks if this is a no-brainer “buy Asia” right now. Bryan gives us his thoughts but notes that Asia has lots of internal issues that need solving before they can challenge the US as the primary engine of returns going forward.

Next up is an interesting discussion of what investing used to be like, how it changed, and how it might change for us going forward. The conversation touches on investing in the 1800s, how World War I flipped everything on its head, and the current concern of nationalism.

There’s plenty more in this episode – the need to be conscious of how integrated global markets are these days… the historical period that most closely resembles today’s investing climate… what Bryan is working on now… And Bryan’s most memorable trade.

Get all the details in Episode 110.

More episodes from The Meb Faber Show

#290 – Bill Smead, Smead Capital Management - There’s Less Respect For Stock Picking Experts Right At This Moment Than There Has Been Since The Peak Of The Dot-Com Bubble

In episode 290, we welcome our guest, Bill Smead, the Chief Investment Officer for Smead Capital Management.  In today’s episode, Bill explains why he believes the market is undergoing a …

#289: Stocks Are Allowed To Be Expensive Since Bonds Yields Are Low…Right?

Episode 289 is a Mebisode. In this episode, you’ll hear Meb put today's stock valuations into historical perspective. He addresses the claim that …

#288 - Best Idea Show - Doug Pugliese, Alpha Architect - Why Not Elect A 1042 Sale And Control When You Pay Those Taxes?

In episode 288, we welcome our guest, Doug Pugliese, the Head of 1042 QRP Solutions at Alpha Architect, where he manages the firm’s qualified …

#287 – Jonathan Hsu, Tribe Capital - Our Specific Areas Of Expertise Are Around Being Able To Tell A Story Utilizing Your Own Data

In episode 287, we welcome our guest, Jonathan Hsu, the co-founder and General Partner at Tribe Capital, a venture capital firm focused on using product and data science to engineer N-of-1 …

#286 – Jeremy Grantham, GMO - What Day Is The Highest Level Of Optimism? It’s The Day The Market Hits The Peak

In episode 286, we welcome our guest, Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and Chief Investment Strategist of GMO. 

In today’s episode, Jeremy begins by talking about the current market, which he …

#285 – Best Idea Show - David Marcus, Evermore Global Advisors - Do You Sell Things That You Like To Buy Things That You Now Love?

In episode 285, we welcome our guest David Marcus, the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Evermore Global Advisors, where he manages the Evermore Global Value Fund. In today’s …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to #125 - Tom Barton - The Biggest Problem Investors Have is Things Change...and They Don't Change
1:24:56
Start listening to #125 - Tom Barton - The Biggest Problem Investors Have is Things Change...and They Don't Change
1:24:56