Our Perspective

  • After a booming fourth quarter for the stock market, it is difficult to not feel a bit squeamish over how 2014 has begun.  With the S&P 500 Index down over 5% for the year, such a number is hard to ignore. We understand this, and we have been dedicating much time and effort to a temperature check of sorts, in order to assess what the slump means, where it came from, and where we believe it’s headed. First, we are not overly surprised by the market’s behavior thus far. As we described in our...
    Post date: : 02/05/2014 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • On July 18, the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and will seek to reorganize and restructure approximately $18-20 billion dollars of debt.  Often times, municipalities and corporations about to enter bankruptcy will try to come to a compromise with their creditors and go through a “pre-packaged” bankruptcy in which they submit a pre-agreed-upon plan for restructuring to speed up the process and cut down the legal fees and proceedings.  The Emergency Financial Manager,...
    Post date: : 08/06/2013 - 8:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • On Friday, March 1, $85 billion in “sequestration” or automatic spending cuts to the federal government set in.  In the last couple of months, despite expectations, or at least hope, of a deal to address these arbitrary cuts, nothing has been done by Congress and the White House.  However, I’m not sure we should be at all surprised by this inaction.  It seems this is becoming politics as we know it, because even the markets, typically very sensitive to fear and uncertainty, are shrugging it off...
    Post date: : 03/03/2013 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • We are now just over a month into the first quarter of 2013. This is always a noteworthy time for the markets, in the sense that this is the time we learn how the economy really acted in the previous fourth quarter, and we see the kind of footing we have kicking off the year ahead. Quite simply, the markets have been rockin’ and rollin’. As economist David Rosenberg put it on January 31, “Sentiment is clearly off the charts bullish.” Remember the VIX Index, or “fear gauge” that we often...
    Post date: : 02/11/2013 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • The election we have all been anticipating culminated on Tuesday with a win by President Obama.  He won both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote.  Overall, it seemed an election for incumbents, with the Presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives all largely unchanged since the midterm elections of 2010.  Democrats kept a majority in the Senate, while Republicans retained their majority in the House. What did Voting Look Like? Obama’s 2012 victory was much closer than that...
    Post date: : 11/07/2012 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • The economy is always an issue in political elections. However, this particular upcoming election may be more driven by the economy than any other election, save for possibly 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression. No one needs to be reminded that these are troubling times, considering our low growth environment, weak housing market, our enormous federal debt burden, and a continuously high unemployment rate. All of this is being combined with the more time-sensitive issue of possible tax...
    Post date: : 09/05/2012 - 8:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • On Wednesday, July 26, the Senate held a vote regarding the extension of the Bush-era income tax rates.  The current tax cuts, set under President Bush, are set to expire on January 1 of 2013, demanding a new tax deal to be secured by Republicans and Democrats in Congress by that date.  Both parties have been working on their own tax bills—Republicans offering an extension of all current Bush-era tax cuts, and Democrats allowing tax rates on income, capital gains, and dividends to rise for...
    Post date: : 07/31/2012 - 8:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • It’s probably not news to many people that the markets have been enduring a pretty rough couple of months.  The roots of it can be predominantly traced back to continuing problems in the euro zone, especially Greece, and the fear that has spread throughout the markets, sparing practically no sector or asset class. The latest story with the struggling country is the possibility of a “Grexit,” or Greek exit from the euro zone.  There is still much uncertainty surrounding the issue and how...
    Post date: : 05/29/2012 - 8:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • To be sure, the economy is still in healing mode.  As we wrote in our last update, although the domestic economy is performing at a higher level so far in 2012, when you consider how bad things were in 2008, we are still just working to emerge from the deep hole known as recession.  This is not to downplay the improvement we have seen thus far, but it is to remind our clients that 2012 will likely still be a rough year with low points and periods of slow or almost no growth.     That being...
    Post date: : 03/08/2012 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective
  • Since the start of the New Year, the markets seem to have been in rally mode.  This is mostly due to short-term positive economic data combined with undervalued stock prices marking 2012 so far, both at home and abroad.  This kind of encouraging data will surely bolster the markets, at least short term.  We can’t deny that it has been a great way to start the quarter.   However, simultaneously to uncovering positive economic data this month, we have learned of less positive revisions to what...
    Post date: : 02/05/2012 - 7:00pm
    Category: Our Perspective

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