Developed World Running Out of Tough Choices

Published on
June 14th, 2017
56 minutes

Developed World Running Out of Tough Choices

The Interview ·
Featuring John Mauldin

Published on: June 14th, 2017 • Duration: 56 minutes

John Mauldin has the big picture perspective of global economic trends to ask the difficult questions about societal change, inequality and automation of jobs. With the pervading need to monetize rising global debt, the Chairman of Mauldin Economics can only see a Bretton Woods type solution as the developed world starts to run out of difficult choices, while John also looks to the future of healthcare technology and the incredible breakthroughs in the pipeline. Filmed on May 22, 2017, in Orlando.


  • RV
    Roy V.
    15 June 2017 @ 01:57
    I thought it interesting that John is a Trump supporter. Presidenrt Trump is one of the biggest advocates of trying to turn back the clock for dying industries, and for isolationism.
    • hr
      horacio r.
      15 August 2017 @ 18:56
      I used to subscribe to his services, once I learned he was a big Trump supporter I stopped. I do wonder if he has changed his views on Trump given everything Trump has done, including the Charlottesville comments or lack thereof.
  • SB
    Stewart B.
    16 June 2017 @ 21:10
    Oh dear. I've read a couple of Mauldin's books and was expecting big things. The whole luddite 'fire and brimstone' sermon is just as wrong now as it has been for the past 100 years. In the past, jobs were lost to telephony, rail, desktop publishing etc and despite this, today nearly everyone wanting to work has a job. If you have money in your wallet and can dream of a way to spend it, people will always have jobs. Frankly I feel there is a SHORTAGE of unskilled labour. If I call the government, I wait on the phone an hour as they are understaffed. My train is delayed and never enough carriages as they are understaffed (drivers, builders of rolling stock and track maintenance). In the UK, the NHS tell me they don't have nearly enough nurses, admin staff etc to supply the services the people want. Luddites will continue to be as wrong in the future as they have in the past. Having said that, I really liked Grant's questions. It is hard to deny that our path is anything but unsustainable and pain will come from that. The name dropping of Markowitz felt like a shameful plug of his own services and his MPT was taken completely out of context. Anyone who has ever touched trading understands the benefits and limitations of strategy diversification. It's not new. Sorry - I'm not normally negative. This is the first interview I've given the thumbs down to.
    • DS
      David S.
      2 July 2017 @ 14:13
      One point. The change in the zeitgeist is the future expectation of a better life for your kids is over. My hope is that the kids will forge a better life not based on every increasing wealth, house square footage, etc. DLS
  • JO
    Joseph O.
    21 June 2017 @ 17:34
    This may be a result of watching too much great RV TV content... but there was very little content that was challenging or new in this interview. (side note: to this millennial viewer, John seemed like a very "old" thinker recycling easily digestible narratives about innovation and change)
    • DS
      David S.
      2 July 2017 @ 14:01
      I am 70+ and feel the same way. DLS
  • GG
    Glenn G.
    1 July 2017 @ 18:56
    Love the editing at the 14:35 mark! I was hanging on to every word about what I had to do about "changing my trading strategy and change my style" and then BOOM! REMIX ! Very entertaining!
  • JO
    Joseph O.
    21 June 2017 @ 17:34
    This may be a result of watching too much great RV TV content... but there was very little content that was challenging or new in this interview. (side note: to this millennial viewer, John seemed like a very "old" thinker recycling easily digestible narratives about innovation and change)
  • DY
    Damian Y.
    20 June 2017 @ 10:45
    I'm a little lost when Grant says that Germany has a population problem. They let in 2.4 million migrants into Germany in 2015 (about 800,000 Muslims), 46 per cent increase form 2014 . This will fix all of Germany's problem. Imagine all the new Mosques that will need to be built. This will create a lot of work for the Germans. This will also help boost welfare spending. Germany is leading the world with migration. You watch in 20 years Germany will be a new country.
  • WM
    Will M.
    18 June 2017 @ 19:16
    A bit surprised at all the negative comments and worried that some folks can't remain respectful in their comments without name calling. I read John Ms free weekly commentary and find his writing skills excellent. He is not a great public speaker and if you haven't watched the interview yet use 1.25 speed and it moves along better. This is a discussion that wanders a little but does touch on some big issues. I think John raised some interesting points. My personal view is more aligned with Michael Lewis views and perhaps even Martin Armstrong's views (and he is not a good speaker at all). The discussion on ETFs was really topical. I am not "in" ETFs but I am looking for opportunities to boost returns. Value investing may be the only way left just now (apart from gold insurance of course). John is simply challenging us to think about a different future, one we appear to be on the cusp of entering in a great hurry.
