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Economic Analysis

Fed Pause Now Seen Later Rather Than Sooner

Outside the Box

February 21, 2005

This week's letter is from another one of the country's top economic analysts, Paul Kasriel of The Northern Trust Company. Kasriel is Senior Vice President and Director of Economic Research, responsible for producing the Corporation's economic and interest rate forecasts. He advises the Bank's Assets-Liabilities Committee as well as the Corporation's Investment Policy Committee.

I am a big fan of Kasriel, and look forward to reading his outlook, as it always gives me an insight or two. His...

Bretton Woods, Part Two

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 18, 2005

"Another G-7 meeting has come and gone. And what has been accomplished? Next to nothing, in my view. The club of the world's wealthiest nations has punted on the big issues facing the global economy - namely, unprecedented current-account imbalances, currency misalignments, mounting trade tensions, and the liquidity- prone biases of central banks. The G-7's latest communique is emblematic of the increasingly vacuous rhetoric of globalization. This is a perilous course of inaction for a...

Global Financial Markets

Outside the Box

February 14, 2005

In a past Thoughts From the Frontline letter, I quoted some economic forecasts from a group in The Netherlands called ECR Research. ECR is an independent financial research group with a team of analysts and economists specializing in medium-term developments in interest rate and currency markets. ECR supplies their research to some of the top financial financial insitutions in the world.

ECR's Global Fiancial Markets report from February 3rd takes a look at the current situation in the U.S....

Blame it on Demographics

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 11, 2005

Last week we talked briefly about some of the problems surrounding Social Security, and especially the possibility that the deficit problems may be worse than we thought because of the trend towards (on average) living longer.

But a large part of the current debate misses what I think should be the real point, and that point is the focus of this week's letter. Everyone assumes that if they work hard and save they will be able to retire. While a sad number of people do not plan for...

Inflation is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon

Outside the Box

February 7, 2005

A few weeks ago, I posted a letter by Dr. Gary shilling on why he thinks there is deflation in our future. For another look at the inflation-deflation debate, this week's letter is by Myles Zyblock, who is Chief Institutional Strategist & Director of Capital Markets Research at the Royal Bank of Canada. Myles takes a look at why we have not seen a big increase in inflation even though the Fed has added vast amounts of monetary liquidity since the late 1990's. Milton Friedman's equation of...

Social Security’s Flawed Assumption

Thoughts from the Frontline

February 4, 2005

Social Security in the US (and the equivalent in Europe and Japan), as well as some pension plans, might be in far worse shape than you think. And the reason may be very good news for you, and almost certainly will be for your kids. Potentially very good indeed. Today we take a look at one potential pitfall in the future of Social Security that no politician is talking about.

I had told myself that with so many people writing about Social Security that I should just go on to another...

Emotion, neuroscience and investing: Investors as dopamine addicts

Outside the Box

January 31, 2005

Once again we look at one of my favorite analysts and behavioral finance thinker, James Montier of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London. James wrote a fascinating book two years ago called "Behavioural Finance: A User's Guide" and puts out ongoing research like the one we will enjoy today. Long time readers will recognize the name because I have discussed many of his ideas in my weekly letter "Thoughts From the Frontline," my book "Bull's Eye Investing" and in "Outside the Box." While the...

Insiders Send a Signal

Thoughts from the Frontline

January 28, 2005

Is the US stock market rolling over? What are insider investors telling us? Are there sectors that might run counter to the overall trend? We look at a variety of topics this week, I point some of my hedge fund and institutional managers to an excellent source for information on insider investing and point the rests of my readers to a new book which shows you how to separate the "Vital Few from the Trivial Many." All in all, it should be an informative letter.

But before we delve into...

Shades of Irrational Exuberance

Outside the Box

January 24, 2005

Readers know that Paul McCulley of Pimco, and his cohort Bill Gross, are two of my must read economic analysts. Pimco is in Newport Beach California and oversee more than $400 Billion in assets, predominately in fixed income.

Last week my weekly letter called "The Problem with the Endgame" quoted some of Paul McCulley's January 2005 Fed Focus letter. This article was so interesting that I decided to make it this week's Outside the Box. The letter is a little longer than normal, but well worth...

China: One Coin, Two Faces

Thoughts from the Frontline

January 21, 2005

This week we begin what will be a series of occasional letters on China. The topic, like the country, is so vast that it cannot be adequately dealt with in one short letter. Today, we will take a long range view into the future, looking at how China will develop vis-a-vis the developed world.

There is a mountain of material on China, as I can personally attest to, having gone through hundreds of pages of reports, essays, and data in the past few weeks. Much of the writing falls into...