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Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: We agree this legislative shuffle is quite silly, but this particular cliff likely doesn’t go down as the article suggests. For more, see our 12/31/2012 cover story, “The Milkman Cometh.” 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: This strikes us as particularly hyperbolic—particularly given its biggest supporting evidence is seemingly consumer sentiment surveys, which, as we’ve said before, are at best coincident and are more likely backward looking. Not to mention they overlook entirely economic fundamentals, which for the time being remain rather robust, whether we take a “fiscal cliff” dive or not.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: These arguments seem based primarily on assumptions with little supporting evidence. While we wouldn’t argue there’d be no consequences for businesses (big or small) should we go over the “fiscal cliff,” at this point, it’s likely many businesses already have plans of action for 2013—meaning the fiscal cliff alone likely won’t create quite the crunch asserted here.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: This should actually provide a measure of relief. First, the raters are hardly prescient forecasters. Second, if the cliff (a political invention that can be easily altered or moved even after the fact) is the biggest threat, the world economy must be doing just fine.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: It seems rather ironic the French constitutional court found President Hollande’s 75% top tax rate unconstitutional on the grounds it was … unfair. Fairness aside, our biggest gripe with such measures is they frequently have the opposite of the intended effect anyway. That the court struck it down at the outset potentially saves France the pain of learning that lesson the harder way.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: While there’s no guarantee these promises actually materialize—China’s turning over most of its leadership, after all—we’re at least encouraged by the Chinese central bank’s talk of continuing freeing Chinese markets in the coming year. For more see our 11/30/2012 article on The Street, “China’s Other Transition.”

Sensible Stories
By , AE Ideas, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: “According to the American Association of Railroads, shipments of oil by rail this year will top 540,000 carloads, which will be a 46% increase over last year’s count of about 370,000 carloads. And the number of train cars carrying oil this year will be almost double the number of carloads in 2010.” More evidence supply creates demand.

Sensible Stories
By , Reason, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting (and largely spot-on) assessment of the perceived income inequality problem in the US. For example: “Yet it is far from clear that inequality is a bad thing when it’s the result of market forces. Think about it: Do Bill Gates’ billions take bread from your mouth, or have Microsoft products allowed you to put bread in your wallet by making you more productive and the goods and services you buy cheaper?”

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/31/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we expected, lawmakers seem to be eying an extension of the 2008 farm bill set to expire at yearend—a largely sensible move in our view. For more on the “dairy cliff,” see our 12/31/2012 cover story, “The Milkman Cometh.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: First, the suggestion politics is now “more contentious than ever” ignores going on two centuries of US political history. Second, the underlying assumption such gridlock is inherently negative is misleading—on the contrary, overall, less extreme legislation (typically the end result of gridlock) is preferable from a market perspective than the extremes generally seen when politicians agree (two of the scarier words in combination, in our view). 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our quibble here isn’t that milk prices will rise—they very well might. Or maybe because of other factors folks aren’t considering, they fall. Regardless, this is a great example of the inherent difficulty in legislating—and the risk we run in relegating to politicians decisions that are far more efficiently (and, in our view, equitably) made by a free market.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: We find little to agree with here—in particular, we disagree with the policy prescriptions toward the end. In a nutshell, increasing government involvement in the private sector’s functioning is a recipe for (over the long run) less growth and unintended consequences, not the reverse.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: An excellent illustration of how supply creates demand. In this case, as US energy production has boomed recently, that’s translated to increased demand for means of transporting that energy—including tanker trains, pipelines, water transportation, etc.—leading to accelerating growth in those downstream industries.

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve long said, more trade is beneficial for more than just those who directly participate. Resuming talks means the chances of more progress in this area increase.

Sensible Stories
By , AE Ideas, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: “As a direct result of America’s large and growing reserves of natural gas, there has been a dramatic decline in greenhouse-gas emissions. The fact is, carbon emissions in the United States have fallen by 13 percent over the last five years and are now at their lowest level since 1992, around the time when many of today’s college students were born.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/28/2012

MarketMinder's View: US economic data continue to be relatively resilient—an overall positive sign for continued expansion ahead.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Add to the cacophony surrounding the “fiscal cliff” more noise on the debt ceiling. As we discussed during last August’s tussle, though, the debt ceiling carries little in the way of true economic or fiscal implications and is almost entirely political. For more, see our 07/12/2011 column, “Full Faith and Credit.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: We don’t disagree suspending tax increases would overall be preferable to higher rates. But we quibble with the notion the failure to reach a deal by the end of the year causes the massive dislocations alluded to. For one thing, we’re unaware of any changes in marginal tax rates that have singlehandedly caused a bear market or recession. For more, see our 12/19/2012 cover story, “Cliff’s Fisca-la-la-la Follies.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: To believe unemployment must fall for GDP to grow is to believe something of a fallacy. Rather, as economies continue growing (as represented rather imperfectly by a positive GDP growth rate), unemployment gradually (though usually at a decent lag) falls. The chances Italy’s the exception to this observable historical trend are slim to none.

