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Market Misperceptions
By , BusinessWeek, 04/30/2013

MarketMinder's View: Maybe the US economy does slow somewhat in Q2—but monthly and quarterly economic data often fluctuate. That it’s happened in recent springs is just coincidence. Plus, slower federal spending has weighed on headline growth for 11 of the past 15 quarters, but the private sector—the economy’s main engine—remains robust.  For more, see our 04/29/2013 cover story, “US GDP—Better Beneath the Surface.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/30/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, the legislation discussed here is likely fraught with unintended consequences and doesn’t necessarily remove the risk of bail failures and bailouts. For more, see our 04/09/2013 cover story, “Fixing Too Big to Fail?

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/30/2013

MarketMinder's View: This argument misses two key points. First, while China’s local governments do have some bad loans, the state can easily have state-owned banks assume this debt and then recapitalize them—something it’s done six times since 1998 and has more than enough cash to do again. Second, China’s already aware of the shortcomings of its economic model and state-run firms, and officials are taking steps to foster private-sector growth. It doesn’t need a “crisis” to catalyze change.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/30/2013

MarketMinder's View: Italy has a new government, but given the coalition’s shaky composition, meaningful economic reforms seem unlikely. For now, new Prime Minister Enrico Letta and his cabinet seem focused on low-hanging fruit, like diminishing austerity’s economic impact.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/30/2013

MarketMinder's View: Though $35 billion is a fraction of the $16.718 trillion total US debt, this incremental move may buy Congress additional time to resolve the next round of the debt ceiling debate.

Sensible Stories
By , CBS Moneywatch, 04/30/2013

MarketMinder's View: Taken in concert with the rash of positive housing data in recent months, this is more evidence housing continues to provide an incremental tailwind.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: Yes, government spending has weighed on GDP, but the notion that all things buoying GDP are good for the economy isn’t so correct. The fact is GDP is a statistic that has never fully reflected the economy. For example, crashing imports—sign of vastly reduced demand—would push GDP higher.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: While the interconnected nature of spending and income is undeniable, it’s oversimplified here. The same interconnected nature exists between invested funds and income. And also between savings, lending and income. The notion slower spending means lower incomes is also just too extreme.You have to know where the money’s gone—under the mattress is generally bad, invested isn’t.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: Attempting to short-term market time is unlikely to reap repeatable rewards in itself. Adding in timing based on calendar patterns that don’t really exist and using long/short strategies makes this even worse.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: Government spending can beget jobs and economic growth (in the short term), but the public sector is only a part of the entire economy—and tends to spend money unwisely, which isn’t conducive to economic growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, limiting the speed at which trading’s done is wrought with unintended consequences. Faster trading abilities have allowed for narrower bid-ask spreads and a more liquid market place for everyone. Not to say HFT’s perfect, but limiting technology likely prevents overall progress.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: Italian borrowing costs are presently a non-factor. In fact, throughout their election kerfuffle, yields showed few signs of peril. Now that Enrico Letta is in office, yields have fallen even further. At these rates, Italy should be able to service its debt fairly easily.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: The EPA has lowered its estimates of methane leaks by fracking and natural gas production, thanks to improved technology lowering leaks. Now, as this article illustrates, the debate over fracking’s environmental impact isn’t over. But as time progresses, advancing technology can alleviate many concerns.  

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: Shinzo Abe’s focus seems pretty far removed from economic reform as he shifts focus to Japan’s pacifist constitution.  For more, see our 4/25/2013 cover story, “Abe’s Constitutional Gambit.”

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder managing editor Lara Hoffmans on Washington state’s wonderfully feckless new legislation.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: The latest from Fisher Investments’ CEO Ken Fisher on the ineffectiveness of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/29/2013

MarketMinder's View: To us, what’s noteworthy about this is the degree to which the Greek saga has lost market-moving power. They missed most of their austerity benchmarks in 2012, just rammed through legislation to get an aid tranche needed for a bond payment and protests are ongoing. Yet markets seemingly yawned.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post , 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: We’re not sure how a swift acceleration in an economic expansion heralds a “stalled recovery.” And with private sector components more than offsetting the 8.4% fall in government spending—continuing a trend we’ve seen this entire expansion—the economy seems more than able to shake off the sequester.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: Consumer confidence is a backward-looking or at best coincident indicator—it doesn’t predict economic behavior or market returns. Especially since consumers very often say one thing and do another.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: The idea the UK can’t recover economically until Europe fixes its problems seems based on the assumption UK demand is permanently “exhausted.” But that’s just not true. As long as the UK’s private sector can compete and banks are free to perform their core function, businesses can form, grow and create wealth, and demand can grow just fine.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: Economic reform continues to take a back seat to stimulus and constitutional change in Japan. Whether this is a sign of things to come or just a case of Shinzo Abe trying to curry favor before July’s upper house election remains to be seen. For more, see our 04/25/2013 cover story, “Abe’s Constitutional Gambit.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: With state-run banks shutting out private businesses, loan sharks have flourished—and there’s no doubt at least some need to squash corruption and unethical lending practices. At the same time, as this piece illuminates, the lines between illegal behavior and legal private lending are far from clear, and this latest crackdown could derail perfectly legitimate private fundraising.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: If this passes, it will let the Transportation Department do what other government agencies did post-sequester—shift money around to avoid cutting services. Overall and on average, it seems the sequester’s primary impact is forcing government agencies to spend more efficiently, which is far from an economic negative. For more, see our 04/03/2013 cover story, “Seq-Watered-Down.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: Encouragingly, officials have ruled out another round of tax increases and even plan to start cutting taxes in 2015, which should give the private sector some much-needed relief.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/26/2013

