3 Ways To Relieve Financial Pressure

Financial pressure builds in most people at one time or another. If you aren’t feeling it, you know someone who is. In a ‘do better,’ ‘accumulate more,’ ‘keep up or catch up,’ and ‘whatever you do don’t let them see you sweat’ culture, pressure is accepted as a given. But when a major crisis happens, […]

Another Sign of China’s Collapse

Often times I hope I am wrong. The FT reported that forest land that is to be preserved has been used as collateral in bank loans to build infrastructure by local governments. So if the loans go bad, they will have to sell the land to pay off the debt. Since they are unlikely to […]

Are All-Cash Home Sales Good or Bad?

Data released today by the National Association of Realtors on US home sales in February showed a decline of 0.6% and inventory surged by the most for the January-February period in 20 years. But what may be more telling is that all-cash sales remain at a extraordinary percent of the total at 27%. Typically, all-cash […]

Chugging Ahead or Are We?

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) left interest rates unchanged and released a statement that updated their position on the economy just a bit. A comparison of this statement vs. the previous one in January can be found HERE. Notable changes were changing the words “Deterioration in the labor market was abating” to “The […]

Spiraling Around in Circles

February’s jobs report said that unemployment, despite snow in the northeast, held steady at 9.7%. We lost 36,000 jobs net and that was greeted as good news by the markets as it could have been worse. What we can learn from this. Think of the economy as a spiral. We spiral up and we spiral […]

Pension Canaries in the Coal Mine

Today the Financial Times reported that “California has acted as the canary in a financial coal mine lately for the rest of the US.” They have recognized the problem of promising much without the ability to deliver. But they haven’t got a real solution. “Northwestern University calculated before the latest bear market that, using risk-adjusted […]

Basically, It’s Over…Or Is It?

Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha and the second richest person in the world, released his annual shareholder letter recently. This is required reading for any investment professional. They already know that. You should read it too. But assuming you won’t, I will try to summarize the salient points from which you can learn and […]

The Trend in Jobs isn’t Our Friend

There’s an old saying, the trend is your friend. But the converse is true when things trend the wrong way. Initial jobless claims rose 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 496,000 in the week that ended Feb. 20, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week moving average, which helps smooth volatility in the data, was up […]

Ouch! Your Lack of Confidence Really Hurts

This can’t be spun to be anything that painful, bad news. Today, the new economic data shows a decided drop in consumer confidence. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence declined by 10 points or fell by almost 20%! In February the index fell to 46.0, from a revised […]

Another Iceberg in the Foggy Distance

The Capitan of the Titanic was asleep in his cabin when they hit the iceberg. In today’s dangerous waters, it’s tough to get any sleep at all because of icebergs like this: High Yield Debt Refunding Requirements A recent Moody’s report says, “U.S. speculative-grade issuers face more than $800 billion in refunding requirements over the […]

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