201807.11
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Buybacks Get All The Macro Hate, But What About Dividends?

When it comes to the stock market and the corporate cash flow condition, our attention is usually drawn to stock repurchases. With good reason. These controversial uses of scarce internal funds are traditionally argued along the lines of management teams identifying and correcting undervalued shares. History shows, conclusively, that hasn’t really been true. Last year’s…

201602.19
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Widespread and Worse

When Janet Yellen testified to Congress last week, she was as usual careful with her words. Alan Greenspan once called it “mumbling with incoherence” but there is very little left to rambling in Yellen’s predicament. Where Greenspan was once the “maestro” and Bernanke the “hero” Yellen is stuck holding the bag, and I think she…

201512.13
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The Weekly Snapshot

Top News Headlines Kinder Morgan, Freeport McMoran, Anglo-American cut dividends Climate deal reached in Paris. Not legally enforceable, all voluntary, no one cares. Dow, Dupont agree to merge, divest and keep Wall Street employed. Junk bond fund halts redemptions. Economic News China loosens Yuan peg to the dollar. Oil hits new lows. Jobless claims hit…

201504.22
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It All Went So Quickly

It seems a very long way from here, but it was only December 23rd when the economy was taken as “booming.” That was the day that excited economists under direct confirmation, allegedly, that this time was different. The Commerce Department had reported Q3 GDP up to 5%, raising estimates for business investment and consumer spending….

201504.13
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Unextrapolating Bubble Expectations

No inflection is ever expected in the real economy since everything is always extrapolated in straight lines by orthodox economists using econometrics. Similar interpretations are being used in stocks, and not just in the “earnings recession” that is already declared “unexpected.” In terms of share prices, there is little doubt about what is holding up…

201503.23
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A Eurodollar Impression On the Corporate Side of the Bubble Economy

Right along with the growing recognition that there is a systemic problem with labor utilization, and thus wages and earned income serious lag and cap true economic advance, there is at least the coincidence of financial factors that would offer a correlation if not full causation. It may be just that, coincidence, but even that…

201503.05
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Economy and Stocks

It is often very easy to fixate on the S&P 500 as if it were the only current proxy of the broad universe of stocks. Like the Dow Jones Industrial Average before it, the 500 has attained synonymy with stocks as it is the most widely publicized and recognized value. But just like the DJIA,…

201305.22
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Where’s the Butterfly?

A healthy caterpillar will always turn into a butterfly, a beautiful, stunning representation of a natural system in good balance with sustainable proportions. Likewise, a healthy Caterpillar is a sign of a stable and healthy economic system, whether defined by region or the entire globe. If we look at Caterpillar’s dealer sales figures, it gives…

201305.12
2
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Happy Mother’s Day Mr. Bernanke

In light of the current low interest rate environment, we are watching particularly closely for instances of “reaching for yield” and other forms of excessive risk-taking, which may affect asset prices and their relationships with fundamentals. It is worth emphasizing that looking for historically unusual patterns or relationships in asset prices can be useful even…

201303.31
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Financial Impulsion

You’ve probably read about financial repression in which governments or their agents interfere in the market in an effort to reduce debt. The most obvious recent example is the Fed and other central banks interfering in bond markets and suppressing interest rates. While these central banks generally justify this act on the grounds that it…