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Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re not sure why it should surprise anyone that flooded subways and highways should hamper productivity somewhat—despite the Internet’s proliferation, folks still go to work, and goods must be physically transported. At the same time, this piece likely overstates the lost productivity and economic activity. People and firms are pretty nimble, and transportation alternatives exist aplenty.

Market Misperceptions
By , Los Angeles Times, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, the Treasury can delay the debt ceiling’s impact, as it did last time the US hit it. But it’s likely Congress simply raises the ceiling, as it’s done 106 times since 1917.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our quibble isn’t with the reporting, but with the Basel Committee’s tactics. Forcing banks the world over to quickly implement tougher regulation and capital requirements strikes us as fraught with unintended consequences. The slow-go, watered-down approach to Basel III implementation taken by the US and EU, though not perfect, seems far more preferable.

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Probably not. It seems unlikely China’s economy continues growing at consistently gangbusters percentage rates—as the economy grows from a larger base, the incremental value added in dollar terms, though high, likely represents a smaller percentage. Moreover, even if China does represent a larger share of global GDP and the US’s share pulls back a bit, that’s more a quirk of mathematics than a sign of Chinese supremacy. For more, see our recent column on Investor’s Business Daily.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: While raising taxes might meet the IMF’s requirements and increase the likelihood Portugal continues receiving bailout money, in our view, it’s not a great plan for Portugal’s economy. Rising corporate, income and consumption taxes have weighed on the private sector, likely exacerbating Portugal’s recession. If the IMF were to ease its terms and give Portugal room to cut taxes, Portugal could likely “turn the page” more quickly.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite signs of fracturing in Greece’s governing coalition, Parliament approved measures to restart Greece’s stalled privatization drive—a welcome development as Greece approaches next week’s budget legislation, on which Greece’s next aid tranche hinges (for now). For more, see our 10/30/2012 cover story, “A Look Around the Eurozone.”

Sensible Stories
By , Xinhua, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: While China’s broader economy appears poised for reacceleration, private firms face a difficult road ahead unless officials lighten their regulatory and tax burdens, remove barriers to market entry and widens corporate financing options. This piece outlines some sensible ways to achieve this.  

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though this piece is a bit hyperbolic, it makes a fair point: The UK tax code, like its US counterpart, is likely way too complex—many tax breaks simply aren’t used because individuals and business owners aren’t aware of them. Simplifying the tax code—replacing loopholes with low, flat rates—would not only likely make the overall tax burden easier, but it would help tax preparation costs stop sucking up significant capital.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at the issues hindering labor markets in India, where private and state-run firms offer few entry-level positions. Compounding problems: “Despite low wages, foreign companies aren’t rushing in to plug the gaps, wary of unpredictable turns in government policy …” A freer economy would likely bring far more employment opportunities.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest for The Street—on China’s Herculean task of reforming its 144,700 state-run businesses.

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 10/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: Taiwan’s new incentives for expatriate business-owners to return home includes several sensible measures, like lowering tariffs on manufacturing equipment and easing restrictions on hiring foreign workers. However, a better approach would be to remove these barriers altogether, allowing for freer movement of goods, labor and capital.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 10/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: The Halloween Indicator, “sell in May and go away” and other such aphorisms simply aren’t predictive. Moreover, repeated success in such short-term investing moves requires a cooperative market and consistently perfect exit and re-entry points—a near-impossibility. We suggest ignoring such seasonal sayings and instead focusing on the global fundamentals broadly affecting capital markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 10/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: High frequency trading continues to be a favorite target for those who fear market distortions. However, there’s little evidence HFT and other algorithmic trading are the culprits responsible for high volatility. Likewise, in our view, many folks fail to acknowledge the myriad benefits of HFT, like more liquidity and more efficient pricing.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this piece likely makes mountains out of molehills. Corporate balance sheet composition frequently shifts as a product of changing market conditions, and the shifts described here seem more backward-looking than signs of things to come. Though Chinese growth has slowed, it’s still strong relative to the rest of the world, and recent stimulus measures are starting to flow through to the broader economy. That should bode well for consumers and Chinese corporations.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 10/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: Speculators are often decried when various commodity prices rise. However, many folks fail to realize speculation is quite useful and, as this piece points out, something we all frequently engage in.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though this index is just one way to gauge home prices and its construction isn’t ideal, it does provide more evidence of an ongoing housing recovery. While not necessary for continuing economic growth, it’s certainly a positive that could provide an additional economic tailwind moving forward.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/30/2012

MarketMinder's View: A Spanish “bad bank” to buy up assets from its troubled regional lenders likely helps restore confidence in Spanish financial institutions and gets credit flowing again—critical steps to Spain’s ongoing recovery. Perhaps this will diminish calls for a Spanish bailout from pan-European parties—a move we, like Spanish leaders, find unnecessary given currently manageable Spanish debt yields.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s no secret Spain’s had its problems over the past several years—so less–than-stellar growth is largely to be expected. However, with continued support from eurozone neighbors, Spain has time to continue reforms aimed at getting back on track and ultimately becoming a more sustainable, competitive economy.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: As has been the case recently, there seems to be some debate in France over how to increase its economic competitiveness. Our suggestion? Rather than quibbling over which taxes to cut and which to increase, decrease most of them (if not all), at least incrementally—such a move likely ultimately increases tax receipts as businesses and individuals earn more and undoubtedly helps France’s overall competitiveness.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though the UK economy’s been less than ideal, we very much disagree Britain’s a “submerging rather than emerging market”—particularly since preliminary data show the UK economy grew 1% in Q3. By no means is this gangbusters growth, but it’s hardly grounds for the regression noted in this piece.

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: “Job creation in the private sector is mostly a spontaneous and circular process. People buy things they need and want. Or businesses and private investors take risks by investing in new products, technologies and factories. All this spending, driven by self-interest and the profit motive, supports more jobs.” Well said. For more, see our 08/07/2012 column, “Government Chicken or Private-Sector Egg?