    • HC
      HJ C.
      19 June 2017 @ 20:43
      x1.25 ,great tip!
  • JL
    J L.
    14 June 2017 @ 21:28
    That might happen in little places... worst comment I've heard in months. I've not seen a Western society more morally corrupted and devoid of respect than the US in my admittedly short life... Perhaps you don't need to be invaded when rotting from within. Sorry to be so harsh but I promise you if I lived in the US I'd be considering to #gtfo
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:20
      And go where, Enrico? Canada, where the climate goes to 40 below zero aned the Government is slowly bankrupting the country so that future taxpayers will have to ante up more than 60-70% of their take home pay to pay for the spending they are now doing, Or how about any of the other G-20 countries who are merrily doing the same thing? How about China with no rule of Democratic law or Russia with only Kleptocratic law? Slim pickings, sir...
    • JL
      J L.
      16 June 2017 @ 08:37
      Indeed they are, but that "it could never happen here" rhetoric is dangerous when you're looking at more violent crime than many developing countries, taxation by birth, FATCA, travel bans, talk about walls, widespread racism for European standards, and now a leader whose only recourse is to insult the institutions that are the backbone of the country, almost as if people have already lost hope... Clearly not everybody can or wants to move and my comment may have been a bit over the top, but personally I feel over the next few decades you want to be in a place with decent rule of law but where the population doesn't take everything authorities say at face value. Being from the South of Europe and living in the UK I was extremely happy to see Theresa May's brainwash campaign completely backfire on her, that is the kind of reaction I want to see. Having spent half a decade in Germany I can also tell you they are in my opinion masters of peacefully resisting authority (my money is on that we won't ever get to see a Euro cash ban). Just my 2 cents, turmoil can't be avoided but let's make sure that with it comes opportunity!
    • WM
      Will M.
      18 June 2017 @ 18:54
      Enrico, I spent the first 31 years in the UK and the last 30 in the USA. You could never get me to go back. The UK has few resource and high debt and a large % of the population just "hate" anyone with money. A first past the post government under the interventionist socialist labor leader, should he get power, will destroy the country once and for all. I would prefer Australia or New Zealand if its safety you are looking for.
    • MS
      Matt S.
      19 June 2017 @ 05:59
      "Having spent half a decade in Germany I can also tell you they are in my opinion masters of peacefully resisting authority" Why are they going to re-elect Merkel then? Why are they so pro-EU (the ultimate authoritarians) why do they continue to shame themselves at the behest of their Jewish leaders? Hardly rebellious behaviour. Guilt-ridden sheep more like.
    • JL
      J L.
      19 June 2017 @ 18:46
      William I have never spent a long period in the US and I agree every place has good and bad, and where you feel at home greatly depends on your own values as well. That said, the notion that in the case of a systemic event you will be safer physically and in particular financially in the US than whatever "little places" means, I still find ridiculous. The tools to capital controls are already in place for US citizens. Also failing to understand that social unrest could come from within is making a big mistake. Civil wars have been some of the bloodiest and often remembered for a long time, the US is no exception.
  • DW
    Daniel W.
    14 June 2017 @ 17:44
    Any idea what biotec firm he was talking about? I tried to check for Phase 1 trials on pancreatic cancer but there are so many around.
    • AM
      A M.
      19 June 2017 @ 14:58
      I suspect it is Biotime of which Dr Michael West is a leading light. Hope this helps. Stock has been long on promise for quite a while though.
  • VS
    Victor S. | Contributor
    17 June 2017 @ 19:14
    John is wrong on one major point : the problem can solved if you move back to complete free markets and away from Socialist,collectivist, corporatist politics. Apple has 50K employees due to 2 people in 1975. The easier you allow other steve jobs to create -the less steel workers you'll have to worry about. No one wins in hyperinflation. It will be hard to avoid this the longer current policies remain. Good interview .
    • DS
      David S.
      19 June 2017 @ 13:52
      Robber barons worked? DLS
  • LV
    Lisa V.
    15 June 2017 @ 02:18
    Can't help but think they're talking about Rearden Steel
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:23
      That's cuz he is...
    • DP
      David P.
      19 June 2017 @ 11:44
      Replace Rearden Steel by graphene...
  • jg
    james g.
    17 June 2017 @ 04:33
    What happened to the 2x speed button? Mr Mauldin raises interesting ideas but the pregnant pauses...
