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Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Could another “flash crash” happen? Sure. But trying to predict this seems an effort in futility. Experts can look at past data and try to build models, but considering 2010’s flash crash didn’t really impact longer-term returns, predicting the next one is likely a solution in search of a problem.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: China’s economy indeed slowed in 2011, but we think this was likely a necessary, planned precursor to higher growth in 2012—an “election” year when the Communist Party announces a new set of rulers. Typically, Chinese officials speed growth in election years to limit potential civil unrest during the planned transition, and that requires a bit of slowing the year before to keep inflation in check. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Setting aside the specifics, we’d quibble with the rhetorical approach here, which seems grounded in ideology rather than data. And perhaps that’s because there isn’t much of a way to entirely prove Keynes was right or wrong, since there are many ways to assess inputs going into economic outcomes—and there’s no control group compare to.

Market Misperceptions
By , Der Spiegel, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: So far, European politicians have done what’s necessary to keep the eurozone intact. And it’s better, in our view, that they’ve taken the slow and steady approach rather than making hasty decisions.

Sensible Stories
By , Seeking Alpha, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: A good list of evidence supporting continued US economic growth. For more, see our 12/23/2011 cover story, “(Growth) Dashing Through the Year.

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US’s “flexible labor market and culture of enterprise” has helped firms make great productivity strides over the past few years, fueling higher profits. And as this piece shows, innovation can help firms continue becoming more efficient over time, even if productivity growth doesn’t continue at recent high rates.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite needing financial help, Hungary thumbed its nose at potential benefactors by adopting central bank reforms opposed by the EU and IMF. The new laws remove central bank independence, which officials have said is a bailout deal breaker. Whether Hungary’s dire financial straits force a policy reversal is something to keep an eye on when negotiations resume.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though Spain didn’t meet its 2011 deficit goal, the new government has already taken several steps to get on track in 2012, and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy appears dedicated to making tough budget cuts. We shall see. For more on Spain’s debt, see our 12/15/2011 research analysis, “In Depth: PIIGS Debt.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we noted earlier this week, the deal inked between China and Japan should benefit them as it simplifies cross-border trade. But extrapolating this to mean the yuan will “inevitably” become a global reserve currency alongside the dollar, euro and yen is quite a leap. China’s financial system likely needs significant reform for that to happen, and whether China takes seemingly necessary steps—opening markets more, liberalizing currency policy and more—remains to be seen.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Considering consumer spending and retail sales are at all-time highs, it doesn’t seem to us America has an aggregate demand problem. We wonder what the ant might say to the grasshopper if those little facts were included in the fable.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNNMoney, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, Thursday’s auction was a bit of a mixed bag. But this piece spreads the illusion there’s some magic level of yields at which they’re automatically and instantly unsustainable. For more, see our 11/10/2011 cover story, “Italian Debt Perspective.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: All long-term estimates of gas supply are just that—estimates. So sure, probable and unproven reserves mean exact knowledge doesn’t exist. The same applies to demand. Ultimately, the fact shale gas has massively boosted production in the past few years is beyond doubt—and is reflected in ultra-low US natural gas prices. Looking forward, it isn’t terribly relevant whether we’ve currently proven 21 or 100 years of gas supply—innovation can easily find more or different sources of energy.

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, investing yourself allows you the opportunity to fund the kind of retirement you envision, not what the government thinks you need.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Quite an interesting collection of charts focusing on various influences of shale development.

Sensible Stories
By , The Independent, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article does a decent job of highlighting ongoing debate in Britain regarding cuts to solar subsidies—a trend common in several parts of Europe. While it may overstate the case a bit, the article does help describe the risk to heavily subsidized industries presented by shifting government policy.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Chicago PMI remained firmly expansionary in December and easily topped analysts’ estimates.For more, see our 12/02/2011 research analysis, “It Europe Faces Recession, Can the US Economy Still Continue to Grow?”

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: As the holiday shopping season comes to a close, by many measures it seems to have been a good one. This, combined with other data, alludes to a stronger US economy as we close the year.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: The factors stated in this piece read like a grab bag of already widely understood risks to the global economy in 2012.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: True, industrial output dipped by 4% last month, but that’s hardly telling of Japan’s whole situation, which shows recovery from March’s earthquake continues. For more, see today’s cover story, “Talking Tokyo.”

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, research and development are core to developing new competitive advantages for any company. However, the presumption in this piece is that the size of the economic pie is fixed and China (or some other country) developing new technologies happens at the expense of US innovation or economic growth. A flawed premise, considering the world’s economy is an expanding pie and a growing China doesn’t detract from the US—instead, it provides opportunities.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italy auctioned €10.7 billion of six-month and two-year debt Wednesday, finding higher demand and lower yields than a month ago. In fact, six-month yields fell from 6.5% November 25 to 3.25% today, and two-year yields fell similarly. Recent strong results aren’t an all-clear signal—another, longer-term bond auction is slated for tomorrow. What will be more telling is yield movement over a longer period than two days, a week or a month—logic that applies whether yields are rising or falling.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: An engaging look at the Banda Islands and how they relate to comparative advantages between countries (like the United States and China) today.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Much can be learned from Korea’s competing economic visions. This should not suggest that American politicians infringing property rights, markets and freedom seek anything akin to the totalitarian oppression embodied by Pyongyang, but Korea offers certainty that markets far surpass state economies in providing for people’s needs.” For more see our 12/20/2011 cover story, “Darkness and Light.”

Sensible Stories
By , 12/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: The debt ceiling is back in the news. However, thanks to terms in the August agreement to raise the ceiling, this time it seems an even more feckless political machination.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: We disagree with the notion capitalism creates “perverse incentives.” Sure, some individuals have less than pure aims, but overall capitalism aims to make society wealthier one individual at a time, through the pursuit of their own interests. And in our view, that’s a mighty noble, sensible goal.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Innovations—even big ones—happen all the time in private industry. Assuming they cannot in energy or elsewhere is quite a stretch. So yes, the government had a hand in the development of some pieces of technology that turned out to be one of fracking’s great-grandparents. But it took decades of private-sector innovation and application to turn that technology into a means of productive energy extraction. On balance, private enterprise, not government subsidies, tends to drive profitable (read: economically sustainable) innovation.

Market Misperceptions
By , MSNBC.com, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: While it’s certainly nice to see folks are feeling a bit better about the economy, consumer confidence isn’t very predictive of behavior, stocks or even itself. Consider: October 2011’s confidence reading was sharply lower, but holiday spending appears to have been good and consumer confidence has now rebounded. 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: It seems a good chunk of the funds banks borrowed from the ECB last week ended up back at the central bank as excess reserves. As we recently wrote, this is one possible means for banks to finance liquidity needs for 2012 funding. That some eurozone banks might think 0.75% is a fair price to pay for maintaining liquidity in the very short term is notable, but to us it seems premature to say this portends a liquidity crisis.

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Closer financial and economic ties between China and Japan could benefit both countries. Establishing a direct yen-yuan exchange potentially facilitates increased bilateral trade and amounts to one more incremental liberalization of China’s financial system.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Cutting red tape can help governments run more cheaply and efficiently over time. Both Britain and the US have tackled some of the more silly regulations this year, though there’s still plenty more tape to cut. For more, see our 8/24/2011 cover story, “Regulating Regulators’ Regulations.”

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Communist Cuba seems to be slowly realizing the benefits of private enterprise. Cubans can now secure private business loans and buy and sell homes, and the government is privatizing more retail services. Though we wouldn’t expect an overnight capitalist revolution, these are important steps forward for Cuban citizens.

Sensible Stories
By , The Local, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Happy 10th birthday to the euro! As this piece shows, though peripheral Europe’s sovereign debt troubles have stolen folks’ attention the past few years, the euro has helped bring several positive developments thus far. Improved cross-border trade is but one example.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US’s shale gas developments have created opportunities—and the benefits haven’t been limited to just those directly employed in the industry. Consider: “Low US electricity and natural gas costs were a factor in the decision by Brazil’s Santana Textiles to build a $180 million denim plant now under construction in Edinburg, Texas. Santana initially considered putting the factory in Mexico, but found that electricity costs would be 30% lower in Texas.”

Market Misperceptions
By , International Business Times, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: We aren’t much surprised S&P is standing behind its downgrade threat. Nor is a downgrade particularly surprising. As such, nor does it alter risk much looking forward. In our view, credit raters continue to deliver Johnny-come-lately opinions already largely absorbed by markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: US Q3 growth wasn’t robust, but it was an acceleration—and consumer spending continues growing and is at all-time highs.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Street, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well . . . define “no one.” It seems Europe and her woes have been largely front and center in the media and investors’ minds for nearly three years now.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: After much political back-and-forth (as per the norm of late), Congress agreed to a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. Expect more politicking when this comes up again next year. Either way, small, time-limited tax cuts like these aren’t nearly as impactful on the economy overall as folks hope.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: The “decline in spending over time on manufactured goods…is really a testament to the remarkable productivity of the manufacturing sector, which leads to declining prices relative to income and services, and increases our standard of living dramatically over time.” Agreed!

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence the economy is on much surer footing than many surmise. For more, read our 12/23/2011 cover story, “(Growth) Dashing Through the Year.”

Sensible Stories
By , Mises Economics Blog, 12/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: A good look at how innovations have raised standards of living around the world.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: While we think the chances of a global trade war resulting from the EU’s carbon tax are fairly slim, this is worth watching—heightened global protectionism would undoubtedly be a step in the wrong direction.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Breaking news from August 2011…ratings agencies seem primarily concerned about the political atmosphere surrounding US debt levels and the tax code. But now, as then, politicians are likely to do what’s necessary to avert (primarily political) catastrophe.

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re not sure how the included chart indicates the US is in recession—particularly when the US has been growing for nearly three years now. Yes, employment’s lagged, but as we’ve said before, that’s hardly surprising and likely continues improving as the economy continues growing.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Could the US economy slow again? Maybe—but that’s always the case. At this point, most data seemingly point to continued US growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months rose 0.5 percent after a 0.9 percent October increase, the New York-based research group said today.” 

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: “But we must never lose sight of this important asymmetry: complete or near-complete state control of the economy has proven to be a sure recipe for deep impoverishment and brutal tyranny, while historical periods that have been close to laissez faire … have produced nothing remotely of the sort.” Here, here!

Sensible Stories
By , The Globe and Mail, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite some unpopularity due to its severity, Italy’s budget has received the final stamp of approval from the senate—yet another sign most in the eurozone are willing to take whatever steps necessary to prevent wider contagion or collapse.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though this is still mostly in the planning stage, the fact Greece is looking to expand private enterprise in the energy industry is a positive sign—and if it moves forward, it would likely be a significant plus for a nation that’s been more public sector than private for too long.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: “For a consumer or household spending $750 in 1964, all they would have been able to afford was a console color TV from the Sears Christmas catalog. A consumer or household spending that same amount of inflation-adjusted dollars today (about $5,500) would be able to furnish their entire kitchen with 8 brand-new appliances … and buy 9 state-of-the-art electronic items.” Meaning those who suggest most folks aren’t better off today are slightly off in their assessment.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at why freer markets in just about everything—including labor—benefit participants not just domestically, but globally as well.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Extending the payroll tax cut would be an incremental positive for American workers, but it’s tough to imagine a two percentage point tax increase having the magnitude of consequences this piece suggests. The ongoing strength in personal consumption is likely driven by more than the cut alone.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: That Canada’s productivity losses coincided with higher GDP, incomes and living standards is an interesting observation. But we rather doubt there’s a causal relationship, considering it doesn’t square with what we’ve observed in other countries with productivity issues. Over time, we believe productivity gains can fuel higher growth and profits, which generally drive job creation and wage increases.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Now, a housing shortage could negatively impact some on the income spectrum’s lower-end temporarily. But from a broader, macroeconomic level, Adam Smith correctly identified the solution in 1776: The invisible hand. Prices act as a conduit matching supply and demand. And as they rise, so does the likelihood of profit—incentivizing companies to increase supply in an effort to reap the increased reward. So in essence, a housing shortage is very unlikely to “hurt” Australia’s economy. Rather, it’s a lot more likely if a housing shortage actually exists, it’d buoy the construction sector—perhaps creating jobs and higher wages for many Australians. That doesn’t seem so bad to us.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: It might indeed, given the tear the ratings agencies have been on lately. However, in our view, any downgrade would likely say more about ratings agencies’ wonky methodology than France’s ability to service its debt over time. Plus, the ECB’s recently relaxed collateral rating requirements seemingly further blunt a downgrade’s influence. For more, see our 12/17/2011 cover story, “Differentiate Before You Downgrade.”

Sensible Stories
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: The ECB’s new three-year lending facility likely isn’t an instant fix for all that ails the eurozone, but it does appear to have added liquidity at a time many believe it’s needed, and it could help ease the pressure on banks to shrink their balance sheets. For more, see today’s cover story, “Bonds and Banks.”

Sensible Stories
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: The UK has been in a long-term deficit reduction program since 2009, and November’s results suggest Britain’s fiscal plans are on track for now.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Greece appears close to a deal with private-sector creditors on voluntary debt haircuts—an important step in Greece’s seemingly orderly (so far) debt-restructuring process.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: The National Bureau of Economic Research, the official agency dating US business cycles, tracks data back to 1855. And over that entire period, the US economy has been in recession roughly 30% of the time. But in more recent decades, the US economy “has been in expansion 83.8% of the time since 1945, 85.4% of the time since 1980 and 81.7% since 2000.” While we’d quibble with some of the article’s statements about the economy’s current state, this interesting article is worth a read.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: New rules could complicate banks’ efforts to meet increased capital requirements set forth in last year’s Basel III guidelines. But while that may be the case, it’s important to recall those higher requirements phase in slowly over a period of years. Thus, it seems unlikely these policies could cause lending to freeze. But this is worth watching for future developments.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: There have always been (and always will be) big, scary things happening in the world. Geopolitical tension is a constant. However, a more likely investor mistake is to overstate geopolitical risk rather than ignore it.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is all predicated on very long-term forecasts of both supply and demand, which are near impossible to make. Stock prices in 2020 will have much more to do with supply pressures in 2017, 2018 and 2019, which, at this point, no one we’re aware of has any power to predict with accuracy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Although the ECB and banks may be participating in a sort of “carry trade,” it doesn’t necessarily mean banks are taking on more risk. In fact, the ECB’s collateral requirements have been loosened to accept a wider variety of debt from banks. Thus, this doesn’t necessarily run counter to regulators’ efforts to de-risk the region’s banks. For more, see our 12/09/2011 cover story, “Lowering the Euro Curve.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Portfolio.com, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: That German business sentiment rose is nice, but we caution against extrapolating much else from it. Sentiment and confidence surveys are backward-looking and have little predictive power on future market direction.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: This continues a series of successful debt auctions for Spain. Rates in today’s auctions were much lower than they had been just a month ago. For more, see our 12/16/2011 cover story, “A Busy Day Around the Web.”

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, a central bank’s independence from political fracas and dithering is critical to its ability to swiftly and effectively govern monetary policy. We’re not sure we see the benefit here for Hungary.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 12/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The argument for allowing the construction of the Keystone pipeline to go forward is simple but, perhaps, not politically all that sexy; the federal government should not needlessly frustrate markets and the gains from trade that go to market participants; firms, consumers, and labor.” Well put.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: The reality is the wealth gap—or income gap—is a political construct with very little economic meaning. The entire “solution” proposed here hinges on a view of total US personal income being a fixed pie—a point that’s never been true historically. Having politicians play Robin Hood might sound romantic, but the reality is such policies can easily carry undesirable economic consequences. For more, see our 09/29/2011 commentary on Real Clear Markets, “The Wealth Gap Is an Entirely Political Invention.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, the likelihood is far greater China loosens monetary policy in an effort to spur its economy. No, Chinese leaders aren’t perfect economic geniuses, but they seemingly get this: When you’re a totalitarian society in a year of political turnover, chances are you don’t want a recession angering the populace. And China’s economy is much more centrally controlled than many other economies, so leaders’ intentions matter more there.

 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: A handful of tech companies going public does not a bubble make. For more, see our 05/20/2011 cover story, “What Bubble Hunters Miss.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Whether or not high-speed rail is built, this much is clear: It won’t push the US economy into recovery. You see, US GDP has already recouped the ground lost in recession plus a bit—so recovery is over; we’re in expansion. Moreover, this overstates the likely economic return of such a project.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Sure, there are many unanswered questions regarding new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But we’re not totally sure Kim Jong Il was such a stabilizing source of certainty in the world, either.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View:  This picture says 1,000 words. Or more.

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: “As a result, based on previous experience, Chen said he only took such ratings as references, and he would rather do his own homework and research than fully trust the credit agencies.” Wise. For more, see our 12/07/2011 cover story, “Differentiate Before You Downgrade.”

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spain’s new prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has been aggressive in introducing new austerity measures since his election. And perhaps partly as a result, Spanish bond auctions have seen strong demand and lower yields lately—quite a bit better than many expected.

Sensible Stories
By , Truth on the Market, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a sensible look at Sarbanes-Oxley section 404, raising the question: Does the return to the investment community (if there’s actually one) justify SarbOx’s heavy compliance costs?

Sensible Stories
By , Econbrowser, 12/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: The currently stalled development of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, designed to bring crude from Canada’s oil sands to the US, has been the subject of heated political debate of late. This article is a sensible breakdown of both sides of the issue, and we agree with the conclusion: The benefits outweigh the costs.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are many differences between now and the 1930s: Freer trade, accommodative central banks globally, no gold standard, a growing global economy and more. Plus, European political leaders have been imperfectly working together to prevent a widespread economic crisis. So while the eurozone crisis isn’t ideal, it’s also likely not going to drag down the world economy either.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Here’s the latest example of why protectionism tends to hurt more than help. And this time, the battle pits chicken feet against tires.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: There is a tendency to take the fact the world is global a bit too far. Recent data show the US economy growing at a healthy clip, even accelerating in some ways in recent months. The eurozone’s been weak, though not officially in recession as of yet. We’d like to see a strongly growing eurozone too—but even if there’s a recession, that doesn’t necessitate a US recession. For more, see our 12/02/2011 research analysis, “If Europe Faces Recession, Can the US Economy Still Continue to Grow?”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Much of the weakness in Irish Q3 GDP seems the result of austerity measures—and as we’ve said, they certainly can complicate things in the short term. But also, like almost all economic data, GDP numbers fluctuate—and one quarter’s negative growth doesn’t necessarily portend economic doom.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: The “increased challenges” these downgrades are based on have been existing (and known) for a while now. So it seems once again, a credit ratings agency is late to the game—and once again, we wonder why people continue to pay them any attention.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s been a common theme of late: Congress hemming and hawing until the last possible minute—and then, a deal (this one to fund a bunch of government agencies through September 2012). This year has certainly seen its fair share of potential shutdowns, which could be frustrating to many. And there could be more. But perspective can be helpful here: Government shutdowns (threatened or actually occurring) aren’t unique historically. And they generally haven’t had much economic or market impact. For more, see today’s cover story, “A Busy Day Around the Web.

Sensible Stories
By , International Business Times, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italy’s parliament passed new Prime Minister Mario Monti’s recent package of austerity measures—and by a wide margin, no less. This is another step showing the commitment to take desirable—albeit difficult—steps to address the ongoing debt woes. For more, see our 12/13/2011 cover story, “Weighing Italy’s Debt.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite political saber-rattling in Germany, the government continues to support the €500 billion European Stability Mechanism, the bailout facility due to eventually replace the EFSF in backstopping troubled eurozone governments.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 12/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: The longstanding Russian effort to joint the World Trade Organization met a fruitful end Friday. A plus for trade as this adds greater structure to the resolution of trade disputes and rules involving the nation.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are always risks, and some European countries may very well slide into recession. But that needn’t spell wider global economic doom. For more, see our 12/2/2011 research analysis, “If Europe Faces Recession, Can the US Economy Still Continue to Grow?”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, you can’t simply blame “bad loans” for the 2008 credit crisis. Therefore, further regulating banks isn’t a panacea to preventing future financial crises. Rather, it’s clear the downside risk of unintended consequences frequently outweighs the benefit of legislation like Dodd-Frank or the Volcker Rule.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Motley Fool, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: That the World Gold Council’s study finds gold is a worthy investment should hardly be a surprise, considering it has an interest in promoting gold as an investment. And what’s with the seemingly arbitrary dates selected in the study? The reality is since gold became freely traded in the early 1970s, gold’s annualized returns are lower than stocks, and its standard deviation—a measure of volatility—is higher. In other words, gold has historically seen more price swinging and compensated investors less for it.  For more, see our 02/12/2010 cover story, “Gold’s Safety Blanket Myth.

Market Misperceptions
By , International Business Times, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Aside from a dearth of data supporting its claims (particularly that “one of two Americans are [sic] living in poverty”), this places an inordinate amount of faith in the government in fearing catastrophic consequences of a shutdown. On the contrary, the government’s shut down before without much downside—and Belgium just ended nearly two years without a federal government, highlighting capitalism’s resilience. For more, see our 12/08/2011 cover story, “Pearls of Resilience and Wisdom.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Within the New York Fed’s Empire State Survey, the business conditions index jumped to 9.53 this month from 0.61 last month. The December reading was the highest since May. The Philadelphia Fed said its own factory index of general business activity rose to 10.3 in December from 3.6 in November.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US job market continues to make slow, steady progress—which doesn’t indicate straight-line growth from here but is a positive sign nonetheless. We caution against using this as a forward-looking indicator of economic health—employment typically lags. But it is confirmation growth has contributed to hiring demand.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spain continues to hold decent debt auctions despite widespread concerns about peripheral Europe—another indication there’s seemingly a good amount of divergence among the PIIGS. For more, see today’s Research post, “In Depth: PIIGS Debt.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Demand for drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico was strong, showing a sharp rebound following the government’s drilling moratorium in the wake of 2010’s Macondo oil spill. A testament to the private sector’s resilience and a positive sign for a possible boost in regional business and hiring.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: An excellent illustration of some of the challenges faced by Greece’s government in overcoming its debt woes. Without the ability to reliably collect tax revenues, it’s understandable why the government has a difficult time planning future spending (or more to the point, spending cuts). For more, see our 07/21/2010 cover story, “Dear Prudence.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest column for The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 12/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Households have deleveraged pretty significantly recently—an indication they’re possibly in better shape than is widely feared. And a sign they may continue their recent healthy spending patterns through the holidays.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Parallels between today and the 1870s are an interesting observation, but we don’t see much evidence suggesting they provide a blueprint for the next 20 years. As we often say, long-term forecasts are fraught with peril due to all the as-yet unknown variables that will affect economies and capital markets over time. 