Sensible Stories
By , Investor's Business Daily, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder editorial staff member, Elisabeth Dellinger.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite likely contracting headline GDP, Portugal is gradually moving down the road to recovery, with exports increasing rather dramatically year to date and first steps toward a return to credit markets. Provided Portugal continues its progress and investors remain confident in the country, these are potential positives for Portugal itself and the eurozone as a whole.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/29/2012

MarketMinder's View: Budget talks continue as Greece tries to secure a second round of aid from Germany and the troika. Though no deal has been made yet, it seemingly continues to be the case all parties involved are committed to finding long-term, sustainable solutions.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: While it’s possible recent UK economic growth may not continue rapidly, fact is the UK’s experiencing some positive turnaround in GDP, consumer spending and service sector output.  Headwinds remain, but not the ones described here—for more on this, see our 10/22/2012 research analysis, “‘Austerity,’ Lending and the UK Economy.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: Spain’s unemployment rate is indeed pretty dire, but this piece fails to draw key conclusions about the shrinking public sector. Cutting the public sector frees room for the private sector to grow. If Spain pursues economic reform as aggressively as it’s pursued spending cuts—making it easier for private firms to compete and removing barriers to growth—private firms should absorb many of these displaced government workers over time.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ve no quibble with the reporting here—our beef is with the Volcker rule itself and some politicians’ steadfast belief our financial system is somehow likely at risk without it. In our view, the rule’s likely a solution in search of a problem. The potential for conflicting standards and applications of the rule, described here, only exacerbates the rule’s inefficiencies. For more on Dodd-Frank, see our 10/12/2012 cover story, “Dodd-Frankly, That’s Dumb.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, Q3 earnings thus far aren’t earthshattering. But that’s more a function of the high comparison bar set by last year’s gangbusters growth than actual corporate weakness. Earnings regularly decelerate as bull markets mature. That needn’t signal an immediate end to the bull market and economic expansion.  Corporate profits can and likely do continue growing from all-time highs.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is a rather sensible take on the eurozone’s periphery. Small signs of recovery are showing across the board, particularly in rising bank deposits and falling borrowing costs—both signs of increased confidence in the euro area. Though this doesn’t guarantee it’s all smooth-sailing from here, it’s still progress and a positive.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: “Instead of complaining, we should thank China for its generous foreign aid to America through its currency policy, and thank them for all of the US jobs that are supported through the billions of dollars of annual savings from China’s ‘everyday low prices.’” The outcry against China’s currency valuation is seemingly more a political issue than an economic problem.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: A 2% rise in Q3 GDP is welcome news, though government spending’s high contribution perhaps takes some of the luster off. Still, some private-sector components showed underlying strength—including housing and consumer spending, which was the largest contributor to headline growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: Thanks to technology and free markets, entrepreneurs have vastly expanded financing options—a particularly welcome development in the UK, where entrepreneurs’ and small businesses’ continue to have difficulty securing bank loans.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: We largely agree with the headline, but the notion a “chronic lack of demand” and government cutbacks underlie weak growth is off-base. Yes, recent VAT and other tax increases pinched consumers, but public spending has increased and contributed positively to today’s report. The UK’s larger issue is on the supply side—namely, regulatory uncertainty constraining bank lending, which hinders private-sector expansion.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: That “more than 40% of grain futures can now be traced to financial institutions” is hardly evidence supposed speculators are driving food prices up. Nor does this prove speculators are responsible for food riots in Haiti, India and the Middle East—meddlesome governments in these nations likely play a far greater role. Speculation actually helps keep food prices—always a function of supply and demand—less volatile overall.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve written before, we find much to dislike with Dodd-Frank regulations. Now, it seems effects of the ambiguous legislation are rippling into foreign markets as well: As this piece highlights, many Japanese banks have stopped trading with US banks while they await more clarity on whether/how they will need to register with the CFTC. For more, see our 10/12/2012 cover story, “Dodd-Frankly, That’s Dumb”.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: This alleged “fiscal cliff” is more akin to the US’s 2011 debt-ceiling debate and likely to prove equally benign. While Japan’s opposition party is stonewalling the yearly government borrowing bill to force an early election, politicking likely gives way to compromise when needed—as it has every year.

By , The Telegraph, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: Thanks to technology and free markets, entrepreneurs have vastly expanded financing options—a particularly welcome development in the UK, where entrepreneurs’ and small businesses’ continue to have difficulty securing bank loans.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: Durables rose 9.9% m/m in September—the fastest advance in two and a half years. Now, that hot pace was driven by volatile aircraft orders, but even under the hood orders excluding transportation grew. While one shouldn’t presume orders necessarily take off from here, it does suggest August’s lackluster print was an example of data variability rather than a sign of things to come. Overall, it appears the private sector remains healthy.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 10/25/2012

MarketMinder's View: As this piece highlights, innovation helps create efficiencies, thus lowering costs and benefiting producers and consumers alike.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, “trying to push China around like a bulked-up version of 1980s Japan does not fit with our national interests.” But this piece supposes the US’s trade deficit and China’s undervalued currency are somehow detrimental to the US economy—claims there’s scant evidence (at best) to support. Chinese imports bring lower prices, greater choice, and more jobs to sell and service these products. That’s a net benefit, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, the UK economy is struggling—but not necessarily for the reasons suggested here. Certainly the tax hikes included in the alleged “turn to austerity” have dampened output. But government spending is rising. Not falling. Other “policy choices”—namely suspect regulatory changes—are likely a bigger drag on growth. For more, see our 10/22/2012 research analysis, “‘Austerity,’ Lending and the UK Economy.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: While there are times when it makes sense to exit stocks—particularly when an extended bear market appears likely—we agree investors have little ability to time the market repeatedly with any degree of success. Short-term moves are impossible to predict and time with certainty. Which is why the advice here is off base. As is its logic: PEs simply aren’t predictive of future returns. Selling out now, based on allegedly high valuations, could lead an investor to sell high and buy low.

Market Misperceptions
By , Xinhua, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree the “big three” ratings agencies are rather feckless. But there’s no reason to assume a new ratings agency would be any better. It could very well make the same backward-looking, largely useless assessments as existing raters. Markets, in our view, remain the best auditors of risk.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: It appears Greece is nearing a deal to get two extra years to meet EU deficit targets and some flexibility on labor market reforms. Once approved by creditors, new budget must still pass Greece’s parliament, and coalition leaders are divided over some measures, but the broader compromise is an important step toward unlocking Greece’s next aid tranche—and another sign of the prevailing will to preserve the euro.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s at it again. This time, she’s mandating Argentine insurance companies invest 10% - 25% of their portfolios in infrastructure projects. Now, we’re all for private investment in infrastructure, but only on a voluntary basis. Argentina’s essentially appropriating private capital—a treacherous path.  

