201409.01
3
0

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…

201406.29
2
0

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…

201405.06
4
0

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…

201404.25
1
0

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…

201402.09
5
0

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…

201401.15
1
0

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…

201401.05
4
0

Do You Feel Lucky?

Well, 2013 is in the books and it was a stellar year for anyone who had the moxy to ignore all the rules we’ve been taught about investing. Diversification? Didn’t need it last year. All you had to do was buy US stocks, the more speculative the better, and let it ride.  Bonds to reduce…

201312.15
1
0

Much Ado About Not Much

A few more pieces of the great taper justification puzzle fell into place last week. The politicians struck a budget deal that, as I said last week, changes little in the spending and taxes equation for the next two years, a period that pushes any real changes past the next election. And unless that election…

201311.24
3
0

A South Sea Cruise

In a conversation with a client last week, I was asked if it was possible that the conditions we see today in the economy and the markets are somehow unique or new. The implication being that the techniques that have worked for investors – contra speculators – for decades might no longer work in this…

201311.10
2
0

Extraordinary Times

I’ve been laid up the last week after a minor surgical procedure and while I haven’t been that productive at getting any actual work done, it has given me a lot of time to watch CNBC and Bloomberg. The portfolio managers, strategists and assorted market soothsayers stream across my screen, talking about markets the way…