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: It seems misguided to use federal tax withholding receipts as a forward-looking indicator considering they’re backward-looking, reflecting income already earned. Plus, the withholding decline described here began in early 2011—around the time the payroll tax cut took effect. It’s important to consider all contributors to a data point before drawing conclusions.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree Ireland (and other EU states) likely would feel some knock-on effects of the EU’s planned financial transactions tax—but we’d argue that should motivate the entire union to drop that misguided measure. Ireland, which rightly refused to raise its favorable corporate tax rate earlier this year, should know better than anyone that handicapping competitive member states won’t strengthen the EU economically. For more, see our 11/17/2011 cover story, “Taxation and Competitiveness 101.”

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: The latest volley in China and the US’s ongoing trade spat—a fight not worth fighting, in our view. While the measures imposed here aren’t of huge size and likely amount to a minor negative, China’s tariffs largely decrease choice and increase prices for Chinese consumers, likely making them worse off than they’d be if trade were freer. This story is worth watching for potential developments down the line.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Now that Chinese officials have wrapped their annual economic conference, we’ll likely get a sense of next year’s loan quotas. Though these aren’t officially announced, references to boosting domestic demand through “proactive” fiscal and monetary policy suggest looser quotas are in the works in an effort to boost economic growth ahead of next year’s leadership transition. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Where it could have helped inspire more confidence, India’s government has instead hurt its cause. A withdrawn proposal to allow greater foreign investment in the retail sector is only the most egregious example of short-term politics overriding the development of India’s markets.” For more, see our 12/13/2011 commentary on Real Clear Markets, “India’s Unfortunate Political and Economic U-Turn.”

Sensible Stories
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible take on why UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s veto of Lisbon Treaty amendments likely doesn’t change much for Britain or the broader EU. Given the UK’s litany of EU treaty opt-outs (the euro, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and agreements on cross-border travel, to name a few), a two-speed Europe has long existed, and both sides have economic incentives to keep that status quo.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: A lesson in the law of unintended consequences: Complying with a new US law requiring foreign banks to report American citizens’ large accounts to the IRS may cost some institutions as much as $100 million, so many are simply refusing to serve US customers. Often, even well-intentioned regulations (this one aimed to decrease tax evasion) don’t work out as planned.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree the financial system is globally interconnected, and a panic in the eurozone could create problems in the US. However, in our view, that outcome is highly unlikely. US banks have themselves shown them to be better capitalized than ever before—precisely to avoid a Lehman-style credit freeze. European banks have boosted liquidity and strengthened their balance sheets the last few years. And globally, central banks have taken appropriate steps to backstop banks and continue to indicate that they intend to keep doing so as long as necessary. For more, see our 11/23/2011 commentary on Real Clear Markets, “The US Economy Can Weather Euro Storm.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: We quibble with the presumption David Cameron vetoing last week’s EU fiscal compact amounts to the UK metaphorically stumbling out of Europe. In fact, the UK has always been in a bit of a different situation than other EU nations—the UK maintains its own currency, central bank and, sensibly, refuses to enact a tax on its large finance sector.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Risks are virtually omnipresent in economics, so that they exist today isn’t terribly unique or different. Now, the degree to which those risks are appreciated certainly varies. But generally speaking, it’s when risks aren’t widely known that they’re most potent. Absent a material, shocking new development, it appears unlikely to us the eurozone situation triggers a global recession.

Market Misperceptions
By , The American, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: First and foremost, this piece highlights the inherent wonkiness of the unemployment rate—it can’t ever factor in the numerous variables at play with employment. But no matter which unemployment statistic you use, this fact remains: Hiring follows growth—and typically by a long time period. So to use the unemployment rate—and whatever factors may be making it more or less wonky at the time—to draw forward-looking macroeconomic conclusions is getting cause and effect a bit reversed. For more, see our 12/02/2011 cover story, “Unemployment, Overall and on Average.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: The sixth consecutive month of rising retail sales accentuates what we believe to be a disconnect between dour consumer sentiment and what consumers are actually doing. For more, see our 11/29/2011 cover story, “Red Hot Black Friday.”

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest, on Real Clear Markets.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article highlights the legal challenges to enacting last week’s EU deal, which aren’t insurmountable, but won’t be easy either. For more, see our 12/12/2011 cover story, “The Battle of the (Budget) Bulge.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New Republic , 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a sensible look behind the scenes at European politics that helps illustrate why a sudden breakup of the eurozone isn’t a likely outcome. For more, see our 11/30/2011 cover story, “Is the Euro a Relic in the Making?”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spain sold 12-month treasury bills at auction this morning and the results were strong. Yields were nearly 100 basis points lower than November’s 12-month auction, the government sold more than its target amount of bonds and investor demand was high. For more, see our 12/07/2011 cover story, “Differentiate Before You Downgrade.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: The only new thing about this article is the holiday theme—for several years, many folks have expected unemployment and slow-growing personal incomes would cause consumers to retrench. They haven’t, so now the speculation is consumers are irrational. But while all this handwringing over consumer spending has gone on, US retail sales have reached record levels. Simultaneously, US consumers, on average, have become more liquid. That doesn’t seem too irrational or unsustainable to us.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: A lot to quibble with here, but we’ll stick to the central point: The theory currently elevated US unemployment is due to long-term, structural shifts in the global economy. Our question: If this is so true, was the structure very fundamentally different in 2007? Because prior to the cyclical downturn in the global economy, US unemployment was less than 5%.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Is there a gap between rich and poor in the US? Yes. Would Connecticut have one too? No doubt. But that Connecticut has some very well-to-do people doesn’t sentence those at the bottom end to a life of poverty. The US economy—and Connecticut’s—aren’t fixed pies. So what people earn relative to one another has little true economic meaning. Oh, one more thing: Using a convicted felon as an example of someone hurt by the income gap is curious.

Market Misperceptions
By , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our opinion, a better allegory from children’s tales to describe the realities of high-frequency trading would be the tortoise and the hare. The lesson there: Focusing on speed alone doesn’t tell you much about the outcome. Similarly, high-frequency trading doesn’t guarantee the trades are in the right direction—which means, users can simply make or lose money very, very quickly. Moreover, the thought that algorithms ensure profitability is a fantasy.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Credit raters have a long history of groupthink and logging their opinions after markets have already weighed in, which seems to be mostly what’s at work here. Given the spotty track record of ratings agencies, we think this is a story worthy of a yawn.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a pretty good synopsis of the new European deal announced late last week. As we discussed in today’s cover story, “The Battle of the (Budget) Bulge,” this is unlikely to be a cure-all. But agreeing to partially surrender sovereignty over national budgeting seemingly does demonstrate the lengths eurozone leaders are willing to go to back the euro.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: American consumers have been clicking in force this holiday season, and they’re not just browsing. “US online sales in the holiday season to date are up 15 percent to $24.6 billion, according to comScore.” For more, see our 11/29/2011 cover story, “Red Hot Black Friday.”

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Italy’s borrowing costs fell slightly on Monday as the Treasury sold €7bn of one-year bills to yield 5.952 per cent with demand nearly double the amount on offer.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’ve often written of the perils of America’s complicated web of regulations, many of which carry unintended consequences on a macroeconomic or sector level. But the law of unintended consequences doesn’t just apply at this level—it can easily extend to individuals. And the problem isn’t just the volume of rules, but also the quality and enforcement of said rules. Think we need more government regulation? Give this a close read.

Sensible Stories
By , CNN Money, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though China’s overall growth is slowing slightly, inflation is also moderating, mitigating fears of a Chinese hard/crash landing. If history is any indication, China’s leaders will once again bolster policies to increase lending when transitioning to the new government, which will likely spur the economy once again.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article is long on speculation, and very short on facts. Fact is, many have been expecting a dramatic event to suddenly either fix or destroy the euro for about two years. Yet neither have happened, nor do they seem very likely to any time soon. And presuming the lack of a sudden fix to all eurozone ills means disaster is quite a stretch indeed.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: Another day, another ratings cut that confirms what most folks already know. Credit ratings agencies are frequently late to the game and, increasingly, their ratings don’t seem to matter much anymore. For more, see today’s cover story, “Lowering the Euro Curve.

Market Misperceptions
By , Businessweek, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: This seems like a solution in search of an economic problem. Fact is, the wealth gap isn’t really much of an economic problem, it’s a political invention. Plus, high federal taxes don’t really redistribute wealth from rich to poor—they redistribute from individuals and businesses to government. And the former spend and invest far more effectively than the latter, in our view (Google “Solyndra”).

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: Numbers like this fluctuate quarter to quarter, month to month and even day to day—and tell little to nothing about the future direction of stocks or the economy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: EU leaders have announced a broad new agreement providing additional funding for the IMF, amending parts of the ESM (the bailout fund due to replace the EFSF) and agreeing to tighter fiscal rules. Details remain to be ironed out, but this is another display of eurozone politicians’ willingness to back the euro.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 12/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: Many feared the fiscal condition of US states entering 2011—and some still do. This interesting article and embedded graphic have some perspective to share on that subject—namely, tax receipts are on the rise because the economy is improving.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 12/09/2011

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

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Comparing absolute debt levels to GDP tells you little about the US’s relative ability to finance that debt—and there, the differences between the US and Greece are stark. While the US currently pays a historically low interest rate to finance its debt, Greece’s rates have done nothing but increase over the last 18 or so months. So to conflate the two situations is more than a bit misleading.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: On the contrary, we’d argue globalization and increasingly free trade have rewarded all participants—particularly those in more developed countries, who’ve as a result been able to focus on more efficient uses of human and physical capital. And contrary to the suggestion “the world needs urgently to embrace new forms of multilateralism and co-operation if it is not to slip back into an age of protectionist infighting,” the world’s actually seen a raft of increasingly free trade in 2011. For more, see our 10/20/2011 column, “That (Non-Existent) Giant Sucking Sound.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: S&P added European local and regional governments and public-finance entities to its list of potential downgrade targets. Which shouldn’t really be much of a shockwave to anyone—the ratings agencies have developed quite the reputation by now, and, in our view, should be paid little heed.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d agree with Casey Stengel’s response to his baseball team’s performance, but we certainly wouldn’t apply it to markets. In our view, this takes entirely too dour an outlook on global markets and economies and extrapolates further doom from there. Making it not terribly useful for forming forward-looking expectations.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: The ECB’s taken further steps to ease eurozone liquidity—which doesn’t necessarily cure myriad underlying issues, but likely helps prevent a sudden credit squeeze. The ECB’s also indicated it’ll accept “asset-backed securities with at least two ratings of single-A-minus”—steps seemingly aimed at sidestepping any deleterious consequences of threatened downgrades. For more, see our 12/07/2011 cover story, “Differentiate Before You Downgrade.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Wholesale companies increased their stockpiles of autos, paper, and other goods in October by the most in five months, a sign they expect consumer demand to rise.”

Sensible Stories
By , Seeking Alpha, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Consumers are seemingly in much better overall shape than many in the media opine—as evidenced partly by rapidly rising income tax receipts.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Another of Dodd-Frank’s unintended consequences. This time, though, it turns out the law’s most hurting those it was intended to help: small businesses where folks typically spend small amounts. As we’ve said, it’s hard to foresee every single implication of even the most well-intentioned regulation.

Sensible Stories
By , The Globe and Mail, 12/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: 

The free trade wave rolls on, in various ways—Canada and the US reduced some unnecessary post-9/11 regulatory requirements that weigh on cross-border trade. No doubt security is important, but there are also plenty of times where the benefits (if any) are miniscule, and the drawbacks are far greater.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Allowing foreign retailers into India would likely have been a net positive for Indian society—for example, the influx of foreign capital would have funded much-needed improvements to food storage and transportation infrastructure, potentially increasing food supply and lowering prices over time. That political posturing got in the way is disappointing—and another example of the Indian government’s difficulty passing economic reforms.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Perhaps France does lose its gold-plated AAA rating, but in our view, that shouldn’t merit more than a shrug. We continue to wonder why anyone gives much thought to ratings agencies’ ratings. For more, see today’s cover story, “Differentiate Before You Downgrade.”

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Peripheral Europe’s debt troubles aren’t the catalyst this piece suggests, in our opinion. Bonds have always carried risk. And high dividend-paying stocks aren’t inherently any safer or riskier than sovereign debt. Both are subject to price movement (volatility), dividends can be cut at any time and debt haircuts are always possible.

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, data show OPEC and non-OPEC supply has been tightening recently—in our view, this is a far likelier culprit for higher prices than futures trading. “Speculation” is oft blamed for price distortions, but futures trading actually tends to promote more efficient pricing over time.  

Market Misperceptions
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble with the notion the Fed has “bailed out stock markets” for two decades. Moreover, on a forward-looking basis, we’re highly skeptical of any 10-year market forecasts, good or bad. There are too many unknown variables for anyone to accurately predict how markets will behave through 2021.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: This look at Germany’s Weimar-era hyperinflation offers insight into why the Bundesbank opposes heavy ECB intervention in eurozone debt markets. A highly recommended, enlightening read. 

Sensible Stories
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible, mathematical debunking of the recent rumor the Fed lent $7.7 trillion to troubled banks—and a good example of why generalized, eye-popping “statistics” should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Perhaps pessimism isn’t the right word, but we’d suggest keeping tempered expectations for this week’s EU summit. Officials’ previous grand plans haven’t proved instant fixes, and we find it difficult to imagine a cure-all emerging on Friday—nor does one need to. Most likely, in our view, the slow, uneven march toward a longer-term eurozone solution continues.

Sensible Stories
By , 12/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Today’s successful auction is a good sign the weak demand at last month’s offering wasn’t the gloomy turning point some feared.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Planning, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: We disagree with nearly all of this. First, we’re not sure how setting a nominal growth target helps ensure we get there or suggests what policies accomplish it. And it seemingly overstates the Fed’s influence in spurring faster economic and jobs growth. But we’re also not convinced the US is suffering much from a demand problem—considering consumer spending is at all-time highs, as is real GDP.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: The assertion that “dividend stocks tend to be much less volatile on the upside, as well as on the downside” is a common belief regarding dividends. But is it accurate? Consider 2007-2009: Financials, automakers and REITS—three of the highest-yielding sectors entering the bear market—were three of the hardest hit in the market downturn. For more, see our 08/06/2010 column, “Sometimes True.”

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: While we’d agree European summits have mostly failed to produce a one-time solution to all the eurozone’s woes, we’re not convinced that’s either possible or necessarily totally desirable. Barring a new, surprising and powerfully negative shock, it seems unlikely to us a eurozone recession (if one occurs) spreads globally. For more, see our 12/02/2011 research analysis, ”If Europe Faces Recession, Can the US Economy Still Continue to Grow?”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—we don’t understand why anyone pays much attention to the ratings agencies. Their track record is less than stellar, and in this case, the market was largely already ahead of them.

Sensible Stories
By , CNN, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: Little of consequence came of Belgium’s 589 days without a government. In fact, as the article points out, a country without a government has its benefits—it can’t introduce new taxes or sweeping regulatory changes.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a mostly sensible piece on common debt misunderstandings perpetuated by the media.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 12/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: Politicians in Ireland continue to take necessary steps to enact new austerity. More proof the PIIGS, despite the moniker, aren’t all in the same boat.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh backtracked on an earlier announcement the country planned to open its retail sector more to foreign businesses. It's possible the opening may still happen and this is a temporary setback. But all in all, the idea of delaying a sensible economic decision in the name of obtaining political consensus seems misguided to us, to say the least. Here’s hoping India’s leaders backtrack on their backtracking.

Market Misperceptions
By , NPR, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s possible the eurozone’s troubles negatively impact the globe and US. But barring a big, shocking development, it doesn’t seem very likely. For all the talk of economic correlation, recent data don’t agree—as we illustrate in our 12/2/2011 research analysis, “If Europe Faces Recession, Can the US Economy Still Continue to Grow?”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Westpac's tracking of data releases around the world shows that just 24 per cent of economic releases out of China in the past eight weeks has been better than the previous outcome.” That doesn’t seem like a big shocker to us, just perfectly normal growth-rate volatility—illustrated well by recently accelerating US data, as referenced. That very same US data showed decelerating growth earlier this year.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: The reality is the US has had higher tax rates on the wealthy since 1913—sometimes at much higher marginal rates than today. Yet the wealth gap has grown over time, not shrunk. Moreover, the wealth gap is, in our view, a thorny political issue. But the economic impacts of income inequality are negligible at best. For more, see our 9/29/2011 column on Real Clear Markets, “The Wealth Gap Is an Entirely Political Invention.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: It seems to us this entangles economic theory with economic reality too much and misses a few critical points: One, the fact the global economy has now grown since mid-2009 doesn’t seemingly support this article’s dramatic point of view. And two, the US economy hasn’t had “false dawns galore since the financial system froze in 2007.” There was a recession—then the US began growing in Q2 2009, and it’s grown ever since. So yes, the eurozone has some serious issues, but that needn’t spell global economic doom.

Sensible Stories
By , The New Republic, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s probably a bit premature to attempt to answer the headline's question, but this is an interesting read about the political angle of peripheral Europe’s sovereign debt woes.

Sensible Stories
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s certainly true Friday’s unemployment rate reduction was partly a function of the fact it’s a bizarrely calculated statistic. But it is also true hiring increased in the US. For more, see today’s cover story, “Unemployment, Overall and On Average.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: French and German leaders continue their discussions on a eurozone pact creating more budget oversight and other unity measures for the euro bloc ahead of the upcoming summit. In our view, details and developments in this story are worthy of attention.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: This offers an interesting twist to the unconventional oil exploration and production story, detailing that many oil companies are increasing their presence in Western countries—like the US. Now, it seems unlikely Middle Eastern oil ceases playing an important role on the global stage anytime soon, but should its degree of importance continue shifting, it could decrease OPEC nations’ role in the Energy market.

Market Misperceptions
By , MSNBC, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we’re not quite certain how to define "quality jobs." And in our view, job growth is job growth—and a sign overall economic recovery has presaged employment recovery, as we’d largely expect.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: We disagree too little spending is Europe’s problem. Rather, we’d suggest broadly speaking, many of the struggling nations’ problems stem from too-high-for-too-long socialism-to-capitalism ratios. Increase free market forces and, over time, we’d expect to see most of Europe recover just fine.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, the housing market’s still weak by historical standards. But to consequently suggest government action’s necessary to correct a “current imbalance in supply and demand for homes” is off-base, in our view. In a market economy, prices balance the market—so if there’s excess supply, prices fall to achieve that. Maybe higher prices would be better, but that’s different from suggesting there’s some imbalance to be corrected.

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: This vastly overstates the case, in our view. Though European leaders as a whole have moved very deliberately throughout the recent debt crisis—Merkel included—that doesn’t mean there’s some insidious plot afoot to dominate Europe.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: France and Spain held solid debt auctions Thursday, instilling a bit more confidence in eurozone bond markets.

Sensible Stories
By , The American, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting argument from Dr. Perry that China’s currency manipulation is actually "a form of generous foreign aid to Americans"—and one with which we’d overall agree.

Sensible Stories
By , The American, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting argument from Dr. Perry that China’s currency manipulation is actually “a form of generous foreign aid to Americans”—and one with which we’d overall agree.

Sensible Stories
By , The Guardian, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though likely frustrating in their somewhat plodding pace, the Germans continue to take steps indicating support for the EU and eurozone. And slow, incremental changes are likely better in the long run than sudden change for either better or worse.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 12/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at the wonkiness of various employment statistics and what’s behind November’s improvement.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The central bank moves—along with a surprise Chinese decision to reduce bank reserve requirements—plainly signal the situation has gone from bad to worse.” We disagree—the coordinated central bank intervention has more to do with having something in place should the funds be needed than a sign the eurozone is in a “worse” situation.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal , 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: While we don’t disagree a sudden, disorderly eurozone breakup would likely carry rather large negatives, we’d also point out it seems highly unlikely. For more, see our 11/30/2011 cover story, “Fisher Investments: Is the Euro a Relic in the Making?”

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our title for this would be slightly different in words, but a whole lot different in meaning: “Market Volatility Is Normal.” A review of more than three years of history shows that periodically, volatility is above average. Until it isn’t. Remember, market volatility is not directional, predictive of future market direction or predictive of future market volatility.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Motley Fool, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t quibble with this article’s discussion of the fact corporate earnings have risen partly due to solidly positive profit margins, or its assertion that may not evaporate as fast as some fear. Our issue here is the article essentially argues those high profit margins are solely responsible for earnings growth, since US GDP growth rates haven’t been nearly as high. What about revenues, overseas business activity and the fact GDP isn’t a perfect reflection of economic health? All those things matter a lot. For more, see our 11/21/2011 cover story, “Earnings and Implications.”

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: The ECB’s level of involvement in providing support for peripheral European nations has been the source of much debate recently. While some call for increased purchases of sovereign debt on a grand scale, others note the potential moral hazard in sending the message the ECB will backstop nations perceived as profligate. Today, ECB president Mario Draghi stated what’s being interpreted as commentary more supportive of a broader ECB role—if the eurozone’s fiscal governance becomes structurally tighter. Talks are far from done on either aspect, but this is clearly worthy of attention.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Further evidence the economy is doing better than most expect and consumers’ actions are more meaningful than sentiment surveys’ attempts to tally their feelings.  

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: The Institute of Supply Management’s US manufacturing gauge expanded again in November, accelerating from October and beating analysts’ estimates—more evidence of a likely continuation of US economic expansion.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 12/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a great example of how onerous regulation and trade restrictions can hurt a country’s economy—firms will typically look elsewhere where it’s easier and cheaper to run a business.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: A swift, disorderly euro breakup would indeed likely be problematic. Yet, in our view, a wealth of evidence suggests that’s highly unlikely in the near term. For more, see today’s cover story, “Fisher Investments: Is the Euro a Relic in the Making?

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Could Japan endure a debt crisis at some point? Sure—such things are always possible. However, in our view, this piece is long on opinion, speculation and ifs, and short on supporting data. We’ll take the market’s opinion over that, and Japan’s microscopic bond rates don’t seem to indicate a looming debt crisis. And while Japan has faced challenges in recent years, its economy resumed growing in Q3, and monthly indicators likely point to growth ahead. Continued growth, coupled with Japan’s low yields, would seem to mitigate the risks of a debt crisis in the near term.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, the global financial system is interconnected, so if the eurozone suffered an extreme event, some effects would likely be felt here. But that’s far from a “terrifying new theory,” it’s what has been common media headline fodder for going on three years. But none of this addresses the likelihood it actually happens—which in our view remains small. What’s more, the article’s citation of a panicking Polish politician is somewhat ironic, considering the nation announced today Q3 GDP was a better-than-expected +4.2%.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: We continue to wonder why anyone pays attention to ratings agencies. For more, see our 11/28/2011 commentary on The Street, “The Trouble With Ratings Agencies.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: The Fed, ECB, BOE, BOJ, Swiss and Canadian central banks took coordinated action to make it easier for eurozone commercial banks to access dollar funding. In our view, this seems a sensible step to incrementally aid European banks’ access to credit markets. 