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though it’s one data point, the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI is a sign of improvement in China’s economy. Combined with the evidence of underlying strength in the Q3 GDP report, manufacturing improvement suggests a hard landing is increasingly unlikely. For more, see our 10/19/2012 cover story, “(Still) No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: A bit of regulatory relief for Spanish and Irish banks, and hopefully a sign of things to come as EU regulators determine how—and to what extent—to apply Basel III standards to Europe’s banking system. Continued flexibility would be welcome.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 10/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: We continue to find this a solution in search of a problem, considering it raises barriers to capital markets activity and likely increase costs since many firms likely pass this fee to customers. Furthermore, participants haven’t agreed yet on what to do with the proceeds. For more, see our 10/10/2012 cover story, “This One Goes to 11.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: What a “currency war” is, we’re not sure—but Japan’s already taken several steps to curb the yuan’s rise and help keep exports competitive. That said, we’d argue Japanese officials should focus more on fostering innovation, investment, new business, labor productivity and free trade—much better means of boosting competitiveness and growth over time.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: Throughout the ESM ratification process, European officials demonstrated their overwhelming support for the euro and its primary bailout facility. In our view, it’s unlikely this latest court challenge over the ESM’s compatibility with EU treaties—no matter which way the court rules—trumps that resolve.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: Although energy prices—previously capped by the Croatian government—may rise in the short term, the EU’s free market likely brings more competition, greater efficiencies and lower prices across all segments of the economy in the medium to long term, which should make accession a net benefit for all Croatians.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 10/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: A sensible ruling, in our view, considering monitoring imports or reintroducing tariffs on imported South Korean cars would be a step backward from 2010’s EU-South Korea free trade agreement. Freer trade creates greater competition, lower prices for consumers and greater choices—among myriad other benefits.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/23/2012

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

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/23/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s no secret we find the Dodd-Frank legislation a morass of conflicting hodge-podge with myriad still unwritten rules and potential for untended consequences. The Volcker rule appears a prime candidate for further confusion, as the agencies responsible for drafting the rule remain deadlocked. For more on this story to watch, see our 10/12/2012 cover story, “Dodd-Frankly, That’s Dumb.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: This argument rests on a very long-term forecast and methodology that isn’t at all clear—at best it’s shaky, and most likely it’s off base. Plus, even with the “borrowed money” used to fund recent military operations, total US debt service costs are historically low. There’s just no evidence current or future debt and national security are at all linked.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 10/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue investors aren’t at all “oblivious” to the supposed dangers of the fiscal cliff. Rather, it seems they simply don’t expect the worst case scenario—a rational stance, in our view, considering Congress’s heavy incentive to find a workaround. And should Congress not compromise, it’s far from certain the economic impact would be as heavy as this piece suggests. For more, see our 10/11/2012 cover story, “Scaling the Fiscal Cliff”.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s no secret Greece’s public sector cuts are having a tough impact on Greek citizens and the economy. However, trimming the bloated state and cutting bureaucracy gives the private sector room to compete and the ability to do so more freely. If policymakers want to give their constituents a break, in our view, cutting taxes would be a far better way than re-increasing spending. For more, see our 10/19/2012 column, “Europe’s Great Policy Mistake.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though reaching a mutual agreement may not be easy, as Japan’s former prime minister notes, breaking down trade barriers between Japan and the European Union would have myriad economic benefits.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 10/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at what labeling China a “currency manipulator” would and wouldn’t do. As this piece sums up, “Branding China a ‘currency manipulator’ is popular! … But it also doesn’t make much sense.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/22/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s rather refreshing to see any leader admit the failures of depending on bloated, state-run firms for economic growth—and the apparently renewed push to privatize Vietnam’s state-owned firms is encouraging. The ongoing emergence and liberalization of Vietnam and other ASEAN nations is a story to watch.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: There’s a major flaw in the core assumption upon which much of this argument is based: That the “wealthy,” who allegedly save 15%–20% or more of their income, stuff it under their mattresses and withhold it from any productive economic use. Which is just a fallacy of the first order—on the contrary, practically any dollars anyone saves, regardless of income, in some form reenters the economy as an investment. Whether it’s directly in a business venture, in the stock market, in real estate or in a savings account at the local bank, those dollars are put to work—thereby allowing continued economic growth and creating a rising tide that ultimately lifts all boats. For more, see our column on Real Clear Markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: In the midst of France’s fiscal reform, brewers are now facing a considerable tax increase on alcohol—which could significantly increase retail prices of beer and other spirits. Hardly seems a recipe for realistically increasing France’s competitive edge.

