Politics

Is Inflation About To Make A Comeback?

By |2016-03-09T21:00:57-05:00March 9th, 2016|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Politics|

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 has been residing beneath [...]

Things Everybody Knows…

By |2015-11-28T19:45:17-05:00November 28th, 2015|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Politics, Stocks|

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 conditions. They assume that [...]

The World’s Central Bank

By |2015-09-20T17:28:59-04:00September 20th, 2015|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Politics, Stocks, Taxes/Fiscal Policy|

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 crisis so the rate charged [...]

The Mysterious Selloff

By |2015-08-23T17:57:40-04:00August 23rd, 2015|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Politics, Stocks|

Why was the stock market down almost 6% last week? I know what you're thinking - has this guy been under a rock somewhere? But I'm serious. I know what all the pundits, commentators and talking heads are saying about the immediate cause. It's about the China devaluation and the knock on effect in other emerging markets. It's about global [...]

Bailout – “the Greequel”

By |2015-07-19T16:55:03-04:00July 19th, 2015|Bonds, Economy, Markets, Politics, Stocks|

The Greek government, EU, IMF and ECB agreed to new terms for a third bailout. As I see it, there are two very important items for markets today. The Greek government will be selling assets to pay down debt and re-capitalize the banking sector. Creditors essentially accessed the Greek collateral they were seeking. In return, the European Commission will provide Euro [...]

Greek Referendum

By |2015-07-05T10:54:08-04:00July 5th, 2015|Economy, Politics|

Much of the headlines about the referendum that is underway in Greece as I write this morning tell stories of confusion. What are the Greek people voting on? Officially, they are voting Yes or No on terms of a deal with creditors that is no longer on the table. Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, says a No vote will give [...]

The Market Waits For No One

By |2015-06-28T16:10:35-04:00June 28th, 2015|Bonds, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Politics, Stocks, Taxes/Fiscal Policy|

Our lens suggests that the very low interest rates that have prevailed for so long may not be “equilibrium” ones, which would be conducive to sustainable and balanced global expansion. Rather than just reflecting the current weakness, low rates may in part have contributed to it by fuelling costly financial booms and busts. The result is too much debt, too [...]

Greek Scenario Analysis

By |2015-06-21T17:29:20-04:00June 21st, 2015|Markets, Politics, Stocks|

Here is a simple conditional probability table one might use to gauge the potential risks and rewards stemming from the Greek credit negotiations. The table considers 3 paths which may arise from ongoing talks. It assigns a probability for each and what an investor might expect for market returns under each scenario. Given recent events, the probabilities in the table have [...]

Let Them Eat Cake

By |2015-05-17T14:37:18-04:00May 17th, 2015|Economy, Markets, Politics|

It’s very decorative, it’s very large, it looks very expensive, it’s very splashy. I’d identify the new owner as being very rich, and it’ll brighten up his expensive apartment. Would you want any more reasons?   John Richardson, Picasso biographer on why Les Femmes d'Alger (Version O) is worth the $179 million it fetched at a Christie's auction recently, a [...]