Thoughts From the Frontline, October 2006

That Stubborn Yield Curve

October 27, 2006

There is an arcane debate going on in economic circles. How fast can the economy grow without inflation becoming a problem? The answer may be, not as fast as we thought. And the answer matters because the people who have their fingers on the interest-rate trigger take this arcane stuff seriously. How you answer the question also has implications for the unemployment rate. Yes, there are people who worry about it getting too low. Plus, we look at the Dow. The Dow may be telling us more...

That Permanently High Plateau

October 20, 2006

"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as they have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months." - Dr. Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics at Yale University, one of the most important US economists of his day, speaking on October 17, 1929, a few weeks before the Great Crash.

"What," more than a few readers ask, "do you...

Some Additional Firming?

October 13, 2006

Are we in for a soft or a hard landing? Did retail sales slow, as the data suggest, or is the underlying data quite bullish? We will look at the arguments, and then look at the most reliable of all economic indicators to see if we can get an idea as to which view is right.

But first, I want to announce a new addition to my free information services. In addition to this letter, I send out a free newsletter every Monday evening called Outside the Box, where I feature the work of another...

The Inflation of Expectations

October 6, 2006

This week we had two more Federal Reserve members repeat what has become the theme for their chorus, but not one the market seems to be paying much attention to. It should be. The market believes the Fed will soon start to cut rates, perhaps as early as first quarter of next year. It is not altogether clear that this will be the case.

I must admit to being somewhat baffled as to the apparent disregard by the stock market for what I view as a tough environment in the medium term with...