Sensible Stories
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: While it’s true some recent data from the eurozone haven’t been stellar, October German retail sales and November German unemployment data weren’t among them.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Record-high post-Thanksgiving sales continued on Cyber Monday, when spending was up 22% over 2010—a sign dour sentiment remains detached from reality. For more, see our 11/29/2010 cover story, “Red Hot Black Friday.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: More signs of monetary loosening in China—further evidence its government is attempting to tee up a 2012 economic reacceleration. This is a story to follow, as China’s 2012 loan quotas—an indication of government policy toward economic growth and inflation—are due soon. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though one month’s data don’t equal a trend, better-than-expected private sector job growth is more confirmation of ongoing economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: European banks are negotiating Greek debt haircuts with EU officials, and eurozone finance ministers have agreed to release their share of Greece’s long-delayed €8 billion aid tranche—incremental steps forward for the European periphery.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t share this piece’s ominous outlook. Eurozone politicians have actually signaled they remain committed to keeping the euro intact. In fact, if anything they’ve postured for tighter integration and controls between countries. For more, see our 11/11/2011 cover story, “Political Turnover Thursday.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Even with a lackluster recovery in the housing market, the US economy is back to all-time highs. A housing recovery would be a nice tailwind, but not entirely necessary for continued growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Fitch maintained its AAA rating of US debt but lowered its overall outlook. However, we caution against reading too far into ratings agencies’ prognostications.

Market Misperceptions
By , MSN.com, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Consumer confidence results are backward-looking and presage little about the future direction of markets or the economy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Australian, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: A well-reasoned look at the state of the eurozone and some options available for them to find a way forward. For more, see our 10/20/2011 cover story, “From the Eurozone Department.”

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: A trade pact is still far from reality, but increased trade between these two regions would be a tremendous net benefit. For more, see our 10/04/2011 cover story, “Freeing Trade.”

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible look at the real impact of tariffs on trade balances. “Even though we usually think of increasing exports as the route to increased domestic manufacturing output and employment, Canada's trade policy of reducing tariffs for its manufacturing sector highlights the important contribution of imports to domestic manufacturing.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: State and municipal governments’ finances are beginning to improve, thanks to the resurgent US economy and prudent fiscal measures—which typically happens at a delay after recessions end.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we agree with the first part of the first sentence, “The supercommittee was a superdud.” Neither a Tobin Tax nor higher income tax rates is a great idea in our eyes—capital is best left in the hands of those who use it most efficiently. And in our view, that’s not Uncle Sam.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: A few points: First, why anyone would attempt to forecast what a ratings agency might do—or why they pay attention to raters in the first place—is a bit beyond us. Second, using history to understand a range of possible outcomes is a fine enough thing, especially if what you’re assessing is how people react to a type of event. But thinking history provides a precise play-by-play of how events might unfold is to misuse history, in our view.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US holiday retail season started off with a bang this past weekend—retailers tallied a record $52.4 billion in sales.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The fact that consumer loan and credit card delinquency rates are back to pre-recession levels and below historical averages is part of the ongoing de-leveraging of American households.” Data continue to show US consumers are neither dead nor massively over-indebted.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: One of the counterintuitive things about capitalism and market-oriented economies is failure is generally a necessary precondition for successful innovation. And that’s something the government has often struggled with in its quest to foster the next great thing—be it in energy or elsewhere. In our view, the struggle to develop alternative energy that works well would be best done in the private marketplace without subsidy. Some would likely fail. Some wouldn’t. And that’s how sustainable technological advancement generally happens.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t really think the economic philosophy debate’s tenor is materially different than the past. Think of the debate between communists and capitalists, for example—that goes back over a century. But this article isn’t really documenting the debate either. “There really is a textbook way to fix our current mess. Short-term stimulus works to help an economy recover from recession.” We’re not sure what mess is being referred to or what recession. The US is in expansion. And the notion short-term stimulus definitively works is a bit of a stretch—that’s theory, not fact.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 11/28/2011

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

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Eurozone leaders are continuing to discuss deepening the monetary union’s interconnected nature, establishing greater fiscal oversight among member nations. This is far from done but is an interesting and potentially important story to watch.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Could the eurozone and single currency come to an end? Yes, that’s a possibility. But the suggestion “there’s no orderly way of doing this” is a stretch, in our view. Fact is, European leaders have a vested interest in doing what they can to ensure the currency either remains intact or dissolves in an orderly fashion.

Market Misperceptions
11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The vast majority of Japan’s debt is domestically owned—seemingly making the likelihood global fear of Japan’s overall indebtedness level collapses its economy. Plus, Japan’s notched some strong growth numbers recently, indicating it’s started recovering from this year’s natural disasters. And overall, Japan’s had a high debt-to-GDP level for many years without it causing major issues. This seems mostly a function of prevalent debt fears than anything.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The theory there’s been some fundamental shift in consumers’ spending patterns may be intriguing, but it doesn’t hold much water looking at the data. At a macroeconomic level, the reality is what consumers spend money on just isn’t as important as the fact they’re spending money.

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The intended consequences of SarbOx must be weighed against the unintended consequences, which are largely overlooked here. The reality is, the fraudulent actions SarbOx was aimed at were largely already covered in existing laws—making the cost seemingly outweigh the benefit.

Sensible Stories
By , Der Spiegel, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Here’s an interesting look at the ins and outs of Germany’s opposition to euro bonds. While at this point, talk of a collective eurozone bond is just talk, developments are something to keep an eye on.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Safeguards or not, more open borders bode well for the global economy and for Indian citizens as improved infrastructure makes food cheaper and other goods more available.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Planning, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d object with some minor aspects of this, but overall, it’s a solid look at how investors’ brains can work against them. It’s a good read and one to truly consider and think through with respect to investment decision-making.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t blame France for the sentiment—and we continue to wonder why people pay attention to credit ratings agencies since they’ve proved, time and again, they’re often late to the game and sometimes downright wrong. See our 11/14/2011 cover story, “This Week in Flubs,” for more. 

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, China’s recent deceleration is likely temporary—and primarily centrally planned. Other data, like a jump in October loan growth, suggest the government is likely gearing up for a 2012 reacceleration to coincide with the transfer of power from President Hu Jintao to a new government. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Looks like the Durbin Amendment’s made pretty much no one happy—which isn’t terribly surprising given government typically isn’t the best arbiter of bank fee minutiae. In our view, markets handle such decisions much better on their own.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, consumer spending growth slowed from September to October—but growth is growth. In our view, rising spending and incomes are another incremental positive for the US economy.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue this news largely exemplifies how far removed eurozone sentiment is from fundamentals. Germany has a competitive economy, a lower debt load than most of the eurozone and its recent growth has been just fine.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our own Mike Hanson’s latest for Real Clear Markets.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: An important reminder of the myriad reasons we have to be thankful, regardless of day-to-day concerns.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: “But the lesson you need to remember is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and if a yield looks too good to be true, you should dig deeper until you figure out how each investment produces the income it pays.” Indeed!

Sensible Stories
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’ve often said the Dow is a broken index, and this piece shows a few reasons why it doesn’t accurately reflect the broader markets.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: The New Democracy Party’s Antonis Samaras was hesitant to pledge support for austerity measures in writing, but he did reassure European leaders Greece is committed to making necessary changes to restore it to a sustainable economic path—which seemingly helps clear the way for Greece to receive its latest aid tranche.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: One thing seems certain: Uncertainty always exists, to varying degrees. That Congress chooses to dither and politick is nothing new, in our view, and is about as much a certainty as anything. However, the economy continues to expand further and companies continue to post better-than-ever earnings and revenues. For more, see our 11/22/2011 cover story, “Super Stalemate.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article’s one-sided view of multinational employment is problematic. Consider: It states US multinationals employ 6.9 million US workers and 4.6 million abroad. However, it fails to mention foreign multinationals employ over 5.3 million Americans as well—an important point for balanced consideration. For more, see our 10/20/2011 column, “That (Non-Existent) Giant Sucking Sound.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re all for lower taxes and allowing consumers and businesses to allocate more of their capital as they choose (though we’d quibble with the notion the economy needs this or any other government stimulus). But we’re unconvinced the supercommittee’s failure indicates much of anything, much less about one specific provision already slated to expire at year end. The supercommittee wasn’t formed to extend payroll tax cuts; it was formed to reduce expenditure growth over the next 10 years. So the two things seem quite independent of one another, and there’s no reason Congress couldn’t extend this—or any other measure, for that matter.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Like Italy recently, rising Spanish yields aren’t great—but they’re not an immediate doom trigger either. Moreover, comparing what Spain pays on its debt and the IMF’s fixed rate on loans to Greece and Portugal is a faulty comparison to say the least. For more, see our 11/10/2011 cover story, “Italian Debt Perspective.”

Sensible Stories
By , Real Time Economics, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View:  “Each month brings new reports of Americans’ gloom — the major consumer sentiment indexes have been mired in recessionary territory for months—and yet actual spending has continued to rise.” Watch what people do, not what they say. For more, see our recent column at The Street, “Are People Lying in Consumer Confidence Surveys?”

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: There’s been much rhetoric maligning the role of markets in the European debt situation. However, as this piece lays out, markets aren’t the enemy.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite all the consternation over banks’ health, earnings rose over the summer to their highest level in nearly four years. Of course, troubles in Europe could have an impact on US banks (though it’s unlikely in our view) and that makes it a story worth watching. But for now, US banking appears to have stabilized.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: As fractious as US politics can be, no tear gas has been needed (at least thus far). But all scuffles aside, the result—South Korea’s approval of the US trade deal, with implementation scheduled for February 2012—is a positive for both economies as barriers to trade continue to fall around the world. For more, see our 11/07/2011 column, “Taxing Chickens (and Trucks).

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, the US doesn’t lack demand. Moreover, the size of the economic pie isn’t fixed—meaning growth in the top end’s income doesn’t detract from everyone else. Ultimately, income inequality is a political problem—often cited to curry voter favor—with next to no economic meaning.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: First, the fact Spain has a new government isn’t new and surprising news. Socialist Former Prime Minister Zapatero had already announced he’d not run for reelection and the Socialist candidate was well behind in the polls from the get-go. Second, this article presumes Spain has equal problems driven by the same cause as Greece, Italy, et al. That’s far from the case—all have unique situations driven by country-specific factors. With all that said, current-account deficits and cross-border trade imbalances aren’t likely culprits for peripheral nations’ problems. 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s true unemployment is elevated in many parts of the developed world. But that it remains elevated two years after a recession has ended isn’t very unusual. Folks often struggle with this concept, but unemployment can remain elevated for very long periods after recessions. Extrapolating the past two years out to mean we face a decade of weak labor markets is a stretch.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d use a different description: The super committee amounted to super-normal politics as usual. And claims a super committee failure will have a meaningful influence on investor

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Once again: Why anyone pays much attention to ratings agencies is utterly beyond us.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Forget the focus on the trade surplus or deficit. Instead, look at total trade. Adding Japanese exports and imports shows October trade rose materially—likely a sign of continued healthy overall global economic activity.

Sensible Stories
By , Fox News, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Whether the super committee reaches an agreement or not isn’t very impactful for markets. In fact, it’s not even very impactful for the budget, considering all the legislative wrinkles Congress could work into the mix. A few of those are highlighted here.

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Political turnover in the PIIGS is now officially complete, with Spain’s Socialist party taking a drubbing in Sunday’s election. New Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy seems poised to carry forward and implement reforms and austerity.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Free-trade agreements have swept the globe the past few years, but there are still more in the pipeline at various stages of development. This isn’t a done deal, but it’s an interesting story to watch.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 11/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Recent economic data point to continued US economic growth ahead. This is one prime example. For more, see today’s cover story, “Earnings and Implications.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Econbrowser, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue economies have slowed in some areas and reaccelerated in others. Overall, the global economy does seem to have reaccelerated with pockets of weakness, which is normal. The world never moves in perfect lockstep.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s much too soon to call the October deal a failure! None of it has even been implemented, and impacted nations (Italy, Greece, Spain) have governments in flux. What that deal did show, however, is eurozone leaders’ continued willingness to do whatever’s necessary to prevent a sudden, messy euro dissolution.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: What Fitch said was, if the PIIGS situation worsens, they may put US banks on watch. That’s a long leap to presuming “contagion.” At the same time, Fitch maintained its stable rating of the US banking industry.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC.com, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: None of the reasons in this article are materially new. And some aren’t even inherently economical! Street protests may garner headlines, but they’re much more a political issue (if anything) than a material, long-term driver of capital markets. 

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: We take the LEI with a heavy dose of skepticism always, but the underlying data in the index largely confirm our view that the US economy is accelerating.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, it makes sense for the UK to act in its own best interest—and such a tax likely only incrementally diminishes competiveness of the financial sectors in those nations that adopt it. For more, see our 11/17/2011 cover story, “Taxation and Competitiveness 101.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italy undoubtedly faces significant economic challenges. This plan is an aggressive move to labor market liberalization—something Italy does need. Whether it passes the political process remains to be seen. For more, see our 11/10/2011 cover story, “Italian Debt Perspective.

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 11/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: “By cutting barriers, strengthening intellectual-property protections and going beyond a web of existing trade deals, [the TPP] should boost world trade.” And that’s a good thing, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble the US currently does not have an aggregate demand problem. Further, we’d suggest the recovery, growth and elevated unemployment we’ve seen since 2008’s financial crisis and ensuing recession are relatively similar to recent historical recoveries—and so not much in need of explanation.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue that while the gap between the top and the bottom may have grown, the reality is, over time, the rising tide has lifted all boats—those in the middle and bottom income-earning groups have better access to countless higher quality goods and services. Not only that, there’s significant evidence those in the top income group don’t stay there indefinitely—meaning income mobility is alive and well. For more, see our recent piece on Real Clear Markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, anyone who feels they pay less than they’d like or should in taxes is welcome to make a donation anytime here.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: The key words in this article are “may,” “might” and “could.” Which shows you’re about to read a tour de force of the possible—not the probable. For one thing, conjecturing what already volatile data points like consumer spending, personal savings and the stock market could do seems of dubious value. In reality, consumer spending has remained fairly robust and has recently been notching new all-time highs.

Market Misperceptions
By , ABC News, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve said before, the ratings agencies very rarely provide information of much value—and this seemingly falls into that category, considering almost none of the information in the report here was new.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: The case shouldn’t be overstated—European officials still seem largely devoted to maintaining the eurozone—but this is an interesting look at France and Germany’s individual prejudices and motivations when it comes to the various options for backstopping struggling countries.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Centralizing decision-making in such circumstances, therefore, is asking for trouble. Central planners have less information and poorer incentives to get decisions right than do market actors. They are also bad at correcting mistakes quickly.” We wholeheartedly agree. For more, see our 11/14/2011 column, “Supply-Side Schooling from Shale.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: While the fact unemployment’s lagged other economic data hasn’t much surprised us, the reality is it’s continued showing slow improvement in recent months.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at one of Italy’s biggest challenges—the inflexibility of its labor force—and its deleterious effects on their economy.

Sensible Stories
By , Cafe Hayek, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: And an interesting rhetorical question from Dr. Boudreaux.

By , The Washington Post, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: The case shouldn’t be overstated—European officials still seem largely devoted to maintaining the eurozone—but this is an interesting look at France and Germany’s individual prejudices and motivations when it comes to the various options for backstopping struggling countries.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: The sale of the British government’s stake in the formerly nationalized lender reduces government involvement in the banking business—a sensible move seemingly underscoring the improved overall health of Britain’s financial sector.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: EU officials continue to rake Britain over the coals for blocking the financial transactions tax. Said one high-ranking German: “Britain also carries responsibility for making Europe a success. Only being after their own benefit and refusing to contribute is not the message we’re letting the British get away with.” We fail to see why Britain, or any country, should be forced to adopt policies it feels aren’t in its best interests.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, Italy will need to roll over a good amount of debt early next year. However, that’s likely not as costly as this piece suggests. If rates stay around 7% from February through April (the heavier funding months—and, in our view, unlikely), the net interest cost increase is likely €5.6 billion over current payments—no small amount, but also not insurmountable. For more, see our 11/10/2011 cover story, “Italian Debt Perspective.”

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View:  We have no quibble with the author’s bullishness—we think stocks are the right place to be now, too! But there’s a wealth of data suggesting technical analysis, on its own, isn’t a useful investing tool. In our view, basing investing decisions solely on what’s happened in the past, without consideration of present and forward-looking fundamentals, is a lot like driving while looking only in the rearview mirror.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Seasonal investing maxims like the “January Effect” and “Sell in May” have largely proven empty over time.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US has ratified its free trade deal with South Korea, but now it’s held up in South Korea’s parliament. The main opposition party has said it won’t support the deal unless the provision on trade dispute arbitrations is renegotiated. Ratifying the deal would be beneficial for both countries, but unfortunately, it appears politicking may delay it still longer.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though Italy certainly has its issues, it’s worth noting the country has historically borne high debt-to-GDP ratios without defaulting, most recently in the 1990s. “This doesn’t in itself prove that the Italians will not default this time. But it is one very important way in which Italy is totally unlike Greece.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Japan’s potential accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the subject of heated debate there. Joining the Pacific Rim would likely be a net positive for Japan, though as this piece explains, it’s too early to handicap whether that actually happens. For more, see today’s Research Analysis, “Japan Enters Trans-Pacific Partnership Conversations.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: A look at some of the potential unintended consequences of the new Basel banking reforms—namely, less bank lending and increased costs to consumers. How banks and financial institutions respond to regulatory changes is important to keep an eye on.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Prime Minister Mario Monti has picked Italy’s new technocratic government, which is expected to be confirmed in Parliament by week’s end. For now, Monti appears to have broad parliamentary support, but various factions have already indicated they may not support any reforms they view as overly harsh, like a wealth tax. Italy’s political situation thus bears watching. For more, see our 11/15/2011 cover story, “Molto Mario?

Market Misperceptions
By , Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: The world economy has never been subject to a period where some great challenge or story hasn’t been a threat to growth. Yes, the eurozone has its fair share of problems to fix, but that doesn’t necessarily portend a recession for the US should things not work out perfectly. Assigning probability to that outcome, especially using the methodology here, is purely academic and serves little real-world use. For more, see our 10/28/2011 cover story, “A Dash of Growth and a Pinch of a Plan.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: We disagree with the notion the US has lost its clout as a global manufacturer or even that more manufacturing jobs are needed to stymie the unemployment rate. In fact, although we find some of the policy predictions noted here particularly sensible, they’re predicated on false premises.

Market Misperceptions
By , Christian Science Monitor, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, regulation can create and destroy jobs. But the real question isn’t the short-run direct effect, but rather the broader impact. So while heavy-handed regulation may well create some jobs in compliance or bringing factories up to code, the long-run costs and effects hamper growth—which is the ultimate job creator in the long run. To claim regulation doesn’t impact job creation is to argue the capital used in rule compliance wouldn’t be used to expand, grow, increase production and more. To not address this is a major omission—and to claim anyone is arguing we should “deregulate everything” is to slay a straw man.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite the ongoing debt situation and political turmoil in Europe, the region still managed to grow in the second and third quarters—anemic growth, to be sure, but still growth—predominantly concentrated in the stronger core nations. That said, real GDP is only 1.5% below its 2008 peak.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: It seems new Italian PM Mario Monti is making headway toward forming a new government to implement reforms. With that said, much work remains to be completed. For more, see today’s cover story “Molto Mario.”

Sensible Stories
By , RTTNews, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: New York area manufacturing activity grew more than expected in November’s survey, providing further evidence economic conditions are better than many appreciate.

Sensible Stories
By , CNN Money, 11/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite dour consumer confidence surveys and the best-laid economist forecasts, consumers kept spending in October. This emphasizes a view we’ve long held—consumer spending is more resilient than many believe. For more, see our 11/01/2011 cover story, “County Candy (and Earnings).”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters , 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Strip away the interpretation and opinion here to see the facts: The OECD, not known for being an outrageously bullish body, projects continued US growth in 2012, and its composite leading indicator showed developed world growth continued in September, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Oh, and it’s the slowest pace since December 2009, a period of growth and right before acceleration. The headline could easily read, “Nobody Will Escape Volatility in Some Econometrics.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is an overly bearish slant that all too liberally bandies about the term “crisis,” posing the supposedly “real question” of which economy stumbles first. But looking at data, it appears to us a hard landing isn’t likely in China and US growth accelerated in Q3—all while Europe’s debt saga has continued. So maybe the real question isn’t who stumbles first, but rather, how much and how long does economic growth continue before another recession? Only problem is, the article makes no attempt to tackle that question.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: That creditors didn’t want to restructure Jefferson County’s debt after it defaulted isn’t the driver of their financial woes. It’s the aftermath of financial woes driven largely by graft and corruption involved in a costly overhaul of the sewer system to meet federal mandates. This seems mostly like banker bashing to us.

 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Maybe the super committee will impact consumer sentiment. But then again, consumer sentiment has proven time after time a fairly unreliable indicator regarding future consumer behavior. For more, see our 11/10/2011 column, “The Not-So-Super Committee.”

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a vast project involving lowering barriers to trade on both sides of the Pacific, seem to be getting more and more participation. This is a long way from complete, but it’s an interesting and potentially important story to watch.

Sensible Stories
By , Bankstocks.com, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View:  We continue to scratch our heads, wondering why anyone pays ratings agencies much attention. For more, see today’s cover story, “This Week in Flubs.”

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve said, the idea Greece can simply leave the euro and devalue its way back to prosperity is probably quite unrealistic at this point.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Supply-side economics at work. The development of shale gas resources has been a boon to regional economies, like Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region—creating jobs both directly in extracting gas and indirectly meeting needs and wants of companies and workers. For more, see our column, “Supply-Side Schooling from Shale.”