Market Misperceptions
By , EUBusiness, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: An effectively protectionist measure, preventing foreigners from buying farmland likely does more harm than good. Consider: Aiming to keep farmland prices artificially higher means fewer Hungarian farmers interested in buying land can likely afford it. A freer market in the long run benefits all participants, whether domestic or foreign.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Political comments aside, we essentially agree with the conclusion here: “If you build a business-friendly environment, jobs and people will come.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: Political comments aside, we essentially agree with the conclusion here: “If you build a business-friendly environment, jobs and people will come.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: As with most government policies, Fed monetary policy includes the possibility of unintended consequences—this year, exceptionally low interest rates have made junk bonds increasingly popular as investors search for yield. The side benefit of that? It’s been incredibly affordable for businesses to borrow money—which should in theory help them grow more efficiently over time.

Sensible Stories
By , Project Syndicate, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at some of India’s challenges and opportunities ahead.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 12/27/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we largely disagree with Dr. Krugman’s discussions of income inequality, we definitely agree long-term projections should be taken with a significant grain of salt.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, the data here are fine. However, the rather rampant speculation as to the dip in spending from a year ago is misguided and based mostly on speculation. What’s important is sales overall continue to grow.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, protectionist measures to stymie gas exports largely miss the many benefits of permitting it. For more, see our 12/08/2012 cover story, “The Harder to Discern Benefits of Natural Gas Exports.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this piece confuses social and cultural conditions with capitalism and free market-oriented thinking, positing they’re somehow incompatible. However, we’d argue capitalism has done more to advance Asian society (and the world as a whole) than any other system.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: We don’t agree with everything here, especially in light of the many ways to interpret these data. However, what’s true is overall investor sentiment continues to be rather muted, a behavioral force that’s led many folks to buy ultra-low yielding bonds instead of stocks. As folks become more confident  given strong fundamentals globally, we expect more money to begin flowing toward stocks in the near future.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: One of the small ironies of the Energy industry is you need energy to extract energy. Historically, diesel fuel has powered most operating drill rigs. But now, it seems some drillers are aiming to benefit from the fruits of their own labor and employ vastly cheaper natural gas.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: “Federal subsidies for new wind-power generation will end on Dec. 31 unless they are renewed by Congress. For the sake of our economy and the smooth operation of the energy market, Congress should let the subsidies lapse. They waste taxpayer money, subvert the allocation of capital, and generate a social cost many times the price tag of the subsidies themselves.” Yup.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: Professor Boudreaux extols capitalism, innovation and Styrofoam.

Sensible Stories
By , Rational Optimist, 12/26/2012

MarketMinder's View: We find most “peak” theories lacking historical support and dismissive of myriad innovations over time that have proved them wrong. However, here’s a peak theory we generally agree with: Thanks to advances in modern technology and innovation, we produce more agriculture today with the same or fewer crop acres—a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 12/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this vastly overdramatizes the impact of the so-called fiscal cliff. For one, it’s far from a certainty the new year would begin poorly if there’s no deal—there’s scant history of higher taxes negatively impacting markets and we’ve already seen bigger reductions in government spending in the last two years than the cliff would entail. What’s more, the cliff can be retroactively eroded.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: This article is basically fine, it’s more the Fed policy and policymakers’ reaction that’s a misperception. Simply, focusing exclusively on one group (in this case, borrowers) is not a good basis for designing policy. And it’s highly likely the lenders are still going to demand a profit to take the risk of extending a loan.

Sensible Stories
By , Reason, 12/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: Correct. Incentives matter, and if you tax something (income) you tend to get less of it (as people shift how they earn, move out of state, etc.).

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: We aren’t surprised there’s been no resolution yet. And there needn’t be. The January 1 deadline is arbitrary, and since the fiscal cliff is a political invention, it can be moved after the fact. For more, see today’s cover story, “The Mayan Cliff.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/24/2012

