Market Commentary


The Deepening Recession In Europe

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: May 4, 2009

In its latest, very gloomy “World Economic Outlook” (available at the International Monetary Fund revised sharply downward its economic growth projections for the euro area, to – 4.2% for the current year, followed by -0.4% in 2010. The most recent OECD projections for the region, published in March (available at are almost identical […]

Swine Flu Strategy Update

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: May 3, 2009

Type A, H1N1 “swine flu” responses range from complete complacency to proactive prevention.  We see both in the United States and elsewhere in the world.  Some of the leading epidemiologists at the Milken Institute Global Conference give this version of flu a 50-50 chance to be a large-scale killer, according to Barron’s journalist, and my […]

Investing Globally Under an International Health Emergency Alert

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: April 29, 2009

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday evening, April 27, raised the level of the influenza pandemic alert to “Phase 4.” This means that while a pandemic is not inevitable, the risk that one will occur is “significant”. A WHO spokesman indicated that any attempts to contain its spread have been abandoned and they are […]

Mexico Back to Zero

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: April 28, 2009

Things had finally started to look up for Mexico following a steep economic contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008 (GDP down -10.3%) and the first quarter of 2009 (-12%) and an increasingly violent drug war.  President Obama’s visit to Mexico City signaled increased American support in the battle with the drug gangs and, more […]

Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Human Flu

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: April 27, 2009

We’ll use this commentary to address the current flu scare. First, some short notes on public health issues, and then we will discuss portfolio strategies. We’ve consolidated previous bird flu publications and posted it on our website (Link is no longer available). We recommend the CDC website as a bookmarked spot for reliable information […]

Build America Bonds – A Great Start

Author: Peter Demirali, Post Date: April 24, 2009

Peter Demirali is a portfolio manager and heads Cumberland’s taxable fixed income area and is a long time veteran of taxable fixed income markets.  He is a member of Cumberland Advisor’s Management Committee.  His bio may be found at  Comments on this article may be directed to When Congress passed the stimulus bill […]

Bank Lending

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: April 22, 2009

In an article this Monday the WSJ reported that lending by banks that had received TARP funds had continued to decline since the inception of the program and that this “paints [a] starker picture than official government snapshots.”  The article focused almost exclusively on the recently released loan origination data by Treasury on lending by […]

Big Changes in Muniland

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: April 19, 2009

Big changes are coming in Muniland.  This commentary is the first in a series about them. It used to be that all investors had to think about when they considered municipal bonds was whether they were AAA-insured and whether or not they were traditional tax-free or subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).  Those good […]

The Goldman Exit

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: April 16, 2009

Goldman Sachs’ ability to raise capital on Tuesday and its announced desire to pay back the funds obtained from the TARP program is forcing the administration and banking agencies to rethink how they plan to deal with the results of the stress tests they have been conducting.  Initially, institutions were instructed not to disclose the […]

Regulatory Malfeasance and the Financial System Collapse

Author: Joseph Mason, Post Date: April 14, 2009

Kotok comment: we are pleased to forward this guest commentary by Professor Joe Mason.  In it he outlines ways in which the securitization process went awry and led to the financial crisis we have been experiencing.  Joe notes some of the warnings.  He also furnishes a link to his recent paper on mortgage servicing which […]

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