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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]