MarketMinder's View: Another step in Myanmar’s rapid economic emergence and democratization, and one that should benefit both sides economically.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: First, the US economy doesn’t need saving, and it’s OK homeowners aren’t borrowing against their houses or mortgages to spend elsewhere. Besides, the phenomenon in the last bull market is often overstated. Finally, though housing does have room for improvement, recent data suggest it’s recovering steadily.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: Financial transactions taxes are fraught with unintended consequences and disincentives for (foreign and domestic) investment, as the European Commission may find should this tax pass.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: Possibly, and it’s possible high-frequency trading was involved. But the main takeaway from Tuesday’s twit of a tweet is the market recovered almost immediately and moved on. Daily blips are just regular volatility and should be of little concern to long-term investors.

Market Misperceptions
By , Washington Post, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, the government shouldn’t pick winners and losers by numbers of jobs created—or by any metric at all. Letting business survival and job creation remain market functions would likely bring the most economic success.

Sensible Stories
By , AEIdeas, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: That US fossil fuel production is at record highs after decades of relative stagnation shows how powerful innovation driven by profit motive really is—and the potential follow-on economic benefits.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: The UK still has a ways to go to encourage more growth, but that its economy grew (albeit slowly) and beat expectations shows some improvement.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: Another step toward increasing global free trade. It’s a long way from completed—and could never see completion—but it’s a potential positive for the global economy that’s worth keeping an eye on.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 04/25/2013

MarketMinder's View: Weekly jobless data are volatile and employment conditions overall lag the economy. But the jobs market seems to be on an upswing, which we believe will continue due to private sector strength and a growing economy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Daily Beast, 04/24/2013

MarketMinder's View: Trying to enforce Internet sales tax collection is a perfectly fine goal. But, in our view, the current proposals fall short—they distort competition. For instance, Internet retailers’ costs likely increase as complying with all 9,600 sales tax systems will be expensive and cumbersome. Brick-and-mortar retailers won’t have that headwind. For more, see today’s 4/24/2013 cover story, “Tax Shenaniganery.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/24/2013

MarketMinder's View: Yes, some manufacturing gauges weakened in April, but one sector’s wobbling monthly output isn’t necessarily a as a harbinger of more widespread malaise. Monthly data are variable, and many other extant positive fundamentals throughout the private sector likely continue powering the global economy. 

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 04/24/2013

MarketMinder's View: The sequester isn’t without impact, but that impact seems vastly overstated here. Many Federal agencies have shifted money around rather than axing necessary services. Those areas that have cut services, like air traffic control, coincidentally failed to adopt readily available productivity-enhancing technologies over time. This long-running inefficiency bears at least as much responsibility for service cuts as the sequester. For more, see our cover story from 04/03/2013, “Seq-Watered-Down.”

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 04/24/2013

MarketMinder's View: “Ultimately it must be stressed that economies are people, and arbitrary debt figures don’t on their own impact the willingness of people to get up each day and act productively.” We agree. And that’s why seemingly high public debt needn’t forestall growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/24/2013

MarketMinder's View: An encouraging step in breaking Italy’s two-month political stalemate. Forging a broad coalition government will be the next order of business. For more background, see our 4/23/13 cover story, “Meet the New Boss…”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 04/24/2013

MarketMinder's View: If “we can’t get where we need to be in electric vehicles without government help,” chances are the desired shift is premature and not economical. If it were time for electric vehicles, their manufacturers would survive and thrive without Federal aid. Markets, not governments, are the best judge for which businesses succeed and which do not.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: To be sure, China’s economy has been slowing a bit recently. However, overall growth likely remains robust. Q1 GDP growth clocked in at 7.7% y/y, slower than Q4 2012’s 7.9% but still above officials’ 7.5% target. What’s more, the value added to the global economy is larger still. Should China grow 7.7% for full-year 2013, it would contribute more to global GDP in dollar terms than it did when it grew 7.8% in 2012. For more, see our 04/16/2013 cover story, “Chinese Checkers.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Real Clear World, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: This is a common fear—but likely vastly overstated as it completely dismisses the myriad technological innovations that have enabled humanity to overcome resource constraints (and those perceived) in the past. For more, revisit our 05/05/2011 column, “A Common Thread Between Horse Manure and Peak Oil,” and our 05/14/2012 book review, “The End of Growth.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Alpha Now, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, Japan has been down the QQE road before, but with little success. What will be far more important for Japan is progress on fiscal measures to boost growth and structural reforms to improve narrow labor markets, weak demographics, waning productivity and trade protectionism (to name a few). For more, see our 04/05/2013 cover story, “Abenomics Part 1, Version 2.0.”

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: Exceptions like this are a slippery slope to completely negating the myriad economic benefits of a free trade act. That said, rarely is a free trade act actually enacted without politicians slipping in some protectionist measures, so there’s little surprise here.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: Napolitano’s re-election may certainly presage an easier path to a coalition government this time around, but there’s still plenty of ground to cover as the two major parties attempt to reconcile their views on Italy’s myriad issues. For more, see our 04/23/2013 cover story, “Meet the New Boss …

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: We don’t agree with everything here, but overall the point made is one we can agree with. High levels of debt don’t necessarily presage future economic gloom and doom. That notion of causality is refuted by myriad other examples throughout history.

