201702.05 1

Pump It Up

She’s been a bad girl. She’s like a chemical. Though you try to stop it, she’s like a narcotic. You wanna torture her. You wanna talk to her. All the things you bought for her, putting up your temp’rature. Pump it up until you can feel it. Pump it up when you don’t really need…

201611.20
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Regime Change

Economic Reports Scorecard The reported economic data of the last few weeks (it’s been 3 weeks since my last update so I guess technically this isn’t the Bi-Weekly Review) provides about as much direction and insight as the polls conducted prior to the election. To my eye, the trend here is trendless with a decidedly…

201611.09
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Nothing Has Changed….Yet

Back in June I mused about a Trump election: Forget for a minute that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. Think about the policies he is likely to propose as President and how they might affect the markets. Forget the campaign rhetoric for a minute, the things he’s proposed that can’t get done because the…

201610.14
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Growth Expectations Rising?

Economic Reports Scorecard The economic data of the last fortnight was typical for this cycle with some reports showing improvement and others the opposite; “mixed” has been the most often used adjective of this expansion. Of course, some reports are more important than others and the bad news was concentrated in an area that has…

201606.26
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Economic Reports Scorecard While everyone was focused on the potentially negative impact of Brexit, the Census Bureau was reporting evidence of actual economic weakness in the form of the durable goods report. The report was weak pretty much across the board but the weakness in autos is particularly concerning. The auto industry, along with construction,…

201606.05
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What Now, Ms. Yellen?

Well, that was ugly. The lousy employment report released this past Friday threw the markets and probably the FOMC for a loop. Stocks didn’t really do anything – yet – but other markets more than made up for that minor oversight. The dollar was down 1.5% on the week, all of that after 8:30 Friday…

201603.21
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Social Security Changes

By Bob Williams You’ve heard it said that the government giveth and the government taketh away.  It’s happening again.  This time retirement dollars for couples are being taken. With the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Congress prohibited spouses from coordinating Social Security Benefits.  Now, Americans on the brink of retirement are scrambling…

201603.09
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Is Inflation About To Make A Comeback?

We may well at present be seeing the first stirrings of an increase in the inflation rate — something that we would like to happen. Stanley Fischer Fed Vice-Chair in a speech before the National Association for Business Economics Anyone renting an apartment over the last few years might well wonder what rock Mr. Fischer…

201511.28
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Things Everybody Knows…

It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so. Mark Twain Mark Twain probably wasn’t thinking of investors when he wrote those words, but truer ones have rarely been written. Investors routinely become overconfident in their assessment of economic and market…

201509.20
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The World’s Central Bank

Well, thank goodness that’s over. The Fed met last week and decided to maintain the Fed funds rate in the 0 – 0.25% range in which it has been confined since the great financial crisis of 2008. Of course, the fed funds market is essentially kaput having been usurped by the Fed itself during the…