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Tag Archives: monetary policy

The Topsy-Turvy Economy

The financial markets are hooked on easy money, low interest rates, and growth via debt issuance. Yet, it has become obvious to some market players, economists, and maybe even the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (the rate setting cabal), that current monetary policy is now hurting, not helping, the economy. Of course, monetary historians know that monetary policy was never meant to act alone, or in a vacuum, as …Read More

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

Reconciling a 1-percent economy with record market highs

The recovery from the Great Recession has been the most sluggish in post-WWII economic history.  This is vividly displayed in the nation’s recent GDP report.    The Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew at a snail’s pace over the last 3 quarters: 0.9% in Q4, 0.8% in Q1, and 1.2% in Q2.  Yet, all of the major U.S. stock market indexes recently closed at all-time highs.  For many, warning lights …Read More

When policies are anti-growth, sell the rallies and buy the dips

The equity markets are generally forward-looking. That’s why you have price movements that seem incompatible with the latest economic (backward-looking) data. The equity market today, as seen through the eyes of the S&P 500, has been flirting with all-time highs while the economic data indicate that the economy continues on feeble legs. So, just as the “forward-looking” market has predicted 25 of the last 8 recessions, so too, it can …Read More

The Fed returns to the shadows

At the end of August, the Standard & Poor’s 500 reached another new milestone, closing above 2,000 for the first time ever. And even the NASDAQ, at nearly 4,600, is now within striking distance of 5,000, a mark it set almost 15 years ago. The fact that the stock market continues to rise in the face of the Fed’s continued ultra-accommodative monetary policy is no longer a surprise. As many …Read More

Fed policy and your retirement portfolio

Originally published in MarketWatch.com http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-policy-and-your-retirement-portfolio-2014-08-07 At the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen reiterated that the economy is improving and deflation risks are disappearing. The Fed is planning on ending its QE, or quantitative easing, program in October and hasn’t signaled that it will begin raising rates before next summer in 2015. In her semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony to congress, Yellen mentioned that she thought that high-yield …Read More