MarketMinder's View: To be sure, there are many hurdles to clear before any free trade deal between the US and EU becomes a reality. And it may not materialize at all. However, the concept is economically sound and—particularly if it goes beyond tariff-level restrictions and loosens regulatory barriers—would be a solid plus for both.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: Political negotiations always move in fits and starts—this latest hiccup shouldn’t lower the overall likelihood of compromise. Both parties still have a vested interest in avoiding the full brunt of the fiscal cliff.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: Consumer confidence, as ever, is a backward-looking indicator—and it often doesn’t match retail sales data. Watch what people do, not what they say.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: We wholeheartedly agree with the larger point of this piece—free markets are overall preferable to the government controlled approach. However, we quibble with the notion free market capitalism hasn’t left most everyone, overall and on average better off—despite the economy’s ups and downs in the shorter term. While income distributions have certainly changed over time, living standards worldwide have benefitted from the free market approach.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: There’s just scant evidence the fiscal cliff automatically and imminently leads to recession—our economy’s weathered public spending cuts for the past two years, and though tax hikes are a negative, the private sector has enough underlying strength to at least partly offset the impact of higher taxes. Moreover, history shows similar situations lack real punch to derail the global economy or markets. For more, see our 12/7/2012 commentary, “Ken Fisher on Falling Off a Cliff and Hitting a Ceiling.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: November’s strong income, consumption and durable goods reports are the latest signs of the US private sector’s underlying strength.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: We rather agree with the UK’s Business Secretary—reintroducing the possibility of even stricter restrictions on banks’ business models would fuel regulatory uncertainty, likely exacerbating existing headwinds against lending. This ongoing debate bears watching.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: Existing home sales’ rising to their highest level in three years reflects the housing sector’s considerable recent strength. Though the economy has come this far without a robust housing recovery, from here, even minor housing improvements can be a nice tailwind—but not absolutely necessary for broader economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 12/21/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our latest for The Street, on why the UK’s recession isn’t a blueprint for a post-fiscal cliff US.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 12/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Instead of calling our slow but steady expansion a “Crock-Pot® recovery” needing a consumer-spending boost, we’d rather look at underlying corporate and private sector strength and the (slim) likelihood of (too much) economic headwind from concerns like the fiscal cliff when considering how 2013 may fare. As for concerns over the asserted “impact of the Fed’s quantitative easing programs is diminishing,” we’d suggest this fundamentally misunderstands the contractionary nature of QE.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 12/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is a tour de force in overstatement, in our view. Even if we went off the fiscal cliff in full, which is highly unlikely, the effects aren’t likely to be nearly as dire as discussed here. Second, these so-called “more effective solutions” are actually still trying to find a problem. With interest rates at less than 2% on 10-year government borrowings, it’s fairly apparent a debt crisis isn’t exactly in the immediate offing.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: We generally agree with this sentiment: “The threat of retaliatory actions by regulators, on both sides of the Pacific, may create a regulatory protectionism that will harm both economies.” This is a tiff in need of a diplomatic resolution. But at least for the moment, it seems US auditors and some smaller Chinese publicly traded firms are being caught in a bit of regulatory limbo—likely costing Chinese firms probably needed capital and potentially driving myriad other unintended consequences.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite (fairly wonky) calculations, an upward revision of Q3 GDP shows that by at least one measure, the overall trend of US economic growth continued last quarter—in fact, growth accelerated relatively sharply based on Q3’s figures.

Sensible Stories
By , Washington Post, 12/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: There are aspects of this we quibble with, such as the suggestion the US should take advantage of low interest rates to implement stimulus spending. Fact is we just don’t think that suggestion is remotely timely in a period when we’ve had three years of economic growth. But the central point—that ultra-low interest rates signify the fact US debt and deficits aren’t a looming crisis—is sound. Therefore, it seems more sensible to make macroeconomic decisions based on those economic realities—not often overstated debt fears.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/20/2012

MarketMinder's View: Spain’s reforms have no doubt been trying for those affected, but it seems there are nascent signs of a payoff. Increasing foreign corporate investment in Spain, reduced labor costs and other competiveness-oriented reforms could serve as an incremental tailwind for Spain’s economy looking forward.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: In case there was any lingering doubt, the fact power companies and their customers will now have to subsidize those with solar panels (who already receive government subsidies!) pretty clearly illustrates the industry’s lack of economic viability. When any industry’s survival depends on a whole lot of political drive, chances are it’s not economical. Markets, not politics, should drive developments in energy markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: Possibly—budget cuts may weigh on headline growth, and incrementally higher taxes do pose headwinds. But fiscal cliff deal or no, the US private sector’s underlying strength—as demonstrated by corporate profits and business investment—should help pull the US economy through. As it has since 2010, when falling government spending began detracting from GDP.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: We aren’t sure if it’s accurate to state we have one bubble—never mind three. Yes, at some juncture it’s likely Treasury yields rise, which could hurt bond owners. But there’s not much evidence this would have severe economic repercussions—and even if yields rise a good deal, US borrowing costs would remain manageable.  As for the other two supposed bubbles, overall and on average, muni debt markets are healthier than this suggests, and there’s not much evidence the amount of student loans in forbearance—much of which is on the books of GSEs rather than commercial lenders—is much of an economic drag.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we saw when S&P downgraded the US last year, ratings agencies’ decisions are typically reactionary, backward-looking and needn’t automatically send yields higher. In fact, S&P’s occurred at the beginning of a sharp drop in yields. Capital markets—a much better indicator of reality and the ultimate arbiter of borrowing costs—likely understand the US debt markets remain the world’s deepest, most liquid and most stable. That’s true whether or not politicians dither over the fiscal cliff.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, the title says it all. History shows “there have been few more powerful forces for improving health in the history of humanity” than free trade, and it’s highly unlikely the US’s recent trade agreements with Asian and Latin American countries—or a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership—will prove that wrong.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: Allowing foreign investors to trade in Chinese futures markets should boost foreign investment in capital markets overall, as it allows investors to hedge and manage risk. This would be another positive step toward opening up their economy—if the expectation becomes a reality. As ever, China’s slow financial liberalization bears watching.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: As fiscal cliff negotiations progress, both sides appear incrementally more willing to compromise on supposedly untouchable items. With both parties having a vested interest in reaching a deal, more compromises are likely on the horizon. For more, see our 12/19/2012 cover story, Cliff’s Fisca-la-la-la Follies.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/19/2012

