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Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re skeptical as it is of mostly data-based metrics like GDP and unemployment—let alone those that would be based on subjective things like feelings. In our view, the free market overall tells you what people think of things—simply, if they do like it, they buy it; if they don’t, they won’t. This seems to increasingly muddy the waters, not clear them up.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Motley Fool, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve argued before, what matters far more than a country’s absolute debt level is its ability to pay that debt. While there are some troubled nations globally, by and large, most nations are thus far perfectly capable of managing their debts. For more, see our 03/12/2012 column, “US Debt Perspectives.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: We disagree “governments’ refusal, when push comes to shove, to match aggregate demand to aggregate supply in order to prevent mass unemployment” has much to do with the world’s current economic status. There may be times when government intervention and support in the market are overall helpful, but now doesn’t much seem like one of those times, given continued economic growth, however slow and plodding.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: Regulations like this that require potentially burdensome requirements on potential investors are more likely to result in those investors looking to other, more easily accessed markets. Meaning this likely ultimately has deleterious, if unintended, consequences in Australia.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though many—primarily in the media—have frequently bemoaned European officials’ slow-go approach to eurozone debt woes, they’ve thus far averted the predicted implosion. Their continuing efforts speak to their considerable political will to prevent future issues.

Sensible Stories
By , Dow Jones Newswires, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: Recent media chatter has seemingly focused increasingly on the likelihood Portugal’s the next domino to fall. However, reports like this indicate Portugal continues implementing the necessary measures to avoid that scenario—no matter how politically difficult they may be.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at some of India’s recent, less-than-friendly plans for increasing government revenues. If they’re looking to also increase foreign investment, these seem dubious methods for achieving that goal.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite concerns oil and gas prices would derail US economic growth, business activity continued expanding in March.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: This piece neglects a couple of key facts: Of the €189 billion in Greek debt tendered in the private-sector restructuring, only €12 billion is governed by foreign law—and private creditors voluntarily agreed to restructure 60% of that by March 9. Relative to Greece’s overall debt burden, the amount in question here is quite small. For more, see our 03/27/2012 commentary on iStockAnalyst, “Greek Fears Easing?

Market Misperceptions
By , The Business Journals, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: State-level retail employment is one teensy statistic and not at all indicative of broader economic health. On balance, most US economic data point to continued private-sector strength.

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s no secret the BLS’s labor figures use some funky calculations—like any single economic metric, they should be taken with a grain of salt. But that doesn’t mean recent employment gains are fake or unsustainable, whether due to warm weather or anything else. When one samples all available private-sector and government data, it’s clear US labor markets have been healing for quite some time. For more, see our 03/12/2012 cover story, “Evidence of Employment.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s all well and good that BRICS leaders want to invest in less developed countries, but their comments about the World Bank and its ilk not improving developing countries’ “access to capital” seem one-sided. Development banks spent decades providing cheap capital to undeveloped nations, only to often see corrupt governments hijack funding and food aid. If that pattern continues, BRICS leaders may find themselves less inclined to invest.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: While headline GDP went unrevised in the BEA’s final Q4 estimate, household incomes and business investment were revised up substantially, confirming the US economy’s underlying strength.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: Ireland’s deal to repay emergency loans from its central bank with a long-term bond not only improves the government’s near-term cash flows, but it demonstrates faith in Ireland’s ability to meet long-term obligations. Both are likely important steps toward Ireland’s planned 2013 return to primary debt markets.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: All too often, the government’s heavy hand impedes entrepreneurship and economic activity. Liberalizing certain trades, like taxi driving and casket retail as described in this piece, would promote healthy competition, benefiting businesses and consumers alike.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 03/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: A look at the latest German politicking over eurozone policy measures and Chancellor Merkel’s difficult balancing act between the monetary union’s needs and her domestic political concerns. For more on the relationship between German and Continental politics, see our 03/27/2012 cover story, “Walking the German Tightrope.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: That an oil price spike has preceded past recessions is an interesting observation—but coincidence isn’t causality. Plus, higher outlays on oil imports don’t necessarily mean spending elsewhere must fall. Oil is one of many economic inputs, and plenty of other drivers remain strong.

Market Misperceptions
By , Chicago Tribune, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is a very, very long-term forecast—and those are typically fraught with peril. Today’s unemployment rate doesn’t automatically mean folks will make less over their entire working lives. Many other factors will influence incomes over the coming years and decades.

Market Misperceptions
By , Daily Finance, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: Tracking “indicators” like salon visits and how often consumers buy new underwear is a flawed economic forecasting strategy, in our view. Such data are typically backward-looking, or are at best coincident with economic moves, and tell nothing about the future.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: This isn’t a good thing, in our view—it makes the US less business-friendly, likely encouraging firms to domicile in countries with lower tax rates and disincentivizing US-based firms from repatriating profits. Plus, while most pay less than the headline rate, the large amount they spend on tax preparation offsets much of those savings.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ve said it before: The more you tax something, the less you get of it. And in this case, if taxes on top income earners (and all the small businesses that file individual, rather than corporate, returns) are raised, they’re likely to spend less—an unintended, negative consequence that can directly impact the economy. For more, see our 02/21/2012 cover story, “All Over the Map on Taxes.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: The US is the latest country to propose taking action over the EU’s tax on flights to, from and over Europe. As more nations follow suit and airlines cut back on flights to the Continent or re-route flights around European airspace to avoid paying the tax, the EU may lose economic activity and tax revenue. For more, see our 03/21/2012 cover story, “Today’s Beef With Government Regulation.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: China’s decision to liberalize some parts of Wenzhou’s financial system is encouraging, and legitimizing the shadow banking system would likely improve small businesses’ access to capital. How this works, and whether the government effects these changes nationwide, is something to keep an eye on.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is a perfect example of how consumers benefit from advances in technology, which can increase the flow of information and bring more efficient price discovery. Today’s consumers can more easily compare prices than ever before due to online sites—and pay less for the same items.

