Market Commentary


And Then There Were None

Author: Peter Demirali, Post Date: December 12, 2008

A little over a year ago I wrote a piece on the earnings and prospects of the brokerage industry. Little did I know that I’d be writing an obituary for the group at the end of 2008. The list of calamities and casualties is quite long. I will try to summarize them and give our […]

Statements from the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: December 11, 2008

The Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee is an independent, non-industry watchdog group whose membership consists of economists and lawyers drawn from academic institutions and private organizations who are recognized experts on the financial services industry.  Their common denominator is the belief that financial markets function most efficiently in allocating resources with a minimum degree of government […]

Anomalous behavior: negative T-bill yields

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 10, 2008

Trying to understand a trade that makes no apparent sense is one of the most critical ingredients in portfolio management.  Yesterday we had such a trade.  The 90-day US Treasury bill was reported to have traded in an auction at a negative yield.  That’s right.  You bought the instrument at the price indicated and, if […]

‘None. Zilch. Zip.’

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 7, 2008

Steve Shorkey, Director for Debt Capital Markets at Wachovia Securities needed few words to describe the use of one of the Fed’s new tools.   Don’t be confused.  In this case zero use is an indicator of total effectiveness.   The Fed has cured a sector of the credit markets without having to apply a single dollar.   […]

A Shift in Direction, or Blowing in the Wind?

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: December 5, 2008

Both Treasury and the Fed, perhaps either sensing the preferences of President-elect Obama or simply having seen the light, have suddenly focused their financial triage efforts on attempting to directly stabilize housing prices and provide relief to homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure.  Reports are that Treasury has efforts under consideration to bring mortgage rates down to […]

Reflections on Mumbai and What It Might Mean

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: December 4, 2008

Several years ago I had an occasion to go on a mission for the IMF to the Central Bank of India, headquartered in Mumbai.  It was the second week of December, so it was past the rainy season and the weather was warm, with temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s.  That India is […]

How big? How low? How now brown cow?

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 1, 2008

“How low can things go?”   Or   “How bad can things get?”   We keep getting these questions from clients and consultants.  Let’s look at a few items.    Interest Rates.   Our metaphor is World War 2.  During that period the Federal Reserve kept the 90-day T-bill rate at 3/8 of 1%.  The long term US Treasury bond […]

Transparency or Opacity?

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: November 28, 2008

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the US Treasury without even an accompanying press release published guidelines it will follow in determining eligibility for participation in the Systemically Significant Failing Institutions (SSFI) Program.  This is apparently one of the programs that Treasury has established under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which also includes the Capital Purchase […]

T’is the Season for Giving While Saving?

Author: Carol Mulcahy, Post Date: November 27, 2008

Carol Mulcahy is a Client Relationship Manager at Cumberland and a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist SM designee. She was recently approved to be an arbitrator with FINRA.  She has over 23 years experience in the banking and investment industry both in retail and institutional sales and marketing.  Her bio can be found on Cumberland’s home […]

Questions for Geithner

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: November 23, 2008

NY Fed president Timothy Geithner will face a Senate confirmation hearing about his nomination to succeed Hank Paulson as Secretary of the Treasury.  Here are a few questions for the Senators to consider.  Politics being what they are, we recognize that some of them may not be asked. Q. As the NY Fed president, you […]

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