Market Commentary


Global Recovery In Sight, China A Locomotive

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: June 25, 2009

June is the month for mid-year revisions to economic forecasts by the major international financial organizations and other forecasters.  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its new forecasts Wednesday, predicting that the deep global recession is nearing a bottom. It’s projections of world real GDP growth of -2.2% for 2009 and +2.3% […]

Personal Savings Rate to Rise. Also, Ask Bob Parker

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: June 24, 2009

The current and projected massive annual federal deficits trigger questions.  A big one is: how will the US finance this onslaught of debt and also find the necessary savings to invest in the economy so that growth can resume?   Don Rissmiller of Strategas argues that “Even if corporate profits rebound, it’s tough to see more […]

Florida, Florida, Florida & Clock Restaurant

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

Besides the oppressive heat and humidity, the most striking thing on my five-city, six-night Florida swing was the lack of traffic on the roads.  North-south interstates on both coasts (I-95 and I-75) flowed easily.  So did Alligator Alley when I drove across the state.  Florida went into recession nearly a year before the national economy.  […]

Obama’s Financial Regulatory Restructuring is an ‘Industrial Policy’

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: June 18, 2009

President Obama’s plan to restructure regulation of America’s financial system has some desirable elements.  It also has great danger. Eliminating certain banks that were exempted from supervision is appropriate.  So is the elimination of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) one of the regulators of AIG.  Is there really a difference between a thrift charter […]

Interest Rates and the Policy Squeeze

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date: June 15, 2009

As Treasury and mortgage rates have risen, the question arises whether the Federal Reserve will accelerate its purchases of government debt and mortgage-related securities to force interest rates down closer to the 4.5% target that had been announced for mortgage rates some while ago.  But the prospect of purchasing more Treasuries is now exposing significant […]

Notes from the Corporate Governance Front Lines

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: June 10, 2009

Last week the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at the Yale School of Management held its annual Governance Forum, drawing to the Yale campus in New Haven over one hundred of the leading figures in the corporate governance field. My invite was due to my previous position as Director of the OECD team […]

The Fed Subpoena and BofA Testimony

Author: Bob Eisenbeis, Post Date:

Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed Federal Reserve internal documents, notes, and emails in advance of the testimony by Bank of America’s Ken Lewis on Thursday.  The hearing is on the alleged pressure applied by Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke to go through with BofA’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch.  Accounts of this […]

PAYGO, Deficits and the Fed

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

Markets are starting to worry about the large and continuing issuance of federal debt.  President Obama’s PAYGO proposal notwithstanding they have good reason to be concerned.  Fed Chairman Bernanke has picked up this baton.  In his recent House testimony he validated the Obama administration forecast that the ratio of US government debt to GDP will […]

Two Pacific Rim Gems

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: June 8, 2009

As we anticipated, the Asian and Latin American markets have led the recovery in global equity markets thus far this year. The MSCI Asia Emerging Market Index is up 38.4% year-to-date (June 5), while the MSCI Latin American Emerging Market Index is up 47.8%. The large economies of China (up 36.2%) and India (up 66.5%) […]

Canada: Looking North to Add Value

Author: Bill Witherell, Post Date: June 4, 2009

When considering investing in markets outside the US, individual investors often ignore neighboring Canada and look to more “foreign” markets in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Institutional investors, on the other hand, have been increasing their investments in Canada. State Street Global Markets reported on May 25 that the latest 5-day cross-border equity flows to […]

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