Sensible Stories
By , Los Angeles Times, 03/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: Business capital expenditures are up double digits over the past year as firms continue investing in machinery, computers and transport. Unfilled orders have also risen, suggesting demand is firm and can drive continued economic growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s not terribly surprising problems in the eurozone remain. However, officials’ continued backstopping of the euro and can-kicking are largely appropriate steps to continue addressing these issues—and mitigate the chances of a sudden disaster, in our view. For more, see our 03/27/2012 commentary on iStockAnalyst, “Greek Fears Easing?

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Confidence and sentiment indicators presage little about markets’ or the economy’s future direction—and therefore aren’t terribly useful for investors seeking to form a forward-looking strategy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Weekly Standard, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Although there has been plenty of protectionist rhetoric lately, there’ve been far more free-trade measures enacted. Take, for example, talks between Japan and Canada or the recently enacted US-Korea trade pact—not to mention data showing world trade and output at new highs in January.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Italy represents 59% of total PIIGS debt to be rolled over in 2012—and recent auctions (including this one) show, for now, it keeps hitting the milestones.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Rumors of US manufacturing’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Though its share of the labor force has decreased over time, that’s largely thanks to enormous productivity gains—a positive for consumers and the economy overall. For more, see our 03/02/2012 cover story, “Manufacturing on the Mind.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree “Europe needs more competition, not less, to overcome its crisis.” Giving in to domestic political pressures and incrementally closing previously free trade avenues would likely be an ill-advised move.

Sensible Stories
By , Project Syndicate, 03/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: While aspects of this piece may be a bit overwrought, it does outline Chinese officials’ commitment to stability—in our view, one major reason China’s government has historically attempted to goose growth in political transition years like 2012. For more, see our 02/29/2012 cover story, “A Look at China’s Political Process.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Los Angeles Times, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: This article operates on two major assumptions: That American manufacturing is in decline (based on manufacturing employment’s share of the workforce) and has been for many years—and that innovation will go with it. Yet American innovation is alive and well—and is one major force explaining employment trends in manufacturing. American manufacturers today produce far more than they did in prior decades but use less labor. That’s largely due to innovation and technological advances and is a sign of a vibrant, ultra-competitive sector.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: This article does make some interesting points regarding a few factors partly responsible for Asian growth. But it starts from a fallacious question—exactly what does Western-style capitalism need saving from? The US economy is growing and at record-high levels of output. The downturn the US experienced, a cyclical function of capitalism, is over. In Europe, much of the difficulty countries like Greece are running into is, in our view, due to too many socialistic tendencies, not Western-style capitalism.

Market Misperceptions
By , CBS News, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we don’t question the fact many—if not most—active managers don’t beat the market over the long run, there are certainly those who do. Yet this fact is unaddressed in this article. What’s more, the article presumes passive investing is easy. Fact is, most “passive” investors aren’t—that’s illustrated in any number of different studies showing folks’ behavior. Many so-called passive investors buy and sell frequently—and very often, at the wrong times.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: The facts here—like rates’ current level and direction—are perfectly fine. But placing huge meaning on what, at this point, appears to be short-term bond market volatility seems more an expectations problem than a real issue. Rates are very unlikely to consistently move in either direction—up or down. And that movement can be driven by far more than just one factor. For more, see our 03/23/2012 cover story, “Behind Global Bond Yield Gyrations.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s early, but this is an interesting story worth following: “If established, the [Japan-Canada free-trade] pact would be Japan's first with a country from the Group of Eight major economies.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: In another sign of politicians’ resolve in backing the euro, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to plans to boost the scope of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM—permanent bailout fund) by allowing the temporary bailout fund to run concurrently with it. The size increase may be a bit less than some had hoped for, but that Germany seems ready to push forward is also better than others had feared.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: Many folks aren’t aware Japan Post is among the largest banks in the world by deposits. The privatization of this firm has been planned since legislation passed in 2005, yet the plans have been mired in Japan’s legendary political quicksand. It now seems privatization may move forward—a plus for all involved, in our view. Though we’d be very unsurprised if more delays beset the project.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a very interesting look at the pace of change and technological advance extant in America’s shale oil and gas boom. Consider: “A well that once took two days to drill can now be drilled in seven hours.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: It appears the US services industry has gained strength in recent months—and has actually (by one measure) grown more quickly than manufacturing over the last eight months or so. Throughout an expansion, leadership can and does change among nations and industry groups, which appears to be at work here.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph , 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: We acknowledge we’re not ratings agencies’ biggest fans—but neither are we governments’ biggest fans. Handing over credit-rating decisions to the same folks who gave us Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank seems fraught with peril. Better, in our view, would be to simply remove regulations’ reliance on ratings and go from there.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: In terms of how politicians think of trade, this is probably fairly close to reality. But depicting a globalized economy as a battle involving an arms race of sorts is hugely skewed. Fact is, even if goods from China are subsidized and, hence, artificially cheap, it’s not as though China’s the sole beneficiary. After all, many US consumers and businesses buy and use those goods—if they’re actually artificially cheap, that means purchasers have more cash left to spend elsewhere. What’s more, periodic trade spats unfortunately are quite common. This makes the issue seem vastly bigger than it actually is at this point.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re puzzled by the suggestion too-slow population growth has hurt economic growth following 2008’s financial crisis. The reality is population growth is far, far from the only input determining economic activity. That their own study shows growth has outpaced their expectations speaks to some apparent flaws in the methodology.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: Bond markets are volatile, so claiming a three-week-long move totaling roughly 60 basis points higher means Spain is the next “flashpoint in the eurozone” seems a very myopic stretch to us. Especially when you consider Spain’s rates are well below their peak, its debt-to-GDP ratio is around Germany’s levels and its interest payments’ share of tax revenue is very low. Not only that, but bond yields are up globally in the last few weeks—so while the rise may be partly due to Spain’s deficit announcement, it likely isn’t the full story. For more, see today’s cover story, “Behind Global Bond Yield Gyrations.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: We applaud political leaders’ continued efforts supporting increased free trade. For more on free trade around the world, see our 03/20/2012 cover story, “The Politics of Preferential Purchasing.

