Market Commentary


Europe After the Bank Stress Tests

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: August 4, 2010

European economic policy-makers must be pleased to have seen the last of the first half of 2010.  The sovereign debt crisis that depressed markets not only in Europe but also around the world has since eased, and investor confidence is returning to equity markets on the Continent. We will discuss the major developments underlying this […]

Three Fish Tales

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: August 2, 2010

Three fish tales fit this weekend’s brief writing. The first involves a speech and some magnificent trout. We are back from the Rocky Mountain Economic Summit held on Friday in Afton, Wyoming. Former St. Louis Fed president Bill Poole, Wells Fargo chief economist John Silvia, and I presented, followed by an interactive discussion with the […]

Taxes and the Stock Market

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 22, 2010

If you want less of something, tax it. If you want more of something, do not tax it. We ask the next question with that principle in mind. Could the two-month stock market malaise be due to the forthcoming hikes in the income tax rates on dividends? Or on capital gains? Or both? The capital […]

Oil Slickonomics – Part 10 Trouble in Muniland

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 21, 2010

Since the BP rig explosion, $450,000 of the Louisiana St. Trans Auth Toll Sr. Lien-LA 1 Project-Series A, 4.5% of 12/01/30 tax-free municipal bonds have traded. Prices have ranged from a low of 93.25 to a high of par (100). The average price was about 99, or $990 per thousand-dollar face amount. The bonds were […]

More on the Fed’s Balance Sheet

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 18, 2010

Last week we wrote about the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet. Readers may find a graphic showing both the asset and liability sides of the Fed’s balance sheet at . Check the bottom of the home page. The Bank of England and European Central Bank are shown as well. The Fed now finds itself in […]

Regulation Reform: The Consequences of Dodd-Frank, Part II

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: July 15, 2010

In this second of a series devoted to the D-Fran financial regulatory reform bill, let us tackle an obvious issue that represents an egregious abuse of a regulatory agency by Congress. That is the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) within the Federal Reserve. Interestingly, this is the tenth title of the […]

Regulation Reform: The Consequences of Dodd-Frank, Part I

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: July 13, 2010

Having missed the 4th of July deadline to finalize the financial reform bill, now called the Dodd-Frank Act (or D-Fran), and having being sidetracked by the important Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the Senate will again focus its attention on financial issues now that it has returned from the midsummer holiday. Within the financial services industry, […]

Steve Liesman and the Fed’s Balance Sheet

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 10, 2010

When Steve Liesman gave his Friday tutorial on CNBC, he summarized the various views within the Fed by quoting some of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Essentially, there are three views. Some FOMC members may be ready to add new programs in order to stimulate the economy and avoid a “double-dip” […]

All Eyes are on China

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: July 8, 2010

Global investors are focusing on developments in the Chinese economy and stock market, reacting strongly to each positive or negative signal. To a considerable extent, this is understandable and rational, as the Chinese economy has become a leading locomotive of the global economy, particularly for the Asia-Pacific region and global commodity markets. China is much […]

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