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 .. read more

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 .. read more

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 .. read more

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 .. read more

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 .. read more

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 .. read more

A Small Dose Of Reality

While I was gone on my short business/golf trip the politicians managed to avert disaster by agreeing to continue arguing about the federal budget for a few more months before we face another self imposed debt deadline. The stock market took the reprieve as a positive since it means the Fed will keep up its .. read more

Politicians Acting Childish

This will be shorter than usual, something I’m sure pleases more than a few of you. I’m traveling this week, in Asheville, NC Monday and Tuesday meeting with some clients and future clients and taking a much needed break in Hilton Head the rest of the week. I’m playing Harbour Town next Sunday so the .. read more