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Emerging Markets

Markets: Time to Reflect on Risk, not Return

The week ended September 7th saw a pull-back from the record highs set in late August. Perhaps we witnessed the infamous “double top” (January 26th and August 29th). It is clear that financial markets have become riskier, and, perhaps, it is time for investors to assess the risks inherent in their portfolios versus the prospects of future returns. There is a short-term and a long-term view, neither of which augurs …Read More

Don’t be Fooled: Complacency is a Danger to Investors

The U.S. economy itself appears to be doing well, but we see many end of cycle signs, including less than 4% unemployment, rising interest rates, emerging consumer inflation, a strained housing market, slowing growth worldwide, and huge instability now developing in the emerging market space including Argentina, Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand. However, what scares us the most is the level of investor complacency. Because of the Fed’s and other …Read More

No Recession in Sight; Just Volatility, End of Cycle Worries

As June began, market volatility re-emerged with both the stock and bond markets fluctuating wildly on a daily basis. The good news is that it looks like U.S. manufacturing got a bit stronger entering Q2, as did consumer spending. So, Q2’s U.S. GDP will be stronger than Q1’s. The May employment report, too, was stronger than anticipated; more good U.S. news. Unfortunately, the rest of the world, especially Europe and …Read More

Before Political Correctness, We Called This “Stagflation”

“Those that cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana 1863-1952). This time, indeed, could be different. It certainly is in the realm of possibility. But, the odds are against it. One doesn’t get up on a particular morning and find an entry in the calendar on our smartphone, like “Cinco de Mayo” or “Mother’s Day,” that says “Start Day: National Recession.” In fact, the National Bureau …Read More

At Recession’s Onset, There is No Bell, Bugle, or National Anthem

From my reading of the business media, there are few business economists who believe, like I do, that the probability of a recession in the next 12 months is greater than 50%.  A recession is generally viewed as two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth. Looking forward, a recession isn’t inevitable, as there have been ‘soft landings’ in the post-World War II era.  Nevertheless, from my lens, there doesn’t …Read More

Are markets overvalued? Is there another bubble?

It is a mistake to think of the financial markets as a single entity. To answer the question as to whether the markets are overvalued or in a bubble, we have to examine each market separately. In the end, the only market that really appears to be in a bubble is the fixed income market. Equities There is evidence that U.S. equities are at the high end of their value …Read More