Sensible Stories
By , The American, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve long maintained, profit motive is a powerful, overall beneficial force for society. Here’s another great example.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 04/23/2013

MarketMinder's View: Recent housing data continue to reflect improvement. A return to 2006 peaks may take some time. However, in the meantime, the recovery should be a tailwind to growth—albeit a small one

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: It seems the UK government is looking to sell stakes in several companies over the next few years. Not only would this help the UK cut its public debt and provide private investors new investment opportunities, but it would likely allow the companies to operate more efficiently and independently.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: Considering private payrolls have grown by over 5 million since this expansion began, we rather doubt “our debt obsession exiles millions of Americans from productive employment.” Slower government spending makes room for the private sector to grow and hire more, and that’s not a bad thing. We’re sympathetic to those out of work and we agree debt fears are overstated, but we’d suggest the same criticism could be levied against the theory government is the solution to millions of Americans seeking jobs

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: Yet more unintended consequences from Cyprus’s forced raid on uninsured depositors—alleged Russian money launderers may have been the primary target, but Cyprus’s private businesses are taking a huge hit. For more, see our 3/19/2013 cover story, “Cyprus Bailout Blues.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: Solar subsidies and “Buy Indian” programs likely aren’t the best way to address India’s rampant power shortages. In our view, allowing energy markets to develop freely and providers to purchase the cheapest, most efficient energy sources, would be a better way to help bring electricity to citizens in need.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: Like Moody’s February UK downgrade, Fitch’s move is backward-looking and seemingly based on arbitrary criteria, not the UK’s creditworthiness looking forward. It may carry some political repercussions, but it shouldn’t much impact the economy or debt markets. For more, see today’s cover story, “Fitch’s ‘Fiscal Space’.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: Italy’s political landscape got a bit clearer over the weekend, when center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani stepped down and his party joined with the center-right to re-elect President Giorgio Napolitano. Napolitano now appears poised to broker a unity government between the two sides, perhaps resolving the nearly two-month-old stalemate. 

Sensible Stories
By , CNN Money, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: The UK has launched legal proceedings against the 11 eurozone nations enacting a financial transactions tax, arguing its international overreach threatens the UK economy. With other nations also lobbying against the tax, it’s increasingly likely some of the more onerous provisions get watered down.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/22/2013

MarketMinder's View: US GDP calculations get a facelift in July, when R&D spending, film royalties and other intangible assets will enter the equation. Though the new version should better represent the economy, the change also highlights how arbitrary and fungible economic statistics can be.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: Gold isn’t a stable store of value, inflation hedge or guard against volatility or political turmoil—it’s just a commodity. And as a long-term investment, it’s underperformed equities. For more, see our 04/17/2013 cover story, “What a Gold Rush.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View:  In our view, a better takeaway is the debt-to-GDP isn’t the best measure of a country’s fiscal health—comparing the full amount of debt, which is repaid over decades, to one year’s worth of economic output doesn’t seem terribly logical. More important is the affordability of that debt, which you can measure in interest costs relative to tax revenue.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: Structured products aren’t inherently bad—rather, they can be a useful way for Financials to manage risk. As long as accounting rules for illiquid assets like these remain flexible, we needn’t see a repeat of 2008.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: Eurozone political wrangling is nothing new, and Cyprus’s decision to put the bailout to parliamentary vote isn’t necessarily a game changer. Cypriot legislators have already passed some bailout-related items, like a small increase in corporate taxes. Most likely, officials keep doing what’s necessary to receive aid and work through extant issues.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: GDP, as this piece shows, isn’t necessarily the best measure of economic health. And many other statistics, like trade data, fall similarly short. Yet they underpin many of the world’s economic policies, which raises an important question: How might policies differ if policymakers had a better understanding of where capital is flowing? Might trade be freer if officials understood supposed trade imbalances are likely a “statistical mirage”?

Sensible Stories
By , Yahoo! News, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: Measures to increase women’s labor force participation and make it easier for firms to operate more efficiently are sensible steps toward economic reform, though Japan will need much more. Details of these and other plans, due in June, will be a key indicator of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s appetite for potentially politically unpopular change.

Sensible Stories
By , Yahoo! News, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: Measures to increase women’s labor force participation and make it easier for firms to operate more efficiently are sensible steps toward economic reform, though Japan will need much more. Details of these and other plans, due in June, will be a key indicator of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s appetite for potentially politically unpopular change.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: The unintended consequences of the EU’s forthcoming caps on bankers’ and asset managers’ bonuses are taking shape. By pushing up salaries, the new rules are limiting firms’ ability to adapt to changing economic conditions and giving individuals less incentive to perform at the highest level (since less of their compensation is performance-based). Over time, this likely results in a less competitive financial services industry in Europe.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: More evidence the sequester’s impact is far smaller than feared. For more, see our 04/03/2013 cover story, “Seq-Watered-Down.”

Sensible Stories
By , China Daily, 04/19/2013

MarketMinder's View: China’s recent financial reforms appear to be bearing fruit in the form of higher foreign investment—an important contributor to continued growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal , 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: There’s no such thing as a “bump-free road.” The unexpected can and will happen, and economic data are always variable—from quarter to quarter and region to region. But that needn’t prevent continued or even faster global growth, and none of the “bumps” mentioned here seem likely to derail the ongoing expansion.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: Because Australia won’t drop its tariff on Japanese autos, Japan’s playing hardball on its agricultural tariffs, potentially stalling the broader free trade agreement. Ideally, these trade talks would be about reducing tariffs across the board, a move that would promote more efficient trade and provide consumers with the best choices possible, rather than trying to promote specific sectors. 