Sensible Stories
By , RTT News, 11/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Japan’s GDP grew 6% y/y in Q3, showing the recovery from March’s earthquake and tsunami is proceeding.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article claims two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction are a recession, and that’s occurred in Hong Kong. Later, the article says Hong Kong grew +4.3% Q3 after growing 5.1% in Q2. That’s not contraction or a recession—it’s growth rate deceleration, which is still growth and not a recession.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Similarities between the eurozone now and the financial crisis in 2007 are tenuous at best. Eurozone banks are much better capitalized now, and a key factor not in play today is deleterious impact of the new abandoned FASB 157 “fair value” rule.

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Capitalism is how human beings live and function. The alternative, as history shows, is not some other system but the collapse of all economic activity.” Too true.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: US manufacturing is still growing—further evidence supporting continued economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Is Germany taking a page out of Ireland’s book? Germany, in much better fiscal shape than many of its euro neighbors, is making an effort to be more competitive with lower tax rates.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Can’t say we blame them. The ratings agencies have proven themselves as Johnny-come-lately inefficient government-approved oligopolies. Whether the proposed rules will be adopted—or prove any better—remains to be seen.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 11/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: More free trade is a global incremental positive. For more, see our 06/29/2011 cover story, “Spend and Trade.” 

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, Italy’s yields have gone up recently, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they stay there indefinitely—as indicated in part by Thursday’s very successful debt auction. And even if they do remain elevated temporarily, that needn’t spell Italy’s (or the eurozone’s) doom, given the structure of debt coming due in the near term. For more, see today’s cover story, “Italian Debt Perspective.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our quibble with this is the suggestion mark-to-market accounting helped mitigate the severity of 2008’s financial panic. On the contrary: In our view, it was precisely rules like FAS 157 and mark-to-market accounting standards that exacerbated 2008’s severity. For more, see our 05/16/2011 cover story, “Marking to Footnote.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s important to consider the (in our view, likely sizeable) role politics are playing in the latest eurozone developments. Consider how many times since the spring officials have seemingly dug in and reached an impasse, only to ultimately resolve the disagreement of the day and continue their plodding progress. The likelihood that changes now, when all parties stand to lose quite a bit should progress stop or reverse, seems fairly slim, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Reviving the drachma and devaluing have become increasingly common suggestions for helping Greece resolve its woes. Trouble is, it’s oversimplified: Replacing a viable currency folks do have confidence in with one they know will probably be devalued likely causes vast short-term pain in Greece—and likely isn’t a panacea to cure Greek ills.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: A step in the right direction for Greece. Maybe now that they have a new leader, they can agree to the EFSF expansion and help ease some of the tension elsewhere in the periphery. For more, see our 11/08/2011 cover story, “Mediterranean Musical Chairs.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: It seems Italy is making political progress as well. While it no doubt takes some time to address the various eurozone concerns, the fact individual countries as well as supranational organizations continue to hammer away decreases the likelihood of a sudden eurozone implosion.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting, slightly different take on jobs data—as we’ve said, unemployment historically recovers after the economy and markets, and recent signs of some thawing in employment mobility may point to more improvement ahead.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Increasing global trade openness benefits all parties involved—and organizations like the WTO are a means to that end. For more, see our 11/03/2011 cover story, “Promoting Peace and Prosperity.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The September volume of exports ($180.3 billion) was the highest monthly export volume in history . . . a further sign that a recovery in worldwide economic conditions has increased demand for US products.”

Sensible Stories
By , Reason, 11/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Melodramatic title aside, this is a sound look at the impact onerous regulation can have on potentially life-saving products.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: That Greece, Portugal and Ireland sought bailouts when their sovereign yields hit 7%, in our view, seems more coincident than causal. Each of those nations had unique structural issues that rendered open-market funding exceedingly difficult, but Italy’s situation is different. Its large economy is still growing, it runs a primary surplus, several austerity measures and state asset sales are already in progress and it boasts more efficient tax collection than Greece. That’s not to say Italy won’t need help of some form, but we’d caution against lending the 7% threshold much significance.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re frankly not sure why it’s news there’s a wealth gap between younger folks—who are likely just starting out—and older folks, who’ve likely been accumulating wealth for decades. It shouldn’t exactly be a shock older, more experienced workers are generally paid commensurate with that resume.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we often say, such long-term forecasts tend to be futile. Extrapolating today’s problems over time, without accounting for all of the unknown innovations and developments that can and likely will arise between now and then, seems unlikely to yield accurate results.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, using Britain’s widening trade gap to argue its economy is “suffering” is off base. Total trade is a more meaningful metric, and that exports grew modestly while imports rose more indicates healthy trade and domestic demand.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: The inventory-to-sales ratio remains super low, which could buoy production and output as demand increases. For more, see our 10/17/2011 Research Analysis, “US Economic Update.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article has good and bad points to it, like the fact it seemingly stresses what appears to us a highly arbitrary level of rates and speculation regarding the future. But it also sensibly points out not all Italy’s debt comes due at once and the higher level of rates, while not great, isn’t necessarily a game-changer.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: China seems increasingly likely to loosen loan quotas when they reset at yearend—one of several reasons we believe a Chinese hard landing is unlikely. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: As this piece illustrates, removing subsidies that prop up industries can allow innovation and creative destruction to take their natural courses—likely net positives for society and the economy over time.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are myriad things wrong with this piece. It all starts from a central premise: Bankers are greedy, and if left to their own devices, they’ll take massive risks in search of huge bonuses. Now, without question, some banks probably did take excessive risk. But the cause of 2008’s financial panic wasn’t excessive greed, it was misguided regulatory actions like FAS 157 and later, poor steps taken by government regulators. Moreover, is all risk taken by a bank bad? What about loans small businesses looking for capital to hire new employees? Risky! Would we want to curtail that too? A world without risk and reward isn’t one we want to live in, and thinking the government knows exactly where to draw that line is folly.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Retail sales may have slowed a bit in South Korea, but they were still positive at 3.8% year over year. As we often say, slower growth is still growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: At this juncture, European politicians have recognized a closer fiscal union between member countries is the only workable solution to their troubles. A sudden, disorderly breakup of the union would be a sizeable negative for markets, in our view. Nor is it likely abandoning the euro would make all peripheral Europe’s woes disappear.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue it’s impossible to forecast the distant future since there are so many unknown variables. There’s little chance anyone’s methodology—no matter how smart they are—can account for all the innovations, political and regulatory changes, trade agreements and other developments that could arise between now and then.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 11/08/2011

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

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italy’s beleaguered prime minster won a confidence vote on austerity measures, but it may prove a pyrrhic victory as he fell short of the 316 votes required for a true majority. One coalition partner is urging him to resign, and it seems Berlusconi has acquiesced. For more on Italy’s political uncertainty, see today’s cover story, “Mediterranean Musical Chairs.”

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: The so-called Tobin tax could have knock-on effects on Europe’s economic growth and capital markets activity, so Britain’s effort to block it seem sensible to us.

Sensible Stories
By , RTT News, 11/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Indian trade posted a solid month in October, with both imports and exports sharply rising—a good sign the global economic expansion likely continues.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Housing has indeed been a weak spot. But keep in mind, that’s been true for the past nine consecutive quarters of economic growth. While a rebound in housing would be a nice additive to growth, it’s not required. Continued housing weakness, which should be expected, doesn’t portend weak overall economic growth ahead.

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, unemployment is still weak, but that says more about past economic weakness than where the economy is headed.  For more, see today’s cover story, “20 Numbers to Help Illustrate Unemployment.”

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: This piece largely ignores the improvements, though incremental, Italy has made in the past few months. Eurozone officials have also shown a steadfast resolve to preserve the euro (and its membership).

Market Misperceptions
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: As always, we are politically unbiased and favor neither. But we’d quibble with the basis for this study. General elections are won on a number of variables not considered here. What’s more, some of the factors included here are inherently arbitrary. And either way, we believe 2012 is uniquely situated to be a positive year for stocks. For more, see our 08/11/2011 column, “How Will The Election Year Impact Your Portfolio?

Sensible Stories
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: “In addition to the increase in economic activity that results directly from increased domestic energy production, there are additional increases in jobs, output and economic activity that result indirectly from increased oil and gas production, with increases in rail traffic being just one of many examples.”

Sensible Stories
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Ignore the sensationalized title. The real story is companies are investing to expand output and production—which should underpin ongoing economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s perhaps not as simple as this, but it is clear Greece doesn’t have a debt problem so much as it has a socialism problem.

Sensible Stories
By , 11/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible piece on creating a trans-pacific free trade zone. For more, see our 11/03/2011 cover story, “Promoting Peace and Prosperity.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Real Clear Politics, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: The analogy used here that Greece somehow represents the world economy is, in our view, a massive stretch. The thought process is political leadership to drive the global economy to growth is somehow missing. Yet the world economy is growing. Beyond that, much of this article is speculation and contrary to facts on the ground, like the fear protectionism is rising globally—all while we’ve had myriad free trade agreements signed year to date and scant few protectionist measures adopted.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, job growth hasn’t come as fast as many hope. But even the author admits the fallacy of the story, saying, “This is not a prediction, it’s simply an extrapolation of current trends.” That’s spot on—but then why use this in the end to call for more government action?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: 

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Planning, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: This might be tautological, but it’s true: Volatility is high until it isn’t. The point is volatility isn’t predictive of anything—direction, magnitude or even of itself. So it’s a fallacy to attempt to construct a portfolio solely to avoid it. And the prescriptions and evidence here are faulty to say the least.

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The definition of productivity is reducing costs without reducing output, and American manufacturers have done just that. But as evidenced by the rise of better paying managerial and professional work, Americans have hardly suffered this increase in productivity.”

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: Political leaders continue to show their willingness to work together to maintain stability in the global economy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: The ECB cut rates by 25 basis points yesterday. It was unexpected, but ultimately not hugely surprising—officials continue to take steps to bolster the eurozone as necessary. For more, see today’s cover story, “24 Hours in the Eurozone.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Already, shale gas has produced more than half a million new jobs…. If current trends continue, there are hundreds of thousands of new jobs to come.” Fracking, like many new industries or technologies, has its detractors (largely on the grounds of environmental concerns). But in our view, this innovation has enormous benefits we’ve likely only begun to reap. And ultimately, if concerns are proven valid, technology can likely alleviate them through time. For more, see our 07/29/2011 cover story, “The American Energy Revolution.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: Far be it from us to suggest this has a potentially big market impact—not much in Cuba would, considering its size and lack of openness. But we include this article because we find it interesting. Cuba could do with a massive, market-oriented overhaul of its economy—this is only one minor aspect.

Sensible Stories
By , Cato @ Liberty, 11/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is another article discussing a topic that likely doesn’t have a huge impact on stocks or the economy. But it is an interesting look at some options that could potentially help housing—not by “bailing out” anyone, really, but by speeding up the market adjustment process, which is an interesting thought.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Atlantic, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we’d quibble with just about all of this. Sure, we’d all prefer faster growth and improvement in employment, etc.—but growth is still growth, and the reality is there’s not a single recession or depression in history we haven’t recovered from. So the chances this one’s different seem inordinately low.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Housing’s undoubtedly lagged other areas of the economy when it comes to recovering from the recent bear market and recession—but housing makes up a small portion of the overall economy, so the likelihood it’s the silver bullet the economy’s waiting for to kick in gangbusters growth is slim at best.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Same-store sales at big retail chains rose +3.4% in October. Sure, that’s slower than August’s and September’s hotter rates. But just as it was apparently a mistake to extrapolate October’s number from August and September’s sequential acceleration, it’s equally mistaken to extrapolate November and December from October. Economic statistics, as we’ve often said, are variable and volatile.

Market Misperceptions
By , NPR, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree mostly with the “other economists” (whoever they are) who say “innovation will save the day: New industries and new technologies will spring up with new kinds of jobs for people that we can’t yet anticipate.” Yes, technology can be disruptive in the near term, and that can be painful for workers. But the fact is, we’ve innovated new, more efficient ways to do things since the wheel’s discovery—so the vast majority of folks displaced have ultimately found new jobs in new (or the same) industries.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: A concise look at the current status of the ever-shifting Greek political situation.

Sensible Stories
By , Reason, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Anytime we can use fewer resources and less labor to produce one thing, that leaves more for other things we can’t afford. If we save money buying abroad, we can make and buy other products.” Exactly. For more, see our 10/20/2011 column, “That (Non-Existent) Giant Sucking Sound.

Sensible Stories
By , Cato @ Liberty, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Some enlightening examples of why the government is quite often a less efficient spender than the private sector.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The more complex and specific regulation gets, he said, the more lawgivers play in the hands of banks and their lawyers, who merely invent new products enabling them to get around the new regulations.” We largely agree—whenever possible, regulations should be straightforward as opposed to onerous and complex because it increases the likelihood they accomplish their goal with fewer negative unintended consequences.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: And we shouldn’t—potential unintended consequences aside, fact is, taxes like this are mostly likely to encourage consumers to look for a cheaper alternative. And in a fully global market, there are myriad alternatives.

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 11/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Free trade has been expanding for much of the last few years, and it shows few signs of slowing. And we agree this would be another beneficial agreement to add to the growing list. For more, see today’s cover story, “Promoting Peace and Prosperity.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Setting aside the fact this piece doesn’t quite get around to defining “speculation,” we think it’s a solution in search of a problem. What many consider “speculative” trading—think options, futures contracts and the like—generally bring more liquidity, transparency and more efficient price discovery, which can actually help institutions and individual investors mitigate risk. In our view, levying a surtax on these instruments would interfere with a vital function of free markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, it’s quite likely China tries to use their potential contribution to the EFSF as a political bargaining chip. But bear in mind, the fact China owns a chunk of US Treasurys hasn’t stopped the US government from taking Beijing to task for human rights, the yuan’s artificially low value or anything else. Thus, in our view, it seems unlikely Europe will pay a great (or any) political price for Chinese EFSF participation.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue this article has it just backwards. Eurozone politicians have increasingly shown they have the will to do what’s necessary to backstop Europe’s periphery and maintain the monetary union.

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: A rundown of the latest political back-and-forth over Greece and its pending referendum on last week’s eurozone agreement. Expect more and more politicking as the saga continues. For more, see today’s cover story, “Greek Curve-Ball.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italian austerity efforts continue—a positive step forward in that country’s efforts to tackle its high outstanding debt. Though, it remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Berlusconi has enough remaining political capital to push needed reforms through Parliament.

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Politics, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: “If the wealthy get wealthier, no one has to become one penny poorer.” Indeed! And in fact, as this piece shows, society is largely getting wealthier top to bottom, and opportunities for economic mobility abound. There’s simply no need for top-down wealth redistribution—capitalism has worked just fine.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though unemployment is a lagging indicator, this is nonetheless another sign the US economy is healthier than many think. For more, see our 10/21/2011 cover story, “A Preponderance of the Evidence: Growth.”

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 11/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spurred on by the US’s newly ratified free trade agreement with South Korea, Taiwan is trying to free trade with several nations. If they’re successful, it would likely promote competition and increased activity on both sides of the Pacific—positives for all involved. For more on the global push for freer trade, see our 10/17/2011 cover story, “Racing Towards Zero.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Greece is calling for a national referendum on the newly designed bailout plan—a move dripping with political motivations. There are certainly issues of major concern out of Europe, but the politicking in Greece today seems mostly like another round of gamesmanship—realistic options are few for Greek leaders at this point. For more, see our 10/28/2011 cover story, “A Dash of Growth and a Pinch of a Plan.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article says a lot about media reporting: The same analyst whose (in our view, overly dramatized) quote was the source of the title continues to say, “We don’t believe the world is going into global recession.” Why wasn’t that the article’s title? We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Although the UK’s third quarter result was less than robust, growth is growth. As we’ve said many times, economic growth rates frequently fluctuate, and it’s a mistake to read too much into any one quarterly statistic.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: There’s little here we agree with: Swing trading, technical analysis and leveraged ETFs are unlikely to generate long-term and repeatable successes. Folks don’t seem to like this, but there is no one with a proven, public history of repeatably timing the short-term ups and downs of the market. For more, see our 10/27/2011 cover story, “Costly Clarity.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Although growth in the US manufacturing sector slowed in line with trends elsewhere, it still reflected growth and expansion—as did China’s. These measures don’t always move up in a perfectly straight line. They’re subject to some slowing followed by some reacceleration—all perfectly normal.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: As Dr. Boudreaux points out, contrary to what some would have you believe, Americans still spend the vast majority of their expenditures on goods and services made right here in the USA.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting take on the debate over US infrastructure.

Sensible Stories
By , Truth on the Market, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: An entertaining and on-point take on the arrival of the world’s seven billionth resident. For more, see MarketMinder editor Lara Hoffmans' Forbes blog post, “7 Billion Reasons Malthus Was Wrong.”

Sensible Stories
By , USA Today, 11/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Ignore the somewhat sensationalized title and the backward-looking reflections on a good October. This is a largely sensible piece on some of the factors that could contribute to a strong run for stocks ahead. This is not all-inclusive, of course, but it’s an interesting glimpse.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The schism partly reflects consumer ire with the government’s failure to reduce 9.1 percent unemployment or stem rising deficits.” Actually, this mostly has to do with the fact consumer confidence surveys are backward-looking and aren’t indicative of much of anything looking forward in the future.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: As the ECB’s first president transitions out and Italy’s Mario Draghi takes the helm, we anticipate few changes at least in the near term. The two gentlemen have generally been in agreement on ECB policy, and we don’t anticipate a radical shift.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, yes, a recession ahead is always possible. But this was no mere bump. Further, growth is always positive, not recessionary. And expectations broadly are for continued global growth into 2012.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s hard to figure how earnings this quarter can be seen as anything but positive.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: Ignore the title, which implies the news was bad. “Business activity in the US expanded in October at about the same pace as in the prior month, a sign overseas demand and business investment will help keep the economy expanding.” Indeed.

Sensible Stories
By , Motley Fool, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble with bits and pieces of this; however, this is spot on: “If we were so spectacularly unable to foresee the future of our public finances 10 years ago, why do pretend like we can see it today?” We can’t. Long-term forecasts of anything are fraught with peril.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: See our latest commentary on The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: More on the eurozone bailout shuffle.

Sensible Stories
By , The American, 10/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: At a time when many worry about economic fallout from “income inequality,” it’s important to look at the facts. It seems, among other findings, there’s vast mobility among income groups, even over very short periods. Folks regularly move up and down.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italy isn’t Greece. What Italy mostly needs is economic growth, and government reforms could aid that. But the two situations are not very comparable in terms of economic competitiveness, diversity, size or recent growth trends. Plus, Italy doesn’t have a spending problem on the magnitude of Greece’s, and Italy’s debt matures gradually over the next five to seven years.

Market Misperceptions
By , CBS Moneywatch, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is great news. But it’s in no way impactful on a forward-looking basis. Rather, it comfirms the economy has been recovering. We think the economy keeps growing, which will lead to higher employment, but don’t ever confuse high unemployment as a hurdle to forward-looking growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, because the Fed has been extraordinarily accommodative in recent years, the much greater risk is higher inflation, though we still see that as a ways down the road. The economy still has ample slack to work through before inflation is likely to rise materially.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, since consumers have been deleveraging for several years, the fact spending rose and incomes rose too—but less than forecast—isn’t particularly alarming.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Left on its own to grow and innovate, the US private economy is a remarkable engine of prosperity.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves—and yet another argument against onerous government regulation.

Sensible Stories
By , Ludwig von Mises Institute, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Overall, innovations in trading technology provide more liquidity and more opportunities for price discovery. Government shouldn’t try to curtail flash trading any more than it should try to stop folks from trading online.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence the economy is stronger than many folks believe.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Sure, those who’ve been waiting with baited breath for a bazooka-like announcement resolving Europe’s woes for better or worse may be disappointed. But their mistake is mostly their expectations. Fact is, in all likelihood a quick fix doesn’t exist, isn’t very necessary and probably isn’t especially desirable. So that the new plan doesn’t address all of Europe’s woes is, well, to be expected.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we’d quibble with nearly all of this—particularly the suggestion a lack of demand is making job creation difficult. Actually, job creation historically lags economic recovery—and as businesses continue to grow and become increasingly productive, they’ll likely increase payrolls. But the fact consumer spending is at all-time highs largely contradicts the suggestion there’s a catastrophic demand problem right now

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Consumer confidence declined last week as Americans’ views of the economy sank to the lowest since the recession, highlighting the challenges facing the recovery.” Actually, we rather think it highlights the backward-looking, lagging nature of consumer confidence—particularly in the face of a positive GDP reading today and consumer spending at all-time highs.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US economy logged its ninth straight quarter of GDP growth—and sequentially accelerated in both Q2 and Q3. That seems to stand in stark contrast to prevalent dour economic sentiment. For more, see our 10/21/2011 cover story, “A Preponderance of the Evidence: Growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: A solid example of demand creation by the supply side.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: Now here’s something of a shock: Regulators acknowledging onerous regulation can hamper smaller businesses from a compliance-cost perspective and are consequently actually paring regulation back!

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: The eurozone continues to make progress—and though the measures announced today aren’t terribly surprising (nor the last that will likely be necessary), they seem mostly another step in the right direction.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: The good news: The US still ranks fourth in the World Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report on the ease of doing business. But as this article highlights, there’s clearly room for improvement in areas like regulation, taxes, trade and more. To compete in a world largely becoming more business friendly (policy makers in 163 countries have made business-friendly changes in the last six years), the US needs to keep pace.

Sensible Stories
By , Cafe Hayek, 10/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Why do the people who advocate increasing government spending right now in large amounts act as if there is a free lunch—that aggregate demand will go up by the amount of the spending as if economic activity will go up by the amount of the spending or even more?” We agree—in general, the private sector likely spends dollars much more efficiently than government, so the efficacy of attempts to boost “aggregate demand” by increasing government spending is doubtful at best.

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: The Chancellor’s strong resolve to keep the eurozone intact seems quite clearly illustrated here, though, in our view, the urgency of today’s summit is overstated. Perhaps the rhetoric was necessary to get the Bundestag to support the broad outline for an expanded EFSF—which it did, 503 votes to 89—but eurozone officials’ self-imposed deadline seems arbitrary and economically meaningless. For more, see today’s cover story, “When News Isn’t Really New.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we don’t think October’s confidence numbers are very predictive of either capital markets’ or consumers’ future behavior. Low consumer confidence didn’t stop stocks from rallying from March 2009, and this year’s dwindling confidence hasn’t stopped retail sales or consumer spending from logging new highs. For more, see our 10/20/2011 commentary on The Street, “The Global Economy Is Stronger Than You Think.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s true Ireland isn’t out of the woods, but the improvements there aren’t fictional. Plus, using credit default swap prices to gauge “reality” there seems off—the CDS market is thinly traded and hugely volatile, and it’s been well documented European CDS markets aren’t the best reflection of credit risk as a result.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Indeed, consumer spending is by far the largest component of GDP. But ignoring the contribution of business spending and investment is quite a fallacy indeed. The recent recession illustrates this well: Consumer spending dipped a bit but stayed quite resilient (as it normally does in recession). Business investment fell orders of magnitude further, which was a major contributor to the recession’s depth. Moreover, this article is far too dismissive of supply-side economics in its bent. In our view, removing some headwinds to business growth would be an entirely sensible way to promote continued growth overall.

