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Tag Archives: ZIRP

Anti-growth policies hurt investors

The stall-out in the U.S. economy and in most major world economies has baffled policymakers. No matter what they try in today’s economic environment, it hasn’t worked for more than a short period of time. Quantitative easing appeared to work when first tried during the Great Recession, but now, as Japan and Europe have found, there appears to be significant diminishing returns with these unconventional tools. Europe, for example, will …Read More

Barone: Housing doldrums a supply problem

One of the key indicators of U.S. economic health is housing – both the turnover of the existing housing stock and the construction of new units. Existing home sales, new home sales, and housing starts all peaked earlier this year. Given the health of the U.S. consumer, as vividly demonstrated in the employment and auto sales data, it is puzzling why the housing numbers now appear to be so anemic. …Read More

Rising wages: Is Wal-Mart a precursor?

Originally published on Reno Gazette Journal’s website, http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/03/06/rising-wages-wal-mart-precursor/24537471/ For the past 18 months, the labor markets have been telling us to be bullish on the U.S. economy as the healing in that market precipitated economic strength. Those who could read those signals had a significant time advantage in the markets, as those signs emerged months ahead of the now-official view of the Fed that the labor markets are healing. In …Read More

What to Expect from Jackson Hole: “Party On”

In the past, the Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium produced some new and controversial proposals.  Two years ago, for example, then Chair Bernanke introduced QE3.  And, the financial markets loved it.  So, what can we expect from this Jackson Hole Symposium? Given the stances that Yellen has taken throughout her short tenure as Chair, it would be very surprising if the Symposium weren’t used by the Fed as a justification of …Read More

Junk bonds turn up the risk for retirees

In a “normal” interest rate environment, a retiree fortunate enough to have $1 million could get about $45,000 a year in income by investing in 10-yearTreasury bonds without risking principal if held to maturity. Yields have recently risen from historic lows, but in today’s low-rate world, an investor with $1 million can only get an annual income of about $25,000 by investing in 10-year Treasurys. For the last five years, …Read More

ZIRP and bond risk

ZIRP is an acronym that stands for “zero interest rate policy.” For the last five years, the Fed has employed a zero interest rate policy to help stimulate the economy. Investors need to understand all of the risks that their hard earned investment dollars can be exposed to. Most investors buy stocks and stock mutual funds when they’re in the accumulation phase of their retirement planning. As they age they …Read More