Market Misperceptions
By , Fortune, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: As this article points out, housing is indeed recovering. But the private sector has also recovered robustly. In fact, the private sector has been, by most every way you measure it, the strongest part of the US economy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: We rather disagree computers were solely to blame for either 1987’s Black Monday or 2008’s financial crisis—in our view, it’s akin to blaming the dog for eating one’s homework. The reality is computers and other technology have significantly improved the smooth operating of markets and can largely be credited with spurring the degree to which they’re now fully global.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: Since joining the World Trade Organization, Russia’s quickly becoming an important trade partner for the United States. Allowing more investment abroad should benefit all parties involved as companies look to expand in new markets.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: This will be an interesting process to watch. Leaders have “committed” to settling on a supervisory framework by the end of this year, but it’s very likely this complicated process takes considerably longer—which would probably yield better results.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: “Big bond auctions in Italy and Spain gave a surprising boost to the biggest countries reeling under Europe’s debt crisis, with Italy selling a record €18 billion ($24 billion) worth—enough to satisfy its borrowing needs for the rest of the year in one unexpected stroke.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree there are benefits and efficiencies to be gained in scaling back many European governments—reforms that likely ultimately benefit European countries overall as government is able to operate without consuming as large a share of private sector tax revenues.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: If “chugging along with successful bond auctions and a bailout specific to its banks” is what’s meant by “no man’s land,” then sure, Spain’s there. But it seems this focuses on third party expectations Spain will need more outside assistance—something markets don’t seem to agree with at the moment. Spain knows what Spain needs and will act according to that, not political pressure otherwise.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: The conclusion “bank taxation has no impact on Hungarian activity” seems a little off-base considering the lending slowdown the Hungarian Prime Minister cites is directly related to two years of hostile tax treatment of foreign banks, among other dastardly interventions. If you hand banks an onerous tax burden and force them to accept below-market repayment on existing loans, they don’t have much incentive to lend.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: Sure, headline unemployment might not be the best measure of US labor markets. But the employment-population ratio isn’t necessarily better—as this piece even admits, it includes “82 million people who simply don’t want a job.” Besides, employment data are backward-looking—this says nothing about where the economy and jobs go from here.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, France and Germany’s differences over Eurobonds and budget oversight are welcome. Political gridlock like this can prevent rushed, rash decisions, which lowers the likelihood of unintended consequences.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though Q3 headline growth slowed a bit, strength in some underlying components suggests “growth is picking up and that China is not at risk of hard landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: Rising retail sales suggest some underappreciated strength in the UK—evidence the economy isn’t uniformly weak, despite some persistent headwinds.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: “The September surge in new construction provides more evidence that the housing recovery of 2012 is real, sustainable and gaining momentum.” Though not necessary for economic growth, improvements in housing would be a positive.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: “The September surge in new construction provides more evidence that the housing recovery of 2012 is real, sustainable and gaining momentum.” Though not necessary for economic growth, improvements in housing would be a positive.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: “The September surge in new construction provides more evidence that the housing recovery of 2012 is real, sustainable and gaining momentum.” Though not necessary for economic growth, improvements in housing would be a positive.

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 10/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting discussion of the politics and likely players in Italy’s upcoming general election.

Market Misperceptions
By , Agence France-Presse, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our issue here isn’t with the reporting, but with the OECD’s assessment (and rather perplexing James Bond metaphor). While Spain and Greece do have eye-popping unemployment, countries like the US and UK have far healthier (albeit not perfect) labor markets. And the world, on balance, is still growing—real GDP in advanced and emerging economies is at all-time highs and rising.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: As usual, the rater’s assessment is based on widely known information—and despite what’s suggested here, Moody’s assessment likely doesn’t factor at all into Spain’s decision on whether or not to ask the ESM for more help. Markets—specifically borrowing costs—likely drive that decision.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we agree housing likely improves from here, the potential impact on headline growth seems overstated. A sustained housing recovery would be a positive, but other segments of the economy are likely more meaningful growth drivers.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: Only two weeks ago, we were encouraged by Hungary’s apparent decision to leave windfall taxes on foreign investors out of its 2013 budget. But now it seems leaders have changed course: Foreign-owned utilities and banks must pay extra to help reduce Hungary’s deficit. Over time, such hostile treatment likely disincentivizes foreign firms from investing in Hungary, which would be another step back for the nation. For more, see our 10/09/2012 cover story, “Welcome Changes.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: On balance, this makes a sensible point: Despite political blustering about high borrowing from China, China is becoming a less significant creditor. Because of the unmatched depth and liquidity of US capital markets, demand for US Treasurys is healthy the world over, and US households have purchased a large share of debt issued the past few years. For more, see our recent commentary on The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , Freakonomics, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: Technological advancements have allowed Austin to find a creative, market-oriented solution for its traffic problems: Tolls in a new HOV lane will vary according to traffic speed, “allowing those whose value of time is high to substitute money for their time and reducing congestion on the ‘free’ lanes for the rest of us.” Just one example of how innovation can make life better for all.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: The latest twist in the ongoing saga of Dodd-Frank and its many inefficiencies. Now, the CFTC is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that CFTC shouldn’t be required to impose position limits on derivatives contracts—limits even many CFTC officials don’t deem necessary and have admitted may cause unintended consequences. We agree with the takeaway here: Officials shouldn’t “seek to enact rules regardless of their necessity or consequence.” For more, see our 10/12/2012 cover story, “Dodd Frankly, That’s Dumb.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: Hyperbolic tone aside, this is a concise account of the politicking likely to dominate this week’s EU summit—between Spain, Eurobonds and Germany’s proposal to give a European Commissioner veto power over national budgets, officials will have plenty to wrangle over. We’d merely add that while Germany does have substantial skin in the game, as outlined in the last couple paragraphs, this gives German officials every incentive to continue compromising as needed to support the currency union. For more, see today’s cover story, “Capitalism, the Capitol and Capitals.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Income inequality is a political problem, not an economic scourge. The evidence a widening gap may shorten expansions is scant at best. Consider: According to NBER data, median and average post-1980 US economic expansions are about twice as long as those in the seven decades preceding it.

Market Misperceptions
By , Taipei Times, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our issue isn’t with the reporting here, which is nicely objective, but with the logic behind the Taiwanese government’s intervention in equity markets. Government purchases of Taiwanese equities might have helped curb short-term volatility a bit, but there’s scant evidence this was necessary—short-term swings in either direction don’t predict future returns. Markets could easily have resumed their upward trajectory without the extra meddling.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Four years after its enactment, it seems Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax’s primary achievements are raising home buying costs and dissuading many Toronto residents from purchasing new homes. Granted, the government’s primary goal appears to be curbing alleged speculation rather than raising revenue, but lowering home price volatility doesn’t do anyone much good if higher administrative costs prevent people from buying houses.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re rather confused by the Office for Budget Responsibility’s report, considering UK Treasury data show public spending has continued growing. In our view, the UK’s greater economic headwind is continued weakness in lending, likely tied to ongoing regulatory uncertainty. Easing regulatory pressures would likely do more for the UK economy than increasing public investment.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: We rather agree: These days, bureaucratic red tape prevents infrastructure projects from bringing much immediate boost to economic growth, and recent infrastructure plans seem too focused on old technology. Rather than pump funds into “the 21st-century equivalent of a new and improved national canal network,” governments should foster the development of information superhighways—preferably by making it easier for private firms to create and implement new technologies.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: It seems to us the Fed’s recent launch of QE3 has succeeded in stimulating inflation fears, though we wouldn’t expect much more than that to result. But despite the very accommodative Fed we’ve seen the past four years, inflation remains benign. And in September, the same held—headline CPI rose +0.6% in the month, but nearly all of this was due to food and energy costs, which are highly volatile. Core CPI, stripping out these most volatile components, rose a hugely unalarming +0.1% m/m.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Quite right, in our view. As Sweden’s Prime Minister put it, “it’s better to get it right than rush it through.” Rushing likely increases the likelihood officials create a solution in search of a problem.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting way to use market economics to solve problems when there are no prices involved—and potentially a way to save lives. But an even better solution? “Don’t ‘design’ a market; simply allow one.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: The perils of crony capitalism, continued. When the government chooses winners and losers, the consequences are myriad, often negative and occasionally bizarre.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/16/2012