Market Misperceptions
By , Central News Agency, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue that conclusion’s quite premature. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (not quite an FTA, but close) doesn’t take full effect until 2013, and many factors—like, perhaps, slower growth on the mainland—could be influencing Taiwan-to-China export growth. All in all, it’s too early to say this trade agreement isn’t benefiting Taiwan as much as expected.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Trade is getting freer around the Pacific, but the US has yet to join the party—no new American free trade agreements (FTAs) have been inked since 2007 (the South Korean FTA that recently passed Congress). Asian nations want to trade freely with us, and granting that wish is a potential positive for all involved. For more, see our 10/17/2011 cover story, “Racing Towards Zero.”

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: This deal is the first executed contract to export US liquefied natural gas (LNG) extracted from shale. Only a few years ago, it was widely assumed the US would grow ever more dependent on foreign energy sources—in fact, the terminal cited here was constructed to receive imported LNG. But technological advances have upended that. A real-world example of why very long-term forecasts can be very problematic—they simply cannot account for supply-side innovation and change.

Sensible Stories
By , The Motley Fool, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: With a few simple, rock-solid facts, this piece swiftly debunks some popular, misguided notions. Chinese goods don’t, in fact, dominate the US, China doesn’t own most of our outstanding government debt and the US doesn’t wholly depend on Middle Eastern oil. Don’t trust broad generalizations—let the numbers tell the story instead.

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 10/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Part of the “grand plan” for the eurozone is taking shape: It appears banks’ Tier 1 capital ratios will be boosted to 9%, and a €108 billion recapitalization fund will likely be available for banks in need.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Thus far, Chinese economic data don’t reflect a crash. In fact, Q3 real GDP growth was just reported at a big 9.1% year over year. While many fear a hard landing, any growth deceleration seems more likely to be a part of a planned deceleration tied to the government’s use of loan quotas. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Much was made ahead of S&P’s US downgrade—but it had very little actual impact on debt rates. In fact, they’ve fallen—the opposite of what you’d expect if the market deemed the US more of a risk now. We continue to wonder why folks still pay much heed to the ratings agencies anyway.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: European politicians generally—not just Berlusconi—have faced a difficult road getting austerity measures enacted. However, most have shown the fortitude to see them through. We can’t say if Berlusconi survives this confidence vote—but he has proven remarkably resilient in the past.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’ve oft said it (but it bears repeating)—consumer confidence is a backward-looking indicator at best that presages little about the future direction of markets or the economy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The fallacy of making long-term forecasts, nicely demonstrated. It is very difficult to forecast the vast benefit future innovations will have on society. It also flies in the face of history (as well as the understanding of human nature and the huge incentive of future profits) to believe we won’t see future, life-improving innovations.

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News , 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The torrent of new free trade deals continues, as countries worldwide have begun to loosen trade restraints. This latest deal and another with New Zealand, if enacted, would be additional positive developments, in our view. For more, see our 10/17/2011 cover story, “Racing Towards Zero.”

Sensible Stories
By , Dow Jones Newswires, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Italian politicians and regulators continue to show their commitment to meeting fiscal targets and making their economy more competitive. For more, see our 09/30/2011 cover story, “Easing On Down the Eurozone Road.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The very definition of a "black swan" is an extraordinarily unusual, unpredictable event. So how are we supposed to prepare for them? Natural disasters and market crashes can be severe with major repercussions, but these aren’t black swan events. They happen—quite a lot in history, actually. For more, see our 10/11/2011 column, “It’s (Not Really Much) Different This Time.

Market Misperceptions
By , Telegraph, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, the euro dramatically and suddenly ending would be bad. But eurozone leaders have a great deal of political and financial capital invested in maintaining the common currency, and a sudden collapse is highly unlikely. In fact, many of the recent developments are positive steps toward maintaining the currency union.    

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: Never mind for a moment this is a discussion of a survey which may or may not match reality. Just consider: It’s the “weakest since 2010.” A year ago? And what happened in 2010? While it may not have been a huge employment surge, hiring happened—as did economic growth. And that seems poised to continue

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: Since the wheel was invented, people have been “losing jobs” due to machines. Fact is, technological advance may cause some dislocations in the very short term, but in the long term, greater productivity reaps enormous rewards—and is a force likely to create even more jobs than it destroys.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re highly skeptical of mathematical efforts seeking to target potential (or “shoulda-been”) GDP. Especially government-issued estimates.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is an interesting take on the gap between sentiment and reality. In our view, being a contrarian simply to be a contrarian is misguided. What matters most is how data relate to reality. In this case, overwhelmingly dour sentiment is overshadowing economic and fundamental data pointing to continued growth ahead. So taking a view contrary to prevailing sentiment is likely correct—and potentially rewarding.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: China’s manufacturing sector grew—and at an accelerating pace—despite their many measures seeking to cool inflation (and hence, growth). Another piece of evidence showing a Chinese hard landing isn’t likely. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View:  More news indicating Japan’s recovery from the March 11 earthquake continues.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/24/2011

MarketMinder's View:  This weekend’s EU summit closed with another delay of eurozone leaders’ “grand plan.” From some accounts, it appears slow progress was made. But all in all, this seems like another example of eurozone leaders taking a slow approach—and that political deadlines are mostly fungible. And it doesn’t seem markets were taken aback by the delay. For more, see our 10/18/2011 cover story, “Don’t Bank on the Big Bang.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Month-to-month numbers like this tend to fluctuate quite a bit. What matters more is that, overall in the past 12 months, there were jobs gains in 47 states—which is largely downplayed in the media. 

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/21/2011

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

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Because of waning productivity, the US economy may reach $17 trillion in size by 2016, vs. the $19.3 trillion projected earlier.” Well, first, making projections that far out is fraught with peril. Second, productivity fell from a very high level—and this is what normally happens at this stage in a recovery. Further, falling productivity is normally a precursor to more hiring. If your staff is maxed out, it’s time to hire.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Manipulating prices in any way leads to further disruptions. And it’s one more way California becomes less competitive for businesses. For more, see our 06/04/2008 cover story, “Cap and Trade, or Shuck and Jive?

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: More data supporting continued economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Hardly unexpected. This has been the MO since bailout talks began—a plan is floated, folks disagree, they talk about it and make some progress. Then, a plan for the next incremental step is floated, folks disagree, etc. For more, see our 10/20/2011 cover story, “From the Eurozone Department.”  

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we rather disagree this legislation is a great idea and suspect it’s mostly feckless—with possible incremental negative unintended consequences. For more, see today’s cover story, “From the Eurozone Department.

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley likely hampers small business start-ups because of the onerous compliance costs it implies. While there are clear benefits to legislation aimed at protecting investors and customers from fraudulent companies, we’d suggest there are better ways to achieve that goal—and likely with fewer unintended consequences.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve said before, the housing market actually plays a fairly small role in overall economic performance. While undoubtedly painful for some, it’s unlikely fixing the housing market is the silver bullet many seemingly presume. Moreover, government attempts to “clean up” a mess often result in either a more lasting issue or a broadening problem. Letting the market sort out the housing market’s issues may not be politically popular, but it’s the right course of action, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Consumers may say they feel gloomy, but their recent spending habits largely indicate the opposite. For more, see our YouTube video, “US Economic Update.”

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d actually argue the opposite—that it was precisely regulation (ahem, FAS 157) that triggered 2008’s financial crisis, unbeknownst to those who instituted it. For more, see our 05/16/2011 cover story, “Marking to Footnote.

By , Spiegel, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a straightforward discussion of the eurozone’s most recent plan to possibly leverage the EFSF. For more, see today’s cover story, “From the Eurozone Department.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: More good news from the Emerald Isle as they continue progressing toward sounder economic footing.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: “More than 300 new jobs have already come to the Steubenville area. And as many as 10,000 more are expected in the next three years. If jobs keep growing at this pace, every adult in Steubenville could be working by April.” Now that’s a jobs plan we could get behind!

Sensible Stories
By , TheStreet, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: The latest contribution from our editorial staff to TheStreet.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index increased to 8.7 from minus 17.5 last month, the biggest one-month rebound in 31 years.” And more evidence the economic situation in the US isn’t as disastrous as many claim.

Sensible Stories
By , Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 10/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: An excellent economic explanation of free trade and its long-term impact (or lack thereof) on unemployment.

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Eurozone officials’ October 23 deadline for a debt restructuring plan seems mostly political. Economically, nothing really changes on that date. Thus, if an agreement isn’t reached at this weekend’s summit, in our view it needn’t be cause for panic—officials have taken three steps forward, two steps back since the eurozone periphery’s troubles began. For more, see our 10/18/2011 cover story, “Don’t Bank on the Big Bang.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: No doubt, sentiment is low, and some people are experiencing true financial difficulties. But a wealth of stronger-than-expected economic data suggests sentiment is detached from reality. In fact, despite consumers’ gloom, retail sales notched a new high in September. Watch what people do, not what they say. For more, see our 10/17/2011 Research Analysis, “US Economic Update.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Productivity ebbing and flowing isn’t unusual. Large recession-necessitated productivity gains often slow as growth continues. Moreover, contrary to the article’s assertion, this is one factor that often leads to increased, not decreased, hiring. 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: This brings Moody’s in line with Fitch and S&P, both of which downgraded Spain earlier this month. All three downgrades were based on widely known information, and we’d argue they change the situation at large little. 

Sensible Stories
By , BBC News, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: The eastern bloc grabs the baton in the race for freer trade globally. For more, see our 10/17/2011 cover story, “Racing Toward Zero.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg News, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: China’s economy slowed a bit in Q3, which seems a normal—and likely planned—deceleration in the year before a government transition. For more, see our 10/19/2011 cover story, “No Chinese Hard Landing.”

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Taiwan raised revenues the sensible way: Increased economic growth led to higher corporate receipts. Once again, a country needn’t raise rates to raise revenue.

Sensible Stories
By , CNBC, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: As this piece explains, it’s in no small measure because Greece has Europe’s lowest labor participation, productivity nearly one-third lower than the EU average, a bloated bureaucracy and a heavy-handed government. Sustained long-term growth will require substantial structural reforms to foster competitiveness.

Sensible Stories
By , Spiegel, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: A detailed, objective look at the different solutions eurozone leaders are debating.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: High-frequency trading has stirred quite the debate on both sides of the Atlantic in recent months. However, an investigation into sharp volatility this past summer in Germany showed little negative impact from such tools.

Market Misperceptions
By , MSN Money, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Although China’s growth slowed, it still clocked in at a very robust 9.1%, which should allay any fear of a hard landing. Moreover, Fisher Investments research shows loan growth, a primary driver of China’s economic engine, should reaccelerate in 2012.

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: We applaud Canadian and EU politicians who have taken up the banner of free trade. The proposed Canada-EU pact follows a larger trend of free trade initiatives unfolding around the world and if enacted, would be another positive development, in our view. For more, see our 10/17/2011 cover story, “Racing Towards Zero.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Washington Post, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Investor confidence, German or otherwise, is backward-looking and says little about the future direction of the economy or markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , Christian Science Monitor, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: And likely, it has the same impact the S&P downgrade had on the US—very little. We continue to wonder why folks pay much heed to the rating agencies anyway.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Ireland is by no means out of the woods, but it certainly has some key features in its favor—like being a very competitive place for businesses to domicile, thanks to its low corporate tax rate. For more, see our 9/20/2011 cover story, “Eyeing Ireland.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Portuguese politicians are showing the political will to do what’s necessary to return the country to a more sustainable path. For more, see our 09/26/2011 cover story, “Easing On Down the Eurozone Road.” 

Sensible Stories
By , New York Times, 10/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Although some loan data remain weak, there is evidence loan demand is increasing.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: More competition in the credit ratings industry would be a plus. Only problem is, in order for that new competition to truly gain a foothold, regulatory reform removing reference to the current three is likely required. If not, new competitors face a steep uphill road.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View:  This should come as highly unsurprising news to anyone who’s followed eurozone leaders’ statements in recent months—just another example of taking two steps forward and then one back. Eurozone leaders attempting to lower expectations for their plan to plan a plan at the next summit follows nearly exactly the same course as previous discussions.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: Increasing US demand led to yet another uptick in industrial production—another datapoint showing continued economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Yep, consumers are buying—and they’re not just buying the necessities.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: “If there is one lesson from Japan—or the Great Depression, for that matter—it's that it ain't over when you think it's over. The US economy is going nowhere fast.” Well, we’d quibble with nearly all of this. The US economy has grown for two years, and recent data point to that likely continuing. To say comparisons between now and Japan’s Lost Decade or the Great Depression are highly overblown is being mild.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: True, unemployment isn’t rosy. But it’s a late-lagging indicator—meaning unemployment is symptomatic of past economic weakness, not current. Thus, unemployment is a good way of knowing what economic conditions were long ago, but they’re not helpful in determining the present or future of the economy. For more, see our 10/10/2011 cover story, “A Vicious Cycle?

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: There is some good in this article, but it misses the central point: Using past performance to gauge a forward-looking decision to hold, sell or buy a stock is a mistake. Stocks aren’t serially correlated, so a stock’s recent performance is irrelevant to the future. And that’s true whether past performance is good or bad.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: Long-range forecasts—like the projection Europe faces a lost decade—are folly. No one can forecast economic innovations and conditions a decade out with any measure of accuracy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we’ve never seen an accepted definition of “flash recession.” And the US doesn’t publish monthly GDP, so we’re skeptical of how the data here were compiled. But at an even broader level, how economic reacceleration can be viewed negatively is a head scratcher. Similarly, saying economic volatility is somehow different this time is a strange claim—it’s occurred in literally every expansion on record.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Using the median income as a measure of income growth in the US has serious flaws, considering the movement among income brackets that typically takes place—even just as folks get older and more experienced. But above all else, the thing that strikes us as most off base here is the projection of no recovery through 2021. Would you have forecast that the market for mobile apps would create thousands of jobs 10 years ago? Long-range forecasts like this should be disregarded.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re still scratching our heads and wondering why anyone pays much attention to the credit raters. For more, see our managing editor Lara Hoffmans’ Forbes article, “S&P Temper Tantrum.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Washington Post, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: The simple math of recession is, growth is growth, not recession. And yes, we’d all prefer faster growth, but slow growth still isn’t a recession.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t see eye to eye with everything in this article, but the primary thrust—that protectionism is a bad idea for both the US and global economy—is quite sensible indeed. Fortunately, the recent round of China-bashing seems to be mere vote (and campaign cash) gathering. For more, see today’s cover story, “Seeing the Forest and the Trees on Trade.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are many examples one could cite of regulation that’s internally contradictory—take Dodd-Frank for example, which contains two separate clauses targeting credit rating agency reform. Those two clauses actually contradict one another, which illustrates the point. Regulation should be balanced and set forth even-handed guidelines, but, all too often, we get rules that are inherently conflicting—or serve no one at all.

Sensible Stories
By , MSN Money, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Watch what people do, not what they say. Despite low consumer sentiment results, consumers continue to spend—a far better indicator of economic health in our view.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: European leaders have been huddling in recent days, and details of their plan are beginning to emerge. There’s likely no silver bullet that immediately eliminates issues in the periphery—especially Greece. But there is a lot eurozone leaders can do to greatly mitigate the impact of problems. This is a story to watch as details continue to be unveiled.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, we’d argue there’s not much economic evidence an income or wealth gap is problematic. Consider: Overall, people have become better off over time even as the wealth gap has widened. For more, see our 9/29/2011 column on Real Clear Markets.

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, consumers seem to mostly be doing fine, despite a still sluggish housing market. In our view, given it’s not a particularly big part of the economy, housing likely isn’t the economic drag many assume. For more, see our 08/23/2011 research column, “A Discussion on Consumer Credit Trends.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Street, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Tell that to America’s port workers. Or those employed by subsidiaries of foreign companies. Or retailers that sell foreign goods. Or truckers and railroad employees who transport them. Or or or. Fact is, it’s not so much the trade balance that matters, but the overall level of trade—and more trade typically means more jobs.

Market Misperceptions
By , Christian Science Monitor, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t have space to debate these one by one, but suffice it to say we’d quibble with just about all of them. Overall and on average, lower taxes and smaller, less intrusive government make for a freer market, which typically makes for an overall more prosperous society. 

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we suspected, Slovakia’s initial failure to pass the EFSF extension was more about political gamesmanship than its level of eurozone support. For more, see today’s cover story, “Slovakia and Beyond.

Sensible Stories
By , The Guardian, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: UK exports grew fairly strongly—more data indicating the global economic picture isn’t quite so grim as many presume.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: One of the enormous benefits of innovation is the growth in ancillary industries—in this case, Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom is driving increased steel demand, worker demand for various services and much more. 

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: And one step closer to finalizing trade agreements “expected to generate $13 billion in new exports”—a positive for all involved parties any way you slice it. For more, see our 10/04/2011 cover story, “Freeing Trade.

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: This initial rejection was widely expected, and it shouldn’t lessen the likelihood of Slovakia ratifying the EFSF expansion. The main opposition party abstained from the vote in order to force a Slovak government reshuffle, but it seems even they support the expanded EFSF in principle, and they’ve said they will vote in favor when the measure is put back before Parliament.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s disappointing to see the Senate vote in favor of protectionism. Thankfully, this still has little chance of becoming law and seems mostly like political cover while lawmakers proceed on free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. For more, see our 10/6/2011 commentary on The Street, “US Moves Forward on Free Trade.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: The report in question estimates Britain’s economy grew 0.5% in Q3—slow, yes, but an improvement over Q2’s 0.1%. It’s difficult to see how an expected acceleration would signal a stall.

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC News, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Like recent downgrades of French and British banks, these moves were based on already widely known information and likely don’t much alter the eurozone’s present course.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Both houses of Congress are making progress on the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama—votes on all three, along with the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, seem likely this week.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Two gauges of US manufacturing gave strong readings in September. Add those to a recent spate of positive data, and an economic pullback seems increasingly unlikely.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Europe’s long-term solution for its periphery’s debt troubles is slowly taking shape. For more, see our 10/11/2011 cover story, “Planfully Planning a Plan.”

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News, 10/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: A Pacific-region free trade zone—spearheaded by the US—would be beneficial for all participating nations. This deal, still in the negotiation phase, is far from done. But it’s an interesting story that bears watching—and whether Japan bows to protectionist interests or agrees to open its markets is particularly noteworthy.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNNMoney, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t disagree there could be a trade war. You can’t have one-sided tariffs—China would respond in kind. However, in our view, it’s unlikely this bill becomes law. Rather, it serves as convenient political cover for finally passing long-stalled free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. For more, see our 10/04/2011 cover story, “Freeing Trade.”

Market Misperceptions
By , International Business Times, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: When it comes to sentiment, among other things, it’s important to watch what people do and not what they say. And right now, personal consumption and firm revenues are near all time highs—showing consumers aren’t acting as dour as they may say they feel.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, there’s ample evidence China has very well avoided a hard landing. Inflation is high there, but they seem to be managing it through loan quotas, and their growth, though a bit slower, continues to be robust.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are a number of errors in this analysis. Perhaps most important, the analysis supposes the EFSF uncertainty won’t be resolved in short order and all of the PIIGS are in the same fiscal boat. We’ve detailed our thoughts on this in our 09/26/2011 cover story, “Differentiating Europe’s Periphery.”

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Slovakia remains the last of 17 countries to ratify the July EFSF expansion. As with the other eurozone countries, we expect some politicking to occur before the country eventually approves the expansion. For more, see today’s cover story, “Planfully Planning a Plan.”

Sensible Stories
By , MarketWatch, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Eurozone leaders have committed to backstopping the euro. And although Greece failed to meet some key austerity measures, the “troika” agreed to disburse a much-needed €8.5 billion tranche of aid by mid-November. For more, see our 09/30/2011 cover story, “Easing On Down the Eurozone Road.”

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: Professor Boudreaux undresses the argument that the US’s large trade deficit plays a role in keeping unemployment high. For more, see our 09/09/2011 cover story, “Trade Deficit Trifles.”

Sensible Stories
By , Seeking Alpha, 10/11/2011

MarketMinder's View: That freight and shipping indexes continue to reflect strong and ongoing growth is more evidence the economy likely isn’t in the dire straits many presume.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 10/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Except, this doesn’t explain why unemployment remains north of 9%, but consumer spending has risen to an all-time high. For more, see today’s cover story, “A Vicious Cycle?

 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 10/10/2011

MarketMinder's View:  An interesting anecdote about sentiment, but keep in mind, anecdotes aren’t very scientific, nor is sentiment a good, forward-looking indicator of aggregate demand. Another way to think about that is a famous guy once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when they’re fearful.” There’s a lot of fear in the world today.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spurts of increased volatility, though hard to live through, are normal. They happen occasionally, should be expected, and aren’t on their own predictive of future market direction.