Sensible Stories
By , The Australian, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: The title may go a bit far here, but the argument is sound. And what’s true in Australia is equally true in the US or the UK—or anywhere else participating in global trade. For more, see our 03/22/2012 cover story, “Handicapping Energy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: We wholeheartedly agree the best way to fight China’s perceived unfair trade practices is not sinking to their level—rather, “the better way for Europe to crack the half-open door is to guarantee Chinese firms protections in Europe in exchange for greater foreign access to Chinese public-sector deals.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite broad eurozone sluggishness, there are still periodic bright spots—like Italian retail sales, which rose +0.7% from December, contrary to expectations.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is an overly dour view not only of the US economy’s current status but also of its overall strength and ability to rebound and grow in ways currently unfathomed. Assuming what economic growth will look like in the future based solely on what it’s looked like in the past vastly underestimates capital markets’ abilities to innovate and beat expectations. Could economic growth slow unexpectedly? Possibly—but we think that far less likely than that the opposite happens and America grows faster than most anticipate this year.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: The possibility exists the eurozone overall enters recession this year—but that’s been the case for over a year now. Furthermore, while there have undoubtedly been some slower economic numbers out of China and the eurozone, there have also been positives—pointing to the inescapable fact economic data are always volatile, so it’s important to step back and survey the economic picture’s entirety.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Economist, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: Mistaking correlation for causation can be a very costly error—as noted briefly toward the end of this piece. Without a causal connection between income inequality and financial crises, the argument holds relatively little water.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, Spanish and Italian yields have ticked up—volatility is really quite normal, even in bond markets. But in addition, US, UK, German and French yields have also risen some recently. Seems possible something other than eurozone debt woes is incrementally pushing on global yields—highlighting the importance of taking a global view when reviewing any economic data.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: US leading economic indicators rose again in February—and at an accelerating rate versus January. Another sign US economic growth seems likely to continue, despite many fears to the contrary.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: Those who bemoaned Japan’s significant trade deficit last month overlooked a few salient points: First, data like these are notoriously volatile—so a single month’s down (or up) number doesn’t tell you much about where the economy’s headed. Second, pinning hopes on a wonkily calculated statistic like net trade can be misleading when assessing overall economic health. What’s more important here is Japanese exports handily topped estimates, and imports also rose.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: While a relatively small move, that China’s policymakers remain flexible in terms of stimulating economic activity is a positive sign—and makes a drastic economic slowdown seem less likely.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: As immediate, country-specific concerns continue largely waning, European officials turn their attention to reforms aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of the recent debt scramble. This proposal’s far from a done deal, but the shift in thinking among eurozone leaders is noteworthy and interesting.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 03/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: An entertaining read about creative destruction’s continual march through history—and the benefits it’s heaped on society along the way.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re a touch puzzled by the scramble for “alternatives” to rare earths and the claim China is “monopolizing” the supply. Yes, China’s likely suppressing export quotas to keep prices artificially high, but China isn’t the only nation with considerable rare earths deposits—it’s just the cheapest producer, which drove other nations to shutter their mines. But the US and others could resume mining to fill a Chinese shortfall—they just haven’t been willing to do so yet. For more, see our 11/30/2010 column, “An Overview of Rare Earth Metals.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though the new tariff on Chinese solar cells is small, protectionism is never the answer. This move likely proves feckless in helping the US’s solar industry, and it could easily prompt retaliatory moves from China.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’d actually call these 10 bricks in the wall of worry stocks love to climb. While a pullback is always possible, the fears cited here are largely either overwrought or already widely discussed. Remember, surprises typically move markets most.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: “Buy Chinese” doesn’t seem any more sensible than “Buy American” or the recently proposed “Buy European”—and it’s likely this populist move does little to help China’s auto industry.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: And the US made strong contributions to both, reflecting “the underlying strength in America’s manufacturing sector.” For more, see our 03/02/2012 cover story, “Manufacturing on the Mind.”

Sensible Stories
By , CNNMoney, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: No one much likes higher gas prices. However, as this piece shows, retail sales ex-gasoline are still rising. And thanks to efficiency gains, Americans today spend less of their disposable income on gas than they did 30 years ago, even though they drive substantially more. For more, see our 02/27/2012 cover story, “As Oil Prices Rise, So Do Theories.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: The Chancellor’s 2012 budget proposal has some things to like and some things to question, but the steps toward lowering marginal rates and streamlining parts of the tax code are encouraging. Most noteworthy, in our view, is the lowered corporate tax rate, which should help foster British growth over time.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at Italian politics in the Mario Monti era—and how the public’s positive perception of him could impact next year’s election and the chances of future economic reforms.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 03/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: That Greek lawmakers signed off on all the conditions for receiving bailout money speaks to the prevailing will to prevent a disorderly default. For more, see our 03/06/2012 cover story, “The Great Greek Swap Meet.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CBS MoneyWatch, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: The data cited here are backward-looking and likely don’t presage much about China’s future direction—remember, Chinese officials were incentivized to slow growth last year in order to accelerate it during this year’s leadership transition in an effort to stymie potential social unrest. But should that not happen, it likely wouldn’t much impact the US’s ability to finance government debt, considering China only owns 7.2% of outstanding net public debt. For more, see our 02/29/2012 cover story, “A Look At China’s Political Process.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Italy no doubt faces challenges, but its need for creative austerity and growth reforms hardly amount to a “prison of nations.” Plus, this remains true for Italy and the other PIIGS, —eurozone officials seem to continue to be staunchly committed to preventing a disorderly default or breakup of the union. For more, see our 02/16/2012 cover story, “Slow Eurozone—No Surprise.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Although we agree the US economy is certainly strengthening, no one indicator perfectly captures its health—and certainly not one as anecdotal as described here.

Sensible Stories
By , International Business Times, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: It appears several countries will ban their airlines from paying the EU’s carbon tax—potentially by barring them from flying into/over the EU. The EU will likely learn firsthand the lesson of “if you tax something, you get less of it.”

