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Is the Fed Projecting or Pretending on Rates?

Let’s go back to some Fed “projection” analysis we did on August 19th Tomorrow we will get some new Fed projections. Suddenly people care. Below is the work we did back on August 19th. Fed Projections – Goal Seeked or Better Informed? It is worth taking a closer look at some of the Fed projections…. Read More

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Liquidity Detox: Prepare For The Shakes

This article originally appeared on forbes.com. Volatility is back, and unpacking for a long stay. June will set a 2013 record for days with 100-point swings, and the Vix is headed north. But the real story is in bonds, where total returns for the year — interest income plus or minus price movement– actually went… Read More

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And the Mighty Arms of Atlas Hold the Heavens from the Earth

Jeremy Hill of TF Market Advisors puts out the excellent weekly Macro Monitor newsletter. Check out this week’s edition below: Roughly 4.4 million Americans were described as long term unemployed in Friday’s jobs report. That number seems intuitively important in the context of current monetary policy. We believe the fear of structural long term unemployment has… Read More

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The Hedge-Fund Investment Puzzle

The following originally appeared in the The Wall Street Journal: If hedge funds are as bad as the headlines would have us believe, why do sophisticated institutions keep investing in them? Anyone glimpsing headlines lately knows that hedge funds are accused of causing the Cooper Union college endowment to fail, are underperforming and overcharging, and… Read More

The United States Federal Reserve

It Depends Upon the Data

Bob Eisenbeis over at Cumberland Advisors shared the following insights about the Federal Open Market Committee:  Two keystones to current FOMC policy are transparency and effective communications. Both have taken a hit last week. Chairman Bernanke’s testimony before Congress did little to clarify how long the FOMC will pursue accommodative policy, what will cause it… Read More

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Hunting Big Game (And Gains)

This piece originally appeared on Forbes.com. When people hear “hedge fund” or “alternative investments,” many conjure up exotic strategies aimed at amazingly high returns. Well, as Sportin’ Life sang, it ain’t necessarily so. As discussed in earlier columns, some alternatives aim for higher current income; others, to avoid losses; and as we’ll see tomorrow, many… Read More

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Play It As A Recovery Or A Bubble? Both.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes.com. Recovery or bubble? Stock and housing prices are rising, but the real economy refuses to play along. The Fed’s history-making liquidity gambit may have induced a impressive revival … or a false spring that merely delays the true reckoning for decades of too much debt. Which is it? I… Read More

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Sensible Alternatives For More Income… And 3 Other Portfolio Jobs

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Alternatives are probably the most poorly understood corner of the investing universe. That’s too bad, because they can deliver just what investors need most right now: higher current income. But they can also provide inflation protection, cushion the (inevitable) next market downturn, and stretch return singles into extra base hits…. Read More

The United States Federal Reserve

Federal Deficit and Markets

Some excellent  insight from David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors: Jim Bianco noted an interesting development in his May 1, 2013, chart pack (http://www.arborresearch.com/bianco/?cat=7) . He observed that in the second quarter of this year the US Treasury was paying down debt for the first time since 2006. We started to think about that and what… Read More

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Point of No Return

Bob Eisenbeis, Chief Monetary Economist of Cumberland Advisors, sent this great piece over earlier today: An astute reader and some-time fishing partner raised an interesting issue in connection with a recent commentary. That commentary focused on the problems the Fed faces in designing an exit strategy from its current policy accommodation once the economy really… Read More