    • MS
      Matt S.
      19 June 2017 @ 06:10
      The pregnant......................................................................what?
  • DG
    Daniel G.
    15 June 2017 @ 15:37
    Why don't people who champion the "it's better now than ever before, and will continue to get better" mantra ever mention that it's mostly built on extraction of finite resources. You cannot extrapolate indefinitely, unless we really do start to mine asteroids. There have been remarkable advancements in human standard of living but there must be a cap.
    • GS
      Gordon S.
      15 June 2017 @ 20:10
      Agree, I was also disappointed for it not being mentioned. I think they may be work arounds, but we should start to work on them sooner rather than later! Not sure how much irony was intended in your asteroid mining comment, but the wikipedia article about it is definitely fascinating :).
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:30
      WOW, I thought this crowd was more intelligent...The Earth's population will decrease by a third in the next 40 years, so, so much for over-using developed resources. The man's point is that new technology is going to alleviate the burden that present day needs are generating, or, did you not deduce that from the conversation?
    • KE
      Kenan E.
      16 June 2017 @ 17:36
      Hmm -- I didn't hear John talk about the negative effects, or potential dangers of technology. Are there none?? Really??
    • MS
      Matt S.
      19 June 2017 @ 06:05
      "The Earth's population will decrease by a third in the next 40 years" That's a first! Care to explain?
  • AG
    Alex G.
    15 June 2017 @ 06:46
    Idk pretty nice to be young and living in California. People are alright here. Just my opinion though.
    • MS
      Matt S.
      19 June 2017 @ 06:02
      yeah it's a fantasy land... kids like fantasy
  • JS
    John S.
    14 June 2017 @ 22:12
    ETFs are a ticking time bomb. The idea of having them at the centre of a strategy built around a revamped MPT is terrifying. Good luck with that product when the markets go no bid.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      15 June 2017 @ 08:22
      Depends on the liquidity of the underlying instruments, surely? If they contain junk bonds, you have a point. However, commodity futures or currency? I'm not sure I can accept writing off all ETFs as potential illiquid garbage, although those that use swap-based synthetic tracking do make me nervous.
    • WM
      Will M.
      18 June 2017 @ 18:59
      I am struggling with this issue right now! I mostly agree with John S. However, some ETFs may do well if they are not in the selling crosshairs. I do believe trend following may be the way to go combined with aggressive value investors. This is very difficult as i truly believe we are heading into new territory in the financial world.
  • PU
    Peter U.
    14 June 2017 @ 17:53
    Not impressed with John M.
    • WM
      Will M.
      18 June 2017 @ 18:47
      Peter, John writes better than he speaks. He is a good thinker and his comments on health makes sense to me EXCEPT it will be for the wealthy primarily to reap the benefits.
  • KL
    Ken L.
    17 June 2017 @ 22:18
    John is always a provocative interview. Stimulates thinking about the imponderable so I will always pay attention. As a healthcare specialist I would stress that John's comments about a bullet for c
  • JS
    John S.
    17 June 2017 @ 22:15
    The hard choices (in absence of leadership) will be forced on us. Show me one person in leadership willing and able to take a stand...they don't exist. Both JM and Grant know this...why not just say it? Still, I enjoyed the conversation and agree that a bright future lies beyond the shit storm for those who embrace inevitable change and upheaval. Commensing countdown helmets on. Check ignition and may gods love be with you.
  • TS
    Tim S.
    16 June 2017 @ 21:11
    Great discussion. Not sure why so many thumbs down, but the conversation worked for me. I have been mulling some of the topics for a while and enjoyed the perspectives. As always, RealVision brings top thinkers to the table with great discussion points. Would not have it any other way.
  • VV
    Vanessa V.
    16 June 2017 @ 07:43
    I didn't join RV to be "impressed" by interviewers or to agree with their views (political or otherwise). I joined RV to learn and to have my mind stretched. The negative comments about the video fascinate me. This conversation covered a lot of ground and gave me food for thought. I am grateful to have access to experienced people like Mr Mauldin and Grant. Thank you RV.
    • TS
      Tim S.
      16 June 2017 @ 21:09
      I thought this was a great interview as I listened in on a long drive. I was stunned to see the ratio so poor. I think a lot of important topics were discussed and well worth pondering.
  • KE
    Kenan E.
    14 June 2017 @ 20:29
    I read both of John s books. They where great. This interview was not! I still cannot see why John is still so positive. IMHO he just denies that everything has to become really really bad before it can get better again.
