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The Markets – November 11, 2013

After last week’s surprisingly strong employment report, it’s almost possible to picture Ben Bernanke slapping trail dust from his leg, ducking his head, and saying, “Just doin’ my job.”   After all, running the economy is as laden with complications and unexpected events as a cattle drive. Richard Graboyes, an economist who was once the Director… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |

The Markets November 4, 2013

Exceptional… exceeds expectations… meets expectations… needs improvement… unsatisfactory. It’s a rating system familiar to anyone who has ever received a performance review. Right now, the performance of inflation is not meeting expectations – and that may be a good thing.  Critics of loose monetary policy and rock bottom interest rates have had high expectations for… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary | Tags: ,

The Markets- October 21, 2013

Do world stock markets believe Congress is just offering up some Halloween excitement?   Last week, they responded to the government shutdown in the United States and the possibility the U.S. might default on its debt for the first time ever with the bravado of teenagers standing in line for a haunted house. Markets around the… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |

The Markets- October 14, 2013

Do world stock markets believe Congress is just offering up some Halloween excitement?  Last week, they responded to the government shutdown in the United States and the possibility the U.S. might default on its debt for the first time ever with the bravado of teenagers standing in line for a haunted house. Markets around the… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |

The Markets – October 7, 2013

For Sturm und Drang enthusiasts, the third quarter of 2013 held plenty of mayhem and emotion. It began with an overthrow of Egypt’s democratically-elected government and ended with the United States government at risk of defaulting on Treasury and government obligations. In between:  Fed officials had a lot to say. Like background music that manipulates… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |

Government Shutdown NOT Default is the Issue.

  Recently I had the opportunity to hear Robert Stein, the Deputy Chief Economist, of First Trust Advisors L.P. a financial services firm, give a speech on the situation we face in Washington D. C. Immediately prior to joining First Trust; Mr. Stein was Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department. Prior… Read More

Categorized in: Consumer Spending |

The Markets- September 30, 2013

“It’s déjà vu all over again,” Yogi Berra reportedly said as he watched Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris smack back-to-back home runs for the umpteenth time.  Americans are experiencing déjà vu all over again, too. Sure, the prospect of another fiscal showdown doesn’t electrify a crowd like a couple of major league home… Read More

The Markets- September 23, 2013

We’re going to do it…We’re going to do it…We’re not going to do it…Yet.  Last week, the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee gave stock markets a gift that, on a scale of thrills, might have been on par with Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to JFK. On Wednesday, the FOMC announced (without a trace of… Read More

The Markets – September 16, 2013

Baseball great Yogi Berra once said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” He may have been on to something.   Last May, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea the Fed’s economic stimulus program, known as Quantitative Easing (QE), might be ratcheted down sooner rather than later. The… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |

The Markets- September 9, 2013

Confluences are the building blocks of the world’s waterways. When two or more rivers meet, changes in velocity and turbulence tend to result in geologic scouring; erosive activity that may alter the shape of the river and its bed. The action may produce a ‘scour hole’ downstream from the confluence. For a river runner, a… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |