Market Commentary


Fannie and Freddie

Author: Peter Demirali, Post Date: January 3, 2010

Last year’s economic and market free fall really got underway as it became apparent that the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, posed a systemic risk to the financial system. Over the years, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of bonds were sold to domestic banks and foreign investors, as well as […]

Walking on Broken Glass

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: December 24, 2009

Economic forecasting is difficult, especially during cyclical turning points and at times like the present when economic policies are unsustainable and likely to have unforeseen consequences.  Some economists rely upon sophisticated models while others rely upon informed judgment and instinct.  Regardless of the methods employed, forecast errors abound – some due to misreading of the […]

2010: The Year to Focus on Sovereign Debt

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 23, 2009

Abstract: Sovereign debt is likely to be the big headline issue for 2010.  This commentary will look at some debt-related issues of Greece and California in their two respective currency zones and then discuss our view of sovereign debt markets for 2010, particularly with respect to the US dollar and euro currency zones. Some strategy […]

Bribery in the U.S. Senate Sets a New Low Point

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 21, 2009

A quick market comment will follow this personal polemic on the abominable behavior we have witnessed this weekend in the United States Senate.  Political bribery has sunk to a new low.  Senator Nelson of Nebraska sold his vote in return for special treatment for the Mutual of Omaha insurance company and for perpetual Medicaid funding […]

Sarasota and Fannie Mae

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 12, 2009

We are writing this from Sarasota on Saturday afternoon. It’s 77 degrees with a Gulf breeze; the rain and fog are gone. Setting up the new Sarasota office is underway. We expect it will be functional and integrated with the Vineland office in January. Here in Sarasota, the local paper is full of mini-Madoff stories […]

Growth Over Value

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 8, 2009

Cumberland’s stock market strategy continues to be nearly fully invested. The cash positions in individual accounts are purposefully low. We took advantage of the Dubai World shock to reposition and rebalance. Dubai’s sukuk turned into couscous. We have overweighted large-cap and overweighted growth instead of value. We believe the long period of value outperforming growth […]

Bernanke Confirmation?

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: December 5, 2009

Strategas Research is reporting the latest (Rasmussen) poll numbers on Bernanke’s reappointment.  They show that in July 26% were in favor of the reappointment and 33% wanted a new Fed chairman.  Their December 5 missive says the latest November numbers are that 41% want a new chairman and only 21% favor Bernanke’s reappointment.   Other polls […]

Dubai: A Stress Test for Global Markets

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: December 1, 2009

Last Wednesday, as Americans prepared for their Thanksgiving Day celebrations, Dubai’s flagship government-owned holding company, Dubai World, announced that Dubai will seek a standstill agreement on all of Dubai World’s debt until at least May 30, 2010. Dubai is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has a federal […]

Questions for Bernanke

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: November 30, 2009

In an unusual communication on Sunday in the Washington Post, Fed Chairman Bernanke drove a stake in the ground to his inquisitors in advance of his confirmation hearing latter this week.  He wrote about the Fed’s role in stemming the financial crisis and the importance of not tampering with the structure of the Federal Reserve.  […]

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