MarketMinder's View: In developing countries like Indonesia, public infrastructure investment is an important source of economic growth. Hence, Indonesia’s initiative to build out infrastructure on its eastern islands seems a sensible move. Over time, a more complete infrastructure should attract foreign investment and support domestic production—in essence, building infrastructure paves the way (pun intended) for the private sector to grow and thrive.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: The world is never free of geopolitical strife, but for decades, markets have proven resilient. That goes for Middle East tensions, territorial disputes and saber rattling as well as armed conflict. For more, revisit our research analysis, “Geopolitics and Markets – Israel and Iran.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: By being rather dour on higher stock buybacks, this piece misses that they can be a bullish feature for stocks as they reduce overall stock supply. Moreover, there’s no reason stock buybacks and capital expenditures can’t continue in tandem, as they have this year.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: The reporting here is fine, but the news is concerning: While Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban supposedly amended recent legislation that threatened the central bank’s independence, it seems his undue influence at the bank remains intact. Four “non-executive members” he appointed in 2011 continue overruling bank President Andras Simor and forcing Orban’s monetary policy aims—contrary to what Simor and his deputies believe is in Hungary’s best interest.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: With 2012’s final auction in the books, Spain’s met all its funding targets and then some. Not all the auctions went great, and yields spiked at times, but the year overall went ok—exactly what Spain needed to stay afloat.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: It appears both sides are inching toward compromise on extending the 2001/2003 tax cuts, which would ease one big piece of the so-called fiscal cliff. With politicians moderating, it remains highly unlikely the US goes off the cliff. For more, see our recent column on Equities.com.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: Ireland continues hitting deficit targets, and it still appears on track for full-scale return to primary debt markets. But with growth forecasts dimming a bit, we agree Ireland—like Portugal and Spain—would likely benefit from a bit more troika flexibility over its tax policies.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/18/2012

MarketMinder's View: An in-depth look at one of the key issues in Wednesday’s South Korean presidential election, chaebol reform. How Korea’s next government addresses corporate corruption and the ownership structure of these mega-conglomerates will be key to the nation’s economic emergence and continued growth. For more, see our recent column on Equities.com.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 12/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: This largely misinterprets enthusiasm for shale gas developments, in our view. Rather than holding onto them as the only positive in a world of negatives, we’d suggest such developments are rather a hallmark of free-market, capitalist societies, wherein individuals’ creativity and innovation help spark the next big idea that changes the way we do business in some form for the foreseeable future. Until the next innovation comes along—and that is a process that is a perpetual force for societal good.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 12/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: The tongue-in-cheek recommendation here starts from the presumption US federal debt levels are either problematic now or soon will be. Yet the multi-generational low yields on Treasurys suggest that isn’t the case. Oh, and the central theme here does highlight an interesting, but oft-overlooked point: The asset side of the US balance sheet easily outweighs the liability side. Taken together, this alludes to the fact our debt levels are still quite affordable—not indicating we ought to consider selling off state-owned lands.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 12/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve alluded to many times before, vaguely written regulations can often become solutions in search of problems. The reason many countries are delaying Basel III implementation is it will significantly impact their ability to lend or invest money and help further grow the economy—and the slow-go approach is preferable, in our view. For more, see our 12/11/2012 cover story, “Regulation Deliberation.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: Despite global credit downgrades by ratings agencies, markets haven’t been much impacted as yields remain steady and borrowing costs for European countries continue to drop. For more on recent credit downgrades, see our 11/21/2012 cover story, “Moody’s Muddled French Markets.”

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: It seems trade is poised to get incrementally freer, with a deal close at hand between the EU and its 13th largest trade partner, Singapore.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/17/2012

MarketMinder's View: Political events ahead will be worth watching as Japanese elections conclude and Shinzo Abe moves into position as Prime Minister (again). As he acknowledges, the road ahead is likely a challenging one for Japan.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: Given we’re skeptical the fiscal cliff has much impact on the US’s economy, the assumption it will negatively affect Asian economic growth seems overly exaggerated. Never mind that if Asian countries feel any pinch from the US, they likely look elsewhere to supplement growth, mitigating the overall global impact.

Market Misperceptions
By , MSN Money, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Considering politicians are generally in the business of maintaining their seats, it’s in their best interest to avoid the fiscal cliff. Moreover, there’s a whole host of overstatements made here offered with little to no supporting evidence—for example, “uncertainty over the cliff has weighted on markets,” which is totally un-provable, especially considering stocks haven’t been terribly weak recently.

