US Economy

Don’t Fret Low Productivity

11/18/2016

Slow productivity growth is no reason for investors to worry.

Are They Right About Recession?

11/01/2016

The bevy of recent recession fears seems JUST a bit outside.

Pomp and Financial Circumstances

09/22/2016

Rising student debt levels won’t slow growth or shock markets.

Manufacturers Made Some Stuff in July

08/02/2016

Global manufacturing seems to be picking up.

Behind US GDP’s Q2 Dud: Quirky Categories and Oil

07/29/2016

An under-the-hood look at US Q2 GDP growth.

Checking in on US Growth

07/05/2016

Recent data suggest the US economy gained speed in Q2.

What About America?

06/24/2016

Brexit's ramifications will likely ripple across the Atlantic, but it's too soon to know how.

Hiring Lays an Egg: How Investors Should Approach US Unemployment

06/06/2016

Friday’s disappointing US unemployment report should have little to no weight in your analysis of stocks’ direction.

Will Oil’s Bounce Boom or Bust?

03/31/2016

What to make of oil’s recent rally.

Subprime Auto Loans: Not Another 2008

03/22/2016

Subprime auto loans aren’t another crisis waiting to happen.

See Through the Oily Haze Skewing Economic Data

03/10/2016

Oil’s big drop since 2014 seems to have clouded investors’ view of the US economy.

How Has Oil Impacted Retail Sales?

02/12/2016

Two charts reveal steady retail sales growth excluding oil’s impact.

How Has Oil Impacted Retail Sales?

02/12/2016

Two charts reveal steady retail sales growth excluding oil’s impact.

Presidential Change Has Limited Range

02/09/2016

Can the President of The United States affect sweeping change on his or her own?

A Dose of (Mostly) Growthy Data

01/20/2016

Most recent economic data run counter to widespread global recession fears.

The US Government Did Something … and It Isn’t Awful!

12/21/2015

The US government passed and signed spending and tax legislation Friday and it was surprisingly good.

Manufactured Worries About the Future

12/03/2015

Data reinforcing one sector’s well-known struggles don’t mean trouble for the broader economy. 

Black Friday Is No Barometer

11/25/2015

Black Friday’s economic importance is overstated.

Choose Your Own Manufacturing Adventure

11/03/2015

US manufacturing was a tale of two surveys in October.

Global Economy: Look Beyond Manufacturing

10/08/2015

There is more to an economy than just building stuff.

How to Tell False Hope From Rational Optimism

08/27/2015

We’re optimistic about the US and global economies’ prospects, but not for the reasons hogging headlines Wednesday.

Serving Up Growth

08/06/2015

The global economy keeps growing.

Moore’s Law Gets a New Lease on Life

07/13/2015

Chipmakers announced a huge breakthrough Thursday, adding years to one of the most powerful technological trends in history.

People Are Not Leaving the Workforce

07/02/2015

Don’t let the falling labor force participation rate fool you.

Theories Miss the Mark on March’s Jobs Miss

04/07/2015

Whether caused by the dollar or not, March’s weak job gains hold little insight into the US economy and stocks’ future.

America, the Liberated

03/04/2015

It's fashionable to say America's economic system needs fixing if we want faster growth, but some simple facts don't support this. 

Three Myths About Friday’s Jobs Report

02/09/2015

What January’s jobs report does and doesn’t mean.

Economic Growth Seems Plenty Durable

01/28/2015

Do recent US and UK economic data show weakening growth?  

Now Hiring: Reasons to Be Optimistic

12/08/2014

The media seemed ecstatic about November’s jobs report, but investors have better reasons to be optimistic about the US economy’s prospects.

Thankful the World Over

11/27/2014

There is much to be thankful for, not just in the US, but globally too.  

The Employment Sentiment Trap

11/10/2014

Focusing solely on employment data can lead investors astray.

Seven Charts to Free You From Skepticism’s Shackles

09/26/2014

Gauges of tangible activity in the US economy show this expansion is driven by more than just the Fed’s attempted financial engineering.

The Dismal Art

09/03/2014

It’s unlikely you’d see many headlines touting the fact US GDP growth has been above average in three of the last four quarters. 

Jobs Report Dandy, Analysis a Dud

07/04/2014

June’s jobs report was Yankee-Doodle dandy, but it doesn’t mean a thing for stocks.

The War on Long-Term Forecasts (Not Coal)

06/03/2014

What does President Obama’s new environmental plan mean for investors?

Economies and Spaceships

04/22/2014

Some say the US has to achieve “escape velocity” for the expansion and bull market to continue, but laws of astrophysics don’t apply to the economy (or stocks).

Data Galore, Switching Sentiment

04/04/2014

Data can be pretty dull, but we doubt that’s the only reason headlines avoided it this week.

On GDP, Fed Forecasts and Tapering Tapering

03/03/2014

The downward revision to Q4 US GDP growth had a big silver lining, but how will the Fed see it?

Infographic: 4 Reasons US Debt Is Affordable

02/24/2014

US debt is a hot-button issue, but few know the facts showing why it’s manageable.

The Magic of Rising Rates

02/19/2014

Interest rates are up, but so is household lending.

‘More’ Charts on Unemployment

02/10/2014

Another lower-than-estimated jobs report seems to have stirred the ire of some in the punditry. But a broader view suggests this isn’t a major factor for investors, period.

Volatility and Manufacturing

02/04/2014

Headlines about US and Chinese manufacturing reports seemed to rankle investors Monday, but the actual data reports were benign.

Jittery Over Bad Statistics?

01/13/2014

How should we interpret December’s employment report?

Fruitful Fundamentals

12/20/2013

Earnings are growing, and forward-looking indicators suggest sales and profits should keep rising.

Is Santa Coming to Town?

12/16/2013

Does the Santa Claus Rally matter much for long-term investors?

Taper in December?

12/09/2013

Will November’s strong jobs report, a healthier economy and Congress’ potential budget compromise suffice for the Fed to start tapering in December?

The Perils of Non-Traded REITs

11/25/2013

Before jumping into non-traded REITs, we’d suggest investors do their due diligence.

A Tale of Two Unemployment Surveys

11/11/2013

What can we make of October’s employment report?

The Fed’s Unemployed Logic

10/23/2013

Those looking to September’s unemployment report for Fed clues are likely spinning their wheels.

A (Non)Default-Fueled Downgrade

10/17/2013

The US is facing another potential credit downgrade despite an averted debt default, but that doesn’t mean much for investors.

Detonate Your Debt-Ceiling Fears

10/03/2013

Some presume the debt ceiling is a huge risk looming in the near future, but there is ample evidence suggesting these fears are detached from reality.

The Government Shuts Down

10/01/2013

The government shutdown that began midnight Tuesday helps add clarity to the potential market impact of both recent budget squabbling and the debt ceiling.  

34 Numbers to Make You Believe in Growth

09/30/2013

Disappointed Q2 GDP wasn’t revised up in the final estimate? Here are 34 numbers demonstrating the US economy is stronger than headline growth rates suggest.

Sept-Taper Caper

09/19/2013

Despite media speculation the Fed would begin tapering asset purchases this month, the FOMC held off—at least for now.

One Weird—and Simple—Trick to Thinking Differently About Stocks

09/16/2013

Identifying false fears might sound weird, but it’s a handy way for investors to gauge the market’s future direction.

Unemployment with a Taper Twist

09/09/2013

Unemployment improved slightly in August, but how this impacts QE tapering plans remains to be seen.

A Manufactured Buzz?

09/04/2013

Manufacturing is strong, but investors still seem skeptical of US economic strength.

Skepticism About a Simmering Economy

08/30/2013

Many doubt the strength of the US economy—are those concerns justified?

Don't Dump on Durable Goods

08/27/2013

A -7.3% drop in durable goods isn’t great, but plenty of other evidence suggests demand remains firm.

Strengthy Banks

08/26/2013

A closer look at US banks’ balance sheets suggests the institutions are stronger than some rating agencies seem to believe.

The Bizarro World of QE Taper Fears

08/19/2013

As folks realize their QE tapering fears are false, their relief should propel stocks higher.

July’s Employment Report in Three Charts

08/05/2013

July’s slower job growth, in our view, doesn’t signal weakness for the economy or stocks.

Rating Agencies: Late as Usual

07/22/2013

With Moody’s raising its outlook for US debt on Friday, a look at what happened during our two years on “negative” watch confirms ratings agencies’ decisions aren’t predictive.

Easing’s Quantitative Analytics

07/12/2013

A quick analysis of QE’s impact on the economy throws into question the quantity of its benefits.

News Flash—Inside June’s Unemployment Report

07/05/2013

Data show recent employment gains aren’t “too slow.”

Piquing Interest in US Debt

07/05/2013

Interest rates may be up a bit, but the US’s debt is still plenty affordable.

The Congress of Our Discontent

06/17/2013

Snippets from around the web illustrating the market impact of our currently gridlocked government.

Growth, Then Jobs

06/10/2013

While Friday’s jobs report was mostly positive, don’t be fooled into thinking the data has a future impact on stocks.

Sentimental About GDP

05/31/2013

Thursday’s downward revision of US GDP likely tells us more about changing sentiment than fundamentals.

Underappreciated—Not Underperforming

05/29/2013

Recently released (and largely overlooked) economic data further illustrate the US economy’s underappreciated health.

Manufacturing Innovation

05/02/2013

The Institute of Supply Management released its Index for April, but don’t let the numbers fool you—domestic manufacturing is making a surprising comeback.

