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November 2015

After review, media’s take on retail is reversed

“There are lies, damn lies, and statistics” goes a saying popularized by Mark Twain which describes the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. At dinner a couple of weeks ago with business colleagues and later repeated by another business acquaintance, comments were made about how poorly the retail sector was doing and that we should worry that holiday sales would be weak with …Read More

The Possibility of Negative Interest Rates on Your Deposits – Part I

The very concept of negative interest rates appears, at least at first blush, to be an oxymoron.   What rational entity would “loan” money and expect, under the contract, to get less back than loaned?  If you think “no one would,” think again!  In this two part narrative, I explain how this is possible, how it is actually occurring in Europe, and what consequences there might be for the American saver/investor. …Read More

Strong employment, higher inflation means slightly higher interest rates

For some, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that 271,000 net new jobs were created in October was a surprise. But readers of my reports should not have been surprised. For at least the last year, I have commented on the underlying strength of the consumer, the service sector, housing, and the labor markets. And in the latest employment report, we have finally witnessed the first recognition that wages, too, are …Read More

What a buying opportunity it was!

By the market action in October, it now appears certain that the nasty 12% market correction in August and September was just that, a “correction.” And if you ignored all the doomsayers, who finally had a down market after 4+ years, the correction proved to be a buying opportunity. Indeed, we can pretty well conclude what I said in the August and September columns that: •China’s slowdown isn’t going to …Read More