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, it doesn’t much matter which credit ratings agency has or hasn’t downgraded France—historically, agencies’ credit ratings have been political decisions and/or reactionary. What matters most is investors’ appetite for French bonds and their tolerance for perceived risk, which usually is best relayed by markets, not Moody’s, Fitch or Standard and Poor’s.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New Republic, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: When considering taxes, we’d suggest focusing less on largely undefined social classes and more on tax revenue reality. Namely, when you tax something you typically get less of it, and raising taxes doesn’t guarantee some specific amount of revenue. In our view, the ideal tactic would be lower, flatter taxes for everyone.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: We largely agree common unemployment benefits and another fund for potentially struggling eurozone countries likely do little to address the real need for more economic competitiveness. But this also speaks to the high likelihood conversations about how best to ultimately “restructure” or “resolve” the eurozone’s issues continue for some time.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: That inflation remains so tame amid record Fed expansion policies speaks, in our view, to their inefficacy—and would seemingly indicate those fearing inflation aren’t likely to see it for some time. For more, see our 12/13/2012 cover story, “Ken Fisher on the Fed’s Un-Stimulus.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/14/2012

MarketMinder's View: Chinese manufacturing and thus-far strong Q4 growth demonstrate continued (not recovering) economic strength in China.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we don’t favor abrupt policy shifts one way or the other, it’s important to recall GDP growth figures aren’t directly equivalent to economic health and the focus on government spending is one reason why. The drag on headline GDP from government spending cuts is real and has happened in recent quarters, but this actually simply overshadows the health of the private sector.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: We don’t object whatsoever to the notion of a solar panel on every home, so long as consumers choose to purchase them because they’re economical sans government subsidies. Through feed-in tariffs, direct production and installation subsidies and tax credits, that’s simply not the case today.

Market Misperceptions
By , Yahoo! Finance, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: This argument is predicated on the belief there would be zero economic growth without Fed policy. But what if the reverse is the case? What if it’s possible we’d actually be experiencing faster growth if the Fed pursued different policies? For more, see today’s cover story, “Ken Fisher on the Fed’s Un-Stimulus.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: Given we don’t think the “fiscal cliff” actually much of a cliff, the answer is “doubtful.” That aside, though, we find arguments like this generally overlook the economic truism if you tax something, you most often get less of it. And with a tax like the one on estates, consider it’s a double-tax at that. The likelihood increasing it brings in the hoped-for revenues is rather dubious, in our view.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: The developments here will be eminently worth watching—how the EU goes about creating its bank supervisor (if it ultimately does agree) and whether that spurs tighter integration in other aspects of broad EU governance likely play a critical role in the EU’s long-term resilience.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: This makes a lot of sense: “Perhaps the most fundamental flaw in the emerging UK reforms is the premise, shared in Europe and the US, that there’s a class of financial firms that require bespoke resolution procedures at all. Determining in advance which institutions might need rescuing—the Basel-based Financial Stability Board even keeps a running list—is a bad starting point if the aim is to ensure that governments won’t actually be tempted to rescue them.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: Encouraging exploration and development of possible alternative energy sources—including natural gas—is a positive not only for the UK, but for any countries with whom it trades.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: An enlightened explanation of the primary pitfall of government-planned “experiments.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: Retail sales rebounded from a weaker October, highlighting the volatility of economic data—as well as the relative resilience and strength of American consumers, in spite of the current prevalence of political bluster.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 12/13/2012

MarketMinder's View: As we expected, Greece’s next tranche of aid was approved … and the eurozone continues muddling along and finding its way through an extraordinarily challenging morass.

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

MarketMinder's View: To paraphrase the Fed’s statement: The beatings will continue until morale improves. The policy direction of QE3 and Operation Twist is both deflationary and contractionary. For more, see our recent commentary at InvestorPlace, “QE3: Big Debate, Little Impact.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New Republic, 12/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: We have much to quibble with here—specifically that increasing taxes on the “rich” are likely to benefit the economy. Instead, we’d argue higher taxes would reduce incentives and productivity. Put simply, the notion that speculation by the rich drove the Great Recession lacks any real supporting evidence.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: It’s a categorical error to paint the eurozone with one broad brush, which underlies many of the assumptions here. Greece, simply, isn’t anything like Germany. Why is that important here? The specific issues driving Japan’s lost 17 years are quite different and country-specific. The eurozone, on the other hand, is 17 different nations with huge variances from one to another.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 12/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though Greece was unable to buy back as much debt as it would’ve liked, it seems fairly likely at this point it reached a sufficient level that its next aid tranche will be released later this week—and the Greek debt saga rolls slowly on. For more, see our 11/28/2012 cover story, “Greek Debt Deal, Take 43.7.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: That European officials recognize a slower pace to implementing major overhauls is preferable is a good thing, in our view. The more gradual approach allows markets time to digest impending changes and affords the private sector an opportunity to pose potential alternatives. For more, see today’s cover story, “Regulation Deliberation.

Sensible Stories
By , Equities.com, 12/12/2012

MarketMinder's View: MarketMinder Editorial Staff member Todd Bliman’s latest contribution to Equities.com discusses some under-the-radar details regarding the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.