The Employment Twitch

04/08/2013

The reaction to Friday’s US Employment Situation report was far from exuberant.

Testing What Stress How?

03/15/2013

Most banks passed the second half of the Fed’s stress tests, but that still doesn’t predict nor prevent future weakness.

Energy in the Spotlight

03/05/2013

From the US to Asia, a look at the latest developments in global energy markets.

Inside the Payroll Tax Hike

02/11/2013

While many presume the payroll tax hike will weigh on household spending, January’s strong retail sales suggest consumers are rather resilient.

Rational Observations

02/01/2013

Despite Wednesday’s negative GDP post, signs of economic growth continue to abound—a fact some folks are beginning to recognize.

Doubling Up Deadlines

01/25/2013

Thursday’s debt ceiling deal introduces a few more arbitrary deadlines for Congress to contend with in the months ahead.

Catching Housing Tailwinds

01/18/2013

Housing data’s shown improvement of late, which may provide an incremental tailwind for the already resilient US economy moving forward.

Pitching a Fit(ch)

01/16/2013

There are some great pairs in US politics: Republicans and Democrats, the House of Representatives and the Senate, debt ceiling debates and threats of a credit rating downgrade.

Planes and Automobiles

01/11/2013

Air traffic and auto sales are just two additional  indicators highlighting a healthier than perceived global economy.

Third Time’s a Charm

12/21/2012

US Q3 GDP was revised up on higher personal spending and a downturn in imports. To us, despite headwinds and concerns (which are nearly always present), it’s likely expansion continues ahead.

Cliff’s Fisca-la-la-la Follies

12/19/2012

Just as the holiday season is reaching its peak, so are debates about the fiscal cliff … At least, they seem to be getting there.

Ken Fisher on Falling Off a Cliff and Hitting a Ceiling

12/07/2012

Fiscal cliff talks in Washington took a turn toward another political machination—the debt ceiling—something you might remember from … 91 times before.

Manufacturing a Connection

12/04/2012

Alleged connections between manufacturing’s contraction and the fiscal cliff seem, well, manufactured.

Underappreciated Thursday

11/30/2012

Signs of underappreciated positives in the US and Europe.

The Affordable Care Act’s Affordability: Taxes

11/19/2012

The US election results seemingly have given rise to heated rhetoric over the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. Let’s analyze the likely economic and market impact.

The Great Unemployment Debate

11/05/2012

Despite accelerating hiring, the unemployment rate incrementally rose in the last report before the US elections. But should we draw any material conclusions from the data?

Dodd-Frankly, That’s Dumb

10/12/2012

Dodd-Frank rules governing derivatives trading go into effect Friday. However, those potentially subject to the rules still find them full of ambiguity and uncertainty.

Scaling the Fiscal Cliff

10/11/2012

As the election nears and the year winds down, fiscal cliff rhetoric is heating up. So how to read between the hype’s lines?

Humming Along With Housing

09/24/2012

Housing data strengthened recently—potentially providing another tailwind to already resilient US economic growth.

Wandering Through the World Wide Web

09/12/2012

One interesting shift in economic activity was paired with two widely held misperceptions Tuesday.

Employing Patience

09/10/2012

A shrinking workforce took the shine off August’s falling unemployment rate, but history shows the economy can grow and employment improve as labor force participation falls.

The CBO’s Fuzzy Math

08/23/2012

The CBO revised its outlook for the US economy in 2012 and 2013—but their math has us scratching our heads a little.

Gotta Have My Pops!

07/20/2012

Rising food prices likely lack the power to pick consumers’ pocketbooks or derail the global economy.

Forecaster Faceoff

07/17/2012

The IMF’s and other groups’ updated economic outlooks dominated headlines—a sure sign of a slow financial news day.

Debating Dour Datapoints

07/09/2012

Those foretelling future economic distress based on Friday’s unemployment report are likely missing the broader trend.

Yankee Doodle Dandy

07/04/2012

This Fourth of July, celebrate freedom, free markets and more bull market ahead!

SCOTUS Rules

06/29/2012

The Supreme Court declared 2010’s health care reform bill constitutional on Thursday—what does the decision mean for stocks?

Let’s Twist Again

06/21/2012

The Fed announced it will extend Operation Twist through year end—but does it give investors a new reason to dance? 

Coming to America

06/18/2012

Watch what foreigners do with their money to gain perspective on American competitiveness.

Debatable Data Doldrums

06/01/2012

US revised GDP was released Thursday to some consternation. And a brief update on US energy industry developments.

Better Than (Widely) Received

04/30/2012

Both more granular and broader views of US Q1 GDP growth show Friday’s figures weren’t as bad as received.

The Volcker Rule’s Definition Problem

04/23/2012

Implementation of Congress’ attempt to regulate banks’ proprietary trading was delayed Friday to give regulators time to define what they’re regulating.

Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees on Unemployment

04/10/2012

Friday’s unemployment report was less than sensational, but don’t miss the forest for the trees with just one data point.

More Gas in the Tank

04/09/2012

Some have fretted rising gas prices are likely to derail the economy—but is there an actual connection to economic activity?

Around the World in Manufacturing

04/03/2012

As global manufacturing continues expanding broadly, regional reports highlight some interesting happenings around the world.

Around the World in Manufacturing

04/03/2012

As global manufacturing continues expanding broadly, regional reports highlight some interesting happenings around the world.

US Durable Goods Still Strong

03/29/2012

February’s capital goods orders missed estimates, but capital goods remain an economic bright spot.

Pulling Back (the) TARP

03/16/2012

Roughly three and a half years after its hotly debated birth, TARP’s bank bailout doesn’t seem much like the black hole many feared.

Not-So-Stressful Tests

03/14/2012

The Fed announced stress test results Tuesday—revealing mostly healthy financial institutions.

Evidence of Employment

03/12/2012

Data from both the private sector and government illustrate healing labor markets.

Manufacturing on the Mind

03/02/2012

Upon closer inspection, fears of manufacturing’s long-term decline are unfounded.

Earning Their Keep

02/28/2012

Corporate earnings grew again in Q4—the ninth straight quarter of growth.

A Surplus of Deficient Thinking

02/13/2012

Trade data rolled in from many parts of the world globally. And they were met with typical deficit-and-surplus rhetoric.

A Case of the (Unemployment) Mondays

02/07/2012

Despite recent improvements in unemployment data, many still argue government isn’t doing or hasn’t done enough in that area—an argument which largely ignores several positives at work.

Employment Friday!

02/06/2012

Here are over 20 numbers to help illustrate a data-packed Friday.

A Web of Misperceptions

02/01/2012

A look at some misperceptions we came across in our regular internet perusal Tuesday.

The Grass Is Greener Than Many Think

01/30/2012

Friday’s US Q4 2011 GDP report showed growth continued—and accelerated for the third quarter in a row.

Manufacturing’s Manifest March

01/19/2012

While fears of US manufacturing’s decline remain prevalent in the media, data paint a markedly different picture.

Private-Sector Strength

01/06/2012

Signs of private-sector strength continue to emerge in the US and abroad.

Headlines in Iowa (and Elsewhere)

01/04/2012

Tuesday marked the first US trading day of the year—here’s a quick rundown of some primary stories.

(Growth) Dashing Through the Year

12/23/2011

Thursday bore gifts a little early as indications of US growth continued and Congress reached an agreement.

Inside Retail Sales

12/14/2011

US November retail sales grew less than estimated. But digging below the surface, the report wasn’t bleak.

Unemployment, Overall and on Average

12/02/2011

Is a still-high unemployment rate that unusual?

Red Hot Black Friday

11/29/2011

Strong Q3 earnings and record-high Black Friday sales illustrate the disconnect between sentiment and reality.

Have Consumers Changed Their Ways?

11/28/2011

Let’s put one theory of a fundamental shift in US consumer spending patterns in perspective.

US Q3 GDP Revision: All About Inventories

11/23/2011

Don’t be fooled by the headline deceleration. Tuesday’s US Q3 GDP revision creates visions of a jolly holiday season with steady growth, but dwindling inventories.

Earnings and Implications

11/21/2011

A look back at Q3 earnings season, and a look ahead at the likely implications.

Midweek Mash-up

11/09/2011

Euro politics dominated headlines again Tuesday, but eurozone musical chairs wasn’t the only story. Here’s a look at what news caught our eye.

20 Numbers to Help Illustrate Unemployment

11/07/2011

A collection of factoids to help put current unemployment in perspective.

Counting Candy (and Earnings)

11/01/2011

US companies are on track for eight straight quarters of earnings growth.

When News Isn’t Really New

10/26/2011

A look around the web at some of Tuesday’s not-so-new news.

Harping on HARP

10/25/2011

The government announced a new plan to shore up underwater homeowners. But will it work?

Counterproductive Handwringing Over Productivity

10/24/2011

A recent revision to US labor productivity has some in the media wringing their hands over long-range forecasts. But do the data merit the to-do?

A Preponderance of the Evidence: Growth

10/21/2011

Although sentiment continues to be dour, a preponderance of the evidence shows underappreciated economic strength.

Racing Towards Zero

10/17/2011

Last week, slow developments on US free trade gave way to action—on more than one front.

A Vicious Cycle?

10/10/2011

Friday’s unemployment report showed better-than-expected hiring, but that hasn’t stopped some from fretting unemployment’s impact on economic growth.

