Market Commentary

Sep 302011
 

Tough quarter.  Very tough.  The debt ceiling debate of July seems like a lifetime ago as the two months following experienced the first ever S&P downgrade on United States debt, followed by downgrades to most US banks. Next we witnessed the Europeans flail about trying to save the current structure of the European Union and [Full Text]

Jun 302011
 

I struggled with writing this letter. I considered writing about the European debt crisis and why it matters to the United States. I thought about pointing out the exceptional health of American corporations and my belief that if the Government would just get out of the way we could recover quite nicely.  QE3? No thanks! [Full Text]

Mar 312011
 

The first quarter of 2011 kicked off the year almost exactly as we expected.  The market went basically straight up from January 1st until February 18th, straight down from February 18th to March 16th then straight up until the end of the quarter. This exceptional volatility will remain for years to come as investors try [Full Text]

Dec 312010
 

The tax deal between the White House and Republicans passed by Congress mid- December is a big deal for the recovery. Most economists agree there is enough new stimulus in the package to add somewhere between 0.5 and 1 percentage point to economic growth in 2011, significantly reducing the likelihood of a double dip recession. [Full Text]

Sep 302010
 

Early in the third quarter all the talk was about how the Federal Reserve needed to aggressively fight deflation and that no inflation was on the horizon.  While there are signs of deflation especially in the housing market, the real problem out there seems to be inflation. Most indicators are stealthily flashing a warning that [Full Text]

Jun 302010
 

The great burst upward by equities, speculative bonds and commodities from the March 2009 bottom lent a bit of credence to the anticipation of a dramatic and sustained rise in the economy . Only market cheerleaders on weekend radio and those living in a state of denial have not realized that forecast is wrong.  Denial [Full Text]

Mar 312010
 

Government stimulus is good for only so long.  Eventually, business and consumer demand must take over and drive the United States economy which will provide the necessary base for sustained stock market health. Although small business and the consumer remain focused on paying down debt and building sufficient cash reserves for expected rainy days, we [Full Text]

Dec 312009
 

I enjoyed a couple days off during the holiday and spent a little time watching a show about sharks on the discovery channel.  Bump-and-bite shark attacks occur when a shark actually thinks of someone as an intruder. The shark circles, then comes in to bump the victim, usually several times, before finally attacking. Often the [Full Text]

Sep 302009
 

At one time or another we’ve all dreamed about what we would do with a winning Powerball ticket.  How would we spend our 250 million dollars?  What would 250 million dollars buy?  Since I don’t play, I’ll never know. But over the past quarter I have learned what 12 trillion dollars can buy.  Trillions of [Full Text]

Jun 302009
 

In my 2008 year end letter I addressed three economic indicators I felt were important to closely watch for signs of an economic turnaround. I noted I would be looking for the following: a rise in the U.S. personal savings rate to 7%-8% from 2% (the savings rate was negative 18 months ago), a 25% [Full Text]