Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for a Rebound in Confidence?

Everyone agrees that the economic recovery has been disappointing.  There is no consensus on the cause.  Nearly everyone has missed the most crucial element:  The crisis of confidence. Confidence is essential to economic success, as we have known for more than a century.  Listen to this brief sound clip, instantly recognizable to many.   The […]

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Weighing the Week Ahead: Higher Hopes for Housing?

Sometimes looking ahead includes understanding what has just happened.  The coming week will emphasize housing news, but it will also include a continuing debate on the dramatic changes in policy both in the US and Europe. Economic prospects improved greatly last week.  Key policymakers have geared up to fight deflation and a potential liquidity trap. […]

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Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Fed Disappoint the Markets?

After weeks of buildup, culminating with Fed Chair Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech, the time for decision has arrived.  While some of the economic data is better, the jobs picture remains poor.  Friday's employment report has raised expectations for some aggressive action.  Are these hopes justified, or will the Fed disappoint the markets? I was very […]

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Stock Prices and the Fundamentals: Don’t be Fooled

As stock prices made new highs this week, a frequent media theme was that this was happening — drum roll!!!! —-   in spite of the fundamentals. If you listened to the accompanying discussion, you eventually learned what was meant by "fundamentals."  For many observers it is some kind of unquantifiable headline risk.  As long as […]

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