24 Jun

Britain Votes to Leave the European Union

June 24, 2016Printer-Friendly VersionMany of us awoke this morning to the news of the British decision to leave the European Union. After a marriage of more than four decades, 72% of voters turned out to “leave” the EU by a slim margin of 52% to 48%. No doubt, the people have spoken. The vote also propelled the British Prime Minister David Cameron to resign.The 52% that voted to leave the European Union felt that remaining in the European Union meant less sovereignty, less control over immigration, increased crime and possibly even a higher risk of terrorism. Did they really know exactly what they were voti…

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13 Jan

Shifting Sands

January 13, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionBaseball is a funny sport. Just when you thought you have seen everything, something happens in the course of a game that has never happened in the history of the sport. The same could be said for the stock market. Case in point was the first week of 2016. In the United States, the Dow dropped 6.1%, the S&P 500 6.0% and the Nasdaq 7.3% all in one week, making the decline the worst on record for the start of a year. U.S. markets were heavily impacted by a weak Chinese stock market and a devaluation of their currency. China has…

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16 Sep

Should the Fed Raise Interest Rates This Year?

September 16, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionThe Federal Reserve concludes its two-day meeting on Thursday and will announce whether or not they plan to raise interest rates, specifically the Federal Funds Rate. The Fed has kept the Federal Funds Rate at zero since 2008 and hasn’t raised the rate in over a decade. Since discontinuing its Quantitative Easing (QE) program in October of 2014, the market has been obsessed with when the Fed starts to raise interest rates. This obsession makes sense as the Fed has used “forward guidance” as another monetary policy tool in recent years. However, I believe the first increase in interest rates…

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28 Apr

Negative Interest Rates

April 28, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionImagine the following scenario: You wake up one morning and decide it’s time to open a new bank account. You gather your personal information, head to your local bank and sit down with a banker. You: “I would like to open a new bank account.”Banker: “Sure, what type of account are you interested in?”You: “Well, I’m not sure, what are your interest rates?”Banker: “Our current interest rate is negative 0.50%.”You: “Come again?”Banker: “Negative 0.50%.”You: “So, if I deposit $50,000, it will cost me $250 per year?”Banker: “Yes, but you could invest in our 2-yr CD. We have a new special rate…

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14 Jan

The Grand Monetary Experiment

January 14, 2015Printer-Friendly Version“And so the miracle of the debt supercylce meets a logical end when yields, asset prices and in the increasing amount of credit place an unreasonable burden on the balancing scale of risk and return. Too little return for too much risk” – Bill Gross, January 2015Markets By The Numbers – 2014 In ReviewStocksGlobal stocks ended the year up 4.2%. There was quite a dispersion between U.S. stocks and international stocks as international developed and emerging market stocks recorded losses for the year. Continued concerns regarding slowing growth and a risk of deflation in the Euro-zone impacted international developed stocks. Slowing…

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