Sensible Stories
By , The Independent, 10/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: Nor is it a recession. What we have are some slower growth rates for a couple of quarters across bigger developed countries. Overall the world continues to grow, and ongoing growth is expected.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 10/10/2011

MarketMinder's View:  “Protectionists simply cannot be taken seriously as long as they stubbornly cling to the inexcusably backwards myth that a rising US trade deficit is a symptom of the failure of freer trade.” What matters most is the total trade, which is rising.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t think euro debt fears are done—not by a long shot. But it does appear Germany and France are getting serious about finalizing bailout package details. We’ll likely see more ongoing politicking, but in our view, eurozone members have strong incentives to maintain the union for now.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: To get a depression, you have to have a recession first. We’ve had eight consecutive quarters of growth—sometimes faster, sometimes slower—but still growth. And expectations broadly are for continued growth. Even slow growth is still growth, not a recession; hence, not a depression.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article encourages Congress to “do something” to fix our economy. We disagree. We rather prefer (as do markets) when Congress does less and allows free markets to work with fewer barriers.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: We too wish there were fewer arbitrary rules on capital—and that the rules wouldn’t change so often. However, Basel III was nowhere near as onerous as feared, and many of the rules take years to be fully implemented, giving banks (and the market) time to adjust.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: In the credit ratings agencies’ typical late-to-the-party fashion, Fitch has downgraded both Italy and Spain’s debt ratings. There’s nothing new here markets weren’t already fully aware of.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: So long to one of the great ones and a leading light in the PC revolution. But Mr. Jobs’s influence went well beyond the companies he founded. The competition he provided made the Tech industry what it is today, but it also impacts how business is done today in America. (Not to mention movies, music, etc.) See today’s cover story, “On Steve Jobs and Capitalism.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Note to the other PIIGS (and heck, the rest of the eurozone): Ireland’s refusal to raise its corporate tax makes it a competitive place to do business. Not a bad way to get your country on the path to faster growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Globe and Mail, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: All part of the politicking we’ve seen in this debate. But eurozone leaders continue to show their willingness to maintain the union, even if they have to bluster and drag their feet to curry political favor at home.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Jobs were added, and the unemployment rate stayed the same. Perfectly normal since the unemployment rate measures job seekers, not the total number of unemployed relative to total available job pool. For more, see our research column, “An Employment Snapshot,” and our 09/24/2010 cover story, “Reading Between the Unemployment Lines.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re always a bit skeptical of “conventional wisdom.” But this article really isn’t debunking myths—instead, it perpetuates perhaps the greatest myth of all: “It’s different this time.” Fact is, it’s not much different this time—markets have proven resilient through the course of history, and the chances that’s actually different this time are slim.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree the US could do with less regulation, which probably does increase uncertainty in some ways. But there’s never certainty in markets or economics—it’s always the realm of probability. Moreover, the index constructed here uses what, in our view, are highly bizarre metrics—like media mentions of “uncertainty.” Newspapers in 1999 broadly reported Y2K would take down computer systems—was that reality?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: We have a different suggestion: Radically simplify tax codes and there won’t be any need for further regulation, which we’d argue likely only complicates things more, increases business costs and ultimately has a fairly small impact.

Market Misperceptions
By , Christian Science Monitor, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we’d quibble with most of this. Actually, banks seem better capitalized than they were at the time of 2008’s financial crisis. And, as other eurozone news today illustrates, global leaders are taking the steps necessary to continue supporting economies and financial institutions—all likely making the chances of a global contagion fairly low.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The current economic malaise has made Americans doubt our ability to grow and prosper as the country always has. As long as we remember that the source of that prosperity comes not from government managers but from restless, relentless individuals like Steve Jobs, we will.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest, available on The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: “President Jean-Claude Trichet, chairing his final press conference at the end of eight years at the helm of the ECB, said the bank would restart its buying of covered bank bonds in November, and would hold two separate tenders of year-long refinancing to eurozone banks.” For more on recent eurozone finance officials’ moves, see our 10/05/2011 cover story, “Rhetorical Recapitalization.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: The trade deficit is not the scourge many seem to believe, for the reasons eloquently outlined here.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: More expansionary US economic data.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though Italy certainly faces challenges, Moody’s downgrade was long expected, based on widely known information and, in our view, likely isn’t a game changer.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: Not great news, but it’s important to put this in context: Q2 ended four months ago, and this small revision doesn’t say much about how the economy has fared since then. In fact, a separate report showed the UK’s service sector grew faster in September.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article overstates housing’s role in the financial crisis and the size of residential real estate’s contribution to US economic growth. Housing is not “traditionally the leader out of recession.” But beyond that, we wonder how one can come to the conclusion housing’s been ignored? We’ve had probably a slew of separate government programs targeting it.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: True, neither the European Commission nor the EU finance ministers formed a concrete plan, but in our view, that’s emblematic of the gradual, measured approach taken thus far and isn’t a negative. What’s important is officials are well aware of the need for financial backstops, and these are slowly but surely taking shape. For more, see today’s cover story, “Rhetorical Recapitalization.”

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: On its own, September’s service sector expansion wouldn’t mean much. But combine it with September US auto sales rising nearly 10%, private employers adding jobs (per ADP), rising construction spending and capital goods orders, and it’s tough to find evidence supporting the idea of a looming recession.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: Not a full stop on all regulation of all financial services—just adjustments to proposed regulation of some derivatives. Britain feared the initial EU proposals would increase protectionism, jeopardizing London’s status as a global financial hub, and won concessions on what appears to be less onerous oversight.

Sensible Stories
By , Cato @ Liberty, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: Contrary to some lawmakers’ claims, tariff bills have a very long history of actually harming economic activity—which has the downstream effect of destroying jobs. On the good side though, the currency reform bill discussed here doesn’t seem very likely to actually become law.

Sensible Stories
By , The Independent, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: That orders rose and the UK’s services sector accelerated and expanded while “confidence” flagged is emblematic of the widening gap between reality and sentiment seen of late—a typical correction characteristic.

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 10/05/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though Slovakian politicking over the EFSF expansion continues, it appears increasingly likely its parliament eventually votes in favor. Thus far, 14 of 17 eurozone countries have ratified the July 21 EU/IMF/ECB bailout agreement.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: Overall, this bill seems highly misguided, as protectionist legislation like this has a long history of negatively impacting economic conditions for all parties involved. But it also sounds mostly like politicking ahead of election season. In fact, very similar legislation has been proposed—and ultimately, failed—in each of the last four years. And truth be told, the yuan has actually appreciated relative to the US dollar nearly 21% since 2006. For more, see today’s cover story, “Freeing Trade.”

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: The argument here is flawed in several respects. Trade with China benefits us in myriad ways, and attempts to punish them through tariffs are highly ill-advised, in our view. For more, see our 10/03/2011 column, “Debating the Yuan.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: That banks are beginning to charge debit-card fees primarily demonstrates the unforeseen impacts of misguided legislation—in this case, the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act. So actually, the debit-card fees likely show a need for less regulation.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: China has admittedly tightened lending to dampen inflation, but that’s been the case all year and growth continues. The country’s loan quotas reset in three short months, and in our view a hard landing in China isn’t likely this year.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: August capital equipment data showed the largest jump in nearly three months in a continuation of economic data reflecting growth—despite dour sentiment largely impacted by the European debt crisis.  

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: By the National Bureau of Economic Research’s own definition, we don’t seem to be nearing a recession. Of course, a recession is always possible, but reviewing extant data, one doesn’t seem likely in the immediate future.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: Inventory shortages tied to the March Japanese earthquake have begun to subside, and September’s auto sales number reflects pent up demand. Moreover, that consumers are spending on big-ticket items again in the face of flagging consumer confidence surveys is just one more reason to watch what they do, not what they say.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible economic discussion, particularly of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Economic data (personal incomes and spending included) frequently show volatility—and that’s what’s likely at work here. Reality is, for all the worries about US consumer spending, it fell less than many other categories during the last recession and is already at an all-time high.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: As is always the case, it’s true the world has some problems. But a lack of aggregate demand and global imbalances aren’t among them. With some exceptions (like Greece) the global economy is currently growing and is forecast by the IMF to continue growing. That doesn’t seem like a depression to us.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: The trade deficit is not very relevant to US economic health or employment levels. Total trade is simply far more telling—whether that total trade takes place with China or not. For more, see our 09/15/2011 column at The Street, “Trade Gap Irrelevant for US Growth.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s true the housing market has been weak even after the recession ended. But then again, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show housing accounted for roughly 2.2% of US GDP in Q2 2011, so even if a government plan “fixed” the housing market (an unlikely outcome, in our view), it would likely be an incremental contribution to overall growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: Protectionism isn’t the answer; it typically hurts more than it helps. The bill in question seems mostly like another round of political grandstanding on the subject, but it’s certainly a story to watch. For more, see our 06/20/2011 cover story, “Below the Radar.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: The treaties in question have been pending a long time—and passing them would, in our view, be an incremental positive, not only for US business and trade but globally. For more, see our 05/18/2011 cover story, “Make a Trade for Trade.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: While it has a way to go, Ireland’s made fairly impressive strides since attracting international fears they’d default not long ago. This further highlights the importance of differentiating the issues faced by individual eurozone countries. For more, see our 09/26/2011 cover story, “Differentiating Europe’s Periphery.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 10/03/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence pointing to a likely continuation in US economic growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: A slow and steady approach on the part of eurozone leaders is likely rather a good method. For more, our 09/19/2011 cover story, “The Greek Shuffle.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Suffice it to say, our expectations are rather lower for the impact of the Fed’s Operation Twist. The Fed tried a Twist back in the early 1960s, and it’s widely accepted to have largely failed.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Times , 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, there’s a gap between the rich and poor in China. But even those at the lower end of the income spectrum have seen gains since China began to open to capitalism more. So the “affair” China is having with capitalism is far from “dirty” or “destructive.” China would be well served to embrace capitalism further, in our view. Over time, that would likely continue to improve the lot of the vast majority of Chinese citizens.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s true the German bailout vote on proposed EFSF enhancements isn’t a cure-all. But in our view, this is overly dour on the eurozone situation and overlooks the fact eurozone leaders have shown more than once they’re willing to stand behind troubled nations (after some political wrangling).  For more, see today’s cover story, “Easing on Down the Eurozone Road.”

Sensible Stories
Howard Packowitz, The Wall Street Journal, 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Bolstered by solid employment and production gains, the Chicago Business Barometer rose to 60.4, rebounding from a 21-month low of 56.5 in August, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago reported”—and marking two years of expansion. Yet another sign the US economic picture isn’t so gloomy as many seemingly think. 

Sensible Stories
By , Cato@Liberty, 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Keep in mind: The legislation discussed here is far from becoming law, and similar legislation has been presented in recent years and gone nowhere. With that said, this is an excellent critique of recent China bashing.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 09/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a rather clear example of the unintended consequences of government legislation: Dodd-Frank’s Durbin Amendment mandated a reduction in debit card “swipe fees” banks charged merchants. So what are some banks likely to do? Pass the costs along in a different fashion. For more, see our 07/01/2011 cover story, “A Little Less Legislation, Please.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: This starts from an incorrect assumption—that trading somehow sparked 2008’s global financial crisis—and largely falls apart from there. Taxes aren’t the great levelers many assume them to be—and implementing taxes as a form of revenge for financial institutions’ assumed role in the 2008 crisis hardly seems a recipe for sound legislation. For more, see today’s cover story, “Trifling With Transaction Taxes.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d suggest this is taking what’s largely a positive and spinning it into a negative—an indication sentiment is increasingly dour. That businesses are investing in capex is a positive—and likely leads down the road to increased hiring as they ramp up production. But it’s hardly surprising hiring is lagging other critical investments—in fact, it’s historically the overarching trend.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, of course it isn’t—but we’d suggest the idea all recent market upside has been irrational hope tied to Europe is off base. What do seem more disconnected from reality, in our view, are the pessimism and bearish sentiment of the past few months—hallmarks of a correction. Negative sentiment presumes a recession is coming—but there’s little evidence supporting that thesis at this point.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: The assumption imports detract from eitherexports or opportunities to instead produce in America ignores the fact that much of what we import is intermediate goods used to produce final goods, which are then either sold domestically or exported. As for imports that are final goods, who’s transporting them? Selling them? Servicing them? Largely Americans. So the reality is, imports actually do help support domestic jobs—meaning attempts to close the trade deficit are largely misguided, in our view.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Actually, we’d argue the government’s efficacy when it comes to job creation is extremely limited. Instead, unleashing the private sector to do what it does best—innovate and produce—would likely ultimately bring unemployment down. For more, see our 09/12/2011 column on Real Clear Markets, “Time and Patience Is What Will Fix the Employment Problem.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: This largely hits the nail on the head—given Europe’s concerns about their global competitiveness and their need to spur growth to help ease peripheral debt troubles, the addition of a transaction tax now suggests a dubious sense of timing at best. For more, see today’s cover story, “Trifling With Transaction Taxes.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: And another hurdle cleared in the continuing eurozone debt drama—one many feared Germany might struggle with at that.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: While likely not the gangbusters number most would prefer, growth is still growth. And history shows growth hardly ever happens in a straight line. Combined with an (also unevenly) improving jobs number, the data continue to point to economic growth and argue against a return to recession in the near future.

Sensible Stories
By , Seeking Alpha, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: This highlights well the differences between Greece and the other PIIGS, namely Ireland. While Ireland’s returned to growth, Greece continues to face significant challenges—and credit markets essentially tell that story. For more, see our 09/20/2011 cover story, “Eyeing Ireland.

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest contribution to Real Clear Markets.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 09/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: The latest from our editorial staff for The Street.

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue the so-called Tobin tax isn’t a grand idea, given its potential knock-on effects on European economic growth and capital markets activity—particularly when they’re fretting about member states’ competitiveness. The UK—Europe’s global financial center—has already denounced the proposal, which would require approval by all 27 EU countries to pass, so it’s far from certain this takes effect.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: No economy is ever without challenges and uncertainty, but it’s important to take a measured view, balancing positives and negatives. Moreover, it’s impossible to forecast the far future. How the global economy behaves over the next 10 years depends on a multitude of as yet unknown variables.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Financial Times, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Super taxes on very high incomes are en vogue, but in our view, they’re not the best prescription for economic health. Historically, redistribution of wealth has been a market and economic negative.

Market Misperceptions
By , BNET, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble with much of this “proof,” which cites actual GDP growth as evidence of a recession. But perhaps the most suspect evidence, in our view, is the tally of newspaper articles mentioning the word “recession”—to us, this says little to nothing about the true state of the economy and more about the true state of media.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: We believe the notion of a “balance sheet recession” misses the mark—though unnoticed by many, US consumers on balance have stopped deleveraging, and credit is expanding again. For more, see our 08/23/2011 research analysis, “A Discussion on Consumer Credit Trends.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: “As we did after 1974, our country can and will thrive again. But the leaders of both parties, Republicans and Democrats alike, must lend their voices to encourage and support private enterprise, both for what it can do to turn our economy around and for the spirit of opportunity it represents.” Well said!

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Much recent financial news cites CDS spreads as a measure of sovereign and corporate debt risk, but as this article nicely shows, that’s not necessarily the best gauge. The CDS market is fairly illiquid, and the prices quoted often don’t reflect actual trades—hence the spreads are likely frequently detached from reality.

Sensible Stories
By , Central News Agency, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Taiwan’s banks have a massive buildup of excess deposits, and they now have the green light to invest these funds in public infrastructure and other development projects. While we’d argue the capital could be more efficiently deployed outside the public sector, the fact these funds are now allowed to flow through Taiwan seems a net positive for that state.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Another Greek austerity measure—an incremental positive for Europe—falls into place.

Sensible Stories
By , MarketWatch, 09/28/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though overall unemployment remains high—which history demonstrates is normal even a few years into economic expansion—some areas of the job market are growing. And as businesses continue growing and new technologies (like mobile apps!) are born, it seems likely employment will tick steadily higher.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are numerous problems with the methodology described by this study. But most importantly, as the article points out, the study fails to account for many of free trade’s benefits since they are often not directly measurable. What’s the value of getting cheaper intermediary goods? What’s the value to a consumer of having greater choice?

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 09/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: After almost every recession we can measure, unemployment has remained elevated for some time into recovery and expansion before finally diminishing. Although incentives for businesses to hire (like competitive corporate tax codes and incentives to hire new workers) would be additive to employment payrolls, we’d say the natural course of global economic growth might actually result in the desired effect.

Sensible Stories
By , Truth on the Market, 09/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: The problem with the corporate tax isn’t just that it exists separately from personal tax; it’s that the tax system in its entirety is too complicated and promotes the use of loopholes and tax shelters. Where people can get away with avoiding taxes, they nearly always do.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: More in the political back and forth over bailouts for the eurozone’s periphery. Keep in mind, this isn’t the final word. This process has been marked with constant back-and-forth negotiation.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: The likelihood of another government shutdown was remote, given the public backlash to August’s debt ceiling controversy.

Sensible Stories
By , MSN Money, 09/27/2011

MarketMinder's View: That home prices rose again is evidence the housing market might be stabilizing. But bear in mind, a housing rebound—though additive—isn’t required for overall economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 09/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: European leaders have already discussed expanding the powers of the EFSF. Now they’re discussing increasing its size. This is far from final at this point, but it is clearly a story to watch.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 09/26/2011

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

Sensible Stories
By , MarketWatch, 09/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article is a bit more dismissive of the European situation than we are, but there are great nuggets of information and perspective to be found.

Sensible Stories
By , MoneyWatch, 09/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Those that jumped off the ‘old rules that no longer applied’ in 1979 missed out on some stellar returns. Not to say that was the last time. In March of 2009, those who accepted the new paradigm of the great depression ahead missed out on stocks getting to within three percentage points from their all-time high in 2007. I’m hoping you see a pattern here.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Slate, 09/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Sentiment surveys have a long history of not matching folks’ actions. Americans have been depressed about the economy for the past two years—and what’s happened? Eight straight quarters of economic growth and consumer spending at an all-time high. As we’ve said repeatedly, consumer sentiment is a lagging indicator at worst and coincident at best.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: This seems like a great deal of handwringing over what was China’s intended outcome: Cooling growth rates and taming inflation. So this shouldn’t surprise nor should it be interpreted as a massive negative. As the article states, the IMF still expects China to grow roughly 9% this year. Plus, China is not the sole driver of global economic growth.   

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Potlicians can talk about joblessness until they’re blue in the face, but fact is (and historically), unemployment typically recovers well after a recession—without politicians’ help.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, since the global economy has expanded for eight quarters, and expectations broadly are for continued growth, there can’t already be a recession, double-dip or otherwise. Could the world fall into recession? Sure, always possible. But to get a recession, you need shrinking GDP. We don’t have that. 

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence credit ratings agencies merely, at best, confirm what’s already widely known.

Sensible Stories
By , Portfolio.com, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Whether or not a shutdown happens, history shows repeatedly that markets don’t much care.

Sensible Stories
By , Calafia Beach Pundit, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: “There's no denying that Greece is almost certainly going to default, and that it will be the biggest sovereign default on record. Whether that is big enough to bring down the entire world is the question at hand. I just don't see it.” And we agree. Further, this post takes a look at other positive developments that go largely ignored.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: The sensible thing in this article has nothing to do with the Trade Adjustment Assistance program—which is likely ineffectual but largely harmless. Instead, it’s the fact the Obama administration said this is what they require to approve the long-stalled free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia.

Sensible Stories
By , San Francisco Chronicle, 09/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: The knock-on effects of the Dodd-Frank Act continue. Here, legislators’ efforts to limit debit card fees have resulted in raised fees for some transactions instead.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes, volatility can be uncomfortable—but investing decisions shouldn’t target an emotional return. Instead, they should target earning a real return—one that puts investors on track to reach long-term goals. For more, see our 08/15/2011 column, “Conquering Volatility, Grandpa Dex Style.

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this assessment ignores some important facts. Like the fact that to date, global leaders have taken the steps necessary to prevent eurozone implosion, and monetary policymakers have done what they think necessary to support economic growth. Volatility is inarguably high, but that needn’t presage markets’ impending doom.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Ignore the title, which isn’t much related to the overall argument that bank rules aren’t stringent enough. We’d disagree and suggest onerous regulations frequently have unintended consequences—as FAS 157 did. For more, see our 07/28/2010 cover story, “Basel III Takes Shape.

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: It seems this is based on an inaccurate reading of the graph cited—which indicates 40% of taxpayers with incomes between $30-40K actually pay 6.0% in income and payroll taxes, while 25% of taxpayers with incomes over $1mm pay 12.6% . . . that sounds like more to us. But thosequibbles aside, there are different IRS data available thatlead to very different conclusions.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: No doubt Greece has a ways to go—but continued measures like these, especially ones indicating incremental steps toward a less government-dominated economy, are headed in the right direction. For more, see our 09/19/2011 cover story, “The Greek Shuffle.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Now here’s a piece of legislation we canget behind! Relieving companies of onerous regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley would likely spur small business. And while we’d actually prefer a broader repeal of SarbOx, this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. For more, see our 08/24/2011 cover story, “Regulating Regulators’ Regulations.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree with just about everything here—folks in the US across income levels are living longer, richer lives and have achieved higher living standards than ever before. It’s important to dig beneath the surface of a median or headline figure to find the true story the numbers tell—and when it comes to income, they just don’t tell a story of stagnation.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a look beyond GDP data at improving conditions in Ireland.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 09/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Irish GDP grew for the second consecutive quarter in Q2 2011. Not too long ago, folks were bemoaning the possibility Ireland would require further assistance or could even default. Turns out they’ve recovered faster than most thought possible—highlighting the fact problems facing struggling peripheral eurozone countries vary widely. For more, see our 09/20/2011 cover story, “Eyeing Ireland.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though the IMF is predicting weaker global growth, their forecast is still positive both this year and next. A 4% growth rate may not be gangbusters, but we’d argue it isn’t too shabby either. And while the IMF is certainly a fallible forecaster, it’s not known for being biased toward optimism. For more, see today’s cover story, “Italy and the IMF.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Financial Times, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue officials’ gradual resolution of Greece’s debt troubles is more helpful than not. The alternative of a sudden, messy conclusion could be disruptive, but a slower pace, in our view, seems to allow Greece time to reform its economy and markets time to digest the outcome piece by piece. For more, see our 09/19/2011 cover story, “The Greek Shuffle.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s premature, in our view, to say how banks—or any industry—will fare over the very long term. The future likely depends on many unknown, unpredictable variables.

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Whether in Germany, the US or elsewhere, sentiment surveys tend not to predict future stock returns.  

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite China’s recent strong economic growth, several structural barriers mean it’s unlikely to develop into a true global financial giant anytime soon. It’s too closed to foreign capital, lacks deep domestic financial markets and private property rights are almost nonexistent, to name but a few. We’d quibble with the author’s long-term forecasts (awfully difficult to make accurately) of both GDP growth and that China won’t reform. However, we agree with the view China is far from parity with the US financially.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s still early, but this adds to other data from recent months showing housing may be turning a corner. Plus, keep in mind the economy doesn’t need a strong housing rebound to grow—housing has been very weak since 2009 while the economy has grown and stocks have nearly doubled.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: Japan’s economic recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami continues.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 09/21/2011

MarketMinder's View: In another attempt to spur faster economic growth, the Bank of England announced more monetary action Tuesday.

