201706.20
0
1

Fading Further and Further Back Toward 2016

Earlier this month, the BEA estimated that Disposable Personal Income in the US was $14.4 trillion (SAAR) for April 2017. If the unemployment rate were truly 4.3% as the BLS says, there is no way DPI would be anywhere near to that low level. It would instead total closer to the pre-crisis baseline which in…

201706.19
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0

Global Asset Allocation Update:

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are no changes to the portfolio this month. The growth and inflation outlook continued to weaken somewhat since last month’s update. Certainly nothing very dramatic though, just a…

201706.18
8
2

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Has The Fed Heard Of Amazon?

The economic surprises keep piling up on the negative side of the ledger as the Fed persists in tightening policy or at least pretending that they are. If a rate changes in the wilderness can the market hear it? Outside of the stock market one would be hard pressed to find evidence of the effectiveness…

201706.06
3
0

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: The Return of Economic Ennui

The economic reports released since the last of these updates was generally not all that bad but the reports considered more important were disappointing. And it should be noted that economic reports lately have generally been worse than expected which, if you believe the market to be fairly efficient, is what really matters. The disappointing…

201705.31
2
2

Systemic Blindness

MF Global failed on a trade that would have made it enormously profitable. AIG’s portfolios of “toxic waste” ended up making money – for the Federal Reserve. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were ended like the others by liquidity, not losses. SemGroup was another firm that went into bankruptcy during that period, but one that…

201705.22
1
0

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The economic data releases since the last update were generally upbeat but markets are forward looking and the future apparently isn’t to their liking. Of course, it is hard to tell sometimes whether bonds, the dollar and stocks are responding to the real economy or the one people hope Donald Trump can deliver when he…

201705.18
2
1

Global Asset Allocation Update

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are, however, changes within the asset classes. We are reducing the equity allocation and raising the allocation to REITs.  Based on the bond markets there has been little…

201705.08
2
1

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The economic reports since the last economic update were generally less than expected and disappointing. The weak growth of the last few years had been supported by autos and housing while energy has been a wildcard. When oil prices fell, starting in mid-2014 and bottoming in early 2016, economic growth suffered as the shale industry…

201704.23
6
0

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

It wasn’t a very good two weeks for economic data with the majority of reports disappointing. Most notable I think is that the so called “soft data” is starting to reflect reality rather than some fantasy land where President Trump enacts his entire agenda in the first 100 days of being in office. Politics is…

201704.18
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0

Global Asset Allocation Update

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50.  The performance of markets in the first quarter of the year was a bit schizophrenic. Stocks performed well which one might interpret as a reflection of improving economic growth…