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Very few asset markets have escaped the recent oil price plunge unscathed. The African growth story now seems suspect and […]

A mere ten years ago, very few professionals paid meaningful attention to energy’s fringy folks fiddling with hydraulic fracking technologies. […]

For decades, Florida was the undisputed citrus capital of the world. The state’s groves produced copious amounts of orange juice. […]

The world is awash in water. 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by water, and significant water is contained in frozen and gaseous forms as well.   Further, the volume of water on planet Earth has remained roughly constant for more than 1 billion years at ~344 million cubic miles. By almost any account, water is quite literally everywhere. Yet we constantly hear of impending shortages.

Given the very strong relationship between food prices and food riots, the UN Food Price Index is an excellent early warning sign for forthcoming food riots. It measures the monthly change in international prices of a diversified basket of various food commodities.

Recent art market activity has been spectacular. Record prices have been set in numerous categories ranging from watches to paintings. Contemporary art has been catching the attention of many, and bidding activity has been frenetic with many lots selling in excess of estimated prices.

The Bank of Japan's announcement last Friday of additional "quantitative and qualitative easing" to stimulate its economy sent many equity markets racing towards multi-year highs.  The enormous monetary stimulus (~16% of GDP/year) was also accompanied by news that the country's pension assets would be more equities-oriented.

Oil prices fell below $80 this week and are down ~25% since June, driven in large part by a rapid increase in supply while demand growth slows.   Reasons for slowing demand are well-understood: Europe’s economic malaise and China’s slowdown are two logical explanations.

Chinese GDP numbers released yesterday indicate the world’s second largest economy has slowed yet again. I believe this trend is likely to continue - here’s why.

The protein consumption boom currently underway in the emerging markets is offsetting plateauing protein demand in several developed nations. The result, seen below, is a remarkably stable trajectory of animal protein consumption.

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Vikram Mansharamani

An active participant in the financial markets for the last 20 years, Vikram Mansharamani’s experience includes positions in management consulting, investment banking, and asset management



Topics

Dr. Mansharamani is a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. In addition to conducting research on the topic of decision-making under uncertainty, he has also been leading a study group titled “Blowing Bubbles: How Investors, Regulators, & The Press Reinforce Exuberance” for members of the greater Harvard community.



Courses

Dr. Mansharamani is a Lecturer at Yale University in the Program on Ethics, Politics & Economics. He currently teaches “Adventures in Business Ethics” to both undergraduate and graduate students (co-taught with Charles Ellis in 2013) and was responsible for designing and teaching the “Financial Booms and Busts” seminar as part of the Yale College Seminar Program.



Advice

As a regular advisor to endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices, Dr. Mansharamani combines his 20+ years of practical investing experience with his theoretical understanding of complex dynamics to help with matters of asset allocation, investment strategy, manager selection, and portfolio management.

“Easily one of the best I’ve seen, Vikram’s presentation was a clear standout among the dozens of conferences I’ve attended over my twenty years in the investment industry. I found his conversational style remarkably engaging and his perspectives the most innovative and fresh-thinking I’ve seen to date. His message was thought-provoking, informative, and I’d even say inspired; a rare combination indeed.”
 
– Christopher Cannon, CFA | Chief Investment Officer, FirsTrust, LLC