Archive by Author

Strong Potential for a Global Swan Attack

14 Aug

Last week we talked about the “Orange Swan” effect of President Trump. Well, there are a few more “swans” in the world that could really screw things up. First is the possibility of Janet Yellen getting monetary policy wrong within the context of other domestic reforms. We were promised health care reform, tax cuts and [...]

The Orange Swan

7 Aug

During our last fiscal meltdown, the Federal Reserve took drastic measures. It lowered interest rates to basically zero, took on an enormous Quantitative Easing (QE) program, and increased its balance sheet from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion. The Fed thought the wealth effect of these measures would lift the economy. For some it did. But [...]

The Fed “Unwind” May be a Tailspin

31 Jul

Leading up to 2007 – before the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program and Zero Interest Rate Policy, the Fed held about $800 billion in its portfolio, or “balance sheet.” Today, the Fed has about $4.5 trillion on the balance sheet, much of which is government debt and mortgage-backed securities purchased years ago to save us [...]

When Low Unemployment Can Be Bad News

24 Jul

We’re at or near full employment – or so the statistics say. Full employment generally means almost everyone who wants a job can get one, and the primary constraint on growth is the amount of labor available. Plentiful, abundant jobs with growing companies? I don’t think that is most folks’ reality. More likely, if they’re [...]

Indexing Error?

17 Jul

Picking stocks is an art form that is dying a passive death. I say “passive” because the influx of passive investing into the market has taken a lot of business from investment advisors. But investments that track the market, or segments of it, are a house of cards in themselves. Sure, the upside is promising. [...]

It Doesn’t Seem to Matter

10 Jul

We’re at market highs, yet like others, I’m reminded of Queen’s big hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” because it’s as if nothing really matters. I say that because several events of historical magnitude have failed to make any significant impact on the markets. One is the Trump presidency and the obvious lack of momentum for its agenda. [...]

Don’t Count on that Tax Cut Yet

26 Jun

We hear a lot about upcoming tax cuts, and despite Congressional difficulty, many still think a big cut Is coming. Between tax reform, infrastructure spending and deregulation, a lot could change in the American business environment. But I wouldn’t count on all that happening. From an investment perspective, even if we get big cuts, it [...]

A Tale of Two Presidents

19 Jun

Let me tell you about two U.S. presidents. One could be characterized as unconventional, not terribly political, elected to battle an uncertain economy and generally shake things up. The other is Donald Trump. Who is the first president I described? None other than Ronald Reagan. Both men were elected to lead in turbulent times, but [...]

In It Together

16 Jun

We all know the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is a hot topic among the nation’s political class. And it’s an important one on Main Street too. Here’s the thing to remember about Obamacare – while it may not affect you directly, it affects all of us in some way. After all, health care [...]

Witness to Another Bubble?

16 Jun

U.S. auto stocks have been in a selloff of sorts after drastic sales drops were reported recently. Ford and GM stocks are both down, with Ford reacting by ousting its CEO. In fact, the entire industry is down almost 5 percent year-over-year from 2016. And it’s not just new car sales that are down, because [...]