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC News, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: The proposed idea of having a “personal insolvency practitioner” appointed by the government to oversee how insolvent debtors manage their finances seems rather heavy-handed—keeping this process in the private sector likely fosters a bit more personal freedom.   

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: More evidence there’s little (if any) austerity in the UK—at least on the public spending side. Instead, policymakers have relied on tax hikes to narrow the deficit, which likely bears at least some blame for stagnant private sector wages—higher business tax bills prevent firms from paying more.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: Mexico’s recent productivity gains needn’t be China’s loss. The two nations can work together to build more integrated supply chains that capitalize on each nation’s inherent strengths and produce cheaper goods—something which both nations and the entire world benefit from.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: Though Portugal recently received a seven year extension to repay its bailout loans to the EU, it still needs to meet near-term austerity benchmarks to continue receiving aid. Capping each federal department’s annual spending should help the nation get its delayed €2 billion aid tranche. For more about Portugal, see our 4/10/2013 cover story, “Portu-Geez!”

Sensible Stories
By , Cato at Liberty, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: Argentina, Venezuela and now Ecuador have adopted price controls in an effort to prevent runaway inflation, but as this piece shows, price controls often bring unintended consequences, like supply shortages and high black-market prices. Allowing markets to determine prices and addressing the real causes of inflation would be a far sounder strategy. For more, see our 02/05/2013 column, “Limited Prices, Limited Improvement.”   

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/18/2013

MarketMinder's View: Though talks are in the early stages, this is potentially an incremental step forward for Greece’s long-languishing privatization program. And if it helps foster investment ties between Greece and China, it may lead to further opportunities for both nations in the future.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: Korea’s rapid modernization and development has little to nothing to do with the valuation of its currency, the won. Want evidence of this? Korea’s economic rise has coincided with similar (if not more dramatic) increases across many Emerging Markets nations. There are many more factors that go into economic competitiveness than currency valuation.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: The main misperception here is the assumption gold’s some vaguely defined catastrophe hedge. But, too, we find it odd that some folks think there’s a huge difference between fiat currencies (valued based on perception of value) and gold (valued based on perception of value). Truth is gold’s just a commodity, subject to volatility like any other asset, and only accurately valued by understanding the economic forces of supply and demand.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: Any seeming correlation between our calendar and markets is just that. Remember, correlation is not causation, and markets tend to follow economic fundamentals over adages.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: Well, this isn’t surprising. China’s a single-party, state-controlled and run economy—so they can invest in whatever they want regardless of financial outcomes. It’s also odd to consider “investment in” a “success” when you consider Chinese solar firms have been greatly financially troubled in recent weeks.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: This is a concept we find more interesting than necessarily sensible. Cyprus’s government is considering selling gold reserves to help reach bailout targets. However, its central bank controls these reserves, and they oppose a sale. But should Cyprus follow through, it will be interesting to see how other eurozone nations react.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: Sweden’s already tried out the Tobin tax, but saw little economic benefit or additional revenues: “Rather than merely reducing speculative trading, the Swedish tax tended to reduce and redirect financial investments that reflected other needs than speculation.” A lesson the EU seems poised to potentially relearn should the Tobin tax become a reality.

Sensible Stories
By , China Daily, 04/17/2013

MarketMinder's View: This isn’t really new news—the yuan has broken the bandwidth limits regularly since last April. This just seems like the Chinese government’s attempt to formalize the previously unofficial decision to let it float a bit more.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: We agree capping the size of a 401k or IRA is a dubious government policy, however this piece misses many important caveats and considerations. For one, how a “cap” on the overall size of a retirement account would work has yet to be clearly determined—it might be that contribution deductibility is limited, and if so, that wouldn’t be great, but it would also be pretty benign. Second, there’s little chance this 2014 budget passes, so all the handwringing and suggestions for planning here seem premature

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, muted bank lending remains one of the EU’s largest economic headwinds. However, these rules have been projected for some time, so the negative effects from here are likely limited.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: Yes, Chinese data are often messy. But rather than being skeptical about Chinese growth, we’d suggest simply not focusing on any one metric. Rather, what matters most for China (as alluded to in the article) is a continued focus on economic reform and financial liberalization. Finally, for stocks, the specifics of economic data are only one factor—expectations of the data are also important. For more, see today’s cover story, “Chinese Checkers.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: So far, there’s little evidence local or regional Chinese government debt is becoming a problem. What’s more, should there be some bad local or regional debt that bubbles up, the Chinese central government is highly incentivized to backstop debt and control the issue so overall economic prosperity continues.

Sensible Stories
By , AEIdeas, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: “Let me express my appreciation to the ‘invisible hand’ and the ‘miracle of the marketplace’ that allows me to purchase tropical fruit from a faraway place at my local grocery for a price (24 cents) that is almost free.” Hear, hear!

Sensible Stories
By , CBS MoneyWatch, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: Housing data continue to show signs of improvement—a further sign housing is shifting from small economic headwind to small economic tailwind. However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Housing supply (based on the current rate of sale) is still low and demand for homes rising. The one million home figure might seem hot, but homebuilders have averaged 1.5 million new housing starts annually since 1959.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: In rejecting the “backloading” of carbon permits on the principle of the economic harm it would do to households and industries, officials are, in our view, acknowledging the carbon trading scheme isn’t market-based at all. Rather, it’s more an opportunity for governments to tax under the guise of reducing emissions and stimulating investment in green technologies—while seemingly doing neither very well. 