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

MarketMinder's View: As successful individuals and businesses find ways to avoid paying higher taxes, France is getting a practical lesson in why incentives matter.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: The debt-ceiling provides Congressional parties with a powerful battering ram with which to exact various demands from their counterparts—meaning politicking is unlikely to abate anytime soon. But this piece neglects to recognize political discord has been nearly ever-present, though markets and the economy continue to march upward over time. For more, see our 10/11/2011 column, “It’s (Not Really Much) Different This Time.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Post, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: What this piece largely misses is the nation already has built-in checks and balances on spending—the budget process. The debt ceiling is merely an arbitrary limit placed by Congress on the US Treasury from issuing debt to finance what Congress has decided to spend over and above government revenues. For more, see our 12/10/2012 column on The Street, “Debt Ceiling Worries Are Overblown.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: The interpretation of global trade here suffers, in our view, from a few fatal flaws. For example, the notion “The $500 billion annual trade deficit is a major drag on domestic demand,” is fundamentally incorrect. The trade deficit shows US consumers demand foreign goods and can actually illustrate strengthening demand. The notion the US economy lacks demand because of purchases of imports is also a misperception. And there is no linkage between the trade deficit and employment or the trade deficit and budget deficit.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: To be sure, the US hasn’t recouped its entire investment in 2008’s TARP—substantial investments in US auto manufacturers, many smaller banks and homeowner aid remain. However, a major fear of the day—that taxpayer dollars would be funneled into banks and ultimately disappear forevermore—seem unlikely to truly materialize. For more, revisit our 03/16/2012 cover story, “Pulling Back (the) TARP.”

Sensible Stories
By , Businessweek, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: This piece highlights the folly of many of France’s moves to “crackdown on Finance.” For more, revisit our recent cover stories, “Hollande Taketh, Hollande Giveth” and “The (French) Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

Sensible Stories
By , Investor Place, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: Fisher Investments Research Analyst Michael Weston discusses the odd, seemingly contradictory policy direction behind the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing in this contribution to InvestorPlace.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 12/11/2012

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

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: While it seems to us this piece is a bit too strong, it does highlight the overwhelming political will to keep the euro intact—despite the numerous challenges it has faced the last three years. In the long run, it’s entirely possible (if not likely) some current members leave the euro. But the foreseeable future doesn’t seem to indicate that’s a likely outcome.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/11/2012

MarketMinder's View: Overall and on average, Chinese economic indicators the last few months continue to reflect stabilization and recovery. This is one more positive sign.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New Yorker, 12/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: Austerity may not be a panacea for every scenario, but this argument hinges on one key point—how “austerity” is defined. By most common definitions, it’s hard to argue the UK’s actually deployed much austerity over the past several years. For more, see our 12/06/2012 cover story, “Austerity in the UK?” and our 10/22/2012 research analysis “’Austerity’, Lending and the UK Economy.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg News, 12/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: China’s exports may have grown less than expected, but in our view, these typically volatile data don’t necessarily warrant more stimulus to aid recovery. For example, while these data were being released, so were Chinese retail sales and industrial production, which each grew nicely. For more, see our 10/19/2012 cover story, “(Still) No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 12/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though Italy now faces some political uncertainly, the argument the eurozone crisis will now be rekindled is a bit overwrought, in our view. We’ve seen many examples of neighboring countries’ commitments to preserve the euro as well as political transitions—making it rather unlikely this is the development that alone sidetracks the progress that’s been made.

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

MarketMinder's View: This echoes a sentiment we’ve written about many times in the past—if you tax something, you’ll get less of it. Put simply, despite wildly variable marginal tax rates, the historical record shows US federal tax revenues tend to be quite stable. That said, we’re skeptical either party’s plan necessarily meets their “goal,” considering both hinge on long-range forecasts. For more, see our 10/01/2012 cover story, “Fiscal Cliff, Meet Fiscal Norm.”

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

MarketMinder's View: Events in Venezuela certainly warrant watching as the country likely faces important political changes in the coming months and years.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 12/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: In an effort to help grow the Afghan economy, some US companies are allowing entrepreneurs to purchase franchises overseas. Though there’s significant room for growth in the country, steps like this would allow for more capitalism, ultimately providing the country an opportunity to achieve more of that growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 12/10/2012

MarketMinder's View: This piece highlights how innovative technologies like tablet computers and e-readers are changing the face of education in countries like African nations, where access to information has been limited in the past—yet another of relatively unfettered capitalism’s benefits.

Market Misperceptions
By , NPR, 12/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: We disagree “letting the fiscal chips fall where they may would be better than doing nothing at all to address the nation's long-term deficits.” Setting aside the cliff’s potential impact, US debt is very affordable thanks to historically low interest costs—and that’s what matters most to debt sustainability. For more on the fiscal cliff and US debt (and why neither are truly impending economic disasters), see our 12/07/2012 cover story, "Ken Fisher on Falling off A Cliff and Hitting a Ceiling."

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’re a touch confused by the angle here considering Germany’s still growing and projected to do so this year and next. Yes, growth is slowing, and Germany could contract, but it remains a source of relative strength in the eurozone. In Europe, the core’s strength can help the weaker periphery pull through.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: As this shows, basic supply and demand debunk the myth exporting natural gas would cause prices to rise in the US. In the short run: Yes, growing global demand would drive prices up. But those high prices would fuel more exploration and production, increasing supply and pushing prices back down. Over time, the result is more efficient pricing globally—on top of the other economic benefits the US would gain from exports.