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: It seems the ECB’s liquidity measures (among other European adjustments) continue to help bolster investor confidence in Europe—as evidenced by another successful Spanish bond auction.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though this piece lends a bit much credence to the view of derivatives as “harmful,” it also sensibly illustrates some of the unforeseen consequences of the proposed EU financial transactions tax—including the ultimate costs to consumers. For more on governments’ misunderstanding of taxes, see our 02/21/2012 cover story, “All Over the Map on Taxes.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though we’d always suggest taking very long-term forecasts with a grain of salt, on balance this outlines what’s possible should the United States embrace its newfound energy revolution.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 03/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: A fascinating deconstruction of what many have wrongly claimed to be the root of 2008’s financial crisis, though we’d argue no story of 2008 is complete without a discussion of the deleterious impact of FAS 157 on banks’ balance sheets. For more, revisit our 05/16/2011 cover story, “Marking to Footnote.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: We have a hard time squaring the theory the Fed’s super-low rates reduce expected returns for stocks and other investments with these facts: During the current bull market that began a bit over three years ago, global stocks have annualized returns of about 26%—above the historical bull market average. All the while, the fed funds target rate has been 0-0.25%. For more, see our 03/09/2012 cover story, “The Bull Turns Three.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree strong growth in Emerging Markets over the past decade has rapidly increased their commodities consumption and put upward pressure on prices. The article effectively states every year the global economy has grown in the past decade commodity prices have risen. And it notes a potential 2012 acceleration in global growth could pressure commodity prices further—but suggests this is bad and a call for action by central banks. That’s something of a headscratcher—economic growth is now bad?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: Of course, no government-ordained bank stress test is going to run the gamut of all potential risk factors—that’s impossible. But it isn’t as though the stress tests in question here relied on a totally goldilocks scenario, either. Positing the government should tell banks to constantly increase capital because there’s “uncertainty” in the economic outlook is tantamount to telling them they’ll never be able to increase dividends or buy back shares—the existence of uncertainties in an economic outlook is a certainty.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: We have a number of quibbles with this piece. First, the risk it refers to is solely and exclusively volatility—it doesn’t address other forms of risk. Second, it vastly oversimplifies how to make asset allocation decisions, focusing mostly on questionnaires and the like. 

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: Questions have swirled surrounding Greek CDS for months. Would this insurance against default pay out given Greece’s negotiated default? If it did, would the amount be problematic for banks and insurers? If it didn’t, could CDS still be considered a valid hedge against default risk? In the end, CDS did pay out, seemingly validating their existence. And the net amount came to only €2.5 billion—much less than feared.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: This might not be the most impactful news for global markets or economics, but it struck us as fascinating. After all, it’s been nearly 40 years since the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and dissolved markets. Seems Cambodia’s government may be seeing the gains logged by China’s gradually increasing openness and may be attempting to emulate the successes.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: The US Treasury has closed yet another chapter of 2008’s financial panic, completing the sale of a $225 billion mortgage-backed security portfolio it acquired through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And in the process, the government apparently netted a nice profit of $25 billion. For more discussion on the government winding down crisis-era programs, see our 03/16/2012 cover story, “Pulling Bank (the) TARP.”

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 03/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a handy chart of the Chicago region’s manufacturing sector, which has been at the forefront of economic growth the past few years.

Market Misperceptions
By , CBS Moneywatch, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though pullbacks are always possible, none of the widely discussed “reasons” listed here seem likely to materially disrupt the market over time. For example, corporate earnings may be growing a bit slower, but that’s normal at this stage in an expansion. And Greece and Portugal’s issues are widely known, but eurozone leaders still appear willing to do what’s necessary to avoid a messy default. Remember, surprises typically move stock markets most.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: A solution in search of a problem, in our view—a retroactive levy on 50 years of foreign commerce likely makes foreign companies more hesitant about doing business in the country. That means fewer tax revenues for the Indian government and much less of the foreign investment the country needs.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Consumer sentiment surveys are typically lagging (or at best coincident) indicators and overall tell little about the future direction of the economy or stocks—or even consumer spending, as this piece posits. Plus, how folks feel at the moment doesn’t always square with what they do, as we saw when retail sales regularly moved opposite sentiment last year.

Market Misperceptions
By , International Business Times, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue Spanish sovereign yields aren’t nearly so dependent on EFSF and ESM size. More important, in our view, is Spain’s continued progress on debt reduction and pro-growth reforms. Plus, Spain has addressed roughly 70% of its debt maturing in 2012, helping lessen the likelihood it needs external aid in the near term.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: German citizens haven’t been too happy about bailing out peripheral eurozone members, and Chancellor Merkel’s popularity has taken a hit because of it. Despite the politicking within Germany, however, it’s likely the Bundestag and Bundesrat will ultimately support the EU fiscal pact.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: On balance, this is a sensible take on the latest inflation data, which show inflation remained pretty mild despite gas-fueled fears to the contrary.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 03/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though the proposed flurry of EU free trade agreements is in the early stages, it’s certainly an encouraging development. Fewer trade barriers mean more efficiently produced goods for more competitive prices, as well as higher exports—in all participating nations! Win-win, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree there are risks out there—but that’s nothing new. And when some risks are going on three years old, the chance they have sufficient surprise power to truly stun markets seems fairly low. If anything, they likely provide a wall of worry for stocks to overall keep climbing.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Make no mistake: No regulation, no matter how long debated and thoroughly considered, can possibly legislate away every bit of risk. And the likelihood such regulations actually do more harm than good outweighs the majority of the benefits, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Drawing such absolute conclusions—like, “The recent market gains have been all about the more than €1 tn injected into the European financial system,” (emphasis added), among others—seems to overlook the myriad inputs into stock market performance. The reality is the stock market is the greatest of all news discounters—despite the risks that undoubtedly remain, markets are likely pricing in the global economy’s ability to move beyond them over the course of 2012.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: This piece includes plenty of politicians’ and regulators’ sound bites, but scant evidence there was actually widespread wrongdoing on the finance industry’s part in 2008—presumably because readers should take that as fact. But more skeptical readers may be left wondering where the case populist bank-bashing is a sound foundation upon which to regulate actually is.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re skeptical the Fed’s recently completed stress tests overstated bank health—the hypothetical scenario employed was quite severe. Plus, to assume banks would pay out dividends to such an extent they’d undermine their own ability to operate is to give bank management far too little credit—they may be widely (and incorrectly, in our view) blamed for 2008’s crisis, but likely the last thing they want is to put themselves out of work.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: A continuing manufacturing pick-up is seemingly spurring continued hiring—both positive signs economic growth continues apace.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Likely words of wisdom from the ECB—as has been demonstrated by US QE, too. As many have pointed out (and some fretted), the Fed’s significant liquidity injection recently hasn’t directly translated into faster economic growth or bank lending—rather, it’s taken some time to work through the system. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, as it’s likely helped maintain relatively low inflation rates thus far.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: A salient point from Dr. Boudreaux—motorists who purchase gas before their tank is empty in anticipation of a higher price a few days from now are doing precisely the thing they bemoan is affecting prices: They’re speculating.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Closely watched bond auctions in Spain and France went off relatively well, seemingly indicating ECB liquidity measures (among other European adjustments) continue overall bolstering investor confidence.