Sensible Stories
By , The Japan News, 04/16/2013

MarketMinder's View: Should these plans to establish special development zones become reality, it’s likely these regions would experience some economic competitiveness gains brought by the associated deregulation and corporate tax cuts. However, to pull the rest of Japan out of its decade-long slump, much more still needs to be done. For more, see our 04/05/2013 cover story, “Abenomics Part 1, Version 2.0.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Investment News, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: This theory has considerable holes. Considering gold’s more volatile than stocks (it has a higher standard deviation) with lower long-run returns, gold is a pretty poor long-term investment. But trying to time it based on seemingly arbitrary price points and technical analysis is an equally flawed approach, in our view. Finally, the notion gold is a “safe haven” against turmoil lacks historical perspective.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: We agree implementing austerity measures can be very difficult for economies in the short run. But despite the hardships, many of the austerity measures taken target liberalizing job markets, reforming outdated government institutions and overall increasing the private sector’s footprint. These measures can help countries become more economically efficient over the longer term—facilitating growth and prosperity.  

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: France’s seemingly seeks more revenue and plans to implement more tax hikes starting in 2014, as an attempt to reach deficit-reduction targets. However, as we’ve seen before, tax increases in search of additional revenue can quite often prove less than effective.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: China’s Q1 GDP may be lower than expected (7.7% y/y compared to 8.0%), but we’d argue that difference isn’t significant in the longer run. China’s grown significantly in recent years, so even at a slower rate, the amount of economic value added is likely much bigger than the mid-2000s faster growth rates brought. Not to mention calculations like GDP, and others, can be subject to revisions as subsequent reports conclude throughout the following quarter.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: The theory current economic uncertainty is driven by the Fed’s policies inflating financial assets for the rich at everyone else’s expense is riddled with issues. For one, the Fed’s policies have created excess reserves for banks, which are currently mostly idle and earning interest at the Fed—the money created, therefore, isn’t chasing financial assets higher. Second, the economy isn’t a fixed pie—however much wealth “the rich” have doesn’t detract from the rest of society. Finally, there’s never certainty in an economic outlook or forecast.

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: We completely agree: A simpler tax code would be vastly preferable to the present 73,000-page monstrosity.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: Japan and the EU are sitting down to complete the first round of free trade negotiations—a step towards Japan potentially opening its economy to freer trade. Many more are needed, but this is a minor development worth noting.

Sensible Stories
By , Economist, 04/15/2013

MarketMinder's View: As expected, Nicolás Maduro defeated Henrique Capriles in yesterday’s Venezuelan presidential election—but more narrowly than expected and not without controversy, and Capriles has requested a recount due to alleged irregularities in voting. Events here bear watching as the country transitions to a new government. For more, see our 4/12/2013 cover story, “Venezuela’s Post-Election Politics.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue it isn’t. In fact, today’s supposedly easy monetary policy is contractionary. The money’s not circulating, which mitigates the risk of its fueling bubbles. Further, most banks aren’t as weak as is assumed here—balance sheets have improved tremendously over the past five years, and not because of easy QE money.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: While we agree nobody can win a currency war, we disagree a global currency war’s occurring. Yes, a few developed countries have implemented loose monetary policy, but for entirely different reasons than manipulating trade—countries’ economies aren’t actually closing and emerging markets can focus on concerns elsewhere.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: Monthly economic data are volatile—a small one-month decline in one single category doesn’t necessarily predict broad economic weakness. More important is the US’s overall economic trend, which shows steady (though not gangbusters) growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: This latest step in Japan’s efforts to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership further suggests Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have a strong appetite for economic reform, which bodes well for further structural changes.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: This in-depth look at Venezuela’s oil industry shows how heavy fuel subsidies’ unintended consequences hurt all citizens. For more on recent Venezuelan economics and politics see our cover stories, “Viva, Venezuela!” and “Venezuela’s Post-Election Politics.”

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: This should put to rest rumors Cyprus may be seeking more aid in the immediate future and pave the way for eurozone countries’ parliaments to vote on the bailout.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 04/12/2013

MarketMinder's View: Art’s prevalence today is another example of free market capitalism’s (unexpected to some) benefits: “Free markets greatly expand the availability of the leisure that is necessary for both the creation and enjoyment of art … [and] create a diverse range of high-quality, affordable media on which art is fashioned and through which it is shared widely with the public.”

Market Misperceptions
By , USA Today, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: We highly doubt this becomes policy and is instead more evidence of budget politicking. Capping IRA levels would likely discourage retirement saving—the opposite of what anyone wants.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: We question the wisdom of making any type of projections 5+ years in the future, as this article does. Imagine how much can change in ten years, from the predictable (election cycles) to the unpredictable (inventions that change lifestyles, like the iPhone). With so many variables, how can any economic forecast ten years down the road be accurate?

Market Misperceptions
By , CBS Moneywatch, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, indexes hitting certain arbitrary milestones (e.g. the S&P 500 recently breaking its all-time high) doesn’t indicate the health of the market.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: A sensible move by the Bank of Korea for not acquiescing to government pressures in light of North Korea’s recent sabre rattling. Reactively changing policy due to the recent news about their northern neighbor would not be wise, as the DPRK’s bluster is probably just that. For more, see Elisabeth Dellinger’s column, “Kim Jong Un—Warlord or Economic Reformer?”

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: “Simpler regulation would stamp out regulatory arbitrage, level the playing field between big and small banks, and remove the ‘deadweight costs borne by society’ of burdensome supervision.” We agree, as complex banking rules discourage transparency and slow down business. 

