Financial Literacy Brown Bag Workshops

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Ms. Market

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMaE6toi4mk I'm celebrating 23 years of marriage this week. Yes, it is a celebration as I am still very happily married and it is worthy of celebrating as those digits have been very much earned by both parties over the course of time. To be where we are is an accomplishment that encourages us both for the decades to come. Whatever may lie ahead, regardless of whoever is currently snoring the loudest or is packing a little extra around the waist, we are in it for the duration. I do not even know who I would be outside of this relationship. However, I do not … Read More

The New Corporation

On a recent flight I pulled the monthly airline magazine out and flipped it open. I had been searching for inspiration to write and it was serendipity. James Ashton, writer for the London Evening Standard and the Independent published a short piece titled Global Shifts that discussed the changing corporate landscape brought about by increased globalization. Among other corporations, he focused on UK based Unilever and their leadership training center in the city-state of Singapore. As corporations expand their footprint, they need to diversify thinking. Mr. Ashton contrasts the new way of … Read More

What Would Faust Do?

In the German legend from the 1500’s, Dr. Faust is said to have made a deal with Mephistopheles, the devil’s wing man, to trade in eternal life for all knowledge and worldly pleasures now. He is derided for having exchanged divine knowledge for human knowledge and comes to the ultimate conclusion according to Goethe’s retell of the story 200 years later that “I do now see that we can nothing know.” This seems particularly apt for the camp that has long awaited the inflationary pressures of what they call the “money printing” by the keepers of our currency. The thought here is that as … Read More

Lather, Rinse & Repeat

For the third year running the markets have run out of steam about the same time as the latest central bank intervention efforts expire. As we mentioned in our recent article The Long March, central banks have managed to avoid an outright depression at the expense of rapidly increasing debt levels. Herein is the primary problem. It appears that policy makers have no other options that they are comfortable with. That is to say other options exist, but are not deemed acceptable at this time. Thus more debt is created in an attempt to pay off the old debt. To compound the predicament, for the … Read More

The Long March

The funny thing about time is that it tends to move forward. With March 2012 finally behind us, a marked pause has emerged in global economic indicators. Perhaps this should be of no surprise. After $7,000,000,000,000 ($7 trillion, for those finding difficulty in counting the zeros) in central bank easing of various forms it may be ‘just about time’ for a respite. Recessions generally emerge about every three to four years – it has been three years since drastic actions were enacted to avert the normal course of economic cycles and arrest a deep economic contraction. So even with the … Read More

Opt Out

President Richard Nixon was a mastermind. He surrounded himself with people who, for both excellent and dreadful functions, were extraordinarily bright and perspicacious. In terms of management of the economy he dared to do what people thought would inevitably contribute to a decline in the USA – he audaciously removed the country from a gold standard (further background on the decision can be found in this article).  Notably, it was the next step that was perhaps his administration’s greatest stroke of genius. But first, let us recollect the accomplishments of step one. With an abandonment … Read More

Bernanke’s Playbook

At more than 2500 years old and just 24 words in length, the Pythagorean Theorem (a2+b2=c2) gracefully describes one of the basic spatial tools for calculating lengths and areas in construction and many other applications. Similarly, the US constitution with its 27 amendments establishes a government for freedom in just 7,818 words. On the other hand, the EU utilizes 26,911 words to regulate the sale of cabbage. Contending for ‘most inelegant’ might be the USA Internal Revenue Code which contains some 3,400,000 words – and growing. The point is that simple descriptions can carry more value … Read More

Thankfulness

As I reflect on a year dominated by travel designed to unveil whether or not our strategies were properly thought out, I am struck by an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness for the continued opportunity to serve my family, our clients, and community. Nearly a year ago (click for article) I stated that the period that we are moving through may give the appearance that any strategy may be unsound. Fortunately, our attention to historical precedent has kept us well positioned for the reality of these days. Thanks to each of you for your continued willingness to adhere to the course that we have … Read More

Trick or Treat

The past twenty plus trading days have witnessed the equity markets rise twenty plus percent while twenty plus trans-European meetings have been held in an attempt to determine how yet another bailout of Europe may be constructed. It is speculated that it was this later point that led the market to be in a continuous 'buy the rumor' footing. 'Selling the news' has probably not yet occurred mostly because there has not really been news of significant substance. The outcome of the twenty something meetings is the so called European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF). It is neither a solution nor … Read More