Do Little Fed, Do Nothing Government

09/22/2011

While the Fed took an incremental step intended to buoy the economy Wednesday, Congress seems committed to quite the opposite tactic—doing nothing.

Dawn After Darkness

09/15/2011

Thursday marks the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Three years on, are we facing a repeat of the 2008 financial panic and ensuing bear market?

Whispers, Politics and Remembrance

09/12/2011

A Friday look at things recent—and things remembered.

Politics and Pigskins

09/06/2011

President Obama will address the nation Thursday on the current domestic jobs situation—but it’s unlikely solutions come from politicians on either side of the aisle.

The San Francisco Fed’s Generation Gap

08/25/2011

Conclusions drawn from demographic data about the future of equity market demand sources seem initially compelling but break down under further scrutiny.

Jawboning, Speculation and Hot Air

08/23/2011

With the Fed holding its annual Jackson Hole symposium, talk of QE3 is escalating.

A Retail Pop

08/12/2011

Amid steep market volatility, it’s important to recognize the widely discussed negatives but also to balance them against material economic positives to get a clearer view.

After the Downgrade

08/09/2011

Global markets experienced a sell-off Monday, as investors contended with S&P’s US credit rating downgrade and the ECB’s Spanish and Italian debt purchase plans.

Veritable Volatility

08/08/2011

Markets continued their roller coaster ride Friday but basically ended flat—a useful illustration of recent market action in general and one reason to avoid knee-jerk reactions to uncomfortable volatility.

Half Full or Half Empty?

08/03/2011

Debt ceiling dramatics came to a conclusion Tuesday, leaving many frustrated in its wake. Here’s a look around the news at what’s poking that frustration—and largely unnoticed remedies.

Ceilings and Seesaws

08/02/2011

Even if Congress passes a debt ceiling extension, don’t expect markets to sound the “all clear.”

Confused About Credibility?

07/28/2011

Ratings agencies are getting a lot of attention lately, but let’s look at some facts before assuming they’re all that credible.

The Politics of Fear

07/27/2011

White-hot, fear-based rhetoric is flying around the debt ceiling as politicians try to sell their positions. And, some links.

Breaking News-US Manufacturing Isn’t Dead

07/18/2011

US manufacturing is alive and well, making government claims there’s a need for a “national strategy” dubious at best.

Fisher Investments on Rising Commodity Capital Expenditures

07/11/2011

Rising demand from Emerging Markets consumers has had downstream effects on agricultural commodities. This bodes well for commodity capital expenditures.

Across Shining Seas

07/06/2011

Isolationism has no place in economics or investment strategy.

Spend and Trade

06/29/2011

Though positive global developments are getting short shrift, they do exist today.

Waving the Fed’s Wand

06/23/2011

Many seem to think the Fed has a magic wand it can wave to solve the economy’s woes. But folks seem to believe in monetary policy sometimes and not others.

Economic Predestination

06/16/2011

It seems the release of every economic data point brings fresh comparisons to the Great Depression—but they just don’t hold up. Nor do they tell us much about where we’re headed next.

Foggy Financials

06/08/2011

Though regulatory uncertainty is troubling Financials shares, banks are healthier than most think.

The Great Non-Depression

06/02/2011

A recent slowdown in some economic data has the media bemoaning we’re on the verge of the next Great Depression—but the numbers just don’t support that.

Cue the Curtain for QE2?

06/01/2011

With June’s arrival comes the last month of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing purchases.

What’s Up Is Up, What’s Down Is…Up

05/27/2011

While Q1 GDP was unchanged, dueling headlines said corporate profits both rose and fell.

A Headache Over Housing?

05/25/2011

Although a housing recovery would provide a nice tailwind moving forward, it isn’t necessary for continued economic growth.

Attack of the Muni Monsters

05/19/2011

2011 was predicted to be the year of the municipal bond default—but how has that played out so far?

Make a Trade for Trade

05/18/2011

Pending FTAs with Panama, Colombia and South Korea are caught in yet another political battle.

Breaking the Debt Ceiling

05/17/2011

On Monday, the US hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, stressing the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling—which will likely happen eventually.

WPA, Reductio Ad Absurdum

05/12/2011

Unemployment’s continued sluggishness has some proposing rather radical government solutions—which would likely do more harm than good.

Dawn of the Not So Dead

05/11/2011

US manufacturing, long thought dead, is actually much healthier than rumored.

Mending Lending

05/04/2011

A new Fed survey shows banks are healthier and lending is improving, but profit margins may be squeezed awhile longer.

Not Running on Empty

04/29/2011

Preliminary US Q1 2011 GDP came in below expectations, but varying speeds in a growth cycle are perfectly normal.

The Dodd-Frank “Act” Strikes Again?

04/21/2011

The Federal Reserve released yet another proposal in response to provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, but practical details were few and far between and likely unnecessary.

Fisher Investments MarketMinder: Our Eye on Earnings

04/20/2011

Q1 2011 corporate profit growth may be more subdued relative to past quarters, but Fisher Investments MarketMinder finds that normal in the course of an ongoing expansion.

The Scarlet Letter

04/19/2011

S&P downgraded the US’s credit rating outlook by a notch, but it shouldn’t mean much.

A Lesson in the Law of Unintended Consequences

04/14/2011

Legislation that interferes with free markets can and frequently does have completely unintended consequences—sometimes undermining the very purpose of the legislation.

The Totality of Trade

04/12/2011

China reported a trade deficit in Q1 2011, but despite that, both Chinese imports and exports rose—a desirable overall increase in trade.

A Triumph for Trade

04/07/2011

Contrary to protectionists’ claims, free trade agreements give American companies a fighting chance in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

An Impasse Comes to Pass

04/06/2011

Congressional Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over the budget.

Checking the Inner Gut Strategist

04/04/2011

Economic growth and positive market returns continued in Q1 2011. But what of investor sentiment?

A QE2 Quandary

03/31/2011

The QE2 debate’s already begun, and unsurprisingly, officials and politicians are heavily divided on the subject.

Profits Prove Positive

03/29/2011

US Q4 2010 corporate profits were once again hugely positive—proof of overall US corporate health.

Who Loves Toxic Waste?

03/22/2011

The US Treasury plans to sell $142 billion of mortgage-backed securities bought in 2008—the latest example of the government profiting from financial panic intervention.

Muni Meltdown Myths

03/04/2011

Fears of a US muni market meltdown are spreading, but even if defaults reached their worst levels historically, the fallout would likely be relatively limited.

Help Wanted?

03/03/2011

Private sector employment exceeded expectations Wednesday, but what does that say about the global recovery’s direction?

America Express

03/02/2011

US economic growth is accelerating faster than most of the developed world—boding well for American stocks.

A Budget Battle

02/15/2011

President Obama revealed his 2012 budget Monday—and true to form, lawmakers are already bristling over proposed spending cuts and tax increases.

Vaguely Reforming Their Fannie

02/14/2011

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented three proposals for reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Friday.

More With Less

02/03/2011

Growth continues to surge in the US thanks to increasing productivity.

Recovery Ends. Expansion Begins.

01/31/2011

Preliminary US Q4 GDP showed 3.2% annualized growth and pushed the economy to a new high-water mark—inconceivable to many just two short years ago.

Hitting the Mark-to-Market

01/28/2011

The FASB's actions speak louder than the FCIC's words.

Blues’ Clues?

01/26/2011
Subdued US blue chips earnings reports shouldn't surprise—nor necessarily disappoint.

Not-So-Toxic TARP

01/25/2011

Preliminary reports indicate the US Treasury's eight "toxic asset” funds weren't so toxic after all.

Eyeing the Exit

01/18/2011
Inflation was up in 2010, but 2011 shouldn't bring materially higher prices.

A Tale of Two Unemployment Rates

01/10/2011
Is unemployment really the paramount economic indicator?

On an Up Note

01/04/2011
2010 looks to have ended on an economic up note.

A Resolution Good Enough to Keep

01/03/2011
What should investors take away from 2010?

Winter Credit Thaw

12/31/2010
US bank lending to smaller and medium-sized firms is on the rise.

The Many Gifts of Capitalism

12/24/2010
This holiday season, we'd like to say thanks to corporate America for gifts given all year—and their gifts are the kind that keep on giving.

Pain in Spain, But Gains in US

12/16/2010
PIIGS fears remain in headlines, but US economic data are encouraging.

Classic Divergence

12/15/2010
The Fed remained cautious in their most recent policy statement even as retail sales confirmed continued economic recovery on the verge of renewed expansion.

Dodd-Frank Says Ditch Fitch

12/10/2010
The Dodd-Frank legislation calls for the end of the rating agency oligopoly, an outcome we guardedly support. 

A Lesson In Government Math

12/06/2010
Counterintuitively, that the US unemployment rate ticked up slightly in Friday's report isn't bad news.

Revealing a Non-Secret

12/02/2010
Little attention seems to be paid to expanding manufacturing activity globally—and that could be good news for investors.

Black Friday Not So Bleak

11/30/2010
Irish bailout details failed to calm European nerves, but US investors managed to shake off some of the gloom on encouraging Thanksgiving retail sales. 

A Round of Thanks

11/26/2010
MarketMinder is thankful for a quite a few things this year.

Briefly Bellicose

11/24/2010
Geopolitical tensions on the Korean peninsula knocked stocks Tuesday.

