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Quantitative Easing

Protester Attacks ECB President Mario Draghi

The Huffington Post | Alexander C. Kaufman | Posted 04.15.2015 | Business

"End the ECB dictatorship!"

Fed Near the Cliff

Michael Farr | Posted 04.09.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

The incessant parsing and analysis of each and every Fed utterance is becoming quite comical. God love Steve Liesman and Mark Zandi, but are they really adding much value by trying to read between the lines of each statement from each Fed member?

Why Do Interest Rates Keep Decreasing?

Michael Farr | Posted 03.27.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

The market's response to Wednesday's economic data was somewhat perplexing at first blush.

How Germany Can Make or Break the Euro

Helen I. Hwang | Posted 03.18.2015 | World
Helen I. Hwang

The eurozone's largest economy, Germany can essentially "make or break" the euro, especially now at this critical juncture of the crisis. Germany is the largest in the eurozone and that heft is putting it in the role as "rule-maker -- providing order and discipline."

Why Is a Central Bank Taking the Risks of Quantitative Easing?

Stefan Bielmeier | Posted 03.15.2015 | Money
Stefan Bielmeier

Surging liquidity, more risk on the balance sheets of banks and insurers, sky-high valuations in individual asset classes -- these are some of the already visible consequences of the ECB's policy, and the trend is set to continue.

The End of the Gravy Train?

Michael Farr | Posted 04.25.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

In the summer of 2013, a sharp spike higher in interest rates caused by the "taper tantrum" (fear that the Fed will soon end monetary easing) reduced both housing affordability and the opportunities to lower mortgage rates through refinancing.

Maybe The Federal Reserve Has Been Right About The U.S. Economy All Along

Terry Connelly | Posted 04.12.2015 | Business
Terry Connelly

Hard as it may be for its legion of economic, political and media critics (and even some of its own members) to accept, the most recent bullish jobs report from the Labor Department looks like a ringing endorsement of Federal Reserve policies and perspectives on the economy.

The Bernanke-Yellen Recovery

Harlan Green | Posted 04.09.2015 | Business
Harlan Green

This is something that Germany, instigator of the eurozone's austerity policies, has to learn if it wants to bring Europe out of its Second Great Depression; by supporting policies that will unite Europe into a greater union, rather than cause its disintegration.

ECB Paddles Both Ways in the Rubicon

Stephen G. Cecchetti | Posted 04.11.2015 | Business
Stephen G. Cecchetti

On January 22, the ECB crossed the Rubicon twice -- but in opposite directions. In an effort to combat deflation and years of anemic growth, the central bank announced a sustained program of large-scale asset purchases.

A Race Against Time

Michael Farr | Posted 04.01.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

The year 2015 may yet produce solid returns for investors in US stocks. However, it's looking more and more likely that TINA ("There Is No Alternative"), more than any other factor, will be responsible rather than strong earnings growth.

Week to Week News Quiz for 1/23/15

John Zipperer | Posted 03.25.2015 | San Francisco
John Zipperer

Find out the State of the News with our latest Week to Week news quiz. Here are some random but real hints: Sneezy won't be making his usual appearan...

Bold Action Plan or Delusional Rant?

Michael Farr | Posted 03.23.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, I think there are some undeniable truths regarding our economy that need to be addressed before we reach the next phase of robust and sustainable economic growth.

Taking Stock

Michael Farr | Posted 03.17.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

There are many positive signs in the US. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd quarter was up 5% on an annualized basis compared to the 2nd quarter (adjusted for inflation).

The ECB's Not-So-Sweet 16th

Kermit Schoenholtz | Posted 03.15.2015 | Business
Kermit Schoenholtz

If the ECB is willing to use all its available tools without limit, there is little reason to doubt that it can hit its inflation target of close to 2%. However, making that policy commitment credible remains a great challenge because of the controversy and dissent about acquiring risky government debt.

Time to Get Excited?!

Michael Farr | Posted 02.28.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

Surging stock prices will likely increase rather than decrease the costs of saving for retirement for most folks. Why? Because most people, including baby boomers who are inching closer to "retirement age", remain vastly underprepared for retirement.

Should the Fed Be Worried About Deflation?

Michael Farr | Posted 02.17.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

For an economy heavily dependent on consumer spending, this is not a trivial consideration.

The Squeeze of the Middle Class

Michael Farr | Posted 02.04.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

The median household income in 2013 was only slightly above that reported for 1995 (after adjusting for inflation), while costs for necessities like housing (rent), health care, and education are making it much more difficult for middle-class folks to get by. 

What Is Causing the Drag?

Michael Farr | Posted 01.21.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

Using inflation-adjusted numbers, we indexed each component of GDP to 4Q07 levels, beginning with a value of 100 for each. We graphically display the results below, followed by some commentary.

Deleveraging Has Not Yet Run Its Course

Michael Farr | Posted 01.06.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

I've argued for some time that the process of deleveraging has yet to run its course. The aggregate level of debt in our economy currently stands at a record high, even though many pundits continue to say that debt levels are much more manageable now as compared to the pre-crisis days.

Federal Reserve Policy Keeps Fracking Bubble Afloat and That May Change Soon

Steve Horn | Posted 01.04.2015 | Green
Steve Horn

But even with the generous cash flow facilitated by the Fed, annual productivity of many shale gas and tight oil fields have either peaked or are in terminal decline.

What Oil Is Telling You

Michael Farr | Posted 12.31.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The drop in oil (and corresponding drop in energy stocks) is causing much consternation throughout the investment world because it is inconsistent with the narrative articulated by most economists.

Fed Ends Stimulus Program With Economy Still On Shaky Ground

The Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | Posted 11.05.2014 | Business

Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve just declared the U.S. economy well enough to leave intensive care, though it is not yet the picture of health. ...

Which Hazard Is Better Contained: Ebola or Extreme Economic Inequality?

Timothy J. Barnett | Posted 12.27.2014 | Politics
Timothy J. Barnett

Design changes in Ebola management protocols make it highly probable that the Ebola hazard in America will be successfully contained. In contrast, the hazard of wealth-concentration policies implemented by central banks is not under containment. This problem threatens the very fabric of democratic enterprise.

Should You Sell???

Michael Farr | Posted 12.15.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The growth of the American and global economies are the underlying drivers for most all equity investments. A clear discipline, dogged research, and dispassionate assessment are an investor's best friends.

Why Europe Is Doing the Ice Bucket Challenge With a Glass of Water

Gemma Godfrey | Posted 12.06.2014 | World
Gemma Godfrey

ECB President Mario Draghi has been highly effective with his words alone -- moving markets with speeches and little action. However, by doing so he has also set the bar high and expectations for action are becoming the norm.