MarketMinder's View: Permitting hydraulic fracturing seems a sensible step. US energy markets have benefited tremendously from cheap, abundant shale-based gas, and it’s likely the UK—where home heating fuel prices have risen recently—would reap similar benefits.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Protectionist practices like this can very well hurt those they aim to help. If “Romania’s agriculture needs investment,” as noted by the country’s minister, the source shouldn’t matter. If foreigners purchase farmland, they’ll likely plow substantial resources into production—a benefit for all involved.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: We see scant evidence of a “shortage of aggregate demand”—consumption is up globally, despite pockets of weakness. US consumers are healthy, and developing countries are yielding ever more middle-class and luxury consumers. We’d argue a massive wave of global supply-side reform would be more useful than a wave of fiscal stimulus.   

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Whether Basel III is simpler is debatable—forcing banks to build counter-cyclical capital buffers, for one, seems overly complicated—but it sure is stronger and could thus prove a solution in search of a problem. Complying with Basel III could force banks to tighten credit, which is one reason some countries are delaying implementation.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: While the “fragmentation” of the global economy and corresponding risks to growth are likely overstated, we agree leaders should refocus on increasing global trade and knocking down barriers to growth— like onerous banking regulation—and champion principles that would strengthen “free markets, free people and free trade.”

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: Portugal is moving ahead with a new budget to meet bailout terms—an important step forward. Though these adjustments may prove difficult in the short term, they should help Portugal become more competitive over time.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at the evolution of China’s economic policy and its slow embrace of the private sector. Now, we wouldn’t suggest this evolution is set in stone, but that Mr. Zhang has been able to formulate and teach his theories deemphasizing government’s economic utility in centrally planned China is noteworthy.

Sensible Stories
By , CNBC, 10/15/2012

MarketMinder's View: In the eurozone’s latest compromise, it appears Greece’s creditors are willing to grant Greece extra time to enact the next round of public sector cuts. This is yet more evidence of the prevailing will to prevent the eurozone’s disorderly collapse.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: This article seemingly interchangeably uses the terms “austerity” and “contractionary”—driving too great an emphasis on government’s role in causing economic outcomes.  In our view, the eurozone’s growth issues stem far more from a lack of competitiveness than a failure to spend enough government money.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: China’s boycott of Japanese cars is a prime example of protectionism likely unintentionally harming production at home—a common feature of most protectionist policies, which typically hurt all parties involved more than they help the intended beneficiary.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Spending money on state-owned companies and state infrastructure may be politically popular in Poland but is likely economically a net negative in the sense it likely hinders growth and prevents private sector job growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: A classic case study in why the government’s attempts to engineer outcomes are usually fraught with unintended consequences—and in this case, fraud. A far better means of achieving such ends is allowing the free market room enough to develop such solutions on its own—history shows it’s reliably done that since … always.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: This enlightened revision of a New York Times article on US-Chinese solar panel trade reveals a seemingly overlooked result of tariffs on Chinese solar panels: the additional (and unnecessary, in our view) cost to American consumers. Sometimes seeing the negative effects of protectionism is as simple as word substitution.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: More proof the eurozone economy can grow in some areas, even with declines in others—and evidence “Europe has made ‘significant progress’ in overcoming the crisis,” as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble asserted earlier this week.

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest by MarketMinder editorial staff member, Todd Bliman, on the misperceptions created by too ardently adhering to political ideology. After all, most may agree ideology is blinding … except for theirs.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: “Today, outdated US tax rules make it harder for US companies to succeed against international competitors”—agreed. But hopefully politicians recognize it’s not just the overall rate, but the structure of the overall corporate tax system that presents some barriers to US companies’ ability to grow and compete globally.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we’d agree central banks globally certainly haven’t done much (if any) harm and have largely remained appropriately accommodative in a slow growth environment, we completely disagree their actions are creating an illusion of underlying, fundamental strength. Rather, we’d argue economic fundamentals (which exist and are relatively strong) are underappreciated by investors—which helps explain the market’s overall upward trajectory despite persistent skepticism.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: Beware headlines like this one, which make it seem as though Germany’s economy’s already shrinking—which isn’t yet the case, though it certainly could happen. As the opening line clarifies, “Europe’s economic outlook darkened further Thursday when top economists slashed their growth forecasts for Germany and warned that public support for more financial aid to struggling countries was evaporating.” (Italics added.) That’s not the same thing as actual contraction—far from it. Given the steps Germany’s taken domestically and the eurozone has taken collectively, it’s possible Europe as a whole continues muddling through.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re rather befuddled by an argument which goes something like, “Well, since we’ll still be hurt by this tax even if we don’t impose it ourselves, we might as well jump on the bandwagon.” Furthermore, the tax’s origin is seemingly in an emotionally driven desire to exact “revenge” against the banks, rather than sound economic reasoning—shaky ground indeed for legislation. For more, see our 10/10/12 cover story, “This One Goes to 11.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree housing’s made some nice progress lately, and that progress provides another economic tailwind to the US economy. But in our view, it’s a stretch from there to the suggestion housing’s recovery will drive an enormous upsurge in the total US economy—the reality is it’s just not a big enough contributor to total US output for that to be terribly likely. Though combined with other factors, we do think it likely US growth continues (and possibly accelerates) moving forward.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: Banking regulations are undoubtedly a crucial component of efficiently operating capital markets. But the changes proposed in standards like Basel III have the potential to significantly alter banks’ ability to effectively meet loan demand—and regulators would be well-advised to move cautiously in implementing any new, stricter standards.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree tax cuts would likely spur at least Germany’s economy—with potential spillover effects on its neighbors.

