Thoughts From the Frontline, March 2004

China Syndromes

March 27, 2004

This week I have been struck by a wide variety of articles on China. Is it a boom getting ready to change the face of the global economic landscape, or is it a bubble looking for a pin? The answer may be a little bit of both, and as with everything Chinese, at least seen from our shores, can be confusing. Plus, we deal with the issue surrounding the revaluation of the renminbi.

The London Financial Times gives us this bold headline (in 72 point type): "The Chinese boom is bound to end in...

Peace in Our Time

March 19, 2004

This week's letter is going to be a little shorter than normal, for which some of you are probably grateful. We are moving our offices back into the Ballpark in Arlington overlooking right center field (see more below). With the normal list of things to do, plus packing plus moving decisions, time is just short.

We almost have to start with the events in Spain. There are economic implications that are less than subtle. When coupled with other stories from the US they reveal a deep-seated...

Is Someone Ringing A Bell?

March 12, 2004

This week we address the question of whether the stock market is forming a top, take further looks at Fed policy and the unemployment rate and see if there is a connection. I think there is. The relationship is less subtle than it might appear. At the end of the letter, I ask for some help from those in the media (or who have friends in the media) in arranging reviews (and interviews!) for my upcoming book. And in response to readers, I start the process of putting a gold information site and...

Those Magic Unemployment Numbers

March 5, 2004

That loud boom you heard Friday morning coming from the futures pits was the job report imploding the dollar and sending interest rates tumbling. The consensus estimate was for 125,000 new jobs and it came in at a meager 21,000. Most economists think that we need 150,000 new jobs created per month to actually gain ground with population growth.

This signals the potential for a weaker economy in the future, thus interest rates drop. A weaker economy also hurts the dollar, and thus the market...