Sensible Stories
By , MSN Money, 12/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: With Greece’s five biggest banks participating, it appears Greece will meet the target for this week’s debt buyback—an important step in meeting new bailout terms.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 12/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: We’ll translate the economic jargon here:  Prices tell us how scarce a good is, allowing us to act accordingly. And for investors, price fluctuations provide information we wouldn’t otherwise have about supply and demand, helping us better navigate markets.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/07/2012

MarketMinder's View: A (symbolic) vote by India’s upper house to let in foreign supermarkets solidifies India’s overall dedication to reform markets—an effort that, by helping boost foreign investment, should improve nutrition and quality of life throughout the country.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Last year’s debate over the debt ceiling went pretty much exactly like the few prior, so to call specific attention to it seems overstated. Particularly since we have averaged more than one debt ceiling increase per year since 1917. It’s a political tool, pure and simple, and we’d caution against overstating its importance. Moreover, we’d note the GAO’s estimate of $1.3 billion in increased interest costs associated with 2011’s debate, cited here, has serious calculation flaws and limitations.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Perhaps, but then again, the unemployment report is always rather wonky due to its many inputs, seasonal adjustments and statistical quirks. More important than any monthly unemployment number is the longer-term trend—and in the US, employment has been steadily improving for quite a while. Given recent economic growth, tomorrow’s report likely doesn’t change that.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: This (thankfully) low-likelihood “solution” to the US’s high debt overlooks basic economics: What happens if you stamp a certain amount of platinum as worth $1 trillion? You wreak havoc in commodities markets! Beyond that, there’s no evidence debt-monetization is even remotely necessary—US debt relative to GDP remains within historical norms, and our debt service costs remain at historic lows.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: There’s been much debate regarding whether the US government should permit increased LNG exports, given its abundance domestically. The conclusions of the report discussed here have been long anticipated and are widely seen as a swing factor in determining that policy. Given the findings, it seems US policy may be one major step closer to permitting greater development of LNG export infrastructure and, ultimately, shipping the product of the US shale boom abroad.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: More evidence US manufacturing is alive and well: Because of high productivity and efficiency, more foreign firms are choosing to use the US as a manufacturing and export hub.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Parliament’s vote to let in foreign multi-brand retailers—a proposal that seemingly died a year ago—speaks to the government’s renewed dedication to push through economic reform and politicians’ apparent realization freer markets are vital to future growth. For more, see our 9/17/2012 cover story, “India’s Foreign Retail Ping Pong.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/06/2012

MarketMinder's View: Rising manufacturing orders and exports, coupled with Germany’s positive Q3 GDP (despite its neighbors’ contraction), suggest the German economy remains a source of relative strength in the eurozone—and stronger nations can help pull the weaker areas along

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Perhaps, but so can normal growth-rate volatility. It’s normal for economic growth to wobble amid an ongoing expansion, hurricane or no. The larger trend is what matters more—and there, evidence points to continued growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNNMoney, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Yes, employment may weaken in Friday’s jobs report—but employment data are backward-looking and say almost nothing about future growth or market returns. Economic growth impacts employment, not the other way around.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: While we agree Italy still has plenty of room for improvement and political risks remain, this piece misses a key point: Lower yields have allowed Italy to finance its debt more cheaply in recent months, which buys it additional time to work through its existing hurdles. Yields may very well encounter volatility, but overall, Italy’s incremental progress likely continues.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Chosun Ilbo, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: The reporting here is fine—but the fact North Korea’s paternalistic dictatorship spent $100 million to boost the image of the late Kim Jong-il instead of feeding its starving people isn’t. This is yet more evidence of how badly North Korea needs an open regime, open borders and economic freedom.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: One year ago, when a similar measure failed, it seemed much-needed reforms would be few and far between. Now, it appears more and more Indian legislators understand opening their economy is the best way not only to boost growth, but to improve quality of life around the country. Letting in foreign supermarkets should vastly improve the food supply chain infrastructure, potentially helping combat India’s malnutrition problems.

Sensible Stories
By , The Australian, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: “The purpose of trade liberalization is to enhance consumer welfare and make the global supply chain more efficient—that’s what will lift people from poverty.” Hear, hear!