Sensible Stories
By , The Globe and Mail, 03/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: As illustrated here, rare earth minerals’ “rarity” comes primarily from China’s comparative advantage in mining them—not so much from their physical rarity. As prices rise, others will (and apparently are already) find it profitable to mine themselves, ultimately helping rein in prices some.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: We see little to no evidence other peripheral European nations are clamoring for debt haircuts of their own. Quite the opposite, in fact—Spain, Ireland and Italy appear dedicated to austerity and pro-growth reforms. And their yields have fallen in recent months, suggesting investors see sovereign debt as a bit less risky, contrary to what this suggests.

Market Misperceptions
By , MSN Money, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: We quibble with the notion that the US “trade deficit acts as a drag on growth.” Yes, it detracts from GDP, but that doesn’t mean the US economy isn’t growing. Despite December’s slight drop, exports grew over 2011. Imports just grew higher, which tells us domestic demand is robust. Robust demand typically doesn’t hamper growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ve no issue with how this piece is written—rather, the misperception is the sheer existence of the titular product, which allows investors to bet on the volatility of, well, volatility. Among our many questions: Short-term volatility is inherently unpredictable, so how, exactly, does one formulate a VIX-squared investing strategy?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though we’re all for boosting productivity, we have a rather different take on the merits of a feckless legislature: In our view, a Congress that passes more legislation increases the likelihood of new laws bearing unintended consequences. A gridlocked Congress that passes fewer or watered-down measures typically introduces less legislative risk.

Sensible Stories
By , The Motley Fool, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: This concise look at ratings agencies’ recent follies has an important takeaway: “In short, you don’t want to depend on ratings agencies for your understanding of the health or quality of an investment. They’re the last to know.”

Sensible Stories
By , NPR, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: These pictures say a thousand words: The US still exports a ton, and we provide a broad spectrum of goods and services to the rest of the world. And it’s no coincidence our top-two trading partners are free trade agreement co-signees. Think how much bigger the export pie would be with even more FTAs!

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: After months of brinksmanship, eurozone finance ministers finally signed off on Greece’s second bailout and its first disbursement, which should ensure Greece meets its upcoming obligations. It’s an encouraging step, though we likely haven’t seen the last of bailout-related politicking.

Sensible Stories
By , The Australian, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: And we largely agree—simplifying the Aussie corporate tax code across the board would likely foster competition and growth far more than the proposed measure, which would offset a one percentage point cut to the corporate rate with a windfall tax on miners.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 03/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: With this longstanding trade barrier torn down, Europeans get more meat and North Americans get more chocolate, cheese and mustard—once again, freeing trade means more exports and greater choice for all involved.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: We find much to disagree with here—particularly the suggestion the US can’t be expected to grow at “above-average” rates. But also that the government needs to “do something” to spur further economic growth. The fact unemployment improvement’s lagging is hardly surprising—in fact, it’s a quite normal pattern seen historically. That this time turns out terribly different and requires vast demand-side support seems highly unlikely to us. For more, see our 03/12/2012 cover story, “Evidence of Employment.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: This seems largely predicated on myriad assumptions about what could happen from here—but the Fed still has numerous options available should inflation indeed tick up. Taking preemptive action seems unnecessary, in our view, and more likely to do some harm than good.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re puzzled by the suggestion we’ve had a “GDP-less” recovery. Maybe growth hasn’t been as robust as folks would like, but growth is growth—and much data seemingly point to an economy gaining steam, not stalling.

Market Misperceptions
By , Compliance Week, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though we’d overall prefer a complete rollback of some of the discussed legislation (Sarbanes-Oxley, for one), this seems an incremental step in the right direction. As we’ve detailed before, Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank likely have more onerous unintended consequences than they have benefits.

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we’d quibble with aspects of this, it’s a highly sensible look overall at the economics underlying trade deficits and the fallacy of their negative effects. For more, see our 09/09/2011 cover story, “Trade Deficit Trifles.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: So, if European countries are resistant to implementing a financial transactions tax because they fear “they will become less competitive on the international playing field,” why all the debate in the first place? For more, revisit our 11/17/2011 cover story, “Taxation and Competitiveness 101.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, what matters most here is that total trade rose in the UK. Though the UK and Europe as a whole likely face a bumpy economic road this year, various data points seemingly indicate all is not doom and gloom across the pond.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: No matter how well-intentioned, price caps just don’t often accomplish their goal, which is commonly to help those at the income spectrum’s lower end—here’s a look at the economics behind why that is. For more, see our 02/03/2012 column, “Want Cheaper Rent? End Rent Control.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: Retailers are building up inventories again ahead of expectations for a continued strong economy.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 03/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite widespread fears rising gas prices would derail consumers (and hence, the economy as a whole), retail sales, even after stripping out volatile autos and gasoline figures, continued rising in February—demonstrating more resilience than the economy’s typically credited with.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Street, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: January’s report, which showed a $52.6 billion trade deficit, also showed rising imports and exports. That means US demand for foreign goods grew, as did global demand for US-made goods. Neither of those facts implies our recovery is “threatened.” Simply, the trade deficit is not a reliable indicator of economic cycles—and isn’t a great way to view trade, either. For more, see our 09/15/2011 column on The Street, “Trade Gap Irrelevant for US Economic Growth.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: First, we’d not take China’s growth target—which was recently lowered to 7.5% at face value. (See our article on The Street, “Don’t Be Fooled By China’s Growth Forecast,” for more on that.) But second, the economic calculus here is odd—should China’s growth rate slow, there’s little to no assurance this would benefit anyone. The global economy simply isn’t zero sum; it expands—and China has aided in growing the global pie for quite some time now. That’s to the benefit of nearly everyone involved.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, bear markets happen—and they’re painful when they do, at least in the short term. Yet even including that, long-term equity returns are roughly 10% per year, annualized. Fact is, risk isn’t all about volatility—it’s more about losing the purchasing power of the money you invest. There is no magic, risk-free solution—and that includes the strategies discussed here. The reality is many investors do need equity-like growth to meet their objectives, and there’s no cute way to manufacture those returns without risk