Sensible Stories
By , Project Syndicate, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: Alternative energy vehicles may indeed one day usher in a new era of cleaner, more efficient transportation—once those alternatives become more economically viable. In the meantime, this shows that government subsidies, rather than helping, often “simply enable an expensive, inconvenient, and often environmentally deficient technology.”

Sensible Stories
By , Time, 04/11/2013

MarketMinder's View: While we disagree with the description of the US economy as “struggling”, this is a mostly sensible article that emphasizes a crucial point lost on many: US manufacturing is healthy and bustling, thanks to the private sector.

Market Misperceptions
By , Der Spiegel, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: Maybe Slovenia will need a bailout, but its problems appear localized, and the government’s already taking steps to reduce its deficit and reform its troubled banking sector (including privatizing the institutions that remained in state hands after communism fell). Globally, it likely has little to no impact.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: Absent from the minutes is the realization that QE is contractionary—it disincentivizes lending, and the money’s not circulating as a result. We would welcome an early end, but for now that appears unlikely.

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC News, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: They’re still forecasting trade growth, and the protectionist risks appear overstated. There are always trade tiffs and spats, but overwhelmingly, the world’s moving toward freer trade.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal , 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: It seems public funds meant to boost small business lending went to other purposes instead—one of many examples of the inefficiency of public schemes to boost economic activity. Simply making it easier for banks to do business would likely be cheaper and have a more positive impact.

Sensible Stories
By , Businessweek, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: If eurozone finance ministers follow the troika’s recommendation, Ireland and Portugal will get some much-needed breathing room, which should further aid their planned returns to primary debt markets.

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News , 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: This is pretty strong evidence North Korea’s threats are mere sabre rattling. If attack were imminent, our guess is soldiers would be preparing for war instead of doubling as construction workers. Investors likely have little reason to fear tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: The bank uses government and private funds to underwrite small business loans from upstart banks, asset-based lenders and peer-to-peer lenders. Though we’d prefer lending to be a fully private sector function, in this case, a public-private partnership that aggregates alternative financing options seems a sensible way to offset weak bank lending. For more, see our 09/25/2012 cover story, “The Brits’ Bureaucratic Business Banking Boost?

Sensible Stories
By , Xinhua, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: China’s economic reform process continues.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: Another example of EU regulations’ negative impact on the UK’s private sector—one of the primary reasons PM David Cameron hopes to negotiate a more flexible relationship.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 04/10/2013

MarketMinder's View: Negotiations are progressing for the deal, which would benefit both sides and be an important step toward opening India’s economy.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: Sure, some money from Japanese QE likely leaks into the global financial system. But most of it likely remains back at the BOJ as excess bank reserves, just as it has during Japan’s 12 years of on-and-off QE. When cash is sitting idle at a central bank, it can’t fuel bubbles domestically or globally.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: Low rates could encourage loan demand, but Fed data show supply is constrained—that’s a result of Fed policy. It’s also unlikely corporations borrow and spend if the real reason weren’t to meet an actual business or economic need. For example, we're betting the technology company cited here is borrowing and investing more due to the attraction of maintaining 25% - 30% annual sales growth than of low rates.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: There’s no arguing France has myriad economic competitiveness problems. However, this piece likely overstates the case. What’s more, while France (and the rest of the eurozone) may be weak, overall global growth continues.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: Hungary’s proto-fascist government continues to threaten the independence of the country’s central bank, the free-functioning of which is critical to markets and capitalism. For more, see our 03/13/2013 column, “Can the EU Save Hungary?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this confuses the causes of 2008’s financial panic. Moreover, while we largely agree mortgage issuance and underwriting should be a private-sector function, abolishing the 30-Year Fixed-Rate mortgage seems a solution in search of a problem.

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: This piece outlines some of the economic reforms Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has set in motion. Ongoing implementation will be key, but these measures have the potential to liberalize and modernize Mexico’s economy. For more, see our 03/13/2013 cover story, “Losing Monopoly.”

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: A lesson in the unintended consequences of the minimum wage.

Sensible Stories
By , The Pittsburgh Tribune, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: A simple explanation why China will never be better than the US at producing “everything”: “To become more efficient at producing one good means that you become less efficient at producing other goods. … It’s unavoidable.” And those goods China’s less efficient at producing likely get made elsewhere—like the US, Mexico or Vietnam.

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: An in-depth look at the unintended consequences of subsidizing “renewable” energy sources—they’re not always as “green” as you might think.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: This is only one data point, but the trend of overall tamer Chinese inflation recently likely gives officials there additional maneuvering room to continue to boost growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/09/2013

MarketMinder's View: This sensible piece outlines why India (and many other energy-hungry countries) are keen to see the US become an overall net energy exporter—and why the US would benefit.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: Quantitative easing alone seems unlikely to cure Japan’s structural economic woes. After all, boosting banks’ excess reserves is unlikely to materially change long-standing protectionism, reform the kereitsu and overall encourage more business investment. They’ve tried the QE route for more than a decade now—the result hasn’t been spectacular. For more, see our 4/5/2013 cover story, “Abenomics Part 1, Version 2.0.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: The Fed’s message seemingly remains, “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” In our view, QE-infinity is not stimulative, since it reduces loan profitability (incentive to lend) through flattening the yield curve. What’s more, forecasting slower growth ahead because of a late-lagging indicator (employment data) seems a touch backwards.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: There’s scant evidence dark pools of liquidity—so-called merely because the trades aren’t visible to exchange-based traders—have any meaningful effect on prices

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: In an effort to meet bailout terms, Portugal is struggling to find savings after its highest court ruled planned salary and pension cuts unconstitutional. Despite the decision, it seems the country is determined to cut costs and return to European debt markets.

