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    Thoughts From the Frontline, January 2008

    What Does the Fed Know?

    January 25, 2008

    It had been my original intention to devote this week's letter to the view from Europe, as I have been here for the last week, but events have changed that goal. The Federal Reserve made a very rare inter-meeting rate cut of 75 basis points this week, after the worldwide markets were in turmoil. Many pundits suggest the Fed was responding to the worldwide collapse in stock prices. This week we examine that suggestion, and I will offer an alternative explanation. I am beginning this letter...

    More BLS BS

    January 18, 2008

    After a wild week in the markets, there is so much to write about, it is hard to know where to start. The headline number says jobless claims fell 20,000. That would be good news, if it were true. Sometimes you need to look behind the curtain to see how these statistics are made. As we will see, claims were actually up by 26,000. I wrote in my annual 2008 predictions that the big story of the year would turn out to be credit default swaps and counter-party risk. I will admit to thinking it...

    What Are They Thinking?

    January 11, 2008

    In the past week, I have been in the car coming home late from work, with the presidential debates are on the radio. It is very discouraging to listen to what passes for economic literacy among the candidates. In reality, many candidates are espousing policies that are quite dangerous at worst, or simply misleading at best. Far too many in both parties tell a frustrated America what it wants to hear, rather than the economic reality. The Republicans have some of the worst offenders.

    So, today...

    Forecast 2008: Recession and Recovery

    January 4, 2008

    It's that time of year, when I throw caution to the wind and present my annual forecast issue. Jumping to the conclusion, I think a recession has begun, so the relevant question is to ask when the recovery will begin. We will look at the housing market, the continued implosion of the credit markets, and the deteriorating employment picture. Will the Fed worry more about employment and recession or about the very real inflation pressures? Oil? Gold? Which way the dollar? I am going to make some...