Broken Euro

Will New Greek Drama Threaten European Periphery?

Markets are reacting badly to Greek plans to exit its bailout program early. Uncertainties are being heightened by the prospect of early general elections. The end-result has been a sharp sell-off in Greek sovereign bonds, which has raised fresh concerns about the potential for spillover from Greek risks to other peripheral markets.

strategy1

“the most crucial factor for investing success is cost” – FALSE

I was intrigued by this Vanguard response to PIMCO’s defense of active bond management in which a Vanguard spokesman said: “We believe the most crucial factor for investing success is cost” This is an empirically incorrect statement.  Yes, costs matter a great deal.  But the way you choose to allocate your…

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the-federal-reserve

The Unintended Consequences of Fed Policy

For the most part, I think it’s safe to say that Central Banks are designed to help the economy.  As I’ve described before in detail, at their most basic level Central Banks are just big clearinghouses.  For instance, in the case of the Fed it’s really just an entity that…

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Interest_Rates

Interest Rates are less Important Than Economists Think

I complain about the state of modern economics a good deal because, as a market practioner and an entrepreneur, I notice that much of the textbook theoretical modeling doesn’t actually reflect anything realistic about the way the world works.  While there are many flawed econ and finance concepts such as…

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macro13

Why I Love the Stock Market

“The thing that most affects the market is everything.” – James Playsted Wood

oil

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Falling Energy Prices

The recent correction in the price of crude oil should have an immediate positive impact on the US consumer as well as on a number of business sectors. However there also may be a significant economic downside to this adjustment. Here are some facts to consider.

question_mark_WP

Sunday Q&A

I wanted to open the comments up here for a Q&A since I haven’t done one in a while.  With the markets so volatile and the global economy looking shaky again I figured people might have some questions.  So fire away if you want.  Anything goes….

bull

Three Bullish Macro Charts

You didn’t think I was going to let you go into the weekend all depressed now did you?  I mentioned last week that the recent downturn in stocks appears to be a purely non-USA event.  That is, the US economic data that’s been coming out in recent weeks really looks no…

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rollercoaster

Implied Vol Dislocation

The recent spike in volatility has created a “dislocation” in US equity options markets.

strategy1

“Why Did the Stock Market Decline?”

Whenever the market moves violently in one direction or the other we tend to ask questions after the fact.  In recent days the stock market has been falling rather rapidly.  And people want answers.  But I find this questioning misguided.  Who cares why the stock market went down.  Answering that…

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happy

REDEMPTION!

9% decline in the S&P and suddenly everyone who predicted constant recession, bear market, hyperinflation and the end of the world have their sweet redemption!  Recency bias at its best….   H/T reader rconners    

think

Three Things I Think I Think

A few thoughts on a crazy day in the markets…

Interest_Rates

So Much for Rate Increases…

It seemed like just last week we were debating the potential for the Fed to raise rates.  And then today we have Fed officials discussing the potential for more QE.  What a manic world.  One little 7.5% decline in the stock market and people start assuming that the world is…

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Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Economics is Among the Most Influential Prizes in the World

I’ve been mum on the Nobel prize in economics because I honestly don’t know much about Jean Tirole and his microeconomic work.  But I think we should silence one discussion that inevitably arises every time the award is handed out.  That’s the idea that the award is somehow fake or…

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Fail_WP

The State of Macro is Awful

In his latest piece Paul Krugman defends the state of modern macro citing how much of the modern modelling was used quite effectively by certain economists (basically, himself and a few others).  He says this was a big deal because it led to many accurate predictions.  Which is fine except…

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