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: Economic opening—particularly to foreign investment—no doubt benefits both local businesses and economic activity as well as foreign participants. The trend toward increased economic openness in Asia is one worth watching.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest contribution to The Street on the tendency—on both sides of the aisle—to stretch the truth in political discourse. Especially debates.

Sensible Stories
By , The Examiner, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: While slightly hyperbolic, the overarching point is rather right on, in our view: Attempting to legislate winners and losers for politically popular reasons primarily ends up in higher prices for everyone—and doesn’t guarantee the chosen “winner” actually wins.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 10/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at Germany’s energy industry and some of the challenges it faces as the government intervenes and attempts to dictate future direction—in that sense, it highlights effectively the perils attendant upon such government attempts.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s true the fiscal cliff would phase in gradually—if it even happens at all—but the notion it’s an automatic recession trigger is off base, in our view. Moreover, considering all of Congress has incentive to avoid the cliff, we continue to believe politicians ultimately agree on a workaround. For more, see our recent column, “A Closer Look at the Fiscal Cliff.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Global Economic Intersection, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: Actually, we’d argue these 10 charts don’t say much of anything about the current state of housing. In our view, a much simpler analysis yields a more accurate conclusion: Home prices are finally rising again, and home supply is near record lows, so even modest increases in demand should nicely boost prices from here. Not that improved housing will be a huge economic boost, but it is an underappreciated positive.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s a nice idea, but simply increasing public investment isn’t the way to boost European industry. Manufacturing activity tends to flow where productivity is high, labor cheap and costs of doing business not burdensome. Continued reforms to make EU economies more competitive are likely a far better means of attracting manufacturers.

Market Misperceptions
By , Der Spiegel, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: A rather misguided demand, in our view—rushing into a pan-eurozone banking regulatory scheme likely increases the odds of unintended consequences. If eurozone officials move forward with their banking union, we’d argue they’re better off going as slowly as needed to find the right approach.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we wrote in March, though Ireland’s Barryroe field was discovered decades ago, only recently did development become economical. Now, it seems modern discovery and extraction techniques will help the field yield enough crude to not only make Ireland self-sufficient in oil, but a net oil exporter. Behold the benefits of high oil prices.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: Cutting taxes and public waste and reforming labor markets seem like sensible ways to boost Italy’s productivity and overall competitiveness—the issue of primacy (to varying degrees) in all the PIIGS.

Sensible Stories
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: As this piece shows, Europe’s flexible labor markets benefit all involved. Not only can folks easily emigrate to find work, but firms in destination countries benefit from the influx of qualified workers.  

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: On balance, this is a succinct synopsis of the regulatory uncertainty hampering UK lending these days. For more, see our recent column on Equities.com, “A Theory on UK Bank Lending.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: India pinpointed the flash crash’s origin to a single brokerage error—no algorithms, high frequency or other automated systems involved—and once the error was made, the system worked largely as intended. Yet the regulatory backlash seems likely to impede the adoption of these more advanced trading practices, which could have been one way to improve liquidity and open the country’s shallow capital markets to more investment.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: This argument perplexes us—yes, other economies are growing, and the US’s share of global GDP may narrow a bit over time. But that’s secondary to the depth and liquidity of US capital markets, which remains unparalleled. That likely doesn’t change any time soon.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re rather confused over how IMF's forecast for 3.3% global GDP growth is also a forecast for global recession. Fact is the world on balance, continues growing as strength in many areas offsets weakness in some.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is likely another example of shifting lines in European sand. Greece has already had a few months to implement these reforms, and our guess is, should Greece fail to meet the latest mandate, the EU and IMF likely redraw the line in the sand a little further out. And then a little further out again. And perhaps again.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUbusiness, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: “The FTT is a proposal which diminishes growth in Europe and increases financing costs for both governments and companies.... it would be better that we avoid such a tax.” So says Sweden’s finance minister, and it sounds about right to us. The proposed FTT seems designed more to stamp out “greed” than it is to enact any specific reform or benefit to consumers—making it a solution in search of a problem, in our view.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: On balance, this provides a fair accounting of the various state taxes, pollution requirements and limited capacity that make California gas more costly. We’d quibble with one proposed solution—allowing imports from other states with a 25-cent tax imposed—but other ideas like scrapping costly environmental regulatory requirements seem sound. And here’s another possible solution: California could scrap its onerous gas taxes—some of the highest in the country—to help give drivers some relief.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: We weren’t holding out hope Chavez would be exorcised from power in Venezuela, but it’s troubling to see another six years of chavismo that likely continues to set the country back. Global impact may be limited, but ordinary Venezuelans will likely continue bearing a heavy burden. For more, see our 09/19/2012 cover story, “Global Elections Update.”

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a sign recent moves to open up retail businesses to foreign ownership in India are already beginning to pay off. As multibrand retailers begin following Ikea’s lead, more positives likely come down the road in new jobs created, infrastructure built and quality of life improved for nearly all Indians.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 10/09/2012

MarketMinder's View: Portugal still has plenty of issues to sort through, but officials continue rewarding progress with flexibility and aid disbursements. Markets have also rewarded Portugal’s progress with lower sovereign yields, perhaps helping the nation meet its goal of returning to primary debt markets sometime next year.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: Beware politically expedient arguments gas prices (or any others) are the nefarious work of oil companies (or whatever supplier in question). On the contrary, the reality is gas prices are equally subject to economics—namely, supply and demand.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’d suggest the sound parts of this are largely outweighed by arguments based primarily on overstatement and supposition. For example, in the course of using the past to try to predict future market direction, the piece overemphasizes 10-year-old earnings data by presuming the Shiller PE is  a useful forecasting tool. It also wrongly accounts for US debt (gross versus net) and overstates the connection between debt and inflation.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve written before, sluggish growth is still growth and to some extent to be expected coming out of a global financial crisis of the depth and severity of 2008’s. That said, the prospects of continued growth are not as elusive as this piece would make it seem—particularly given pockets of relative strength like the US and even Germany, among others.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail , 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is overly dour and underestimates the resilience of both democracy and capitalism in the long run. Consider the Netherlands, where austerity measures have been enacted, yet voters seemingly chose to return a pro-euro government to power—a hopeful sign European citizens recognize the value in reforming their economies and boosting competitiveness, despite the interim dislocations and pain that may cause.