Sensible Stories
By , China Daily, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: Private investment in China is increasing as mergers and acquisitions expand beyond the country’s borders. Not only does China benefit from a growing economy, but other countries benefit from foreign direct investment—a win-win scenario for all involved.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: We agree.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: A good synopsis of the pressures Japan’s leaders face in enacting important reforms. One key to Abenomics potentially helping the Japanese economy is eliminating barriers to free trade. But the farm lobby is tremendously powerful in Japan, and it remains to be seen if their entry into Trans-Pacific Partnership talks will actually open the economy.

Sensible Stories
Lara Hoffmans, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder’s managing editor, Lara Hoffmans.

Sensible Stories
By , Equities, 04/08/2013

MarketMinder's View: Editorial staff member Naj Srinivas’s latest contribution to Equities.com details a new twist in French President Francois Hollande’s planned wealth tax.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: Employment data simply aren’t predictive—they’re a late-lagging indicator. Slower jobs growth is a function of slower economic growth in the latter half of 2012, not a sign of slower growth ahead.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: Maybe they do! But because the BOE’s methodology remains woefully opaque, we have no way of knowing—and it’s highly likely banks don’t even need the extra £25 billion already demanded. The BOE’s assumptions for future expected losses seem quite arbitrary and don’t necessarily reflect reality. Or the fact that banks have likely already realized many of the “expected” losses tied to eurozone and housing weakness. For more, see our 03/28/2013 cover story, “Double Secret British Probation.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this study’s findings aren’t so much an indictment of cap-weighted indexes. Rather, they’re evidence of the impact of emotions on investing—the “monkeys” in this study didn’t try to time market ups and downs, and they weren’t prone to heat chasing and fear. Innate human behavior will prevent 99.999% of people from finding similar success with a random stock-picking strategy, illustrating the importance of disciplined active management.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: Maybe some Russians do move money back home—but given how weak the rule of law is there, Russians more likely move funds to other offshore havens.

Market Misperceptions
By , Los Angeles Times, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: We don’t need fiscal stimulus to boost employment—we need private firms to continue investing, growing and hiring. Just as they have this entire expansion, more than offsetting the fall in public payrolls.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: Though we’d quibble with some aspects of this, the thesis is sound—Japan needs deep structural reforms to regain economic competitiveness, and despite some early progress on this front, it’s unclear whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has the will or political capital to effect big changes. For more, see our latest column on Investor’s Business Daily, “Shinzo Abe, Reformer?

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: Allowing Indian sugar producers to sell their output on the open market instead of forcing them to participate in a government procurement program is another incremental step toward liberalizing India’s economy. Even with the loss of a key coalition partner last month, it seems the government is still able to push through some economic reforms.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: We agree—hyperbole in reporting seems to be the norm these days. But it isn’t limited to television weather reporting. For more, see MarketMinder Editorial Staff member Todd Bliman’s column, “Was That Cry ‘Wolf’?

Sensible Stories
By , Xinhua, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: A little innovation has spurred some booming private enterprise in Chinese agriculture.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 04/05/2013

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at the arbitrariness of France’s ban on shale fracking. If fracking for geothermal energy is perfectly fine, why should shale oil be banned? By robbing itself of a cheap, abundant energy source, France is effectively handicapping its businesses.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 04/04/2013

MarketMinder's View: The assumption the US economy needs anything to power a recovery seems off-base, considering real US GDP is at all-time highs and growing. Looking ahead, since housing is a tiny share of the overall economy, and weak housing wasn’t much of a headwind during the recovery and early expansion, housing improvement likely brings only a small overall boost. For more, see our cover story “Catching Housing Tailwinds.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal , 04/04/2013

MarketMinder's View: Yes, unemployment’s been slow to improve, but it’s a late lagging indicator. We wouldn’t really expect higher employment to coincide with Q1’s likely economic acceleration.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 04/04/2013

MarketMinder's View: Japan has gone all-in with its QE program, planning to inject $1.4 trillion into the economy over two years—a noteworthy development, though past extraordinary increases in the monetary base have largely ended up back at the BOJ as excess reserves. To truly end deflation and economic malaise, Japan needs significant structural reforms. Whether the government has the appetite for deep change, however, remains to be seen. For more, see Elisabeth Dellinger’s latest column on Investors.com, “Shinzo Abe, Reformer?

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times , 04/04/2013

MarketMinder's View: Words of wisdom from Myanmar’s reformist president: “Only when we have real economic progress will the democratic process flourish.” And his administration’s launched another round of free-market reforms to help bring about that progress. With significant poverty, ethnic and religious strife and the military’s continued influence officials face many obstacles, but their apparent dedication is encouraging.