Not So Ghoulish October

11/16/2010
US October retail sales increased the most in seven months—adding to business spending power.

Geared for Growth

11/08/2010
Though little noted, corporate earnings are again trouncing analysts' expectations.

Five Spooky Fears Dispelled by US GDP

11/01/2010
Fears are commonplace early in economic expansion—but a clear-minded review of US Q3 GDP shows many are simply ghost stories.

In Queue, QE2

10/28/2010
The question of will they or won't they is falling wayside to questions over how much?

Wall Street Pros Bailout Government

10/25/2010
Many decry Wall Street profiting from governmental programs put in place during the financial panic, but the opposite is closer to the truth.

Bashing the Bank Piñata

10/22/2010
Financials are finding ways around new regulations faster than Washington can enact new ones.

A Recent History of Technical Analysis’ Recent History Lessons

10/18/2010
Technical indicators frequently grab investors' attention—but let's use recent history to assess their success.

Taking Stock of Earnings

10/14/2010
We could see another quarter of solid S&P 500 earnings.

It’s USA. Not USSA.

10/11/2010
Friday's US unemployment report showed little improvement in the jobless rate—but it did reveal a smaller government payroll, adding further evidence recent socialism fears were (and are) overblown.

One Less Four-Letter Word

10/04/2010
The unpopular Troubled Assets Relief Fund (TARP) closed to new business on Sunday—posting vastly smaller-than-feared costs and perhaps smaller-than-perceived successes.

No September Slump

10/01/2010
September surprised investors by beating expectations, and if history is any guide, there might be more good news in store.

The Threat of Tit for Tat

09/30/2010
US legislation targeting China's currency policy seems ill-advised.

Gridlock on the Beltway

09/28/2010
Increased political gridlock looks likely—and investors should cheer

Headlines Deceive

09/27/2010
Beneath the surface, Friday's US durable goods report showed businesses confidently deployed cash in August.

Credit Where Credit's Due

09/23/2010
The US corporate debt default rate is down dramatically and now expected to fall further to pre-financial crisis levels.

First, a Trickle

09/20/2010
The Fed's Flow of Funds report showed Americans' net worth fell in Q2—but also showed US non-financial companies maintained a massive $1.84 trillion cash hoard.

Incorrectly Political

09/13/2010
As US midterm elections approach, much of the heated debate surrounds the economy. But buying into their accounts is potentially dangerous for investors.

Dumb Bears

09/07/2010
Double-dip fears are nothing new, and their existence doesn't confirm that the fears are valid.

Retail Therapy

08/31/2010
Consumer spending is doing just fine, despite the usual fears to the contrary.

Wild Wyoming and Washington

08/30/2010
From the wilds of Wyoming to Washington's beltway, economic growth was Friday's catch phrase.

It’s Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia

08/20/2010
Thursday's US stock market performance wasn't stellar after a few weak US economic reports. But the picture's not as gloomy globally.

Getting a Grip on Bonds

08/19/2010
Bonds may feel safe relative to stocks, but there can be drawbacks—sometimes significant.

Trading Up

08/12/2010
Trade up a focus on the trade balance for one on overall trade levels.

Hungry Bears

08/11/2010
Slowing economic statistics are bringing out the bears. But we don't think they've got much to chew on.    

Titus Maccius Plautus on US Unemployment

08/09/2010
July's US unemployment report disappointed. But does this provide useful information for investors?

A Watched Pot Still Boils

08/05/2010
Closely watched economic data are showing signs of improvement.

An Import-Led Recovery

08/02/2010
Friday's US GDP release provided an interesting look back at the second quarter—and a trip way back to revise dated data.

Spill Bill on the Hill

07/29/2010
Is there enough political will to pass a contentious energy bill?

Lowering the Economic Bar

07/22/2010
Fed Chief Ben Bernanke's testimony revealed a weaker outlook for growth—but also expectations for a continued recovery.

Economic Relativity

07/07/2010
As the economic recovery matures, it's important to separate a declining rate of growth from an absolute decline. 

The Paper Companies’ Big Win

06/28/2010
Congress celebrated reconciliation of financial reform on Friday—but there's a lot more paper than substantive reform targeting major factors driving 2008's financial panic.

Housing Tax-Credit Hangover

06/24/2010
New and existing home sales data for May disappointed—but the expiring housing tax credit likely played a role.

Cashlandia

06/14/2010
While some fear ailing US consumers, businesses are showing resounding balance sheet vitality—a likely forerunner to bullish business spending. 

Debunking Debt Concerns

06/10/2010
We're big enough to handle our debt—and more.

Hungary for News

06/07/2010
Global stocks shed mid-week gains on Friday, tied to one story that was positive but not positive enough, and gamesmanship from a new Hungarian politician.

PIIGS and Chips

06/01/2010
Spain's credit was downgraded on Friday, but that shouldn't overshadow positive developments elsewhere, like US manufacturing.

America, Still Popular

05/18/2010
Recent data show it takes more than badmouthing to strip US assets of their popularity.

The Fundamental Focus

05/17/2010
As stocks waver on euro-worries, global economic fundamentals continue their strong showing.

“Short”-comings

05/04/2010
Hedge funds betting against the market get hurt—sometimes in a big way—when stock prices rise.

Third Time’s Also a Charm

05/03/2010
The US economy expanded for the third consecutive quarter.

May Day!

04/30/2010
It's the time of year for a classic rhyming myth to return from winter—but it doesn't pass muster when tested.

A (Non) Moving Target

04/29/2010
The Fed maintained its target rate Tuesday—but it's only natural to worry about what happens when higher rates do come. (Hint: Fine things historically.)

Rocky Earnings

04/27/2010
S&P 500 companies reporting earnings thus far are beating analysts' expectations—by a wide margin.

To Burn or to Stone…

04/23/2010
Bankers deserve their share of the blame for 2008, but why solely them?

Uncle Sam’s Payday

04/15/2010
There's much talk about raising taxes, but whether or not taxes go higher likely has little effect on the bull market.

Wonka Wonka Wonka

04/13/2010
The wonks at NBER are delaying declaring the recession's end—but investors needn't care about an "official” declaration.

Extra-Special Bulletproof

04/12/2010
Are credit ratings agencies really all that different from other forms of financial analysis? Nope.

Going Once…Going Twice…

04/09/2010
A great deal of ink has been spilled over the world's growing disdain for US Debt, but two recent Treasury auctions tell a different tale.

No Kidding

04/05/2010
Stocks got off to a good start in the second quarter, with gains likely fueled by positive manufacturing data from countries large and small.

Adventure’s Out There

03/31/2010
Though the housing market continues stabilizing, the pace of recovery remains slow—in stark contrast to stocks and the broader economy.

Short-Changed

03/30/2010
Banks have received little credit for repaying bailout loans.

Feelings and Other Tragedies

03/29/2010
Most Americans feel like their portfolios haven't grown over the last year. But feelings are often completely wrong.

March On

03/19/2010
Wednesday's tame consumer price index reading is welcome confirmation inflation remains a distant threat.

Meaningless Marker

03/18/2010
Major stock market indexes hit 18-month highs Wednesday—spurring some folks to fear stocks may be due for a drop.

Not in the Mood

03/16/2010
Moody signaled its displeasure with US debt levels by announcing the country was closer to a rating downgrade.

Logorama

03/12/2010
A resurging corporate debt market is yet another sign companies are strong and ready to spend, which spells growth for the broader economy.

Long Live the King?

03/10/2010
Cash is corporate king currently, and that bodes well for stocks looking forward.

Packing a Punch?

03/05/2010
Many fear commercial real estate losses present a potential blow to economic recovery.

In Memoriam

03/03/2010
This month memorializes the 2000 market peak a decade on. Looking back, we find few revolutionary investing lessons, but many essential reminders.

Underdogs Victorious

03/01/2010
The US and most Emerging Markets beating Q4 GDP expectations signals the global economy is alive and well.

A False Prophet

02/24/2010
February's falling consumer confidence doesn't tell us much and should little worry investors.

A Fed Surprise

02/22/2010

The Fed raised the discount rate Friday—a baby step toward normalizing monetary policy.

Whoop, There It Is

02/19/2010
There's much to whoop and cheer about in the US manufacturing sector.

PIIGS Go to Market

02/18/2010
Recent PIIGS countries bond auctions were oversubscribed.

The Plan That’s Just a Plan

02/11/2010
Fed head Bernanke released a statement Wednesday detailing stimulus exit options—but indicated monetary policy will remain accommodative for a while yet.

Here Comes . . . a Little Sun

02/10/2010
Falling inventories, little talked about, signal continued economic improvement and could help stocks rise over time.

Simmer Down Over Corporate Bonds

02/09/2010
Sentiment may be shaking the corporate bond market right now, but companies' prospects are largely robust.

A Tale of Two Surveys

02/08/2010
Friday's employment report might seem a mixed bag, but it shows progress overall.

Melancholy Over Manufacturing?

02/04/2010
US manufacturing expanded in January at the fastest pace in five years, but naysayers fear the sector's continuing decline.

This. Is. Good. News.

02/01/2010
As US GDP grew at its fastest pace in six years, the pessimism of disbelief finds reason to doubt.

One Step at a Time

01/28/2010
The FOMC's Wednesday meeting contained no surprises—but showed the Fed's willing to maintain accommodative policies until the recovery is on surer footing.

So Long, Sixty

01/21/2010
Tuesday's election surprise likely spells doom for health care reform.