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:15
      Than you weren't listening! John says that we have to go through the Great Reset as a whole, humanity wise. Once we get through it, and it's going to take a lot of wisdom, in my opinion, Humanity will reap an enormous reward, something we have never seen before, but, again, we are going to have to go through some serious pain to get there.
    • KE
      Kenan E.
      16 June 2017 @ 17:41
      The interesting (and difficult) part for me is how to get through this crisis without being hurt too much. Did you hear John talk about that? Is it really such a great insight that after an era of great turmoil that there will be an era of prosperity? Isn't that quite normal? So, if you want to get to that golden age -- you should survive the crisis (financially and physically). This interview was a lot of pseudo-intellectual blah blah without any substance. We all KNOW that robotics will change our lives fundamentally, The same with medicine...
  • GB
    Grant B.
    15 June 2017 @ 16:18
    Surprised by the reaction. I thought he did a good job. There's been lots of interviews on Real Vision who I thought were a complete waste of time. This one was not one of them.
    • DS
      David S.
      15 June 2017 @ 21:44
      The RVTV audience is not always the best judge, especially on first viewing. Both you and Mr. Mauldin are great guys with a wonderful friendship. Mr. Mauldin laid out many real problems that all of us are facing, but we have heard all of them many times – often daily. Where was the new thinking on how we can view and/or approach these problems? The negative reaction may show how frustrated we are because we do not know how to deal with these complexities. DLS
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:37
      I counted at least 10 new trends that are coming down the investment pipeline just from the conversation these two men had. If you have any sort of investigational moxie in you, you'll go out and research what John and Grant talked about. Think 3D printing, new health technologies, human needs, IT tech, Robotics, Geriatric care, housing, food production, Energy needs, and Space Exploration. John is talking about 22 Century needs that are being developed now, and early investors are going to be very wealthy when all this comes to fruition!
    • KE
      Kenan E.
      16 June 2017 @ 17:34
      Oh come on, you really need investment help if any of those topics was new to you. "Robotics will change our lives fundamentally" -- wow what an insight.
  • JL
    Jacob L.
    16 June 2017 @ 06:57
    Very enjoyable and thought provoking to listen to this flexible mind in action. As for all the thumb downs, you do realize you are better served listening to opposing views intelligently presented than hearing the same old stuff that agrees with your positioning in the market, right?
  • AE
    Alex E.
    16 June 2017 @ 04:40
    Apparently, those who thought this interview was a waste of time are apparently, deaf, dumb and blind...I guess you guys need to be be held by the hand for your investments.
  • PP
    Patrick P.
    15 June 2017 @ 02:45
    If you do your research.... and dig deep you will find out Mauldin is a zero. A hanger on....Real Visions better than this. IMO.
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:25
      have some respect, idiot! When you've had 50+ years of investing experience, then let's hear your lame-ass comments!
  • AM
    Alonso M.
    14 June 2017 @ 16:49
    Have been reading Mauldin for well over a decade and have read many of his books. Most of his books and letters are well structured and terrific thought pieces. I found this interview a bit disjointed with conflicting messages. For example, a classic value manager that changes his/her investment style just because it is not being rewarded is exactly the type of value manager I don't want to be using.
    • AE
      Alex E.
      16 June 2017 @ 04:11
      kash, You have to remember that John is first and foremost an investment manager. He has to sell something to make a living! So, yeah he a salesman first as are all investment people...
  • IC
    Ibrahim C.
    14 June 2017 @ 15:26
    As one of the research assistant for his future book on Age of Transformations, I would have expected more comments on the future of work. But it is great satisfaction to hear about main technological
    • IC
      Ibrahim C.
      16 June 2017 @ 02:19
      ( I had a tech. problem to complete my views in here) advances esp. biotech. In most of the instances he used some words (i.e. heresy of central banks etc) which really puzzles the mind and more clarity could have been provided to set the direction for the investments we make.
  • RM
    Robert M.
    16 June 2017 @ 02:07
    Agree, not a lot of useful info in this video. Save your time on this one.
  • AP
    Adil P.
    16 June 2017 @ 00:01
    I am sorry but this is worst interview I have watched. Waste of time.
  • TJ
    Terry J.
    14 June 2017 @ 16:07
    Interesting debate from two great thinkers. I have been reading John's blogs for many years and he always offers some valuable insights. However some of his projections send a shiver down my spine simply because of their implications if they were to prove correct. That's why I was glad when Grant emphatically declined his invitation to welcome the possibility of indefinite extended human life. Let's face, were this possible which i doubt, does anyone honestly think the "global elite" or "deep state" would let the 99% share in the benefits and thereby compound the world's over population problems! Fingers crossed John is right about a non violent debt reset when it comes though!
