- January 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 1

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Sell everything! Cycles, the long-term view and the next recession

by David Lynn

I get a kick out of self-appointed “economists” with a flare for the dramatic, who come out with dire exhortations in the media to garner attention. Many talented and colorful people receive media coverage particularly because of their ability to elicit strong emotional responses. More likely than not, they are “talking their book” — that is, deliberately supporting their strategy by encouraging the mass investor to follow their trades, investments or positions. Sadly, fear sells because it is the strongest human impulse, hardwired into humans since the days on the primordial African plains fleeing predators. There is nothing that attracts more attention than yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater — or “Sell everything!” in the investment world.

The “sell everything” mentality resonates deeply in the amygdala (this limbic part of the brain produces the panic response). Lately, I have heard quite a lot o

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