Blog

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 |

The Markets- September 3, 2013

Last week was crunch time in the National Football League (NFL). With the 2013 regular season approaching rapidly, NFL teams cut about 700 players from their rosters over the Labor Day weekend.  That was a big cut—about a 40 percent drop in player employment—as rosters were pared from 90 to 53 players.  However, it’s not… Read More

The Markets for August 26, 2013

“So much depends / upon / a red wheel / barrow / glazed with rain / water / beside the white /chickens.”   Well, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is a lot more complex than the simple tools mentioned in the oft-memorized William Carlos Williams’ poem, The Red Wheelbarrow, but an awful lot is… Read More

The Markets for August 19, 2013

Robert Burns, father of fourteen and writer of Auld Lang Syne, once said, “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.” Was he ever right!   Here are a few sure things: The Federal Reserve intends to reduce economic stimulus by tapering quantitative easing (QE).  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to retire. Gross Domestic… Read More

The Markets for August 12, 2013

Like the kid who sings loudly and enthusiastically at a grade school concert while wary peers dodge his O Sole Mio arm sweeps, the Federal Reserve has been getting a lot of attention lately. That didn’t change last week.   Markets pulled back from record highs after Chicago Fed President, Charles Evans, who has been a… Read More

Categorized in: Market Commentary |

The Markets for August 5, 2013

You say to-may-to. I say to-mah-to. You have to be a careful reader to keep up with the Federal Reserve these days. Last week, the Fed re-characterized the pace of economic growth in the United States from ‘moderate’ to ‘modest.’ According to Wall Street Journal blog, Real Time Economics, “economic data show that ‘modest’ is… Read More