Another Brick in the Wall

01/11/2010
December's job losses may discourage, but they're just another brick in the bull market's wall of worry.

See You Next January

01/06/2010
So goes January, so goes the year—so long? Not so fast.

Bonds in Red

01/05/2010
Bonds can lose value too. 2009 was an example.

Onward

12/29/2009
What are the experts saying about 2010? And what should investors do about it?

Data Drawbacks

12/24/2009
Economic data—what's in those numbers?

Cash Rich

12/17/2009
US companies have plenty of cash on hand ready to be deployed at a moment's notice.

Yields Signs

12/15/2009
The US yield curve steepened to its biggest spread in decades last week—bullish for economic growth.

TARP Controversy

12/10/2009
TARP's extension Wednesday was largely irrelevant—along with other emergency programs, it's already prevented the worst-case scenario.

Skip the Double-Dip

12/08/2009
The future's never certain, but a double-dip recession seems unlikely.

Jobs Report, Sarbox, and Japan Post

12/07/2009
The world is full of rotating characters, and some acts have more power to move markets than others.

The Ol’ Pension Blues

12/02/2009
The ol' pension blues are back—but they needn't rob investors of holiday cheer.

Thanks Aplenty

11/26/2009
Folks generally aren't as happy this holiday as usual, but there's plenty to be thankful for.

Is the Price Right?

11/23/2009
Short-term US Treasury yields dipped into negative territory this week. Investors needn't panic—it's not December 2008 all over again.

Channeling Chips

11/20/2009
The semiconductor industry was rattled Thursday by analysts' downgrade.

The Show Will Go On

11/18/2009
A single piece of news virtually never accounts for daily market movement. 

Back to Business

11/16/2009
Investors need not believe in the US economy to believe in global stocks.

Downgraded

11/13/2009
Credit ratings agencies are on the ropes lately. But are they down and out for good?

Battle of the Buck

11/11/2009
Don't fret a weakening dollar.

Paying for the Bailouts

11/10/2009
The financial crisis appears to be over, but thanks to onerous regulations and political scrutiny, Financials' woes aren't.

Unemployment’s Jab No Knockout

11/09/2009
US October unemployment rose, but shouldn't hold back economic and stock market recovery.

Hungry for More

11/06/2009
Q3 US worker productivity increased the most since 2003—good news for corporate profits and stocks.

Ignoring the Itch

11/04/2009
Jittery markets make for itchy trigger fingers.

Bedtime Stories to Scare Investors

11/03/2009
CIT's bankruptcy filing is a story reminiscent of last year's financial horrors—one with less power to move markets.

Treats, Please

10/30/2009
The US economy returned to growth mode in Q3, with consumer spending leading the way.

Monetary Mantras

10/29/2009
Though some central banks are raising interest rates, stimulative global monetary policy remains en vogue.

Not Just Debt Weight

10/27/2009
Worried about today's high government debt? History shows we're still well within manageable levels.

Picture This

10/23/2009
Leading economic indicators are up for the sixth consecutive month. Investors who wait for the whole picture will likely be left behind as the bull market continues to rise.

Other Shoe Blues

10/22/2009
Bull market skeptics believe commercial real estate woes may be the much- awaited "other shoe” drop-kicking markets. We doubt it.

Taming of the Shrill

10/20/2009
Cries proclaiming imminent rampant inflation have little economic support.

D10K Doubters

10/16/2009
Amid some celebration, Dow doubters hailed 10,000 as the ceiling for stocks. The milestone means little, but the bother's bullish.

Change Ain’t Easy in DC

10/15/2009
Some Democrats want to expand the current stimulus—but investors needn't fear, it's unlikely any sweeping new stimulus measures will get approved anytime soon.

Don’t Mess With Taxes

10/14/2009
Concerns about higher taxes abound, but stock investors likely needn't fear the effects.

Even Steven

10/12/2009
Investors shouldn't abandon their long-term investment strategies just because stocks are recovering.

The Dollar’s Doom Looms?

10/08/2009
Rumors are flying that a few countries want to stop pricing oil in US dollars, raising fears about the dollar as the world's dominant currency.

Unemployment, Underemployment and Zombies

10/05/2009
Unemployment and underemployment may continue rising, but history tells us they won't hold back stocks.

Spooked?

10/02/2009
Fears natural disasters or geopolitical unrest could trigger the next bear market are nothing new.

A Sign of Better Days to Come

10/01/2009
US Q2 GDP was revised higher—but fears about the economy and consumer spending continue to weigh on many folks' minds.

Shaken, Not Stirred

09/28/2009
The stock market recovery has been steady so far, but don't forget pullbacks are normal during a bull market.

Lofty Promises, Little Action

09/25/2009
World leaders descended on the US this week for a couple high-profile summits. Policy decisions, major or minor, are unlikely.

Stimulus U-Turn

09/24/2009
The DPJ, Japan's new ruling party, announced its decision to postpone parts of the $165 billion economic stimulus package passed earlier this year—possibly hindering Japan's economic recovery relative to the rest of the world.

Bare Bottom

09/22/2009
As the global economy recovers, bare-bones inventories need to rise to keep shelves from becoming equally bare.

Bye-Bye, Recession?

09/17/2009
Recent talk of the end of the global recession isn't new news to investors.

Minor in the Key of Kerfuffle

09/16/2009
Scaled historically, today's trade kerfuffles are minor—but we like that so many are paying attention.

Separation Anxiety

09/15/2009
Though Treasury and White House speak of "exit strategy,” financial regulation proposals could mean continued government involvement in the financial sector.

One Year Later

09/11/2009
One year after a fateful week on Wall Street ignited a panic, we evaluate where things stand today.

Of Mop-Tops and Monetary Union

09/09/2009
The United Nations recently proposed establishing a global central bank and currency to solve the world's woes—but don't expect action anytime soon.

Less Bad Is Good

09/07/2009
Economic data has been exceeding dour expectations, but skeptics are quick to note "less bad" data still isn't good.

Location, Location, Location

08/31/2009
Signs of improvement in the housing market are welcome but not necessary for the stock market rally to continue.

Stay in September

08/28/2009
Despite investing myths to the contrary, September isn't a cursed month for investors.

Buckle Up

08/21/2009
Investors needn't fear China's stock market correction.

Alphabet Soup Recovery

08/20/2009
Contrary to popular belief, the stock market and the economy don't move in lockstep. Markets can recover in a V—even while the economy L's, W's, or Q's for a bit.

Pulling Weeds

08/18/2009
Colonial BancGroup's failure is typical of recessions' tendency to weed out weaker firms.

The Report of the Consumer’s Death is an Exaggeration

08/17/2009
The cards might seem stacked against a rebound in consumption, but consumers are much more resilient than most think.

Out of the Gates

08/14/2009
France and Germany announced positive Q2 GDP numbers Thursday, adding to signs a global economic recovery is well underway.

Brainlessly Buoyant?

08/13/2009
Stocks' fast pace has some fretting bubbles.

The Day the Twitter Died

08/10/2009
Bottom news stories are often the ones behind surging stocks.

Training Wheels

08/07/2009
Central banks worldwide are maintaining flexible monetary policies as the global financial system continues its recovery.

Don’t Call It a Comeback

08/03/2009
The US economy could be on the verge of renewed growth, but extremely cautious optimism pervades.

Musical Chairs

07/31/2009
Employment numbers are in the spotlight again, but don't count on them to perfectly reflect the employment picture or tell you where markets are headed.

The Dog Days

07/30/2009
With Congress in recess and much of the financial industry on vacation, the news cycle should be mellow until after Labor Day.

Statutory Sunshine

07/29/2009
The financial regulation debate is raging again.

The Long Summer

07/27/2009
Major new legislative proposals have stalled in the Beltway—that just might be a good thing for stocks.

Take a Hike

07/23/2009
The federal minimum wage increases this Friday. Despite arguments to the contrary, it's likely the economic impact will be negligible.

CIT’s Private Reprieve

07/21/2009
CIT may have secured a reprieve from bankruptcy court—for now—but the bigger news is its rescue is being backed by private financing rather than the government.

Back to Basics

07/20/2009
Earnings show banks' traditional capabilities are intact.

The Year of the Ox

07/17/2009
China's stimulus plans are coming to fruition faster than most developed nations, and the country will probably lead the global economic recovery.

The Tin State

07/16/2009
State budget woes have received significant media coverage, but they tell us little about future stock prices.

Oil! (Again)

07/10/2009
Commodities regulators are debating the role speculators play in prices—yet again.

CDO Remix

07/09/2009
Budding CDO activity is a sign an important source of lending isn't permanently gone.

Numeric Follies

07/06/2009
Sometimes the government's economic projections simply don't add up.

Goldilocks and the Inflation Bugaboo

07/02/2009
Investors should differentiate budget deficits from inflation.

The Program That Wasn’t There

06/30/2009
Banks are less interested in the government's help these days. That's a good thing.

Trifling Transformers

06/26/2009
President Obama signed off on the "cash for clunkers” program Wednesday. Don't hold your breath on this one folks.

Witching Hour

06/22/2009
A seemingly ghoulish event known as quadruple witching took place this week, but long-term investors shouldn't fear its spells.

Voting and Weighing

06/19/2009
Short-term market volatility has never inhibited long-term value recognition or positive returns.

Regulator Rubik’s Cube

06/18/2009
Today's announced financial regulatory proposals are moderate but highlight why investors should beware US Financials for now.