Sensible Stories
By , China Daily, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: This is one of several pieces in China’s state-run media today touting the wonders of private enterprise. With the government promoting China’s private sector—which comprises about 60% of GDP and grows faster than state-owned firms—as key to future economic success, reforms to enable private firms to compete and secure easier financing appear likely to continue. Now, mind you, this is China’s state-run media, so whether this is really an indication of future policy direction or just window dressing remains to be seen.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: A few quibbles aside, this is a decent snapshot of US labor markets. Workers are getting more efficient, and firms are getting more productive and streamlining costs. Though this can be tough on the workers directly impacted by the latter, it does speak to firms’ nimbleness and ability to remain profitable—a key driver for stocks and private-sector strength.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: The Autumn Statement—the blueprint for the 2013 UK budget—is a mix of tax cuts, tax increases, cuts to projected spending increases and a small rise in infrastructure investment. Overall, it likely creates winners and losers, though it’s perhaps most notable for what it didn’t include: A wealth tax, which the junior coalition partner has long argued for and some leaks suggested would be in the final package. The desire to keep the UK competitive, it seems, won out.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: High corruption, long extant in Greece, only compounds its economic troubles—it’s exceedingly difficult to rein in the budget when some folks are dodging taxes or pocketing business revenue. But Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perception Index isn’t just another sign of how far Greece has to go—it’s also a sign of how far several former Soviet states have come, with many jumping several spots in the updated rankings.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/05/2012

MarketMinder's View: Protectionism is rearing its ugly head within the EU’s single market. And as this piece shows, it’s making air travel options scarcer, more expensive and less convenient.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: What’s more important than this one negative print is the trend of strong US manufacturing activity the last three years. For more, see today’s cover story, “Manufacturing a Connection.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: Technologies like high-speed or high-frequency trading (HFT) tend to create both winners and losers.  While HFT firms may profit and can be winners, the evidence supporting this piece’s claim it’s at the expense of retail investors seems anecdotal. In fact, HFT creates more liquidity and lowers overall volatility—thereby lowering implicit trading costs for everyday investors.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this piece misses the overwhelming political will to keep the euro intact. While negotiation, posturing and politicking in the eurozone have been the norm (politicians still need to keep up appearances), officials’ actions (although often at the last minute) remain fairly uniform in supporting the currency union. Their words shouldn’t be weighted nearly as heavily as those actions.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: An informative read on Germany’s balancing act between helping support the euro and keeping bailout-weary Germans content. While we don’t agree with everything here, German resolve to keep the euro intact is key.

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 12/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder Editorial Staff member, Naj Srinivas, on Catalan leader Artur Mas’s political gambit to negotiate a better tax deal with Madrid.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 12/04/2012

MarketMinder's View: Brazil’s recent protectionist moves likely exacerbate many of its woes today. In our view, they’d do well to follow Mexico’s recent success by promoting its open border, reducing bureaucracy and promoting foreign investment. For more see our 10/17/2012 commentary on Equities.com, “Is Mexico A New Emerging Market?

Market Misperceptions
By , The New Yorker, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: This argument proposing a carbon tax to raise revenue and cut the US budget deficit, in our view, fails to account for a key consideration—it might not work as intended. Case in point: In Australia, one of the supposed success stories cited here, the government ended up giving many families cash payments to offset the tax. Corporations might also find ways around it.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though we agree talk of the so-called “fiscal cliff” is a bit overwrought, we disagree the debt ceiling is any more real a problem. The debt ceiling is an entirely political issue, and Congress can raise it as needed—as it’s done 105 times before. For more, see our 10/11/2012 cover story, “Scaling the Fiscal Cliff,” or our 11/15/2012 cover story, “Fiscal Cliff, Meet Fiscal Norm.”

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

MarketMinder's View: Sure, it might be—but possibility isn’t probability, and in our view, it’s highly unlikely the US economy is falling apart. The argument presented here is mainly based on manufacturing data, which are always volatile and only one piece of the overall economic picture, globally and domestically. Plus, even with a small contraction, the US was among the world’s better-performing manufacturers in November.  

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Our quibble here is not with the reporting, rather the unintended consequences regulations can cause. In this case, innovative smartphone apps to help consumers find transportation are facing bans in certain cities due to push back from taxi and other car services.

Market Misperceptions
By , Yahoo! Finance, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: The logic behind this argument escapes us. Low-wage jobs are not a societal ill—in many cases, the alternative could be no job at all, which likely leads to even greater hardship. There may indeed be correlation between low-wage jobs and social problems, but correlation isn’t causality. Even low-wage jobs provide valuable income to families. 

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: In its effort to meet 2013 deficit targets, Spain is cutting public pensions’ inflation-adjustment payments. Though this strains Spanish retirees and the €3.86 billion saved won’t have a huge impact on Spain’s deficit reduction efforts, it does signal Spain’s commitment to comply with bank bailout terms, further demonstrating the will to preserve the euro.

Sensible Stories
By , Equities, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder Editorial Staff member, Elisabeth Dellinger, on what Mark Carney faces as Governor of the Bank of England.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: The latest from MarketMinder’s Editorial Staff on China’s evolving corporate financing structure.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Though monthly data can be volatile, continued improvement in November Chinese manufacturing data suggest more of the government’s recent stimulus is making its way to the broader economy.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/03/2012

MarketMinder's View: Greece’s debt-buyback—one provision of last week’s deal to release €43.7 billion in aid—is off and running. The terms appear somewhat favorable for creditors, which should increase participation by writedown-weary investors, raising the likelihood of success. For more, see our 11/28/2012 cover story, “Greek Debt Deal, Take 43.7.”