Camp Kotok 2018 – Riding Shotgun With a Bear Behind the Wheel

Author: , Post Date: August 8, 2018

Riding Shotgun With a Bear Behind the Wheel

Crystal Kim
Aug. 7, 2018

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Bear country beckoned. Economists, portfolio managers, pundits, and Barron’s flocked to Leen’s Lodge in the backwoods of Maine for the annual fishing trip hosted by Cumberland Advisors’ David Kotok lovingly dubbed “Camp Kotok.” The five-day confab promised discussions about the state of the economy, markets, and, of course, the day’s catch.

To get there, we hailed a ride from Bleakly Advisory Group’s chief investment officer, Peter Boockvar, for the two-hour drive to Grand Lake Stream, Maine, from the closest airport in Bangor. The woods were lovely, dark, and seemingly full of ursus americanus, but the bear foremost on this reporter’s mind, at least while on the road, was the one behind the wheel of a little red Volkswagen.

“Central banks want 2% inflation, which if successful would lead to higher rates. At the same time, they remain so worried about a sharp jump in rates. The policy is inherently contradictory,” said Boockvar, between bites of lobster roll and slurps of Vitamin Water. Higher inflation should not be a wish of central bankers, as it slows growth by crimping real wages. “Inflation or deflation is a symptom of underlying economic activity and should not be seen as a driver of it,” he added.

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