Over the past week, Chris and I have had the luxury to steep ourselves in non-stop exploration of the current prospects for the financial markets and global economy.

We’ve been presenting at The Investor Summit At Sea, in close quarters with several hundred investors as well as such notable other macro commentators as Peter Schiff, Simon Black, Doug Duncan, Brien Lundin and Robert Kiyosaki (you can read our notes from a number of the presentations and panels here and here).

It’s been pretty much “all economy, all the time” over the past week.

2018: The Year Everything Changed

If I were forced to summarize my takeaway from the experience so far, it’s this: 2018 will be known as the Year Everything Changed.

Since the rescuing of the financial system in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, the world has enjoyed a steady upward trajectory of “”prosperity”” (note the extra quotation marks reflecting my skepticism of this term).

After bottoming in March 2009, stock indices have more than quadrupled. Bonds and real estate rose to record highs. Market volatility essentially disappeared. The unemployment rate dropped to the lowest levels in memory. It’s been nearly a decade now of smooth sailing and easy returns.

That’s all now changing.

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