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Political Violence: It's the Economy Stupid

Michael Farr | Posted 03.22.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

Getting away from D.C. every so often helps with perspective. Life inside the Beltway can cloud one's views and lead to an inflated sense of axis mun...

What's So Bad About a Little Deflation?

Michael Farr | Posted 03.15.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

Ever since the global financial crisis central bankers across the globe have become increasingly fearful about the prospect of widespread deflation. ...

What's Going on in Retail?

Michael Farr | Posted 03.09.2016 | Business
Michael Farr recently published an article (Store closings are the hottest trend in retail) about the rash of retail store closings in recent months. As t...

Keep it in Perspective

Michael Farr | Posted 02.25.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

With the S&P 500 now down about 10% from its all-time high in May 2015, a certain level of fear has returned to the markets. Among the many concerns ...

Consumer Drive? Don't Hold Your Breath

Michael Farr | Posted 12.08.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

What is the true state of the US consumer? The Federal Reserve seems pretty confident that consumers have both the means (savings, disposable income,...

Where There's A Will There's a Way

Michael Farr | Posted 11.24.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

If the full extent of the budgetary problems are not well understood, how can we be in a position to address the problems?

Confusion Reigns

Michael Farr | Posted 08.06.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

Economic data and financial-asset prices don't always paint the same picture about the health of the economy.

Has the Chinese Market Finished "Correcting"?

Michael Farr | Posted 07.13.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

All things considered, the major equity markets of the world have been fairly orderly for the past year and a half. That is, all except the Chinese market.

Riding a Growth Wave

Michael Farr | Posted 06.25.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

It is still early days for the American newfound interest in health and wellness, but as organics only make up 5 percent of total food sales I think the industry has a long runway of growth ahead.

Irrational Exuberance?

Michael Farr | Posted 05.21.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

I've stated repeatedly that a massive amount of stimulus has been required to generate GDP growth of just 2.0%-2.5% annually since the end of the Great Recession (June 2009). We have further said that the removal or reversal of some of these stimulants will be a tough hurdle for the economy to overcome.

Poking Holes in the Strong-Dollar Thesis

Michael Farr | Posted 05.11.2016 | Business
Michael Farr

The dollar began its ascent against other major world currencies in mid-2014. The move higher was fast and furious, but the greenback ran into some resistance beginning in the middle of March.

Fed Near the Cliff

Michael Farr | Posted 06.09.2015 | 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 05.27.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

The Buyback Binge

Michael Farr | Posted 12.02.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Remember, markets go down from time to time, and it's normal. Cool heads and steady hands make money over time.