Rising Dollar: Good News, Bad News

So here we are nearly 6 years removed from the last global financial crisis – surely not the last – and while a lot has been done by global economic policymakers, it seems that not much has really been accomplished. Globally, debt has risen since the crisis despite the cries from some quarters of “austerity”;…


Political Economy

I hate to do it, but I’m going to have to write about politics this week. Believe me, it isn’t something I relish, but in light of the recent election, it would be dereliction of duty to ignore the elephant and donkey in the room. Let’s get this out of the way right up front;…


What Happens When You Don’t Actually Own It

The very character and content for “money” has undergone a radical shift particularly as banking and central banking has attained its latest incarnation. However, even making that statement is somewhat misleading since “money” has been absent from the United States for almost a century. For the most part, nobody seems to have missed it, at…


A Market That Satisfies No One

Stocks rebounded in spectacular fashion last week, the angst of the last few weeks apparently forgotten as quickly as a central banker can float a trial balloon. First there was the Bullard bounce that moved us off the lows when things were looking their grimmest and then last week we got a rumor about the…


Secular Stagnation Or The Cusp Of A Boom?

I’ve mentioned several times recently that within Alhambra we often have vigorous debates about the economy and markets. I’m a big believer in the power of competition to improve outcomes whether we are talking about the macro economy or the micro debates about portfolio strategy in which we engage. The debates we have internally are…


Careful What You Wish For…

So be careful what you wish for ‘Cause you just might get it And if you get it then you just might not know What to do wit’ it, ’cause it might just Come back on you ten-fold Eminem, Careful What You Wish For There was a collective gasp on Wall Street last week as…


When A Surge In Activity Is Actually Quite Ominous

March household spending in Japan surged by 7.2% Y/Y, the highest spending growth rate since 1975. That level even beat out March 1997, the month before the previous and similar tax hike. Extrapolating from that one number, there is now more hope that the Japanese economy may be able to withstand April’s tax intrusion without…


Looking For Jobs in Taxes

Since there exists more than a bit of doubt about the state of employment in the United States, at least outside mainstream commentary, that dissatisfaction with the BLS/Census Bureau leads observers and analysts toward other data sources. When speaking of jobs you would think it far more readily obtainable, particularly without the need to resort…


Are We Turning Japanese?

After the Great Crisis and Recession of 2008 there were a lot of economic and market commentators arguing that the US was headed in the direction of Japan. Japan’s economy, stock and real estate markets peaked in the late 80s and they’ve been trying to find the formula for sustainable growth ever since. Since the…


Fiscal Improvement

The macro-economic parallel to my earlier post regarding the dramatic decline in borrowing pace is that there is an urge to include the “improving economy” as a factor driving better fiscal fortunes. Unfortunately, like so many earnings reports, the budget deficit is enthralled by a series of “one-off” factors compelling the treasury toward what only…