Market Commentary


Kim, Trump, Thucydides

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 24, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by David Kotok

Trump’s cancellation of the Kim summit meeting clearly draws lines in the sand. Trump’s position cannot now be reversed for a longer period of time than was contemplated just hours ago. We now have an unpredictable escalation path. Kim’s behavior in destroying tunnels, underground mountain rail lines, and other parts of his nuclear test site […]

Brian Barnier Guest Commentary – A Concise, Practical Seminar on Root-Cause Analysis

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 23, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by David Kotok

My friend and fishing buddy Brian Barnier is Director and Head of Analytics for ValueBridge Advisors (US) and Burnt Oak Capital (UK). He focuses on growing companies and investments through an emphasis on the application of technology to process improvement and the understanding of product, market, and economic trends. He has an analytical edge in […]

Thucydides–Part 3

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 15, 2018

In book five of The History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes how the Athenians sustained surprisingly large losses in battle and how the Spartans prevailed. He also describes what each side didn’t know about the condition of the other side. Problems arise when decisions are based on incomplete information. Athens didn’t know of the […]

Illinois Unpaid Bill Backlog

Author: Patricia Healy, CFA, Post Date: May 14, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by Patricia Healy, CFA

We do not invest in direct general-obligation bonds of the State of Illinois. At Cumberland we feel the state is plagued by political gridlock, an inflexible state constitution, a severely underfunded pension plan, and slow growth. In order for the state to avoid dealing with its issues when it had a cash shortage, in 2011 […]

Japan’s Domestic Political Turmoil versus Stocks

Author: Bill Witherell, Ph.D., Post Date: May 11, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary - Bill Witherell, Ph.D.

In this note we take a closer look at Japan, where the equity market has also so far weathered some very dramatic domestic political storms. The Japanese economy is participating in the global economic recovery that is projected to continue at least through this and next year, and in the accompanying strong growth in global trade, which should persist unless a serious trade war develops.

John McCain & Return of Prisoners

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 9, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by David Kotok

The morning email (today) from my friend Dennis Gartman really struck home with me. Dennis and I have a standing agreement to grant each other permission to quote each other. So here is what I read in Dennis’ morning missive: “Senator John McCain has terminal brain cancer and shall soon pass from the scene. He […]

Fed, Fishing, Labor Data

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 8, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by David Kotok

We thank readers for comments on our Sunday morning piece about the Fed and the risk of policy mistakes. For those who missed it, the link is here: For those who missed my colleague Bob Eisenbeis’s piece on Fed policy, here’s the link: Bob raised a technical question internally, which we will share […]

Fed, Employment, Mistake or Correct? Munis?

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 6, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by David Kotok

Albert Einstein was, it turns out, apparently not the person who defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” (see; but it’s a good definition just the same. The definition certainly applies in economics and financial markets when we apply regression analysis to data on the assumption […]

May FOMC Decision

Author: Robert Eisenbeis, Ph.D., Post Date: May 4, 2018
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary by Robert Eisenbeis, Ph.D.

To no one’s surprise, the FOMC left its target range for the federal funds rate constant at 1.5 to 1.75%. This decision maintains the Committee’s record of no rate hikes at meetings where no SEP forecasts were available and also spaces out its gradual normalization of policy. There is virtually no information in the statement […]

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