Market Misperceptions
By , Washington Post, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Invoking a comparison between Japan’s lost decade and the US’s current reality is beyond a stretch. Japanese GDP is lower than it was in 1995. The US is at an all-time high now. Moreover, the drivers of Japan’s lost decade are far more complicated and nuanced than is laid out here. Simply, that US politicians seem to have a hard time getting along isn’t at all likely to flatten the economy’s trajectory.

Sensible Stories
By , Dow Jones Newswires, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Interbank lending markets have shown significant improvement since the ECB’s actions in December, mitigating a potential risk to Europe’s banking system. In our view, the liquidity brought by the ECB seems largely appropriate policy—and seems to have aided credit markets significantly since implementation.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Nearly a year to the day after Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami, data showed the economy continues to recover.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Greece got enough voluntary support from private-sector bondholders to complete its bond swap—essentially, an orderly default. Eurozone finance ministers meet today to finalize terms of the second bailout arrangement (which the swap was a precondition for). While the deal doesn’t seem likely to fix all Greece’s woes—it doesn’t necessarily enhance Greek economic competitiveness—it would seem to reduce uncertainties in Europe a good deal.

Sensible Stories
By , 03/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: One more private-sector data series showing the labor market appears to be improving. For more, see today’s cover story, “Evidence of Employment.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: We think US trade data tell a different story: Exports rose, showing increased global demand for American goods. But imports rose even faster, hitting a record high, confirming robust domestic demand. Both are solid news for the US economy, which gives us a hard time squaring the facts with the negative bent presented here.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s encouraging to see folks feeling more optimistic, but we don’t quite follow the logic here. It suggests that because stocks rebounded sharply from last year’s correction, consumers will feel richer and thus spend more. But is there any evidence this has happened in the past? Does the wealth effect have predictive power, or does it merely reflect what’s already happened?

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: A one-month contraction in industrial production doesn’t necessarily tip Britain into recession—services comprise about two-thirds of the UK’s economy, and that sector continued growing in January and February.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: We have many quibbles with this piece, but the biggest is the conclusion. The dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency isn’t all that’s preventing hyperinflation. Nor does the US need to negotiate a debt cancellation agreement—interest costs are very manageable relative to GDP, and we likely continue servicing our debt just fine. Plus, demand for US Treasurys doesn’t persist because the dollar’s the world’s reserve currency, but because of the unmatched depth and liquidity of our capital markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ve no quibble with the notion government employee statistics may be a bit wonky, but the skepticism here seems overwrought. Private-sector employment reports, too, have been broadly positive, and, on balance, all recent data suggest employment is steadily improving in sympathy with the economic expansion—as it usually does.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: Greece secured 85.8% voluntary participation in the private-sector debt swap, more than many expected. While it’s still uncertain whether the collective action clause and credit default swap payouts will be triggered, Greece apparently has restructured enough of its debt to finalize its pending €130 billion bailout package, which should buy it time to continue working through its fiscal issues. For more, see our 03/06/2012 cover story, “The Great Greek Swap Meet.”

Sensible Stories
By , BloombergBusinessweek, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: On balance, this is an even-handed, sensible take on the follies of protectionism. As ever, we believe free trade does incalculably more for employment and overall growth than tariffs and import restrictions could ever pretend.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest for The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: A sensible move, in our view. Cutting reserve requirements gives banks more lending flexibility, which should help them more efficiently allocate capital throughout the Indian economy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: German imports rose, too—a key counterpoint for those fearing a weak eurozone’s impact on the global economy. Germany is the eurozone’s most globally impactful economy, and despite weakness in the periphery, German trade data suggest core Europe still has ample demand for foreign goods.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: The potential troubles discussed here are well-known and have been hashed and rehashed by markets for going on three years, in most cases—significantly diminishing their ability to surprise markets much. In our view, more likely is a market which finally moves past old headlines and continues the now three-year old bull market this year.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: If you take the premise at face value—that income inequality is increasing and poses significant problems globally (though we’d largely disagree)—this still ignores a critical point: Even wealthy folks must do something with the money they’re saving. We doubt many of them are putting it under the mattress—which means they’re depositing it somewhere (in brokerage, bank or other accounts), where it’s being invested elsewhere in one form or another. Meaning it’s trickling through the economy, creating wealth for others to capture. To see it as this piece does is to assume “wealth” is some fixed pie—but history shows that’s simply not the case.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Street, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re confused how the trade deficit’s to be blamed for too-weak demand, in turn leading to too-weak growth. After all, though American dollars may flow abroad to purchase cheap, Chinese (or someone else’s) imports, that’s good for Americans (cheaper goods!), and those dollars must be invested somewhere. In lots of cases (including China’s), most are invested in US Treasurys—helping maintain record-low US interest rates (also ultimately good for US consumers). What’s more, it’s not as though all money spent on imported goods—from China or elsewhere—leaves America. So that the trade deficit is really doing much harm is an overly short-sighted view, to us.