Sensible Stories
By , Kiplinger, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: “There are many different definitions of capitalism, yet in all its variations, at its core, capitalism is a system of continuous innovation. Combined with democracy, capitalism allows for what the late Herbert Stein emphasized as ‘the triumph of a society that, while retaining certain fundamental features, had adapted almost continuously, in one direction or another, to emerging problems, perceptions and theories.’” We couldn’t have said it much better.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we’d caution against relying overly on measures like the VIX, among others, we do agree folks seem firmly skeptical of markets, which historically is a sign there’s room for a bull to run.

Sensible Stories
By , The Guardian, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: The Brits are taking some interesting steps eminently worth watching—overall, they seem relatively slanted toward business-friendly, which would likely ultimately prove helpful in restoring economic vibrancy in the UK.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: This piece highlights an interesting example of how fostering innovation can lead to potentially enormous economic efficiencies.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 10/08/2012

MarketMinder's View: The European Stability Mechanism was formally launched over the weekend to the tune of roughly €500 billion—which should provide European officials pretty substantial firepower to continue working through struggling nations’ economic issues.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Forecasts like these should always be taken with a grain of salt—especially since many of the budget cuts in the “fiscal cliff” aren’t dollar-for-dollar cuts, but cuts to projected future spending increases. Moreover, politicians have every incentive to find a workaround, though negotiations may go down to the wire or extend past January 1 if Congress decides to kick the can a few times. For more, see our 07/18/2012 research analysis, “A Closer Look at the Fiscal Cliff.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: While many may liken India’s “flash crash” Friday to the supposed dangers of high frequency trading, fact is the market recovered almost all of its losses by close of market—using it as an excuse to limit HFT seems a solution in search of a problem, especially considering the benefits of HFT, like more liquidity and more efficient pricing.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 10/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: We pretty much only agree with this: “Implementing multiple exchange-rate mechanisms within the eurozone is no simple matter and won't cure the fundamental ills affecting Europe.” In our view, these fundamental ills—the competitiveness gaps between core and peripheral nations—need addressing more than any hypothetical question of currency.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Notably, the rate fell because job growth beat expectations—a welcome development after last month’s improvement was tied more to a shrinking labor force. Overall, though unemployment is a late-lagging indicator and doesn’t presage future economic health, today’s report is yet more evidence of the economy’s recent strength.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Not only does WTO membership increase Laos’s global trade options, but it also forces Laos’s economy to become much more open—lowering tariffs and other trade barriers to comply with WTO rules should benefit all Laotians over time.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 10/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder’s managing editor, Lara Hoffmans, discussing the reality (and rarity) of lost decades.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: On the other hand, isn’t it possible Spain doesn’t actually much need a bailout at the moment? After all, it’s already secured a provisional line of credit to backstop its struggling banks, its commitment to economic reform remains (for the time being, at least) fairly steady and it has several other facilities in place aimed at shoring up the financial sector and regional governments. For more, see our 10/01/2012 column, “No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: Greece and the troika may very well currently disagree on terms for Greece’s next aid tranche—but that’s a movie we’ve seen several times before. And if anything, deadlines have proven eminently moveable throughout the eurozone crisis—in our view, a positive enabling decision makers to compromise and avoid moving precipitously and causing unnecessary harm. At this point, there’s little reason to believe this time proves much different.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: Ensuring adequate bank capital levels is undoubtedly critical for overall financial sector health. But going too far in the opposite direction—requiring banks maintain overly high capital ratios—can have unintended adverse effects, like hampering lending and forcing banks to further deleverage. And it would seem particularly unnecessary at the moment given banks currently have overall relatively healthy balance sheets.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: We largely agree expansionary monetary policies globally are unlikely to spark immediate, rampant inflation given widespread slack in capacity utilization and employment. That said, we highly doubt fiscal policy is the magic cure for economies’ current ills—there’s no lack of global government spending, either. What ultimately helps most is ensuring policies and regulations are encouraging to businesses and lenders, rather than detrimental.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: “I am struck by [America’s] amazing, enduring capacity to reinvent itself through technology, a tradition reaching back to Benjamin Franklin and George Washington’s science experiments.” Precisely the capacity near-guaranteeing that, despite all the perpetual uncertainties, economic and technological progress will continue and bring a rising tide, ultimately lifting all boats.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: India’s leaders continue taking steps which, though rather politically unpopular at the moment, are likely to ultimately help open the economy, spur progress and growth and thereby benefit its many citizens. It will be interesting to see whether politicians can avoid caving to popular pressure to reverse course.

Sensible Stories
By , Xinhua, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve discussed before, just because one part of the globe may be struggling economically doesn’t mean other areas can’t still grow just fine. And it seems Emerging Markets are to a large extent backfilling recently relatively lower demand from European nations, helping China mostly maintain its export level.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: The creation of a so-called bad bank in Spain is yet another step toward resolution of eurozone ills. If it works as planned, it could encourage lending in Spain, which would likely help grease the economic wheels.  As ever, Europe’s evolution remains a story to watch.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest contribution to The Street on Spain’s impending Catalan regional election.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: In a word: No. This piece vastly underestimates the impact of recent technological innovation—and the potential for more. For example, according to Moore’s law, electronics as we know them today will do far more for a fraction of the price. Innovations we can’t yet fathom will create new industries and revenue streams—all of which support plenty of future growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Considering real global GDP is at all-time highs and growing, we’re puzzled by the claim it’ll take six more years for the global economy “to get back to decent shape.” Yes, regions like Europe may take years to sort through ongoing issues, but regional issues have always existed and needn’t prevent continued global expansion.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Considering Greece is supposed to be cutting spending and privatizing state-owned interests, spending €100 million on a race track is headscratching. Perhaps Greece’s new privatization chief should auction the contract to private firms instead.

