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Money Explodes; Gold Glitters; The Recovery Slows

I often get asked why the price of gold is rising, and, as a follow on, will it continue.  The price of gold has always had a significant correlation (80%) with the Fed’s balance sheet (i.e., the “money supply”), especially during periods of significant balance sheet expansion (money printing).  The table shows the Y/Y change in the money supply of the western world’s major economies.  The U.S., clearly the largest …Read More

Coronavirus: The Black Swan

  Black Swan taking off (Cygnus atratus) South Island, New Zealand (Photo by: VWPics/Universal Images … [+]VWPICS/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES   The equity market finally had a reaction to the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) last week, and it was significant with the S&P 500 falling 252 points (7.4%) from its record high close on Valentine’s Day. As of this writing, most of the fall (209 points) came on Monday …Read More

Economy: the Elusive “Escape Velocity”

The strong labor market and recent emerging data indicate that the first quarter’s poor economic performance was due to severe winter weather and a 2 month long west coast port strike that disrupted many manufacturing production schedules. Yet, despite such data, the financial media and many bloggers continue to fixate on the inability of the economy to shake off what appears to be “stall” speed, i.e., very slow economic growth, …Read More

Reconciling Contradictory Data

Originally published in RGJ’s Business Section, Sunday, 4/5/15 The markets are still concerned about a weakening U.S. economy, as data from the industrial portion of the economy continues to show weakness, even in March. The ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 51.5 in March, its lowest level in more than 2 years; ADP indicated that private sector job creation fell to 189,000 in March from 214,000 in February with most of the …Read More

Three Uncertainties Are Driving the Markets

The financial markets have been focused on three uncertainties: the strong and rising value of the dollar vis a vis other currencies, weakening U.S. economic indicators, and the timing and magnitude of Fed policy actions.  All this with a background of the ongoing Greek tragedy and continued political strife and terrorism worries. Volatility has resulted.  To show the market’s uncertainty, in the month of March, of the 19 trading days …Read More