Market Misperceptions
By , San Francisco Chronicle, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: Forgive us if we doubt politicians’ infallible and expert ability to determine the cause of recently increasing oil and gas prices. In our view, it’s far more likely quite normal market forces are at work—and they may just signal to producers an opportunity to increase supply, which would in turn ultimately bring prices down.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: In an interesting development, private businesses have won a legal battle regarding government-mandated downsizing of banks in the EU. It remains unclear whether this has any meaningful ramifications on bank operations moving forward, but it’s certainly worth being aware of.

Sensible Stories
By , The Australian, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is an important developing storyline in free trade’s continuing progress. As we’ve said before, the freer global trade is, the more all participants can benefit. For more see, our 10/17/2011 cover story, “Racing Towards Zero.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Australian, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve said before, the trouble isn’t the motivation—alternative energy pursuits are undoubtedly important, and innovation is nearly always a force for societal good. The trouble is government subsidization of an industry thus far economically uncompetitive—“The British study warns of the rising cost to consumers of wind power subsidies on the grounds that governments could achieve the same environmental benefits by other means at much lower cost.” For more, see our recent contribution to Real Clear Markets, “Angry Birds: Fun Game or Innocent Wind Power Victims?

Sensible Stories
By , The Motley Fool, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: A brief, informative look at some of the likely troubles and questions surrounding the institution of a gold standard.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: Actually, it was significantly smaller than expected, pointing to a couple interesting things: First, as we’ve said before, any number calculated by a government will undoubtedly exhibit some wonkiness—and Japan’s Q4 GDP requiring such a significant revision speaks to that. Second, it seems Japan continues to recover fairly nicely from the earthquake and tsunami just under one year ago.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: There seemingly remain areas of strength in the eurozone economy—including Germany, which has recently (and expectedly) had some up and down numbers, but once again saw a strong increase in industrial output.

Market Misperceptions
By , US News, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: Looking only at the inflation rate and unemployment rate to gauge the economy is missing a lot of the overall economic picture, in our view—particularly since unemployment is a late-lagging indicator. The reality is the economic picture just isn’t as simple as an assessment of two data points.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: History’s rife with examples of the enormous economic and societal benefits of open, free markets. Limiting foreign participation is likely to hurt more than help, no matter how noble the stated aim.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: If the goal is encouraging banks to lend to small and medium businesses, we’re not convinced this will do the trick (or that banks will be clamoring to participate)—particularly since banks will pay a fee to the UK Treasury for a guarantee that only protects them if the bank fails, but leaves them on the hook if the business they lend to fails.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble with the notion protectionism is a viable means of creating a more level playing field for American producers. As history has shown over and over again, such regulations tend to hurt more than help. For more, see our 12/22/2011 cover story, “The Grinch Who Stole Free Trade.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve written, Greece’s government faces a bit of a challenge in getting private-sector creditors to volunteer for its bond swap. But as time has gone on, more seem to see the value in signing on. For more details on Greece’s debt exchange, see our 03/06/2012 cover story, “The Great Greek Swap Meet.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s hard not to find some humor in Spain’s PM announcing higher deficit targets than allowed in the EU’s new fiscal pact a day after signing it. Nevertheless, an interesting look at the difficulties Spain faces, and a wise recommendation for helping fix their fiscal woes: “There’s no better way of improving the overall budgetary picture than by growing the overall economy. For that, Spain needs lower tax rates, less regulation and more incentives to invest—whatever the mandarins in Brussels, Berlin or Paris might say.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, more Fed action seems entirely unnecessary at this point. But the interesting aspect here is the discussion and comparison of various approaches the Fed’s employed in the recent past with “sterilized” QE—the current idea the Fed’s considering.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 03/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: Private businesses’ ramping up hiring speaks to their expectations economic growth likely continues.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Ever since Greece’s debt crisis began, all involved parties have regularly played up the situation’s urgency—and potential consequences—to incite action. To us, the IIF’s leaked note seems like another example of that. But we’ve seen ample evidence Greece’s private creditors, like EU officials, realize it’s in everyone’s best interests to prevent the disorderly default explained in this scenario.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve pointed out, ahead of leadership transition years (like 2012), Chinese officials historically have allowed the economy to slow so they can reaccelerate during the transition year without risking runaway inflation. And focusing so heavily on its announcement their growth target will be 7.5% seems a bit overwrought—historically, that target has acted more as a floor for actual growth than a ceiling. For more, see our 02/29/2012 cover story, “A Look at China’s Political Process.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: We rather doubt China’s command economy should be a blueprint for the capitalist economies of the west (and their central banks). Nor is it even comparable due to China’s pegged currency and tight capital controls. In our view, the West’s free-market approach is far more sound and sustainable over time.

Market Misperceptions
By , Real Clear Markets, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: We quibble with the notion private enterprise needs subsidies to promote employment growth. The historical success of such measures is tenuous at best. Besides, economic growth ultimately begets jobs—thus, a less heavy government hand, rather than subsidies, likely fosters employment gains over time.

Sensible Stories
By , CNBC, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: On balance, this is a sensible piece detailing stocks’ reflection of future economic conditions. And right now, stocks’ strength seemingly reflects the US’s underappreciated economic strength. For more, see our 03/01/2012 article on TheStreet, “Despite Mood, Economy Is Waking Up.”

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest for Real Clear Markets.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: “No matter how debt-ridden and dysfunctional they look, the world’s democracies are still winning the global beauty contest.” And even more important, for investors is what helps them win said beauty contests—private property rights, more efficient allocation of resources and capital and economies that foster innovation.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: In a globalized world—particularly one where folks can easily move between nations (like in Europe)—slapping a huge tax increase on wealthy citizens increases the likelihood they “vote with their feet” and leave. As we’ve pointed out before, when you tax something, you typically get less of it.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Aside from some minor qualms (mostly pertaining to its long-term forecasts), this is an interesting look at how regulation affects the competition between two major global financial hubs.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View:  Always remember: Correlation doesn’t mean causation. That oil prices rose to cyclical highs around the top of the indicated expansions doesn’t mean those high prices caused all the recessions. It seems more likely to imply economically sensitive oil prices rose to highs as the economy expanded to then-highs—and fell when recession began. Also, consider the opposite of demand-side focus on oil prices: High oil prices incentivize exploration and production—which could buoy economic growth. The economy is just far more complicated than simple high-oil-prices-mean-disaster theories imply.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: 