Market Misperceptions
By , Der Spiegel, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: There’s simply no evidence big banks are inherently “dangerous”—or that splitting retail and investment banking would have prevented 2008’s financial crisis. Lehman Brothers, cited in this article, was a pure investment bank. Forcing banks to ring-fence proprietary trading operations seems a solution in search of a problem. For more, see today’s cover story, “Songs We’ve Heard Before …

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Scrapping arcane customs rules; improving cross-border Internet commerce, energy markets and transportation; creating a pan-European online jobs portal and relaxing entrepreneurs’ credit burdens all seem sensible ways to boost competition—and ultimately, growth. If these measures can survive the debate process and take effect, the EU likely benefits over time.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though mere talk for now, financial-sector reforms would likely benefit India over time. That the government’s pursuing a reform agenda despite strong political opposition is encouraging. For more, see our 09/17/2012 cover story, “India’s Foreign Retail Ping Pong.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Globe and Mail, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: The many ways Canada has benefited from free trade with the US and Mexico should lay to rest the notion free trade somehow hurts more than it helps. For 25 years, all Canadians have enjoyed greater choice and cheaper goods, and Canada’s economy has benefited tremendously from increased capital flows and overall modernization. And, importantly, none of this has happened at the US’s expense—America has benefited, too.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: As this piece illustrates, markets—not government prodding and propping—will determine which industries survive and succeed. Rather than essentially spending money and saying “let there be batteries,” we’d argue the government should focus on supply-side reforms to help all US industries be more competitive.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Continued fund flows from equities to fixed income is just one indicator that investor sentiment remains pretty skeptical—a sign this bull market has room to run.

Market Misperceptions
By , Der Spiegel, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: There’s very little evidence, if any, that separating investing banking from retail banking would have prevented 2008’s global liquidity crunch or financial crisis—making it similarly unlikely splitting up or ring-fencing banks today would prevent future crises. In fact, it could exacerbate future liquidity crunches as banks don’t have access to the deep pools of liquidity and capital integrated banks frequently do.

Market Misperceptions
By , RTT News, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: Long term forecasts are rarely very reliable or accurate. Moreover, a focus on jobs alone instead of the economy as a whole seems to put the cart before the horse. We’d suggest instead focusing more on increasing economic freedom globally.

Market Misperceptions
By , NY Times, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: High frequency trading (HFT) isn’t the evil it’s often purported to be. In our view, it’s likely the victim of skepticism most new technologies face. But as this piece admits, HFT creates greater market liquidity and, consequently, allows prices to more accurately reflect stocks’ real values, among a number of other not insignificant benefits for markets and investors alike.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: This strikes us as yet another over-sensationalized piece, heralding a “critical week for the euro.” But if you’ve been paying attention to Europe for any part of the past three years, hardly a week goes by where someone doesn’t think as much. Further, paying such minute attention to day-by-day developments overlooks the fact European officials’ commitment to maintaining the euro has survived every such “critical week” thus far—making it pretty likely it does this time, too.

Sensible Stories
By , MarketWatch, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: Although there’s probably much political banter about the fiscal cliff ahead of the November election, in our view, it’s likely politicians continue kicking the can down the road, maintaining the status quo and delaying any real changes until later (perhaps much later). That said, we find little reason to fear the “fiscal cliff.” For more, see our 07/18/2012 column, “A Closer Look at the Fiscal Cliff.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree talk of “austerity” in Europe is largely overblown and, in many cases, ill-defined. “Four years after the worst of the financial panic and two and a half years after the euro crisis began in earnest, much of Europe remains stagnant or worse. No small part of the blame lies with the Content’s intellectual consensus that the state’s books can be balanced and ‘growth’ ignited by continuing to plunder the private economy.” Well said.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: This concludes Georgia’s first truly democratic election and is another step forward for the young country. Although power jockeying likely continues, in our view, it’s highly possible the country’s system of checks and balances protects continued steps toward democratic change. For more, see today’s cover story, “Fisher Investments Reviews Global Elections.”

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News, 10/02/2012

MarketMinder's View: After decades of stifling economic and political oppression, this marks another positive step in Myanmar’s gradual transition to capitalism and democracy. And that’s something we can all cheer for.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we agree the measures in France’s 2013 budget don’t seem likely to foster much economic growth, calling it “fiscal hell” seems more than a stretch. And while France does have some economic competitiveness issues, it’s nowhere near on par with Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Thus, rather than the solutions proposed here, we’d argue France should focus on making itself more business friendly. For more, see today’s cover story, “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Barron’s, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: Neither the VIX nor the put/call ratio is a reliable forward-looking indicator—moreover, short-term volatility is unpredictable and timing it with any accuracy near-impossible. But timing corrections isn’t necessary to achieving investment success—remaining disciplined and capturing long-term upswings despite the volatility along the way is far more crucial. 

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: After three years of heated politicking, more disagreement among eurozone officials doesn’t surprise. But we’ve also seen three years of compromises, and it seems likely leaders find ways to compromise as needed on the issues described here. And continued compromise buys troubled nations more time to work through their underlying issues and become more competitive.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re unsure how, exactly, Q2’s 1.3% GDP growth and two contracting monthly data points are evidence of a US recession. Though headline growth is slow, slow growth is still growth, and most private-sector components of the economy continue showing underappreciated strength—which doesn’t square with a coming recession.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: This piece rather overstates the impact of the payroll tax holiday’s sunsetting. No doubt, extra cash in consumers’ pockets would be nice. But like most small, temporary tax holidays, the payroll tax’s two percentage point reduction doesn’t seem to have had a huge positive impact, and it seems difficult to argue its ending would bring the consequences described here. For more, see our 12/30/2011 column, “Calling Time Out on the Payroll Tax Debate.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: As well-intentioned as the rule in question may be, setting arbitrary limits on commodities derivatives trading could create price distortions, ultimately exacerbating the problem the rule aims to solve. Repealing the rule would likely promote more efficient pricing.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: US manufacturing’s September expansion doesn’t necessarily presage continued factory growth from here—monthly data are volatile—but strength in the survey’s more forward-looking components suggests fears of a deepening manufacturing contraction are premature.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/01/2012

MarketMinder's View: After negotiating for months, it seems Greece’s coalition leaders have finally agreed on the latest round of debt and deficit reduction measures—a key step in their efforts to continue receiving bailout funds.