Anyone worried about social stability realizes a backlash is coming that will accelerate the cycle shift from wealth accumulation to wealth distribution.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on August 27, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

Forbes’ list of American billionaires has 643 names on it. From mid-March through early-August, their collective wealth skyrocketed by $685 billion. The richest 0.00019% of the U.S. population now possesses roughly $3.6 trillion. The 12 richest Americans have seen their wealth increase 40% since the middle of March and now hold more than $1 trillion combined for the first time in U.S. history.

This staggering increase in wealth amongst the wealthiest has come…


Combining vulnerable homeowners and renters, COVID-driven housing displacement threatens to exceed the GFC.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on August 13, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

The above quote comes from an Aspen Institute report released recently by a coalition of housing researchers from institutions including Princeton, Wake Forest, MIT, and the University of Arizona. Their headline conclusion is heartbreaking: 30 to 40 million Americans are at risk of eviction this year, or roughly 29% to 43% of all renter households. And the pain will be widespread across the country:


For years, we have studied the ever-intensifying threat of a retail-investor disaster

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on June 18, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

Last weekend, Sullimar Capital Group founder Bill Brewster shared a tragic personal story with his Twitter following. His poignant words resonated deeply with us:

This is still really raw and I have more questions than answers. But, it’s very important and intersects with what I speak about here. Hopefully my family’s tragedy can help another family avoid tragedy…My cousin in law was interested in investing. He opened a Robinhood account. And, he seemed…


Investors are greatly underestimating the breadth of risk and the power and willingness of the Fed to offer carte-blanche support.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on May 7, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

Last year, Surgery Partners — a heavily-indebted network of outpatient clinics majority-owned by Bain Capital — refinanced CCC-rated bonds at a 10% interest rate. By March, with the COVID outbreak beginning, investors braced for Surgery to default, plunging the price of those bonds below 55 cents on the dollar. Then, the Fed announced plans to buy risky corporate debt. …


It will deepen and prolong a U.S. recession regardless of Fed intervention.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on March 26, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

Corporate debt is the timebomb everyone saw ticking, but no one was able to defuse. Ratings agencies warned about it: Moody’s, S&P. Central banks and international financial institutions did too: the Fed, the Bank of England, the Bank for International Settlements, the IMF. Financial luminaries expressed concern: Jamie Dimon, Seth Klarman, Jes Staley, Jeffrey Gundlach, Henry McVey. Even a presidential candidate brought the issue on the campaign trail: Elizabeth Warren. …


Most gig and hourly workers are walking a financial tightrope. They will not be able to afford even a short-term hit to their earnings.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on March 19, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

In WILTW October 10, 2019, we warned that the health of the U.S. consumer is far more precarious than most recognize. The situation was escalating even before the COVID-19 outbreak. In 4Q19, prime and subprime auto delinquencies that are 90 or more days past due surged by 15.5% to a record $66 billion. Meanwhile, the credit card delinquency rate at small banks — the roughly 4,500 banks that largely cater to lower-income households…


As contrarians, we always ask when will it end and how will it end?

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on January 23, 2020. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

One link that has not received as much attention as it should is the relationship between consolidation and passive investing. The winner-take-all cycle has turned for two decades: Digital natives and sector leaders leverage expertise and spending power to maximize digital efficiencies. They suck in profits from smaller, less nimble old-economy companies. The stocks of the digital natives and sector leaders soar, accounting for the vast majority of growth in the indexes they…


Although there are many possibilities, our vote right now is corporate debt.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on October 24, 2019. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

Stats tell the story of deterioration:

  • The third quarter of this year saw the most credit rating downgrades for U.S. companies relative to upgrades since 2015, according to Bloomberg.
  • Over the past 12 months, non-financial S&P 500 cash balances have declined by $185 billion, or 11%, the largest percentage decline since at least 1980, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis.
  • Excluding…

If the American consumer is Atlas — holding up “the greatest economy ever” — his legs are weakening under the strain.

The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on October 10, 2019. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

In the Trump era, two seemingly contradictory narratives have dominated the portrayal of U.S. consumers. On one hand, you have the tale of the indefatigable American consumer — Atlas holding up “the greatest economy ever.”


The following article was originally published in “What I Learned This Week” on August 15, 2019. To learn more about 13D’s investment research, please visit our website.

For years in WILTW, we have dissected the meteoric rise of passive investing and algorithmic trading. The influence of “rules-based” strategies has only grown more extreme this year. According to estimates released by J.P. Morgan in late June, passive strategies now control 60% of U.S. equity assets while quant funds control 20% — a staggering 80% combined. Passive titans Blackrock and Vanguard now oversee $12 trillion, up from less than $8 trillion just…

13D Research

Navigating complexity in a rapidly-changing world. For more from What I Learned This Week, go to: http://www.13d.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store