Market Commentary


Dennis Gartman, Ben Bernanke & Congress

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

Dennis Gartman’s letter today hit so many key points with an economy of words that I have excerpted it and scratched my own text on Bernanke’s testimony.   Dennis doesn’t mention the changes in “velocity” which is too technical a subject for this missive.   Maybe later.   He does perfectly characterize our Congress.   Go, Dennis, go.  Give […]

Meredith Whitney and 13%

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

Meredith Whitney moved markets when she called the Goldman earnings and raised her nearer-term outlook for banks.  The widely heralded CNBC interview became a forecast promptly validated by the results of the reporting banks.  Her premier star quality remained intact. But Whitney also ventured away from her bread-and-butter turf.  In doing so, she may diminish […]

Viacialevitra in Reverse

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 14, 2009

Too big to fail has become smaller.  CIT was not on the original Geithner-Summers-Bernanke-designed list of 19 organizations deemed to be too large to fail.  In the post-Lehman environment, this has become the norm.  Failing is not permitted. Now we see the making of this policy unfolding to a new level.  CIT has received $2.3 […]

Financing Massive deficits. Also, John Mauld

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

John Mauldin has put together a thought-provoking piece on the growing global debt burden and how it must be financed.  In five minutes you can read the entire essay, graphs included.  Find it on Barry Ritholtz’s website: .    Also, it’s found at, where you can sign up for a free subscription to John’s weekly Thoughts […]

Interest Rates go Negative: Compare Riksbank (Sweden) with our Federal Reserve

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 9, 2009

Negative nominal interest rates are very hard to understand intuitively.  That said, we now have a central bank using them. In its July 2, 2009 press release, Sweden’s central bank explained that it cut its policymaking “repo rate” to 0.25%.  Its penalty lending rate was cut to 0.75%.  Most observers expected it to cut its […]

Should the BRussiaICs Become the BICs?

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: July 7, 2009

At Cumberland Advisors, our answer, from the perspective of a global portfolio manager, is a strong “Yes.”  As we write, President Obama is in Moscow for his first Russian-American summit with his counterpart, President Dmitri Medvedev, along with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  The stated objective of both sides is to “reset” American-Russian relations. The agreements […]

What if the Fed were a bank?

Author: David Kotok& Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date:

Abstract:  Our joint commentary identifies two risk measures—capital ratios and duration—which may be helpful in assessing outcomes of the Fed’s exit strategy.  We have avoided a fully prepared technical paper and admit that the issues are complex for many of our readers.  To assist readers, we have divided this paper into two parts.  The first […]

The ABCs of California IOUs

Author: John Mousseau, Post Date: July 6, 2009

The state of California – the lowest-rated state in the union – has embarked on a program of issuing IOUs to vendors who are owed money by the state. This is a result of the budget stalemate in the California legislature and their inability to agree with the governor on the course of action to […]

Happy Birthday America

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: July 4, 2009

As we celebrate the nation’s birthday, we may wish to be mindful of the stress that many in our country are under.  We may try to be gracious in the face of adversity.  We can pause.  And reflect.  And give aid.  On Friday, in New York, I watched a caring person take 15 minutes to […]

Today’s lunch with Jim Bullard

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: June 30, 2009

In a most forthright and clear Fed statement, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard spoke on Fed exit strategies at a Global Interdependence Center luncheon today at the Philly Fed.    One can find the text of his slides and the videotape at .   Having some conversation with him and listening to his prepared remarks […]

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