The Earliest Bird

06/17/2009
Economically sensitive sectors should lead the recovery—especially Materials, the earliest bird.

Yesterday’s Breaking News

06/15/2009
Fed reports showed US household wealth dropped in Q1, but this is hardly new news!

A Fire Sale Four

06/12/2009
Rising US Treasury yields—alarming or alluring? 

Not a Bair Market

06/11/2009
Recent government feuding over Citigroup's stock conversion highlights political risk within the slowly healing financial sector.

Baby, You Can Drive My Volvo

06/10/2009
America's auto industry is as American as strudel, sushi, and bangers and mash.

One War at a Time

06/05/2009
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke called for deficit reduction this week—what gives?

Banks and the Temple of Doom

06/04/2009
Big banks are eagerly trying to escape TARP, but it isn't easy.

Don’t Bow to Dow

06/02/2009
It's time investors stopped bowing to the Dow—it's a poorly constructed index.

Out With a Thud

05/28/2009
Bankruptcy looks inevitable for GM.

Political Pavement

05/21/2009
Congress recently passed a slew of new credit card regulations—and already the "law of unintended consequences” is hard at work.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

05/20/2009
You can sweat the small stuff—or look at the bigger picture.

Tarnished by Taxes

05/19/2009
Tough economic conditions and budget woes in some big states won't derail economic recovery.

Separating Shoots From Stocks

05/18/2009
Sluggish economic recovery won't prevent a V-shaped stock market bounce if worst-case fears subside.

Regulatory Redux

05/15/2009
Downturns bring increased federal scrutiny. But not all regulation is bad regulation.

Throwback to High-Waters

05/13/2009
With stocks down considerably from their high-water mark, it's hard not to wonder how long it'll take to get back there.

A Medium Rare Market

05/11/2009
The stock market has been rising in the face of negative economic news, as it's supposed to.

Fashionably Flaky

05/08/2009
Adding to already massive global monetary stimulus, the European Central Bank and Bank of England announced more stimulus Thursday.

Don’t Stress the Tests

05/07/2009
Fears about bank stress tests are overblown, and markets have so far cheered the results.

The Incredible Shrinking Mortgage Problem

05/01/2009
Time is healing the US mortgage market.

It’s Just the Opposite

04/24/2009
In bad times, stocks are commonly shunned as permanently damaged goods—history shows no such thing.

Political Appeal

04/21/2009
When Democratic presidents learn to appeal to voters beyond their party base, history shows markets do very well in their inaugural years.

Walk the Line

04/17/2009
Regulators told investors Thursday they will detail bank stress-test methodology well before the results are released to the public.

The Government’s Learning Curve

04/16/2009
How the government handles stress tests for banks will indicate the administration's ability to learn from past mistakes.

A Stimulative Spark

04/15/2009
Recent prices demonstrate neither alarming growth nor precipitous declines—making a case for today's aggressive monetary policy.

An Unexpected Tenner

04/13/2009
Wells Fargo and other big banks will likely report stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings. But banks still face plenty of risks.

Uptick Rule, Plus Frills

04/09/2009
The SEC is considering limits on short selling, including reinstating the recently shelved uptick rule.

De-U.S.ification

04/06/2009
The relative size of the US in the global economy is shrinking.

Free of FASB’s Fust

04/03/2009
A move in the right direction, the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to soften FAS 157 Thursday.

Fool’s Errand

04/02/2009
Focusing on today's negative data to gauge economic progress is a fool's errand.

Tick Tock, Autos

03/31/2009
Time is running out for General Motors and Chrysler, and filing for bankruptcy is looking likely.

Banking Man

03/30/2009
Bank executives visited the White House today to discuss the state of the economy and the financial system with President Obama.

Yogic Wisdom

03/27/2009
Treasury Secretary Geithner's been on fire all week—but do his words doom stocks? Probably not. 

Climate Control

03/26/2009
Ambitious cap-and-trade legislation won't get through Congress easily. That's good news for the economy.

Public-Private Teamwork

03/24/2009
Treasury finally released details of the Public-Private Investment Program, but proposed modifications to FAS 157 could be more important to investors.

TALF Talk

03/23/2009
The Fed's new Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility (TALF) kicked off this week to somewhat tepid demand.

A Fed to Be Reckoned With

03/19/2009
The Fed proved it's a force to be reckoned with, unveiling three additional strategies injecting up to an additional $1.15 trillion into capital markets.

Debt-jà Vu

03/18/2009
Concerns foreigners will cease to finance the US's growing debt are nothing new.

The Inscrutable Federal Mind

03/17/2009
Markets continue to discount uncertainty, not risk, as the rules of the game remain inscrutable as ever.

Fool’s Gold?

03/16/2009
Economic and banking news largely beat dour expectations last week—and stock markets rose in response. But it's too soon to say if a new bull has arrived.

Savvy Cities

03/13/2009
Free markets increase efficiency—even in hulking government bureaucracies.

Digesting Clouds

03/12/2009
Markets have a lot to digest, but few things are concrete yet.

Washington Waffles

03/04/2009
Washington's waffling is only prolonging the pain. 

More Aid for AIG

03/03/2009
Battered AIG received more aid, but there's no definitive end in sight to their problems.

A One-Two Punch

03/02/2009
Stock prices dropped today on dour news from the banking and economic fronts.

Our Beltway Buddies

02/27/2009
The White House submitted a blockbuster budget blueprint Thursday. 

Parental Advisory

02/25/2009
More inconsistent federal messaging roiled markets Monday and Tuesday. 

Cheering Inflation

02/23/2009
Today's CPI data indicates the economy isn't slipping into deflation as many fear.

Bad News Banks

02/20/2009
Political rhetoric continues to focus on banks—this time touching on the idea of nationalization.

A Calculator, and Bananas

02/19/2009
The 3.5 million jobs promised by the stimulus package is based on fuzzy math, but it doesn't matter much for investors.

Pent Up on Pins and Needles

02/18/2009
A pent-up deluge of dreadful news was unleashed Tuesday sending markets sharply lower.

It Was No Grilled Cheese

02/13/2009
Members of Congress grilled top bank executives Wednesday on why their institutions haven't been lending.

Seeing Past the Trees

02/12/2009
Treasury Secretary Geithner's financial rescue strategy may lack details, but one thing's for certain—it's massive.

Strong Currents Stirring

02/11/2009
Erratic equities declined Tuesday, yet credit markets continue to thaw.

A Silver Lining

02/09/2009
The economy lost more jobs in January—an unfortunate statistic for jobseekers, but not necessarily investors.

On Borrowed Dime

02/05/2009
The government can go a long way on borrowed dime.

Skip the Scratch

02/04/2009
Amid today's negative economic news, we note already low inventories could signify a particularly sharp but abbreviated downturn.

Orange-Hued Sticks?

02/03/2009
Government capital infusions to help banks lend appear to be sticks disguised as carrots.

Building the Wall of Worry

02/02/2009
GDP dropped 3.8% for Q4 2008—a dismal end to the year. Economic news will likely get worse in 2009, but expect the market to improve before the economy.

A CDS Witch Hunt

01/30/2009
The Credit Default Swap market has been maligned as a source of financial instability, but inhibiting this important market would do more harm than good.

So Bad, It’s Good?

01/29/2009
Plans for a government-run "bad bank” stoked financial shares today, but the targeted assets aren't nearly as bad as people think.

Proceeding Aggressively With Caution

01/27/2009
Fed policy makers will likely exhibit both force and caution in their scheduled meetings this week.

Housing Wobble

01/26/2009
The heavy emphasis on the latest housing data belies its light GDP weight.

Meet Mr. Geithner?

01/23/2009
Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner won the Senate Finance Committee's approval Thursday—but we still know relatively little about him.

Strings Attached

01/22/2009
TARP's strings are tightening around the banking sector.

German Debt Drama

01/12/2009
Though little noticed in the US, a failed German bond auction has some worried abroad.

Reverse Logic

01/09/2009
More weak unemployment data made the news today—but don't bet it depresses stocks long term.

Sunk by Saving?

01/07/2009
Consumer health has been at the tip of everyone's tongue—now some worry more saving will make things even worse.

Layer Cake Regulation

01/06/2009
The SEC's long-awaited report on FAS 157 only complicates things.

Globalization’s Sequel Is Safe

12/24/2008
Central banks worldwide have acted quickly, aggressively, and more or less together all year.  

Toxic Mortgages: Act II?

12/23/2008
Looming rate resets on various adjustable rate mortgages are causing some to fear another subprime-like fallout.

The Ghost of Bailouts to Come

12/22/2008
The US government is spreading holiday cheer from Detroit to Main Street.

America’s Lost Decade?

12/19/2008
The Fed's recent rate cut and announced policy of quantitative easing is causing some to compare the US now to Japan in the 1990s—we're not so sure. 

Still Fighting the Good Fight

12/17/2008
US markets were up today as the Fed announced it would again cut rates and continue aggressively deploying its many other policy tools. 

To Err Is…

12/16/2008

The Madoff scandal is an unfortunate demonstration of Wall Street hucksterism, but red flags were aplenty. 

 

Fresh Air’s Fleeting

12/15/2008
Thursday night and Friday morning witnessed some surprisingly sane action from the Beltway—and predictably, the opposite too. 

Simplify, Simplify

12/12/2008
The muddled US financial regulatory system exacerbated this fall's crisis—maybe it's time to simplify its structure. 