    • GS
      Gordon S.
      15 June 2017 @ 20:01
      No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. — Steve Jobs
  • JS
    Joe S.
    15 June 2017 @ 15:11
    Can't help feeling I was being sold something... a book, a conference, an etf fund. I didn't come away with single useful insight.
  • TM
    The-First-James M.
    15 June 2017 @ 10:57
    I don't understand the negativity in the comments. Sure, John may be a better writer than he is a speaker, but I found some great substance in here.I just think some of the comments are a reflection of an impatient society that demands all the answers now and doesn't want to sit down and chew through the bigger picture.
  • EJ
    Edward J.
    15 June 2017 @ 08:07
    up the speed to 1.5x - it helps....a little
  • NS
    Nicky S.
    15 June 2017 @ 02:01
    John's style is better suited to deep thoughts transferred during intermission at livestock auctions but his substance is fantastic deeply interesting.
  • GC
    Gerard C.
    15 June 2017 @ 00:20
  • DS
    David S.
    14 June 2017 @ 20:52
    A new Bretton Woods would just be a bogey for hedge funds to break. We live in a world of multiple complex exchange rates. The genie is out of the bottle and will not be put back in again, nor should it be. It is, at least, a zero-sum game with investor money on the table. Bets are made on what investors think will work or not work. DLS
  • HJ
    Harry J.
    14 June 2017 @ 20:33
    Contrast this conversation with yesterday's discussion with m Lewitt! I buy lewitt's view!!
  • DS
    David S.
    14 June 2017 @ 19:24
    Human beings have, can and will adapt to change. Doom and gloom discussions will not solve the basic questions of food, shelter and health care in the 21st century. If we see the world through 19th and 20th century lenses, we will fail. DLS
  • AN
    Aron N.
    14 June 2017 @ 19:18
    First time I've ever commented, one of my absolute all time favourites!
  • SS
    Sam S.
    14 June 2017 @ 18:51
    Not sure what any of this is put to use point of reference. Use ETF or modern theory 2.0 but watch out society is going into civil war, bad choices, worse choices, economic meltdown. Max Headroom. Paint me green and call me Gumby.
  • RA
    Robert A.
    14 June 2017 @ 17:50
    I will buy and read John's new book and will contiune to subscribe to several of his products, but I just don't have the patience to hear him speak. He is not the first person that writes better than he speaks, IMHO.
  • GM
    Greg M.
    14 June 2017 @ 17:45
    Well, I wasn't expecting this much doom and gloom on my Wednesday lunch. I think he is overthinking the nature of work. Two hundred years ago nearly everyone was a farmer. If you want to blame anything look at the failure to promote a good environment for entrepreneurship and the destruction of incentives for productive behavior. People will always have wants and needs to fulfill thus there will always be work to do. The ending made me think of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Value will be rewarded eventually. Nothing new happens on Wall Street because human nature will never change.
  • DX
    Dominus X.
    14 June 2017 @ 15:52
    I love Grant! "I'm tired... I'm tired John..." turning down immortality. Great, just great!
    • JL
      J L.
      14 June 2017 @ 16:36
      so very English
  • NR
    Nicholas R.
    14 June 2017 @ 16:12
    So he trashes passive investing and the answer is trading ETFs. NJR
  • SC
    Shane C.
    14 June 2017 @ 14:50
    Oh John...I disagree with nearly everything you said. I highly respect you though
  • RM
    Richard M.
    14 June 2017 @ 14:49
    I have followed John M for a decade and he is always consistently fun and interesting to read. He has great insights on just a ton of different topics and he always brings a different view to the various topics he writes about. Great interview!
  • CS
    C S.
    14 June 2017 @ 12:19
    -There will be local economy and service requirements come the new economy. -Saving in the medium of exchange, expecting it to be a store of value, dramatically increased demand for investable assets, which has fostered rampant malinvestment. The debt has to be let go. 'Freegold' is an interesting potential outcome of a reset. Any thoughts on Karl Denningers ideas on remedies for the cost of healthcare in the US and the devastating financial effects thereof? Cheers.
    • CS
      C S.
      14 June 2017 @ 12:54
      Theres a bubble in liquidity and financial services. What if there isnt any/much dumb money (captive savings) in markets after a reset? Mostly professionals/entrepreneurs making informed decisions on real world businesses.