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    Thoughts From the Frontline, May 2007

    The US Mortgage Market - Overexposed and Overrated

    May 25, 2007

    This week we look at the US mortgage market to see what fallout there is from the subprime mortgage woes. It is both less of a problem and/or more of a problem, depending on your perspective, as I predicted it would be last year. Score one for your analyst, which said score is needed as the stock market continues to rise in spite of my concerns in the face of a slowing economy.

    This will be part of a speech I give next Thursday in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Credit Development Academy....

    Are We There Yet?

    May 18, 2007

    Summer driving season is almost upon us. I remember more than a few long road trips with young kids, who would eventually get bored and tired and lulled into sleep, and with a stop for gas would wake up and ask, "Are we there yet?" or "Where are we?" They would be impatient to get "there" (ok, so was Dad), and the journey was something to be endured rather than enjoyed for its own sake. Today, traveling with the older kids (6 of them 18-30, with just one still at 13) is a lot different,...

    A Most Disruptive Technology

    May 11, 2007

    "What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalize it) is an event with the following three attributes.

    "First, it is an outlier , as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable."

    - Nicholas Nassim Taleb

    In...

    Stuck in the Middle With You

    May 4, 2007

    Clowns to the left of me,
    Jokers to the right, here I am
    Stuck in the middle with you!
    - Stealers Wheel, 1974

    The recent data on the economy is stronger than was expected. Does this mean that the slowdown we have seen for the past few quarters is behind us? Other data suggests the economy is weakening (witness the very slow 1.3% GDP growth last quarter). This week we look at the seeming disconnect in the data, briefly examine where the real stock market booms are happening, and re-visit...