Seasonal Shoppers

12/11/2008
Consumer spending will be subdued this holiday season, but there is some good news amid the coal lumps.

A Gradual Cure

12/08/2008

US financial and economic health recovery will take place in steps, not in a single climactic moment.

Deep Into the Playbook

12/05/2008
In yet another attempt to address housing market concerns, the feds announced a plan hoping to aid new homebuyers and support housing prices.

The Usual Suspects

12/04/2008
President-elect Obama's economic Cabinet picks are experienced economic and political veterans—the usual suspects.

The Egghead Economy

12/03/2008
On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially labeled this past year a recession.

Help Wanted

12/01/2008
Banks are learning the hard way TARP is no overnight solution.

Our Erratic Queen

11/28/2008
Rapidly falling prices have many worried about deflation.

Take Two

11/26/2008
The Fed's willing to innovate and innovate again to succeed.

Citi Won’t Sink Yet

11/25/2008
As expected, the federal government stepped in over the weekend with an aid package for ailing mega-bank, Citigroup.

Fear Strikes Financials, Again

11/24/2008
Fear strikes Financials—again!

Little Meaning in the Muck

11/21/2008
Today's volatility is sometimes hard to fathom—but some of it is surely due to existing non-fundamental pressures.

Presto Change-O

11/20/2008
Some insurance companies are turning themselves into savings-and-loan holding companies to qualify for government funding.

Invest for the Future, Not the Present

11/17/2008
During economic downturns, many wait for signs of recovery before investing. But investment decisions based on today's news only puts investors behind.

Plan B

11/14/2008
The government has switched to "Plan B” on various rescue programs.

And Justice For All…

11/13/2008
Some have argued the government's financial crisis cure-all has been one-sided—but a new plan seems to indicate that will soon be remedied.

A Motor City Mess

11/11/2008
Can a government save an industry? Detroit's Big Three are hoping so.

Down to One

11/05/2008
The US elected a new president Tuesday night, removing one key uncertainty.

The Ultimate Leading Economic Indicator

11/04/2008
The stock market is a leading economic indicator, not the other way around.

Months Like Years

11/03/2008
The last day of October finished higher—but the month was tough for stock investors.

Nothing’s Shocking

10/31/2008
Thursday brought further global liquidity support and weak (though expected) preliminary third quarter GDP data.

Tooling Around

10/30/2008
Cutting the federal funds rate is just one monetary policy tool of many.

Signs of Life

10/29/2008
Taken together, recent government and private sector actions are easing financial uncertainty.

Banking on the Government

10/28/2008
What will banks participating in the Treasury's recapitalization program do with the extra funds?

There Are Positive Earnings

10/23/2008
Despite the gloomy headlines, there are plenty of companies reporting positive earnings.

More Fed First Aid

10/22/2008
Recently, the Fed announced more help for ailing money market mutual funds.

Easing Goes It

10/17/2008
Tight credit conditions have eased lately—a little-noticed fact.

Follow the Leader

10/15/2008
After Monday's round of announced European government capital injections, the US countered with a plan of its own Tuesday.

The Paper’s Piling Up

10/10/2008
In addition to an interest rate cut, the Federal Reserve this week opened a new lending facility aimed at jumpstarting the commercial paper market.

The Benefit of Bad Memories

10/08/2008
Though today's financial panic may seem Great Depression-like, the real economic consequences don't have to be.

Build a Man a Fire…

10/06/2008
The Treasury's $700 billion financial rescue plan won't solve anything quickly—at least not in the way most folks think it will.

From Liquid to Antiques Roadshow

10/02/2008
We examine the controversial topic of mark-to-market accounting—for those who forgot the details (or never knew to begin with)!

Monday’s Markets

09/30/2008
After one of the largest down days in years, some new information came to light while other issues remained unresolved.

Politicizing the Rescue Plan

09/29/2008
In the hands of politicians, the financial rescue plan has become…politicized!

Merely Bailout Opines, Not Call to Action

09/26/2008
Many smart folks are weighing in on the government's bailout plan. Instead of hasty action, use this time to become as informed as you can.

Dollars for Assets

09/25/2008
As Congress debates the Treasury and Fed's financial system bailout, many are concerned over its "price tag.”

Certainly Uncertain

09/23/2008
The weekend and Monday delivered more news of material importance to financial markets.

Wall Street’s Wild Spirits

09/22/2008
After a wild week on the Street, markets ended just about where they started.

A Shot in the Dark

09/19/2008
Curtailing short selling is at best a regulatory shot in the dark.

Concerning AIG

09/18/2008
The government rescue of insurance giant AIG is concerning but has its bright spots. 

Weekend at Lehman’s

09/15/2008
On one of the worst single days in stock market history, capital markets revealed as much about their strength as their weakness.

Today, Resolve Trumps Timing

09/12/2008
The last ten months have tested investors, but history and fundamentals say a bottom is likely near. When stocks hit bottom they'll bounce high.

New Rules for M&A

09/11/2008
New M&A accounting and reporting standards mark a positive step toward creating seamless global markets, but pose problems for today's would-be sellers and buyers of companies.

Fate Accompli

09/09/2008
For months, the fates of Fannie and Freddie seemed uncertain. Now, the federal takeover is a fait accompli.

Looking Forward to the Back End

09/05/2008
Major indexes have declined 20% or more from their highs, indicating a bear market. With the US presidential election at hand, investors face a critical juncture.

It Could Happen to You

09/04/2008
"Could” and "might” aren't news. Investors should be wary of opinions masquerading as journalism. 

Survey Says

08/26/2008
Sentiment-based surveys almost never capture the complete picture.

Everything in Its Right Place

08/25/2008
Many assign undue weight to the successes or failures of international organizations. But sovereign nations will do as they please, and failure to reach wide consensus doesn't mean globalization's end.

Too Big to Fail

08/19/2008
Will the Fed's expansion of powers prove to be a terrible precedent or a pertinent innovation?

Don’t Demonize the Deficit

08/18/2008
Earlier this week we noticed the re-emergence of a classic investing myth. Folks hailed the trade deficit shrinking on growing exports as good news.

The Dollar and You

08/15/2008
There's lots of hubbub surrounding the US dollar's recent rally against other major currencies. What should investors know when it comes to currency movement?

California Dreamin’

08/12/2008

Is California's once-golden economy now tarnished by years of anti-competitive regulation and taxes?

 

Cost Consumed

08/05/2008
Higher production costs aren't necessarily directly passed on to the consumer.

Recessionism

08/01/2008
As second quarter 2008 GDP came in stronger than expected, headlines still find reason to be gloomy.

Long Train Runnin’

07/31/2008
Investors looking for anecdotal evidence miss some hard data, like transports, which remain strong--unlikely to happen during recession.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

07/30/2008
Some folks fret lower oil and gas prices are a bad sign for Energy and the economy, but fundamentals still look nice.

Earnings Expectations

07/29/2008
Earnings season is proving to be a bumpy ride, but good news exists.

Time to Go to the Bull Pen?

07/28/2008
Sector weightings are one of the key drivers of portfolio performance. Knowing when to make adjustments is vital to performance over time.

Your Mother Was a Hamster

07/21/2008
With all the talk of economic woe and calls for accountability, a harsh regulatory response could become a risk.

Pessimistic Prognosticators Aplenty

07/18/2008
Those in the financial industry are overwhelmingly bearish. Is there legitimate reason for their pessimism, or do the current troubles within their industry skew their views?

CPI : Rotten to the Core

07/17/2008
While CPI has ticked up of late, rekindling inflation fears, global long-term interest rates, a better indication for the market's expectation of inflation, remain benign.

About Fannie and Freddie…

07/14/2008
Markets were volatile again on Friday as fears over the health of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resurfaced.

Care to Dance?

07/10/2008
Initial public offerings (IPOs) have dried up lately. Many view this as a bearish sign. But a dearth of IPOs means less stock supply—bullish for prices.

The Paradox of Pursuit

07/03/2008
For this year's celebration of independence, it's time to ask why we feel so bad while the world keeps getting better.

Oxymoronic Growth

07/01/2008
That so many want to classify the economy today as being in recession is probably more a function of dour sentiment than economic reality.

A Classic French Fold

06/30/2008
Many touting economic stimulus checks as the economy's saving grace are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Don’t Fear the Fed

06/26/2008
The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged yesterday, but hinted at a potential shift in policy in the months ahead. Regardless, incremental rate changes don't matter much to long-term investors.

Hanging Tough…Over and Out!

06/24/2008
Many worry today's market volatility is because the world's more perilous than ever. Truth is, there's never a dull moment. Hang tough!

What Wealth Effect?

06/06/2008

Folks fearing the weak housing market will dampen consumer spending shouldn't worry—consumer spending tracks disposable income, not home equity.

Bellwether Blues

04/10/2008
Folks tend to base broad economic views on local circumstances and solitary storylines. This earnings season, be wary of assigning too much weight to the performance of a small set of traditional economic bellwethers—there's a wider world out there.

The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Bad

04/03/2008
Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony on Wednesday seemingly supports calls for recession in 2008. Scaling the problems reveals slower growth, but a recession remains unlikely.

New Rules for the Street?

04/01/2008
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced an "overhaul” plan for U.S. financial markets. But the plan, if it survives, will likely look very different.

Trial by Fire

03/14/2008
Treasury Secretary Paulson's new policy recommendations intended to strengthen financial markets could prove to be more bane than boon.

