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Tag Archives: deflation

What ‘lower for longer’ means to yield-hungry investors

You’ve heard the expression, “We live in interesting times.” Substitute the words “uncertain,” “experimental,” or simply “scary” for “interesting,” and you will capture the feeling of many investors, especially those who have already retired or are approaching it. As I write, the media tells me that, by almost any standard measure, equity valuations are too high. For example, trailing PE ratios are 20x, 5 points above the historical mean. To …Read More

The imagined recession disappears

And POOF, just like that, the imagined recession disappeared! The equity market rallied from its Feb. 11 low (S&P 500 1829.08, down 10.5 percent for the year) to 1893.40 (March 3) and rising as I write. Amazingly, the markets are now only down about 2.0 percent for the year. This bounce is a relief. And with positive economic data of late (242,000 new jobs in February), the odds of that …Read More

CPI Says “Deflation,” But U.S. Households Face Inflation

Angst exists in the capital markets over the “deflation” issue. Basically, the markets are worried about a lack of demand which forces prices down, causes consumers to wait longer for the prices to fall further before they purchase, and ends up in a downward price spiral which leads to recession or worse. I’ve read plenty of this lately. This is simply not the case. Oil prices are a result of …Read More

Financial media fixated on threat of deflation

Originally published on Reno Gazette Journal’s website, http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/02/06/financial-media-fixated-threat-deflation/23010819/ As a financial markets economist, my job is to survey the economic landscape and identify trends and issues that might have a significant impact on economic activity (and then to worry about what those trends and issues mean for client portfolios). Normally, over the intermediate time horizon, such economic trends manifest themselves in financial asset prices. But that is not true in …Read More

More on Market Volatility

Despite the fact that the U.S. economy appears to be on solid ground, the equity markets appear confused and uncertain, and have exhibited volatility, including huge intraday point swings.  In what follows, I will examine the sources of the uncertainty and try to shed light on whether or not to worry.    1.  Global Economic Conditions are Deteriorating Europe has 11%+ unemployment and is wrestling to avoid recession.  In fact, …Read More

Outlook for 2015: First Half U.S. Growth Accelerates

            In 2013’s end of year missive, we commented that 2014 would be an up-beat year for the U.S. economy, and it looked like that could last through 2015. Now, as we near the last days of 2014, we see an even stronger underlying economy for 2015 and believe that it will last through 2016 barring any exogenous shocks. We have included a table of economic indicators which we will …Read More