The Dow is a flawed index, as we’ve discussed many times. But beyond that, this article presumes heated rhetoric during an election year will create uncertainties. However, uncertainties surrounding political debate are a near constant—like the last two years. And in the past, election years have historically been quite good for stocks. Why? Legislative uncertainty matters far more than rhetorical uncertainty. And while politicians are stumping for votes, they’re unlikely to pass major, sweeping laws. For more, see our election year infographic here.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Considering the slew of economic data sitting at all-time highs—including (but not limited to) real GDP, consumer spending and exports—evidence there’s insufficient demand to support US economic growth seems a bit hard to come by.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re quite skeptical of Chinese growth “targets.” After all, China’s growth target has been 8% for the past five years, which they’ve handily beaten time and again. Therefore, it seems recent growth targets are more about under-promising and over-delivering than they are an actual economic forecast. Politicking, perhaps? For more, see our 02/29/2012 cover story, “A Look at China’s Political Process.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Chicago Tribune, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: 

We’d quibble with nearly all of this, except the fact a pullback is possible (which is always true). The article essentially implies stocks have come “too far, too fast” by noting some recent round numbers a couple indexes reached and the market’s long-term average return (about 10% per year historically). But those arbitrary “milestones” mean little to stocks’ future direction, and actual annual returns are rarely average. Consider: During bull markets, stocks’ average annual return is more than double that 10% figure. For more, see our 02/02/2012 cover story, “After the Pause.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Here’s an interesting look at large global companies seeking to take advantage of Europe’s weakness and expand while costs are in their favor.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Many Irish voters remain undecided ahead of the planned referendum, but among those who’ve made up their mind, it seems the EU’s fiscal treaty is in the lead. For more, see our 03/01/2012 column, “Éirinn go Brách!”

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View:  Eurozone data continue to be mixed—in this case, retail sales unexpectedly rose +0.3% in January. Meanwhile, composite PMI showed slight contraction in February after logging growth the prior month. 

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: “The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing industries, which account for almost 90 percent of the US economy, rose to 57.3 in February from 56.8 a month earlier.” More data indicating continued US economic growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: Selling stocks just because the markets are up is a poor strategy—especially when the urge to sell is based on a fear of heights, not a forward-looking assessment of fundamentals.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: First, investor pessimism doesn’t tell much of anything about future stock market movement. In fact, investor sentiment is a notoriously lagging indicator—leading most investors to buy high and sell low. Just the kind of wall of worry markets love to climb.

Market Misperceptions
By , CBS News, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: Actually, increasing inventories can point to businesses’ anticipating high future demand (especially when revenues have grown as they have recently)—which would imply likely growth ahead. Plus, growth is growth, be it faster or slower—so quibbling over why the economy grew seems to miss the forest for the trees some. For more, see our 01/30/2012 cover story, “The Grass Is Greener Than Many Think.

Market Misperceptions
By , VoxEU, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: While it’s true European leaders may not have fully grasped all implications of fiscal union at the time they entered it, it seems they mostly have a decent handle on it now and are taking a slow and steady approach to addressing those issues—which we think is better than making hasty decisions. For more, see our 02/14/2012 cover story, “Running the Greek Marathon.

Sensible Stories
By , The Associated Press, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though the new treaty still faces ratification in the individual countries (no small task) and was not signed by the UK or the Czech Republic, that European leaders continue discussing steps to ensure current issues are mitigated moving forward speaks to the level of support for keeping the union intact.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: Hungary’s deficit fell only because it nationalized billions in private pension assets. And while PM Orban is (and has been) a tad prickly about his country’s budget, in our view, it’s likely he’ll make concessions if necessary. For more, see our 01/11/2012 column, “Hungary’s Crossroads.

Sensible Stories
By , Los Angeles Times, 03/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: While such data fluctuate month to month, that retail sales are up is yet another sign the US economy remains quite healthy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: The possibility does exist European leaders make monetary policy mistakes down the road which make things worse. But in our view, the ECB’s moves to ensure adequate liquidity in the European banking system have been largely appropriate and needn’t spell disaster moving forward. For more, see today’s cover story, “Leaping to Conclusions.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Der Spiegel, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’d agree capital flight from struggling peripheral nations isn’t great—but that’s precisely the point of the various liquidity measures the ECB’s implemented like the LTRO and TARGET2, both of which are aimed at supporting banks at precisely a time like this.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: Adding an additional layer of bureaucratic oversight seems fraught with unintended consequences to us. Not to mention it seemingly aims at the wrong target—in our view, much of the trouble in 2008 arose from ill-advised regulation (FAS 157) in the first place. Maybe we should regulate legislation and regulation like drugs?

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters , 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: Rarely does any piece of economic data grow in a straight trajectory, up or down. So it’s not too surprising manufacturing grew at a slightly slower pace last month—and it needn’t tell you anything more foreboding than economic growth fluctuates constantly.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: A lighthearted look at the politicized nature of most discussions of oil prices—regardless of which party happens to be in power at the time.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though yesterday’s LTRO results will continue playing out for awhile, initial signs indicate the program may be working mostly as intended, as evidenced by strong Spanish bond results Thursday.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: This isn’t yet the final word—the ruling still could change as it pertains mostly to the subordination of private bondholders to the ECB. Questions still linger regarding the addition and potential use of collective-action clauses and whether they will trigger credit default swaps. But one piece is seemingly done.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Planning, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: From a tax perspective, there are many quirks to investing in gold that those considering such a move should weigh—here’s a rather detailed look at some.

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: In what largely seems the logical next step as immediate debt concerns are increasingly alleviated, European leaders are beginning what will no doubt be long, difficult and contentious discussions of how best to set the stage for European growth moving forward.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: “These last 30 years of the neoliberal globalization thing have seen the largest reduction in human poverty ever. More people have moved from the destitution that was man’s lasting lot to a better life of three squares a day and a roof over their heads than in any other time period in our species’ history.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 03/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest contribution to The Street.