201704.26
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Clickbait: Bernanke Terrifies Stock Investors, Again

If you are a stock investor, you should be terrified. The most disconcerting words have been uttered by the one person capable of changing the whole dynamic. After spending so many years trying to recreate the magic of the “maestro”, Ben Bernanke in retirement is still at it. In an interview with Charles Schwab, the…

201704.23
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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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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…

201704.12
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An Inside Basis For Unfortunate Continuity

Primary dealer holdings of UST securities have been on the rise again. This sort of warehouse activity is drastically misunderstood, exemplified best when last year around this time surging dealer inventory was blamed on those banks’ purported inability to sell off their holdings. It was an absolutely absurd idea for several reasons, but most prominently…

201703.27
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The Fed did, as expected, hike rates at their last meeting. And interestingly, interest rates have done nothing but fall since that day. As I predicted in the last BWER, Greenspan’s conundrum is making a comeback. The Fed can do whatever it wants with Fed funds – heck, barely anyone is using it anyway –…

201703.15
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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 Fed spent the last month forward guiding the market to the rate hike they implemented today. Interest rates, real and nominal, moved up in anticipation of a more…

201703.10 4

No Paradox, Economy to Debt to Assets

It is surely one of the primary reasons why many if not most people have so much trouble accepting the trouble the economy is in. With record high stock prices leading to record levels of household net worth, it seems utterly inconsistent to claim those facts against a US economic depression. Weakness might be more…

201703.07
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Do Record Debt And Loan Balances Matter? Not Even Slightly

We live in a non-linear world that is almost always described in linear terms. Though Einstein supposedly said compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe, it rarely is appreciated for what the statement really means. And so the idea of record highs or even just positive numbers have been equated with positive…

201702.21
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Discounting, Or Never Learning?

The hedge fund industry is not quite dead yet, meaning that it can still cause a great deal of disruption before it expires. It is here where things like rehypothecation and the bastardization of prime brokerage functions were perfected, such that we might use that term in this manner. Despite so much outward attention paid…

201702.21
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The Market Is Not The Economy, But Earnings Are (Closer)

My colleague Joe Calhoun likes to remind me that markets and fundamentals only sound like they should be related, an observation that is a correct one on so many different levels. Stock prices, in general, and GDP growth may seem to warrant some kind of expected correlation, but it has proven quite tenuous at times…