Market Commentary



Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: August 11, 2017

First to markets: We have raised a cash reserve in US ETF portfolios, and we are realigning bonds now that credit spreads are tightening and yields are low as quality flight occurs. We have rebalanced gold miners using an ETF. We remain overweight the financial sector and defense sector using selected ETFs. That strategy was underway […]

Debt Ceiling

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: August 7, 2017

When the Treasury Secretary of the United States has to manage federal finances as the calendar propels the country toward an artificially created fiscal cliff, he typically writes a letter like this one: to Ryan on DISP – 7-28-17 (2).pdf. Such is the nature of our political system. We play a game of brinksmanship […]

Oracle of Delphi

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: August 2, 2017

In June, the European Central Bank published a must-read working paper entitled “Communication of monetary policy in unconventional times” ( We highly recommend this 46-page working paper for any serious investor, academic, student, or other person interested in interest rates and central-bank-driven monetary policy. Eight coauthors and five additional contributors have collaborated to offer readers extensive […]

Midsummer Muni Musings

Author: John R. Mousseau, CFA, Post Date: July 31, 2017

A number of factors have helped the overall muni market. The general level of interest rates has fallen as a result of congressional inertia on tax bills, healthcare, and fiscal spending in general. Markets, both equity and fixed income, generally like congressional gridlock, and we have it now, even with both houses of Congress and the presidency controlled by the Republicans. The muni outperformance in the long end is evident. The AAA-to-US Treasury yield ratio is now below 100%, though most AA- and A-rated bonds are still at yield ratios that are historically cheap.


Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: July 26, 2017

For an in-depth discussion of blockchain and cryptocurrencies see the June 2017 white paper published by the World Economic Forum: “Realizing the Potential of Blockchain: A Multistakeholder Approach to the Stewardship of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies” ( Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, Stratis, and many other strange names now collectively make up an asset class of about […]

Draghi Reassures as Eurozone Leads Developed Economies

Author: Bill Witherell, Ph.D., Post Date: July 21, 2017

The European Central Bank (ECB) decided on July 20th to maintain its extraordinary monetary stimulus with no change in policy interest rates. ECB President Mario Draghi’s remarks reassured markets that the eventual move towards normalization of rates and the ECB’s balance sheet will not be made prematurely. While the Eurozone recovery is looking robust, inflation […]

Taxes, Politics and Mr. Bannon

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: July 18, 2017

“Since the Great Recession, which is now 8 years old, we’ve been growing at 1.5 to 2 percent in spite of stupidity and political gridlock, because the American business sector is powerful and strong. What I’m saying is it would be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and were there not gridlock…. It’s […]

Still Favoring Japan

Author: Bill Witherell, Ph.D., Post Date: July 14, 2017

Over the past 12 months, as of July 6th, the Japanese equity market  outperformed. The TOPIX index  increased 31.1% and the NKY 225 30.5%. These figures compare with increases of 14.8% for the S&P 500, 19.35% for the STOXX Europe 600, and in Asia, 22.4% for the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Index. Similar […]

When Medians Don’t Represent Consensus

Author: Robert Eisenbeis, Ph.D., Post Date: July 13, 2017

The minutes of the FOMC’s June meeting are especially interesting this time. Not for because of what the FOMC said about raising its policy rate this time, but rather because of the insights that the minutes provide regarding participants’ widely divergent views on the policy path going forward. Differing perspectives on further rate changes versus […]

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