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Economies expand (and contract) unevenly. And though the IMF lowered their growth projections for the US, they still forecast growth ahead—which likely few truly appreciate.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: The wealth gap (or income gap) is an entirely political invention with little economic meaning. First, most meaningful aspects of life (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc) for Americans are better than they were in past decades (the whole bell curve has shifted right). Second, a relative comparison of incomes or wealth is not how consumers make decisions. (It would be highly unusual for a person to not purchase a new TV because Warren Buffett is richer than them.) Third, there is a high degree of mobility between income groups in the US. Finally, we’ve had progressive income taxes since 1913 and some argue the wealth gap not only still exists, but is wider. So what exactly is the fix? We could all be poor, like North Koreans, if you feel that’s more just. But that justice seems counterproductive.

 

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Eurozone leaders have shown they are unwilling to allow Greece to default on their debt in a disorderly manner (although terms for a selective default already exist in the July bailout agreement). And although politicians in Greece are working at a snail’s pace to reform the country’s fiscal situation—the slow, measured (and highly publicized) approach isn’t necessarily a bad thing for markets right now. For more, see our 09/19/2011 cover story, “The Greek Shuffle.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: In a widely expected move, S&P lowered Italy’s credit rating one notch. As we’ve said many times, ratings agencies opinions aren’t infallible and the report issued along with the rating change wasn’t exactly new news. That there is heated debate in Italy over austerity and slow economic growth was already widely known.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: The pattern on Greece talks continues. A verbal show of confidence, an incremental step forward,—then, a politically motivated incremental step back. For more, see our 09/19/2011 cover story, “The Greek Shuffle.”

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Imports, as much as exports, are good for American jobs and prosperity.” This is a spot on take of the trade deficit. For more, see our 09/15/2011 column at The Street, “Trade Gap Irrelevant for US Economic Growth.”

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: We are not opposed to alternative energy in theory, but a rational analysis shows major problems remain in attempting to implement such sources on a meaningful scale today. This article details quite a few.

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a recent example of the positive impacts of freer trade.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/20/2011

MarketMinder's View: The sensible aspect here is simplifying byzantine tax codes to promote increased tax revenue (as opposed to trying to do so by increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations—which never seems to have the direct outcome politicians hope for).

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: “At the moment, the specific mix of new rules matters less than simply coming to a decision to act forcefully. The trade deficit is so large and growing so rapidly that, if unaddressed, it will eventually reduce living standards for all Americans. It’s best that the US move quickly, while it can still assert its advantage.” This assumes a trade deficit is bad and that the total of trade doesn’t matter. For more, please see our 09/09/2011 cover story, “Trade Deficit Trifles.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View:  This is confusing because US GDP is near all-time highs, whereas Japan still hasn’t surpassed its past production peak. What’s more, expectations are for continued US growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View:  "There is an even bigger threat than a global double dip, and that is a prolonged recession with no growth and very limited policies to fight it. We are already in it." We are confused by this. Aren’t these the same things? Further, we are not in a global recession—the global economy has grown for eight straight quarters, and expectations are that growth will continue.

Sensible Stories
By , Morningstar, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View:  From an interview with Meir Statman: “Investors should focus on what they can control to sidestep emotional and cognitive mistakes in extreme markets.”

Sensible Stories
By , BBC, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Maybe both. Either way, Greece must act, and they know it.

Sensible Stories
By , The Becker-Posner Blog, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: ”Government actions sometimes not only fail to overcome market failure but rather worsen the failure.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/19/2011

MarketMinder's View:  A sensible look at a frequently hot topic: Whether the world will shortly run out of oil. Odds are the folks predicting our oil supplies are quickly drying up will be wrong again this time—as they’ve been every other time they’ve predicted it.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Could” is the operative word in this piece—it implies possibility. But anything is possible. In investing, it’s probabilities that matter, and an orderly default by a tiny eurozone member is unlikely to create major macroeconomic problems or a bear market.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Fiscal Times, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: This discussion relies almost exclusively on unemployment (a lagging indicator) and regional manufacturing surveys to attempt to make its case. But what about the US services industry, which accelerated, expanded and beat estimates in August? Or July international trade? We could go on. In our view, the whole package indicates a recession isn’t likely in the near future.

Market Misperceptions
By , Washington Post, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: This piece attempts to draw parallels between the 2008 financial crisis and Europe’s ongoing peripheral debt woes’ effects on banks. But it does not take into account the actual improvement in bank capital and quality of capital, the removal of fair value accounting standards and the bizarre government steps that drove 2008’s financial panic. Or the fact Europe’s problems are playing out under a bright spotlight, so the surprise factor is rather muted. For more, see our 09/15/2011 cover story, “Dawn After Darkness.”

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Eurozone leaders continue to drag their feet on Greece as political posturing persists. In this case, they seem to want more Greek austerity measures to show the public their demands are being met, lest they appear to hand Greece a free lunch. But ultimately, as has happened several times in the recent past, it’s likely they follow through and release the funds.

Sensible Stories
By , The American, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Here’s a very sensible look at how data can mislead—deeper analysis of median income shows a very different result than what’s widely discussed. One point we’d add: As the author indicates, “middle class” is an undefined economic term. But in addition, the individuals in each income bracket frequently change over time.

Sensible Stories
By , Seeking Alpha, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Indeed. And another reason the trade deficit isn’t very telling about economic conditions. For more, see our 09/15/2011 column at The Street, “Trade Gap Irrelevant for US Economic Growth.”

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 09/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Another bank adapting to new regulations (like Dodd-Frank’s Durbin Amendment) by charging more fees—a clear example of unintended consequences.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Briefly, no, not likely—for a few hugely important reasons: While fear surrounding subprime contributed somewhat to 2008’s financial panic, bigger factors were FAS 157 and the confused government response that followed. And even if eurozone bonds are the new subprime, that’s likely not as impactful as many expect absent the aforementioned, more impactful drivers.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: This starts off well enough but quickly descends from there. To suggest the unemployed are becoming some “’industrial reserve army’” keeping downward pressure on wages is to misunderstand the nature of recession and recovery—during which employment has historically always lagged. And the suggestion what we need is more government involvement to attempt to smooth capitalism’s ride is more than a bit off base. The reality is capitalism and democracy have produced the wealthiest and freest societies in the world’s history—and they’re not likely to crumble anytime soon.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: This misses the mark, in our view—the reality is, FAS 157 was implemented just prior to the market’s 2007 peak and repealed within days of its bottom. Now, FAS 157 wasn’t the sole driver of 2008’s bear market, but it was a hugely important component—an often overlooked point. Make no mistake, the repeal of FAS 157 and return to accounting practices more resembling those existing for decades before 2007 was a huge positive for financial institutions. In our view, its absence is highly unlikely to be a source of impending disaster. For more, see our 05/16/2011 cover story, “Marking to Footnote.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Globally, central bankers continue to do what’s necessary to reassure markets and take measures to aid credit markets. This seems a largely appropriate step to us.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 09/15/2011

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

Sensible Stories
By , Investor’s Business Daily, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: “The grand myth that’s been taught to whole generations is that the government is ‘forced’ to intervene when there is a downturn that leaves millions of people suffering. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s. What most people are unaware of is there was no Great Depression until after politicians started meddling in the economy.” In our view, that’s largely true—but we also agree politicians on both sides are more motivated by their desire for reelection, so the chances they heed any such advice are slim to none. 

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: “By maintaining the existing rules, governments will continue to have considerable leeway in choosing tools to prop-up financial institutions that are facing difficulties.” More positive news on the eurozone finance front.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spain continues to distance itself from other struggling peripheral eurozone countries—a positive sign for continued progress and an indication it’s important European officials continue tackling challenges country by country. A one-size-fits-all solution likely doesn’t fit the bill.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 09/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: We couldn’t agree more. Freeing the private sector to invest in infrastructure projects—especially those essentially awaiting only a government green light—would provide an economic boost. And would undoubtedly result in more efficiently supplied infrastructure.

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Moody’s downgrade of two large French banks likely isn’t a game-changer in the wider EU sovereign debt saga. Rather, the decision seems to factor in information already widely known, like the impact of potential Greek debt haircuts. For more on the risks of a Greek default, see our 09/13/2011 cover story, “From Whispers to Murmurs.”

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: That September has the lowest aggregate historical return of any month, in our view, is an interesting observation but not really indicative of anything. We’d argue markets don’t much care what month it is—forward-looking factors have a much greater influence on returns.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Recession is always possible, but we have a different view of US consumer health. Aggregate leverage is lower than in the recent past, household cash balances are higher and incomes and lending are resurgent. Not to mention, consumer spending is already above its pre-recession peak. For more, see our 08/23/2011 Research column, “A Discussion on Consumer Credit Trends.”

Market Misperceptions
By , EU Business, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Belgium has existed sans government for 458 days, and its economy has grown all the while. The PM’s potential resignation likely doesn’t much change the ongoing deadlock between parties from Wallonia and Flanders—a new caretaker leader should be able to step in more or less seamlessly.

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC News, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: One month’s data—for only one segment of the economy—in our view, doesn’t necessarily portend a longer-term, overall slowdown.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: A measured take on the Census Bureau’s findings that US poverty is at its highest since the early 1990s. The metric they used—a family of four with annual income below $22,314—could both overestimate (by not including government assistance) and underestimate (by not factoring in high-cost essentials, like childcare) the number of truly impoverished people. That some folks have been negatively affected by the recession that ended in 2009 and still haven’t recovered is an unfortunate fact. But the Census Bureau’s measurement has many flaws making it less than fully informative.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence US manufacturing is alive and well. For more, see today’s cover story, “A Solution in Search of a Problem.”

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: Incremental progress continues in Italy.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 09/14/2011

MarketMinder's View: As Britain debates future tax policy, this study highlights the counter-productiveness of the UK’s 50% rate for high earners: Tax folks at an onerous marginal rate, and they’ll probably find a way to make less taxable income, quite likely lowering the government’s revenue. Not the most effective way to narrow a budget gap.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article assumes a default would be disorderly. But in our view, what is more likely is a highly managed debt restructuring—like the plan that’s already been agreed to. Further, the idea Greek debt investors likely get a haircut is already widely known.  For more, see today’s cover story, “From Whispers to Murmurs.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Dow Jones Newswires, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: No one wants to see higher unemployment. But a factor here is higher productivity, which allows firms to produce more with fewer workers.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: This piece is heavily skewed towards the negative and ignores myriad positives. Brazil’s growing economy has provided its people with higher incomes and better living standards. Yes, there are negatives in Brazil, as there are everywhere. But those are vastly outweighed by the good economic development has brought.

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: To be sure, the situation in Europe is fluid (at best), and politicians have a litany of issues to work out. However, in our view, one thing is certain: Eurozone nations have a strong incentive to maintain the union in the near term and prevent a disorderly breakup. And they know it. For more, see our 08/30/2011 cover story, “Politicking and Progress in Europe.”

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Rumors of the demise of US manufacturing have been widely exaggerated. Case in point—after-tax profits of US manufacturers reached a record high $159.7 billion in Q2 2011.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: Even the best-intentioned regulation has unintended consequences. Here, it appears to be the loss of 30,000 jobs—so far. For more, see our 08/24/2011 cover story, “Regulating Regulators’ Regulations.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/13/2011

MarketMinder's View: The basic functioning of capitalism never really changes. Nor does that of politicians. A look at the impact of French philosopher Frederic Bastiat.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View:  And yet, broadly, they all still expect ongoing growth! In 2011 and 2012.

Market Misperceptions
By , New York Times, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Yes, stocks have been volatile of late. But volatility is itself volatile—periods of above-average and below-average volatility have happened all through history, and there’s no reliable pattern of predictiveness to steeper volatility.

Market Misperceptions
By , Barron’s, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View:  We’re not sure how QE3 could make such a dent since QE2 was largely ineffectual. In that sense, another round of QE likely doesn’t do much harm, but it also likely doesn’t have the big positive impact many hope for.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View:  With many developed world bond rates at or near historic lows, it’s hard to argue there’s evidence of contagion at this point.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal , 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Many overlook supply and demand drivers for gold—the two forces that underpin price movement. What’s more, central bankers’ track record on trading gold is less than stellar. Gold simply isn’t a sure-fire bet as a hedge against monetary policy errors. For more, read our story from The Street, In Trivial Pursuit of Gold.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Greece faces a steep uphill road to continue qualifying for bailout funds—but officials seem dedicated to meeting key benchmarks.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Record imports indicate strong domestic demand despite concerns of a global economic slowdown.

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest contribution to Real Clear Markets.

Sensible Stories
By , Vox, 09/12/2011

MarketMinder's View: It’s likely more than one factor drove 1937’s recession, but this is an interesting review of factors other than the standard Keynesian citation that slowing government spending solely explains 1937.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: We don’t think the plan presented by the president was a sure-fire way to create jobs—but nor do we agree you must focus on job creation to get faster economic growth. Jobs follow growth. If politicians and policymakers want faster growth, they should focus on removing hurdles to entrepreneurship.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: The data in this article are perfectly fine. But we have a bone to pick with the interpretation. The article states, “US wholesalers stockpiled inventories in July as sales were flat, an indication that companies are growing increasingly cautious about the economic outlook.” But given just-in-time ordering, why would US wholesalers stockpile if they actually were increasingly cautious? Isn’t it more likely they’d do what they did in late 2008 and early 2009—slash inventories and cut ordering? The fact inventory growth boosted GDP in Q1 2011 and detracted in Q2 2011 is also mentioned. So shouldn’t this been seen as potentially additive to GDP?

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: Stocks simply aren’t serially correlated—which means whatever happens in the first week of a month has no bearing on what happens next. And wherever we are on the calendar is highly unlikely to dictate anything about market direction. For more, see our 05/02/2011 cover story, “April Showers Bring May Myths.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Australian, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: The claim gold will never fall below $1000/ounce in the future because people seem to really want it is backward and wrong. Gold’s price is currently being driven by demand—and demand swings can be sudden and huge. Sure, gold could stay above $1000. But demand on this commodity can just as easily crash as it has many times in the past.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: While it’s true the global economy has slowed from previous quarters, economic growth typically happen in fits and starts, and a slower period is typical a year or two into a new expansion—just where we are now. Plus, the importance of government action, be it bold or incremental, is frequently overstated.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Businesses aren’t investing because Congress and, especially, the administration exhibit a ceaseless fetish for top-down, command-and-control, debt-financed ‘governance’ of the economy—an enterprise quashing recipe.” An example of regulations’ unintended consequences.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: An eloquent and fitting tribute to a day Americans shouldn’t and likely won’t soon forget.

Sensible Stories
By , Truth on the Market, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: The principal take-away from this story? Capitalism is amazingly adaptive. The article discusses a surge in business for law firms that use new technology to disseminate regulatory information regarding Dodd-Frank. But it also raises the question of whether this is the best use of private businesses’ capital. Said differently, how else would this money be spent in the absence of constant regulatory changes?

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence eurozone leaders ultimately will do what’s necessary to support the monetary union.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 09/09/2011

MarketMinder's View: The debates surrounding many eurozone measures—like the ECB’s PIIGS bond-buying—continue to be heated. And we expect debate to continue since issues prompting the ECB to buy bonds (like Greek competitiveness) don’t have an overnight fix. That said, while an official’s leaving could contribute to short-term volatility, it shouldn’t necessarily impede long-term progress.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Jobs aren’t a leading indicator—they never have been—so however you smooth that data, it doesn’t change the fundamental point. The suggestion high unemployment creates a “vicious cycle” of lower spending and thus, economic woe is simply a longstanding myth recycled.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue the supply side plays a much more important role in generating economic growth, an aspect largely unexplored here. But aside from that, the argument itself is contradictory. Consider: If leverage is bad, then deleveraging should be good, right? No! The argument here is deleveraging is bad too because it means less demand, increasing recession risk. But you just can’t have it both ways.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Atlantic, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: We find a lot to disagree with here, but we’ll limit ourselves to this: We can’t be in a “Great Recession” because the world has been growing for eight consecutive quarters. Also, increasing productivity is a net benefit, not an inherent cause of slower growth. For more, see our 11/09/2010 column, “The Ever-Evolving Economic Engine.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue governments should actuallylikely do less, not more, to encourage faster global growth—like remove barriers potentially hampering entrepreneurship, decrease corporate tax rates and dramatically slash (if not altogether eliminate) trade barriers. Such measures would be a true start down the road to increased global economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Associated Press, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: What’s interesting here isn’t so much the trade deficit decrease (in our view, a wonky way to view trade), but the strong growth in exports and total trade—good signs of strong global demand. For more, see our 04/12/2011 cover story, “The Totality of Trade.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 09/08/2011

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

Sensible Stories
By , Real Clear Markets, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Politics aside, we agree many regulations have unintended consequences that likely hamper economic growth, and thus, job growth. And this we couldn’t agree more with: “The president could create jobs with one simple sentence tonight: ‘I hereby announce a moratorium on all new federal regulations during the remainder of my term in office.’” For more, see our 08/24/2011 cover story, “Regulating Regulators’ Regulations.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Atlantic, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d nitpick over a few points but overall, a sensible look at extant data and what they are (or maybe more importantly, aren’t) saying about the US economy’s current state. For more, see our 08/31/2011 cover story, “Incremental Positives.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite political struggles, Italy continues to make progress on debt dealings.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/08/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at Greece’s domestic struggle to rein in public spending. And a good example of what could wind up a big positive few are discussing: Greece (and other European nations) would be well-served by reducing socialist policies—and this is a potential step in that direction.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: At some point, we will see another recession—always true. But in our view, growth rate volatility is normal. Economic growth typically slows a year or two into expansion.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree revising the US corporate tax code to allow repatriation of foreign cash would be a positive. But in our view, tying it to the theoretical creation of 2.9 million jobs is a bit of a stretch.

Market Misperceptions
By , Yahoo Finance, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we’re not sure how people’s feelings about politicians have any predictive power on long-term competitiveness.

Sensible Stories
By , EU Business, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Incremental progress on the EFSF expansion continues, and there’s now seemingly one less hurdle for a more permanent framework for the eurozone to deal with fiscally weaker members. For more, see our 08/30/2011 cover story, “Politicking and Progress in Europe.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence things aren’t nearly as dire as many presume.

Sensible Stories
By , Moneywatch, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: More signs employment metrics continue to improve, albeit slowly. But slow employment gains are typical early in a new expansion.

Sensible Stories
By , Taiwan News, 09/07/2011

MarketMinder's View: Chinahas grown rapidly and made great strides in recent decades. But to truly remain competitive long term, they need some major structural changes—like stronger private property protections, for one.  “In China, nothing belongs to you. Like buying a house. You buy it but it will belong to the country 70 years later.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: To be sure, jobs growth has been disappointing. But historically, this is often the case following deep recessions and before picking up again. For more, see today’s cover story, “Politics and Pigskins.”

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: Although often at the last minute, European politicians have largely shown a willingness to resolve their differences to ensure the euro’s posterity—at least for the next few years. For more, see our 08/30/2011 cover story, “Politicking and Progress in Europe.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: Some developed nations have slowed—normal at this stage in a recovery. But growth metrics overall remain expansionary, and expectations are broadly for growth to continue globally this year. For more, see our 08/29/2011 cover story, “Resetting Expectations.” 

Sensible Stories
By , SmartMoney, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: The fear September brings negative stock market performance is common but misguided. While it's true on average, September has been the worst-performing month for the S&P 500, it's not negative every year—far from it. Adages like this are typically grounded in myopia and cherry-picked data.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: The service sector accounts for nearly 80% of US economic activity. That the August index showed acceleration is more evidence all is not as dire as most presume.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Planning, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: And . . . more delays on implementation of Dodd-Frank rules. Which is what happens when rule-making gets punted to “exploratory” committees. This drags out uncertainty (which isn’t great) but increases the odds many of these rules are watered down or simply never written—likely an incremental positive.

Sensible Stories
By , US News, 09/06/2011

MarketMinder's View: As this article points out, “Timing the market is much like catching a falling knife. If you don’t do it perfectly, there’s a good chance you’ll get hurt.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Seeking Alpha, 09/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Job growth, like economic growth, hardly ever happens in a straight line. And though most would prefer faster improvement, one month’s showing needn’t portend economic doom or a return to recession. 

Market Misperceptions
By , Los Angeles Times, 09/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve said, though a housing recovery would provide a nice tailwind, it isn’t necessary for continued economic growth—after all, it’s just one economic factor of many. We think it unlikely a decline in new-home sales alone is sufficient to hold back future economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Los Angeles Times, 09/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite dour consumer sentiment surveys, retail sales continue to be positive—remember, watch what people do, not what they say. For more, see our 08/31/2011 cover story, “Incremental Positives.

Sensible Stories
By , EUbusiness, 09/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: Spain continues to take the necessary steps to contain its debt issues.

Sensible Stories
By , Fox Business, 09/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: An update on the situation in Greece.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 09/02/2011

MarketMinder's View: As we’ve said, ratings agencies’ opinions are seemingly influencing investors less. Take S&P’s downgrade of the US: Despite the downgrade, investors have continued buying US Treasurys in droves. For more, see our 08/09/2011 cover story, “After the Downgrade.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Global economies have been growing—albeit slower than many would like—and have largely left recession behind. Which doesn’t prevent a return to recession down the road, but we think that unlikely in the near term.

Market Misperceptions
By , Foreign Policy, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: This overstates the case, in our view—global economies are facing some challenges, but that hardly need spell the end of US economic leadership or capitalism. Throughout history, capitalism has proven one of the best systems for promoting overall prosperity—and that likely doesn’t change anytime soon.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: When not evaluated in the right context, absolute debt figures globally may seem big. But we’d argue countries’ continuing abilities to finance debt are more important than absolute debt levels. For now, debt interest payments are mostly manageable—and thus far, appropriate measures have been taken to backstop eurozone nations struggling with them. For more, see our 08/30/2011 cover story, “Politicking and Progress in Europe.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Growth is growth—whether slower or faster—and it’s important to remember improvement hardly ever happens in a straight line.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Manufacturing in the US unexpectedly expanded in August, allaying concern the world’s largest economy is headed for another recession.”

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble with a few points, but by and large, a sensible look at debt’s value and power in promoting economic growth.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: Robust shipping volume likely points to increased international trade—an overall positive amid generally gloomy recent European news.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 09/01/2011

MarketMinder's View: UKbanking regulation developments bear watching. Onerous regulations could have unintended consequences and further stymie what’s already been a fairly sluggish UK recovery. For more, see our 02/10/2011 cover story, “Merlin’s Unintended Magic.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: More evidence, in our view, ratings agencies are frequently confused in their assessments. For more, see our 07/28/2011 cover story, “Confused About Credibility?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg via Businessweek, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: There are many inputs into the US economy—labor supply is certainly one of them—and no one factor alone determines the US economy’s future direction. Demographic changes take place over long time periods—markets tend to discount events in the next 12-24 months, not the next couple decades. For more, see our 08/25/2011 cover story, “The San Francisco Fed’s Generation Gap.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d quibble with the concept of a lasting recovery—businesses and markets typically experience ups and downs. While we think volatility likely continues, that needn’t prevent further global growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Time, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d agree Europe faces some significant challenges. But don’t discount eurozone leaders’ determination to keep the monetary union intact. Despite prevalent political posturing, thus far, they’ve made deals when it’s mattered—and at this point, we think it’s likely they’ll do what’s needed for the bailout to succeed in the end.