Pawning Stocks

03/12/2008
Stocks have been sold in the short-term to pay off debt. Said otherwise—certain financial institutions have been de-leveraging. It's kind of like pawning your guitar to pay the rent.

Going Once, Going Twice

03/10/2008
The Fed's latest fix has markets in a huff. But just what is a Term Auction Facility anyway?

The Trouble with Carlyle

03/07/2008
Investors fear Carlyle Capital's troubles signal larger problems surrounding agency mortgage securities, but Carlyle's woes aren't systemic.

Not in Our House!

02/27/2008
Reported January foreclosure rates are up 57% from last year—a closer look at the data shows the accompanying fears are overblown.

Open for Business

02/25/2008
Behind the turmoil, markets continue to function normally.

Municipal Bondage

02/15/2008
Recent failed muni bond auctions have sparked new fears Wall Street's in credit bondage. But a closer look reveals just another overhyped worry of the liquidity crisis.

Pass the Banjo

02/13/2008
The US consumer isn't dead yet! January sales growth beat expectations and is tempering fears of an impending recession.

Emotional Rescue

02/12/2008
Is the Sage of Omaha really trying to bail out bond insurers, or merely conducting business as usual?

Credit Zombies

02/08/2008
Do higher credit card delinquency rates mean American consumers are finally dead? No—in fact, delinquency rates are still below average. But even higher rates haven't spelled doomed historically

Can We Get Some Service Here?

02/05/2008
Market reaction to today's ISM service industry report is overwrought and near hysterical—not an uncommon reaction to economic news of late.

More Mergers!

02/01/2008
Acquisition and share buyback activity march onward amid the tumult—an indication economic and market fundamentals are much stronger than today's pervasively dour outlook.

Just Four Things

01/31/2008
Ignore short-term market swings and investor fears and focus on what the market's likeliest to do going forward—only one of four possible scenarios.

Still Growing

01/30/2008
While some are swooning over the "worst economy in five years,” a sober analysis of preliminary US GDP figures released today shows an economy still on strong footing.

Housing Humdrum

01/29/2008
Though bad news from the residential housing sector continues making headlines, it won't have the long-term economic or market impact investors fear.

Empty Calories

01/24/2008
Today's announced "stimulus” package from the beltway is little more than empty calories for the economy.

Debt Disbelief

01/23/2008
A US bank liquidity crisis never materialized in 2007…and we've got the data to prove it!

Fear and the Fed

01/22/2008
Market action today isn't warning you to sell—rather, now is the time to remain disciplined and ride out market turbulence.

The Circle of Life

01/18/2008
Bond insurers are struggling to keep their heads above water as ratings agencies evaluate credit ratings. But new companies are entering the market and increased competition promises an improved industry over the coming years.

Inflation - It's Prices, not Price

01/17/2008
Investors are worried about plenty today, but inflation shouldn't be on their short list.

America for Sale

01/16/2008
Fears surrounding foreign governments' investments in US firms is unwarranted. Capital is capital—the freer it flows the better.

Nothing New

01/15/2008
Stocks took a walloping today on widely expected news tied to Financials' health and mortgage-related asset write-downs.

The Fed’s Show and Tell

01/14/2008
The Fed plans on communicating more regularly with the American public, which is nice, but we believe won't ease volatility or make forecasting markets any less difficult.

Lenders on the Block

01/11/2008
As two troubled Financials firms prepare to go on the auction block, note they are getting bought out by other Financials firms. The sector isn't as imperiled as it may appear.

Market Noir

01/10/2008
It's no wonder market volatility is high lately. Today's headlines reveal a lot of market misperceptions. More than ever, folks seem to be choosing an overly dour view in place of reality.

Junk Bonds and Green Skies

01/09/2008
Predictions about rising bond default rates seem too dour and highly unlikely.

Employment Drizzle

01/04/2008
In light of today's dour employment news, we're rerunning a past story detailing the imperfect nature of employment data.

What Dollar Story?

12/26/2007
2007 was a year of hand-wringing about the dollar's demise. With just a few days left in the year, it turns out the dollar wasn't so weak after all.

Recession Confusion

12/24/2007
Headlines, polls, feelings—none of these are good indicators of a coming recession. Instead, you must look at the hard data to know if we're in recession.

The Willie Loman Effect

12/13/2007
The newest rationale to be bearish is possibly the silliest yet: A vicious cycle-induced recession.

Feel the Flow

12/11/2007
Investors dread decreasing home prices will translate to lower net worth and slower consumer spending. But the Federal Reserve's latest report on the US household reveals the largely unappreciated strength and vigor of the American consumer.

MarketMinder’s Letter to Santa

12/10/2007
As 2007 draws to a close, we consider just a few of the market conditions that could help fuel a continued global equity bull market.

Resilience

12/07/2007
Pearl Harbor reminds us of the resiliency, strength, and versatility of the United States and its citizens. By comparison, today's perceived economic problems are mere trifles.

Recession Quiz

12/06/2007
Folks seem to believe the US is headed for a recession. We'd bet most of those folks would fail our quiz.

A Million a Minute

12/04/2007
Investors commonly fear the US government is over-indebted, particularly to foreigners, and this poses an economic threat. However, our government is largely indebted to Americans, and currently, our debt load isn't worrisome.

Six Degrees of Tax Policy

11/19/2007
Contrary to popular opinion, a Democrat President and Congress doesn't guarantee a tax hike. Rather, it's conceivable the Democrats maintain the tax cuts for political leverage.

The Secret Testimony of Big Ben

11/08/2007
Bernanke's testimony to Congress today depicted a resilient economy with plenty of capital markets-based mechanisms to ballast the soft housing market. Too bad many chose to hear a different message.

Earnings Breather Not a Bear Harbinger

10/24/2007
Reported US corporate earnings are weak so far in the third quarter, but a close look at the numbers and proper perspective reveals this doesn't signal a new bear market.

Mind the Gap

09/28/2007
Politicians have it backwards. Debt is not a societal negative. It's a vital economic driver, and having access to credit makes society wealthier overall.

Vector Investing

09/27/2007
Large and diverse economies (such as the US) require huge dislocations to impede economic growth—most concerns like subprime and new housing supply simply aren't big enough to matter.

Ben to the Fake Rescue!

09/19/2007
Yesterday's Fed action won't have much impact, which is good news, since our healthy economy requires no rescuing.

Belaboring Labor

09/07/2007
Today's jobs report was indeed negative, but when the hype is cleared away it doesn't amount to much.

Our Callous Economy

09/06/2007
News about increasing foreclosures may not be as bad as you think because weakness in the housing sector isn't enough to materially hamper America's economy.

Partners in Debt

08/29/2007
Think the US or UK has too much debt? Think again.

Best Credit Crunch Ever!

08/23/2007
Catcalls for a world economy in crisis on fears of the supposed credit crunch are getting sillier by the day as hard evidence of stability and strength piles on.

Corrective Measures

08/03/2007
Our daddies told us there'd be days like this. The S&P 500 took a whooping today, capping what's been a tumultuous couple weeks in the market. But don't let a few days' frightening downside volatility scare you away from stocks just yet.

In the Meantime

07/31/2007
As the stock markets work through jitters about a credit crunch and subprime, recent aggregate economic news has been very encouraging.

Good Data, Bad Information

06/01/2007
Corporate profits are beating expectations.

Productive Ignorance

05/03/2007
U.

Dying of Old Age

03/29/2007
Economies aren't like people.

OMG! Big Telecom Returns

03/15/2007
Editor's Note: Today's commentary is written in half English, half Texting language.

No Canary in the Coal Mine

03/13/2007
Markets were pounded today in what could be the beginning of the second down leg of the correction.

Death and Taxes…and Economic Growth

03/09/2007
Ben Franklin said: "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

Idle Thoughts

03/08/2007
Our minds are wandering.

Whoop Whoop Whoop

03/07/2007
The incompetence of government-run systems cannot be overstated, and we cannot belabor that point enough.

If CEOs Don't, Investors Will Do It For Them

02/23/2007
Stocks are cheap and they need to get more expensive.

Don't Go Blind from the Subprime

02/20/2007
If you picked up a newspaper in the past few weeks, you probably saw at least one article detailing the downward spiral of the subprime mortgage market.

Still In Flight

01/31/2007
Back in November, we provided a list of worries keeping overall sentiment cautious about the economy (see our past commentary "Skyscraper of Worry" for the full list).

Ben's Doomsday Prediction

01/18/2007
Dominating headlines today is our bearded buddy Bernanke's Congressional testimony about the dangers of a retiring baby boomer generation.

Casual Correlations

01/16/2007
We've done a very bad thing.

Inflating Wages

11/18/2006
One of our favorite pastimes is delivering bad news to the bears in times we believe it's a bull market (like now).

Too Busy Working

11/10/2006
United States unemployment stands today at a 5-year low of 4.

The Savings Rate Myth

11/02/2006
We're a bit tired of hearing of the over-extended consumer.

Stocks Don't Look Back to the Future

10/27/2006
It's official: US GDP growth slowed in the third quarter.

Guess What? The US is Bigger than Ever.

10/05/2006
Hopefully you said "That's Great!" after reading the above.

I'm OK, You're OK (and We're Both US Consumers)

09/29/2006
Psychologist Thomas Harris wrote a book called I'm OK, You're OK in 1976 explaining his theory on how we perceive ourselves and others.

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