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July 2013

The Sad Truth Behind the SAC Indictment

Anyone with money in Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors would be foolish to keep it there, even if they are sure the company will beat the Justice Department’s indictment. That’s because those funds could become subject to a forfeiture action. The issue here is the very use of the indictment, not the veracity of the allegations. The Justicee Department knows that the use of indictment process itself is likely to …Read More

Muni Investors Beware: Detroit Is Tip of Iceberg

When Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection last week, no one was shocked. It felt like it was inevitable. Now one has to ask whether analyst Meredith Whitney was correct but just early in her call in late 2010 on municipal defaults? For Detroit, the real culprits in the bankruptcy were skyrocketing pension and health care costs, even though mismanagement and reduced state and federal aid also played a role. Those …Read More

Pride Is Costing Wal-Mart and Washington

Dictionary.com defines pride as “an inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.” And nowhere was pride more evident than last week in the confrontation between the Washington, D.C., City Council and Wal-Mart (WMT). Pride got in the way of both sides, turning what was at least three years of hard work and promise for Washington redevelopment into a political fiasco. Wal-Mart has a reputation of using its …Read More

It’s a struggling world amid economic recovery

Despite tax increases and sequestration, the U.S. economy managed to officially grow 1.8 percent in the first quarter and likely at a similar rate in the second. Strangely, despite the lack of growth, the equity markets were up almost 16 percent in the U.S. in 2013’s first half. With the release of the June employment data, there is now no doubt that the job market is actually growing jobs, although …Read More

Market proof: Hooked on the liquidity drug

The reactions of the stock and bond markets to the mere mention of a slower rate of money printing shows how those markets have become hooked on such injections. The consequences of the first baby-step change of policy toward something more normal evoked violent market reactions not only in the U.S. but worldwide. Those reactions may quash the nascent private sector recovery, will certainly risk short-term negative effects of a …Read More