201802.13
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3

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Economic Reports Economic Growth & Income Personal income for December was better than expected at up 0.4% on the month and 4.11% year over year. Wages and salaries were up 0.5%. Unfortunately, that rate of rise is not even up to the lower end of the range we’ve seen in past expansions when 5% income…

201802.08
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3

Thinking Liquidation

It’s impossible to tell what drives the short run in anything, so anything we describe and attempt to ascribe moves to comes with a grain of salt. That said, there are clearly some things missing here. I’m not talking about big stuff like overrating the Fed’s predictive abilities and its resolve, ridiculous stock valuations, or…

201802.08
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1

CNY, Not Imports

In February 2013, the Chinese Golden Week fell late in the calendar. The year before, 2012, New Year was January 23rd, meaning that the entire Spring festival holiday was taken with the month of January. The following year, China’s New Year was placed on February 10, with the Golden Week taking up the entire middle…

201802.07
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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 to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. Despite the selloff of the last week I don’t believe any portfolio action is warranted. While the overbought condition has largely been corrected now, the S&P 500 is…

201801.29
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Markets At Extremes

Economic Reports Production Production ended the year on a strong note but early readings from January are not as positive. The December industrial production report headline was strong at a 0.9% gain but a lot of that strength was in the mining (oil drilling) and utility sectors. Mining has actually led the way the last…

201801.16 6

Confirming the Big Change In 2017

What determines the price of gold? It seems like it should be an easy question to answer, but gold more than perhaps any other asset often mystifies in its behavior. Part of the reason is mainstream, orthodox Economics and its practitioners who have waged an intentional war on the metal for more than a century…

201801.15
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: A Weak Dollar Stirs A Toxic Stew

Economic Reports Employment We received several employment related reports in the first two weeks of the year. The rate of growth in employment has been slowing for some time – slowly – and these reports continue that trend. The JOLTS report showed a drop in job openings, hires and quits. The Fed has been talking…

201801.04
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2

Global Asset Allocation Update

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. The extreme overbought condition of the US stock market persists so I will continue to hold a modest amount of cash. There are some minor changes within the…

201801.02
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Housing Market Accelerates

The economy ended 2017 with current growth just slightly above trend. In general the reports of the last two weeks of the year were pretty good with housing a standout performer going into the new year. We are still trying to get past the impact – positive and negative – from the hurricanes a few…

201801.02
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The Chinese Appear To Be Rushed

While the Western world was off for Christmas and New Year’s, the Chinese appeared to have taken advantage of what was a pretty clear buildup of “dollars” in Hong Kong. Going back to early November, HKD had resumed its downward trend indicative of (strained) funding moving again in that direction (if it was more normal…