Market Commentary


Looking Ahead to 2009

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: December 27, 2008

Economic forecasting is at best an imperfect art, whether using econometric models, informed judgment, or a combination of both.  There are almost as many different forecasts out there as there are economists.  Witness the wide dispersion of views in any of the collection of surveys conducted by the National Association of Business Economics, the Wall […]

Pondering Madoff as we enter 2009

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

"This is a major disaster for a lot of people.  You work all your life, you finally manage to save up something, and somebody who’s entrusted with it, it turns out suddenly he’s a crook. Lots of people are getting fully or partially wiped out."  Lawrence Velvel, 69, Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law […]

Give the Gift of Education

Author: Carol Mulcahy, Post Date: December 22, 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 […]

At First Blush

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: December 17, 2008

Markets responded overwhelmingly positively to the Fed’s policy announcement yesterday.  At first blush, the Fed appeared to pull out all the big guns.  The Wall Street Journal characterized the move as Bernanke having gone all in, to draw upon a poker analogy.  The FOMC cut its policy target rate to a new low and also […]

Today’s New York Times Editorial

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 15, 2008

As many of our readers know, my colleagues and I have written and spoken about the Lehman failure and the lack of forensics on the Fed’s Bear Stearns decision and the Fed’s Lehman non-decision.  We have articulated the risks to policy transparency that originate with  the US Senate Banking Committee under Senator Christopher Dodd’s chairmanship; […]

2009 Outlook – Markets Measure; They Don’t Forecast

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 14, 2008

We are starting this commentary with two quotes that superbly summarize the state of the wealth effect, economy, and the outlook for applied stimulus. Cumberland’s strategy and rationale follow the quotes. We specifically acknowledge the effort of Howard Simons of Bianco Research for his repeated seminal work on how markets measure well and forecast much […]

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.   […]

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