Thoughts From the Frontline, June 2004

The ARMS Trade

June 25, 2004

This week we continue our look into the factors involved in housing prices. Specifically, we are going to look at the affect of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) on values. Do they pose a risk for the economy at large as rates rise? Some see them as a major crisis in the making, while others see no harm. Plus, we look at just how important housing is to the US economy. It should make for interesting reading.

But before we begin, let me briefly answer a few questions I have been getting of...

Please Give Me a Housing Bubble

June 18, 2004

As I have written about and documented on many occasions, the economic health of the US consumer is hinged upon the housing market and housing values more than any other single factor. Since the entire economy, not to mention the world economy, is heavily leveraged to a healthy US consumer, the question of whether or not there is a bubble in the housing market is of paramount importance. Today, we begin a series on housing. I have found the research to be fascinating and often surprising and...

The Great Liberator

June 11, 2004

As have many of my countrymen, I have been moved today by the funeral ceremonies of President Ronald Reagan. In what may be the most moving eulogy of my lifetime, Margaret Thatcher summed up a life and a time that so changed the world. At the end of this brief essay, I give you the full text of her affecting tribute.

We will return to our usual beat of finance next week, but this week I offer a few personal thoughts on the passing of "The Gipper."

The Unwinding of the Carry Trade

June 4, 2004

Will rising rates cause the hedge fund world to blow up and bring down the economies of the world? What about the huge recent rise in the money supply? Are the large employment numbers for real? Is inflation coming back? Will the economy continue to grow? All good questions upon which we will muse.

(Yes, I know I was supposed to write about the housing bubble, but my associates keep bringing in important new research which must be read. Unfortunately, they are all quite long and written by...