Sensible Stories
By , The Telegraph, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: Chancellor Merkel’s government has been divided over the EFSF’s role—so the German cabinet’s agreement is an important step, though proposed EFSF enhancements still need parliamentary approval. For more, see our 08/30/2011 cover story, “Politicking and Progress in Europe.”

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: The latest Forbes contribution from our managing editor.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: “While fears the economy is falling back into recession have increased this month, some of the recent data has been consistent with a slow-growth scenario rather than a contraction.” We agree this looks more like a brief slow patch than a recession—pauses in growth are fairly normal two years into an expansion and needn’t prevent stronger growth down the road.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: Reducing regulatory burdens on entrepreneurs would likely be a net benefit to society. For more, see our 08/24/2011 cover story, “Regulating Regulators’ Regulations.”

Sensible Stories
By , NPR, 08/31/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though no single data point means everything’s fine and dandy for the US economy, this suggests demand may be healthier than many suspect. For more, see today’s cover story, “Incremental Positives.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’d argue the August fall in consumer confidence speaks more to backward-looking sentiment and less to markets’ future direction—especially since recently improving US retail sales figures seem contradictory to sentiment. Watch what people do, not what they say. For more, see our 08/12/2011 cover story, “A Retail Pop.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: The US manufacturing sector not only still plays a significant role in the domestic economy, it’s also still the largest in the world—just more efficient than ever. Meaning, manufacturing employment’s decreased over time—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it leaves folks free to pursue more productive, efficient endeavors elsewhere. For more, see our 07/18/2011 cover story, “Breaking News-US Manufacturing Isn’t Dead.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: China has inarguably grown quickly recently. But in our view, the US dollar is the most liquid and deepest global reserve currency right now—and that likely doesn’t change anytime soon.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Some perceive China’s recent rapid growth to be a threat to US economic strength. But as Dr. Perry demonstrates, China actually represents a substantial and growing market for US exports—an overall positive for US manufacturers and exporters.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Despite sluggish growth in much of the developed world, there are pockets of economic strength elsewhere—like Emerging Markets, many of which continue to grow strongly for now.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest commentary on The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 08/30/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this largely hits the nail on the head. Lowering corporate tax rates and closing loopholes would likely increase tax revenue, attract greater capital investment and help bring more jobs to the US.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Sure, the global economy’s grown slower recently than we’d like, but capitalism is hardly on the verge of crisis. Nor would we suggest Karl Marx’s way was superior. Communism hasn’t led to a lot of broad societal wealth or peace.  

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: While we’d quibble with a few points, overall, this is a highly sensible discussion of US debt and how to put it in proper perspective.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New Republic, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: The idea government can just create jobs is something of a fallacy. But what it can do is reduce private-sector uncertainty by reducing burdensome regulations and simplifying corporate tax codes—thereby ultimately encouraging businesses to hire more and spend less complying with unnecessary rules.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Yes—this economy faces challenges. Which is always true—no period is pristine. However, a rational investor shouldn’t ignore the many current positives. The reality is, the economy’s recovering—albeit slower than many would like—but growth rate volatility is normal.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is likely unexpectedly positive to most. We’d quibble that unemployment is holding spending back since it’s been high while spending has grown through this expansion. Still, consumer spending, wages and salaries rising doesn’t paint the dire picture many believe.

Sensible Stories
By , Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: “…[E]lected officials understand they’ll get more votes by granting favors to vocal producer groups than by doing what’s right for the general public. ‘So the public be damned,’ murmurs the politician. ‘I want to be re-elected.’” Here, here!

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg Businessweek, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: Important to note US manufacturing isn’t dead—though employment has trended lower over the years thanks to increased productivity. The US produces more with less—an overall positive.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/29/2011

MarketMinder's View: More oil rigs drilling is a good sign of the market’s expectation for rising oil demand—which likely stems from a growing global economy.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Motley Fool, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Probably not. Boomers have long investment horizons, over which they’ll probably need to keep growing their assets. Plus, many have wealth tied up in less liquid investments, which they’ll likely liquidate at some point. And don’t discount the boomers’ kids, which may prove an even greater source of equity demand. For more, see our 08/25/2011 cover story, “The San Francisco Fed’s Generation Gap.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Guardian, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: None of the ill-effects noted here can necessarily be attributed to globalization. Moreover, the piece largely ignores the positive benefits of increased globalization—jobs created, lives enriched and wealth created—across all classes.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: We fail to see how the views here comport with a few key facts: Businesses components of GDP grew a healthy 6.4% in Q2, corporate profits are at an all-time high, and personal consumption (i.e., demand) has grown steadily for two years.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Growth is growth, no matter which way you shake it. Expectations broadly are for continued growth in 2011, and we agree. For more, see our 07/29/2011 research column, “US Q2 2011 GDP and a Word on Revisions.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Expectation of a third round of quantitative easing (an unnecessary move in our view) was met with disappointment Friday. For more, see our 08/23/2011 cover story, “Jawboning, Speculation and Hot Air.”

Sensible Stories
By , The Economist, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible look at Japan’s rebuilding effort and evidence developed economies are much more resilient than most think.

Sensible Stories
By , Daily Markets.com, 08/26/2011

MarketMinder's View: Skyrocketing corporate profits are yet another sign firms are healthier than many folks appreciate.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is based on several assumptions—one, that only investors seeking to hedge downside risk benefit from derivatives. But what about farmers seeking to protect themselves against a slow year for crops, for example? There are many uses for derivatives. But consider also: Volatility moves both ways. So seeking to stop downward volatility could stop the upside as well—something we doubt many investors truly wish for.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: The reality is volume isn’t a sure-fire predictor of future direction—as with many indicators, it’s at best coincident and often just backward looking, making it a more interesting historical tool than a valuable predictor of future market movements.

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’ve said many times unemployment improvement lags recovery—and the most recent downturn’s aftermath hasn’t been all that different from historical recessions. While we’d all prefer faster improvement, suggesting government can magically solve the problem is a bit overly optimistic about its efficacy. Better to reduce barriers and encourage greater economic activity—that would likely lead to faster employment growth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Transparency is good, in our view. And recent stress tests have added to that, so that’s a plus. But the reality is folks are highly likely to always doubt government-ordained risk assessments. And in terms of stress tests’ ability to boost confidence, returns seem diminished with each successive iteration. For more, click here for our 08/17/2011 column on The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Contrary to common media portrayals, a weaker dollar can benefit the US economy in several ways, as outlined here.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: While we wouldn’t necessarily agree with this article’s discussion of the 2008 financial crisis’s actual cause, we definitely agree it wasn’t excessive public debt.

Sensible Stories
By , Café Hayek, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: A fitting tribute to an entrepreneur in the truest American sense of the word.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our latest exclusive column for The Street.

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 08/25/2011

MarketMinder's View: Our managing editor’s latest contribution to Forbes.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: This article starts with the following assumption: “US stocks jumped on Tuesday as many investors sent a plea to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke: Come to the rescue of the stalling economy and battered financial markets.” It’s generally a fallacy to assume any one force is driving markets, but it’s speculation of the highest order to assume it’s a call for Fed action. Why totally disregard economic data from the eurozone and China, among other factors, that beat estimates yesterday?

Market Misperceptions
By , Bloomberg, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’re all for changing the nature of corporate taxation with an eye toward simplification—that’s perfectly sensible. But we don’t quite understand the article’s objective in docking investors instead. How about none of the above? 

Market Misperceptions
By , Minyanville, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a myopic, largely backward-looking view of widely known market fears. And that they are so widely addressed likely means they lack needed surprise power (absent material new information) to drag markets far down for long. For more, see our 08/05/2011 cover story, “Corrective Action.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Associated Press, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: Bond markets continue to show ratings agencies are far less relevant than many assume. In this case, yields on 10-year Japanese government notes were flat following the announcement.

Sensible Stories
By , Financial Times, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: A solid counterpoint to the often-repeated thesis the West is in terminal decline. An excellent read.

Sensible Stories
By , Carpe Diem, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: Contrary to popular belief, American manufacturing has resurged in recent years.  For more, see our 07/18/2011 cover story “Breaking News-US Manufacturing Isn’t Dead.”

Sensible Stories
By , Morningstar, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a sensible piece examining the various economic reports that came out last week and seemingly sent markets downward.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/24/2011

MarketMinder's View: Durable goods orders epitomizes the volatility of some economic indicators well. The 4% jump in July (after June’s -1.3% drop) was mostly driven by increased demand for autos and airplanes. It’s rather typical for these numbers to gyrate, and recent activity is certainly no exception. But that the data were overall rather positive illustrates the fact not all economic data are uniformly negative in recent reports.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: The notion retiring baby boomers will materially impact stocks over the next 25 years misunderstands several key factors. First, baby boomers have an enormous amount of wealth tied up in businesses they own and run—a lot of which they’ll eventually start liquidating and moving to stocks and bonds. Also, boomers retiring today and in the future don’t have a short time horizon—they may live into their 80s or beyond! Many of them will need some degree of growth (and therefore, stocks).  Further, stocks tend not to price in far-off shifts. They react to what they see coming in the next 12 to 24 months.

Market Misperceptions
By , Financial Times, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, we think this all rather ignores the fact that economic opportunity in the US provides incentive for risk-taking entrepreneurs to create something where nothing currently exists—providing not only a societal benefit with a new good or service, but also creating jobs and potential shareholder wealth.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New Republic, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Let’s be honest: The US and global economies have grown for two years—and notwithstanding ongoing growth rate volatility seem poised to continue doing so. For more, see our 08/12/2011 cover story, “A Retail Pop.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Gold’s run doesn’t change this basic fact: It’s just a commodity, not a reliable inflation hedge. Its long-term returns badly lag stocks and Treasurys. For more, see our 01/14/2011 column, “An Overview of Gold.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Independent, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: The headline’s more than a bit much—the world’s fate hardly rests on QE3, though it is worth watching whether Bernanke bows to pressure to just do something. But QE3 or no, Jackson Hole’s most likely output is a lot of idle chatter and hot air. For more, see today’s cover story, “Jawboning, Speculation and Hot Air.”

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC News, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Manufacturing’s contraction is only part of the story—the service sector grew, and the full PMI survey suggests the eurozone’s economy registered growth overall in August.

Sensible Stories
By , Smart Money, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though we never make forecasts for much more than 12 months out—24 months at the most—we agree with much of the analysis that stocks look attractive relative to bonds now. Also, for investors with longer time horizons and growth goals, stocks historically have been the much better bet.

Sensible Stories
By , The Becker-Posner Blog, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at so-called good and bad income inequality and a sound argument for a streamlined, flat tax code.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: While much red tape remains, every little piece that’s cut makes it that much easier for companies to conduct business in the US.

Sensible Stories
By , Marginal Revolution, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: A sensible look at some unnoticed progress on the Emerald Isle.

Sensible Stories
By , NPR, 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: Under new guidelines, entrepreneurs are now allowed to immigrate to the US to start their own companies. Being more accommodative to entrepreneurs should help the US continue attracting top talent, which should foster continued growth and competitiveness.

Sensible Stories
By , The Washington Post , 08/23/2011

MarketMinder's View: European quantitative easing continues.

Market Misperceptions
By , WSJ, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View:  What’s amazing about this is the conclusion that investors’ sentiment is as bad or worse than in March 2009. But March 2009 was about the all-time best point to be bullish! Investors should never trust their emotions.

Market Misperceptions
By , Reuters, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: And consumer confidence surveys, being inherently backward-looking, are never predictive.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNN Money, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View:  In one sense, we agree. We anticipate broad market returns for 2011 overall to be relatively muted. But looking ahead to 2012, we see the bull market resuming with gusto.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: “We believe that when investors awake from their depressed state, they will realize that they don't have to lend the US government money for 10 years at a negative real yield.” We don’t agree with all of this and never make such long-term forecasts, but it is true stocks currently look very attractive relative to bonds.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: More in the ongoing political war of words concerning the PIIGS bailouts. For more, read our 08/19/2011 cover story, “Collateral Combat and More.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View: Firms are starting to deploy their mountains of cash—a source of ongoing demand.

Sensible Stories
By , The Street, 08/22/2011

MarketMinder's View:  Near-uniform pessimistic sentiment often signals a good time ahead for stocks—remember the saying about being greedy when others are fearful. 

Market Misperceptions
By , MoneyWatch, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Inflation has ticked up lately, but it remains very benign. Further, growth has been positive, but slower in the last two quarters (though accelerating from Q1 to Q2). Those rational facts don’t really paint a picture of “stagflation.”

Market Misperceptions
By , Smart Money, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: Well, homeownership is nice. But as a long-term investment, there is a huge difference between buying a high-leveraged, undiversified single hard asset like a home and purchasing fully liquid stocks and/or bonds. (Never mind that long term, stock returns simply outpace real estate—and by a huge margin.) Something to consider.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: So if bond yields are high, then the US and Europe are at risk for a debt default. If bond yields are low, then we’re in for a Japanese-style “Lost Decade.” We’re not sure that’s a full and complete analysis of this picture.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: All hail the tremendous net global benefits of greater free trade.

Sensible Stories
By , VOX, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: An interesting look at how countries/companies focused on innovation and modernization tend to do better over time.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: And why wouldn’t he? Bear in mind, if the US slips back into recession (which at this point we think is unlikely), the rest of the world likely goes into recession too. That doesn’t really impact the relative attractiveness of US debt relative to other nations. Economic growth naturally ebbs and flows, and slowing growth isn’t indicative of long-term stagnancy.

Sensible Stories
By , Truth on the Market, 08/19/2011

MarketMinder's View: This comes as no surprise to us and is a great example of well-intended legislation’s unintended consequences. If banks can’t make their money collecting fees for providing a service, they’ll find other ways to make their money—and in this case, it looks consumers will be paying up.

Market Misperceptions
By , CNBC, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Stock market volatility is entirely normal (and always tough to handle)—nothing new there. This article also highlights the bifurcated sentiment pervading the market now, with bulls remaining bullish and bears being bearish as ever.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Baseline Scenario, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Analysts, economists and the like have spent the last couple years calling for a second Great Depression. And it hasn’t happened yet—and in our view something of that magnitude is unlikely. Though some growth metrics in some places show slowing growth, that’s not uniform. Expectations broadly continue to be for growth globally this year and even next—and we agree.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: This discussion is fine, but it’s rather one-sided and leaves out important details that indicate European banks are far stronger and healthier than they were in 2008.

Sensible Stories
By , MarketWatch, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: “For 401(k) investors who kept with their equity allocation and continued to contribute to their plan as the financial markets went into free-fall in late 2008, their average account balance grew by 64% in the period from Oct. 1 2008 through June 30, 2011.” This highlights the importance of remaining disciplined to a long-term strategy when volatility increases.

Sensible Stories
By , Reuters, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: It appears that fears a downgrade would make investors fear US Treasurys have thus far been unfounded. For more, see our 08/09/2011 cover story, “After the Downgrade.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: A decent look at annuities, but in our view, it doesn’t go far enough. First, there have been a number of studies done showing annuity sales rise when stocks are volatile. Essentially, investors become attracted to something they perceive to be safe (albeit with a number of caveats) when stocks are rocky—a nearly perfect example of what may be a short-term emotional decision that carries significant long-term costs and consequences.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/18/2011

MarketMinder's View: Not sensible because of what S&P said, but because rumor of a downgrade contributed to the market swoon early last week. Those rumors now appear to be entirely unfounded considering all three major ratings agencies have confirmed France’s AAA—for what their opinions are worth.

Market Misperceptions
By , Chicago Tribune, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: We agree the economy seems uncertain today…but when is it ever certain? Different segments rarely ever move in lockstep, and growth rates are always volatile. Economies regularly decelerate a couple years into an expansion before speeding up again, and we don’t see much evidence against a re-acceleration this time.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: Turning corporations into collectively owned non-profits seems a likely recipe for economic stagnation. When companies are profitable, they grow, spend more on research and development and hire more workers—and all of society benefits. Why kill that?

Market Misperceptions
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: The “mirror image” relationship between foreign ownership of Treasurys and the US trade deficit is an interesting observation—but one that actually speaks to the irrelevance of trade deficits. As Americans buy foreign goods, their dollars tend to flow into US financial assets, including Treasurys. That means our trade partners benefit and so do we—or, in other words, there’s no sucking sound.

Market Misperceptions
By , The New York Times, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: In our view, this perspective doesn’t comport with reality. Living standards have been improving globally for decades, the US economy is far, far more diverse than this suggests, and there’s no reason society can’t continue adapting in order to stretch out finite resources. For more, see our 05/05/2011 column, “A Common Thread Between Horse Manure and Peak Oil.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Globe and Mail, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: The idea stocks should have a lower value relative to GDP—solely because there’s a historical trend line—seems an invalid reason to believe stocks are grossly overvalued. Here’s one reason why: S&P 500 companies generate a great deal of their revenue abroad—however, that’s not captured in US GDP. Moreover, GDP is backward-looking while stocks are forward-looking. And last, GDP is not a pure reflection of economic health, for a whole host of reasons.

Sensible Stories
By , Bloomberg, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: A very sensible look at why the eurozone’s new proposal of a financial transactions tax has serious deficiencies.

Sensible Stories
By , Los Angeles Times, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Propelled by a more business-friendly Board of Supervisors receptive to doling out tax breaks and other incentives, San Francisco envisions turning a bedroom community for Silicon Valley into a beachhead for technology companies.” Seems like some, even in highly regulated Northern California, see removing red tape and creating a business-friendly environment tend to improve overall economic conditions.

Sensible Stories
By , The Wall Street Journal, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: Though one data point doesn’t make a trend, the nice uptick in manufacturing and industrial production suggests the fear of a deep economic retrenchment likely exceeds reality.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Politicians and investors are placing a great deal of weight on a crude and rough estimate that has never been particularly reliable.” Too true—GDP is a useful way to evaluate output, to a certain extent, but for the reasons discussed here and others, it’s not a perfect estimate of economic health. For more, see our 07/29/2011 research column, “US Q2 2011 GDP and a Word on Revisions.”

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 08/17/2011

MarketMinder's View: “Politicians and investors are placing a great deal of weight on a crude and rough estimate that has never been particularly reliable.” Too true—GDP is a useful way to evaluate output, to a certain extent, but for the reasons discussed here and others, it’s not a perfect estimate of economic health. For more, see our 07/29/2011 research column, “US Q2 2011 GDP and a Word on Revisions.”

Market Misperceptions
By , MarketWatch, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Charts can be a useful way to illustrate a point, but always remember stocks aren’t serially correlated—meaning what happened yesterday (or in this case, what happened to stocks on average over the past 50 and 200 days) isn’t indicative of what’s to come.  For our coverage of last year’s death cross, head-and-shoulders and Hindenburg Omen chatter that didn’t presage anything dire, see our 10/18/2010 cover story, “A Recent History of Technical Analysis’ Recent History Lessons.”

Sensible Stories
By , Forbes, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Fitch announced it will maintain the US’s AAA rating—contrasting with its counterpart’s (S&P’s) recent downgrade. But ratings, good or bad, aren’t what’s interesting here. What is, is the rationale used to maintain the rating is the same S&P cited in its downgrade of the US, but with a totally different take. Seems to us, this is mostly Fitch wanting to avoid the political blowback S&P’s had to endure.

Market Misperceptions
By , BBC, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: We’ve detailed this recently, but economies in expansion often decelerate before reaccelerating again—it’s a perfectly normal occurrence historically. For more, see our 08/12/2011 cover story, “A Retail Pop.”

Sensible Stories
By , Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a sensible take from Dr. Meltzer—especially his suggestion of “a moratorium on regulation for five years, except for national security.”  Regulatory shifting sand is far from an economic plus, and a hiatus on rule making could help set the backdrop for further private-sector growth.

Sensible Stories
By , The New York Times, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: As this sensible piece details, all things “Made in China” aren’t as Chinese as the label implies. “About 45 cents goes to China for the cost of the original import. On the other hand, about 55 cents of that dollar pays for services produced in the United States, such as the transportation for the product, rent for the store where the product is sold, the salaries of the salespeople at the store, the cost of marketing the product, the profits for shareholders of the retailer selling the product and so on.”

Market Misperceptions
By , The Atlantic, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: There’s little evidence to suggest the US is suffering from weak productivity growth or lack of investment in manufacturing. In fact, recent data show productivity increases have greatly aided corporations the past several years. Likewise, resurgent manufacturing growth is taking place all across America. Lastly, we would like to point out that while we don’t condone going “Office Space on any piece of expensive consumer electronics,” if you did, you’d likely need to replace said piece of expensive consumer electronics—which would entail going to a US store which employs US salespeople to sell you said product, US transportation workers to get said product to the store, US service people to fix said product when it breaks and so on

Market Misperceptions
By , The Associated Press, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: The housing market continues to be turbulent, and it may be for some time to come. Don’t expect material improvements in the short term—but even so, this shouldn’t be enough to hold the economy back as it’s already just a hair under its previous highs.

Sensible Stories
By , CalculatedRisk, 08/16/2011

MarketMinder's View: Industrial production reaccelerated in July, logging its fastest growth in 2011—indicating Japan-induced manufacturing disruptions may be subsiding.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Telegraph, 08/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: This is a vast overstatement of the negative dynamics of the eurozone debt situation. Fact is, policymakers not only at the ECB, but also the IMF and EU have shown willingness to back the euro for over a year. Yes, they have work to do. But claiming the bailout machinery has failed misses the point: It was designed to buy time for other reforms to be enacted. And so far, it’s done that.

Market Misperceptions
By , Project Syndicate, 08/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: While markets have been volatile of late, we think this is a stretch. Fact is, events like those listed here aren’t terribly new or different than many that have occurred on roughly an annual basis throughout history. Is capitalism doomed? We think not, and we’re willing to put our money where our mouths are.

Market Misperceptions
By , The Christian Science Monitor, 08/15/2011

MarketMinder's View: Rising demand for a basic economic need implies growth, not recession.

Market Misperceptions