Sensible Stories
By , Reason, 04/04/2013

MarketMinder's View: “Throughout the world, most reductions in pollution have been achieved because of capitalism, not government control.” And they’ve brought many economic benefits, unlike the regulatory requirements which very often stifle growth and productivity.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 04/04/2013

MarketMinder's View: Among the required austerity measures are several tax increases. The bailout’s deposit haircut has already taken a huge bite out of the economy—not just by cutting the banking sector, but by wiping out a large portion of many private firms’ cash reserves. Exacerbating this with higher taxes likely further burdens Cyprus’s economy, making austerity benchmarks tougher to hit.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: The eurozone’s made up of multiple countries with different financial systems, governments and economies—meaning one policy cannot fit all. Moreover, endlessly pumping out bank reserves—as developed world central banks have done for months—doesn’t solve any problems and may create bigger ones down the road.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: First, in our eyes, it’s a stretch to claim China’s current economic situation is just like Japan’s or South Korea’s—in any decade. Second, China’s not without economic issues, but slowing growth (though still continued growth) likely isn’t one of them. Gangbusters economic growth can’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean contraction will result.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: In this report, what really matters is the private sector still added 158,000 jobs—a boon and an initial estimate. Meaning later revisions may paint a better picture in the end, as they have in past months.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: There are many misperceptions here, but primarily, institutions don’t merit saving simply because they’re government run (and not big banks). Also, the government doesn’t decide the vast majority of bond rates—that’s the market’s job—but pushing down mortgage rates (which they can do, somewhat) likely won’t help Fannie or Freddie, either.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: Fears around technology leading to mass unemployment have surfaced for centuries—and no doubt, disruption from new technology can be painful. But over time folks still overwhelmingly find meaningful employment, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon (or ever). And though jobs-stealing robots may exist to a degree, they ultimately lead to more service-oriented, less back-breaking work over time—a good thing overall.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: Though we discourage putting much faith in such short-term figures, the factory activity here illustrates growth can occur despite isolated areas of weakness in a global economy.

Sensible Stories
By , AEIdeas, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: Not only do ethanol mandates keep gas prices higher, they’re yet another example of an unintended consequence from government intervention in the marketplace.

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 04/03/2013

MarketMinder's View: There are many reasons the sequester likely won’t materially negatively affect the US economy—not least of which: “A spending cut, however modest, allows all those funds to be put into more productive uses by the private sector, and the investment helps fuel economic growth and job creation.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: We find many reasons to quibble with this piece. While there are certainly other countries with large financial centers relative to the size of their economy, Cyprus was unique in its over-exposure to written-down Greek debt. For more, see MarketMinder Editorial Staff member Elisabeth Dellinger’s recent column, “What Cyprus Tells Us About Banking Regulations.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this and a series of other recent moves by Putin undermine the rule of law in Russia—something markets tend not to like.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: While not great news, it’s also not surprising given ongoing regulatory uncertainty and QE’s impact—by flattening the yield curve, QE reduces banks’ net interest margins and saps their incentive to lend. Hence why we’re skeptical of claims more QE will improve UK bank lending.  

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: EU officials likely remain accommodative on budget deficit goals set for Spain and other countries in the periphery. Economic growth has slowed across the region, making it harder to hit targets pegged to GDP.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: More evidence of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s heightened focus on much-needed economic reform. Separating power generation from distribution likely removes barriers to competition in the Japanese power industry—thereby lowering energy costs and helping make Japanese businesses more competitive globally.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: The treatment of depositors in Cypriot banks’ foreign branches was a key unknown in last week’s bailout agreement. Now, it seems there’s some resolution as depositors at UK subsidiaries of impacted banks were fire-walled from losses. Although we find the idea of depositors taking haircuts on savings ill-advised, this illustrates the limited global impact of the “bail in.”

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: MarketMinder Editorial Staff member Todd Bliman’s latest contribution to Investor’s Business Daily.

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: “In 1929, the economic historian Abbott Payson Usher wrote that ‘The limitations of resources are relative to the position of our knowledge and of our technique’ … The limits of available resources ‘recede as we advance,’ he added, ‘at rates that are proportionate to the advance in our knowledge." Continued technological advancements in energy production prove this in spades.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/02/2013

MarketMinder's View: “Government subsidies to new wind farms have only made the industry less focused on reducing costs. In turn, the industry produces a product that isn't as efficient or cheap as it might be if we focused less on working the political system and more on research and development.” Well said.

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: This theory seems to argue the American economy is nothing more than a series of bubbles dating back to FDR. So in other words, vastly increased wealth, expanded life expectancies, decreased infant mortality, broader home ownership, the vast reach of new technologies accessible to all aren’t real—they’re products of the Fed’s funny money. And in the here and now, earnings and revenues have surged on par with stocks and QE funds, for the most part, are parked at the Fed earning a risk-free, yet small, rate of return—not the stuff of bubbles.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: So the April Fool’s joke here (spoiler alert) is there’s no answer, pending this week’s unemployment report. But given unemployment’s late lagging nature, it won’t shed any light about future conditions either. Overall though, we’re confused as to how 2011 and 2012 “fooled” anyone about a recovery—the US economy grew throughout both years.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal , 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: Or perhaps it’s a show of faith in the private sector. Purchasing stock is essentially purchasing a share of a company’s future earnings. That markets are getting back to pre-recession levels isn’t a useful indicator about the future. For more, see our column, “About That Magic Number.”  

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal , 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: Or perhaps it’s a show of faith in the private sector. Purchasing stock is essentially purchasing a share of a company’s future earnings. That markets are getting back to pre-recession levels isn’t a useful indicator about the future. For more, see our column, “About That Magic Number.”  

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a great counterpoint to ponder for those thinking stocks are too disconnected from fundamentals: Earnings have risen more or less in lockstep with stock prices. It doesn’t get much more fundamental than that.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: “Manufacturing activity in the world's second biggest economy grew at its fastest in nearly a year in March, in a dramatic acceleration from the previous month, propelled by stronger domestic demand.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: While we doubt any government forecast of legislation’s economic impact will ever be precise, we’d argue part of the CBO’s historical struggles is related to the inflexibility of their models. So while perfection shouldn’t be expected, more information is better than less.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal , 04/01/2013

MarketMinder's View: It seems the forecasted perils of the sequester continue to be smaller than widely billed.