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August 25, 2020 MVF Special Update: 08/25/2020
July 7, 2020 MVF Special Update: 07/07/2020
May 12, 2020 MVF Special Update: 5/12/2020
April 13, 2020 MV Special Commentary 4/13/2020
August 16, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Managing Through Uncertainty
August 9, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: What We Mean When We Talk About Volatility
July 12, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Cost of Easy Money
July 3, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Earnings May Matter in 2H19
June 28, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Greenbacks in Wonderland
June 21, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Insurance Cut and the Melt-Up
June 14, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Risk-Off, With a Side Helping of Large Cap Equities
June 7, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Problem of Non-Quantifiable Risk
May 31, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Strange Curves
May 24, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Volatility, The Good and The Bad
May 17, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Seven and Ten In China
May 10, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Performance Art of Trade Talks
May 9, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q1 2019
May 3, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Most Important Metric Nobody Cares About
April 26, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Could Inflation Be the Wild Card Spoiler?
April 18, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: As Goes the Property Sector, So Goes China
April 12, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Bull Is In the Eye of the Beholder
April 5, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: What To Expect When You’re Expecting…Bond Returns
March 29, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Back to Wonderland
March 22, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Something’s Gotta Give
March 20, 2019 2019: The Year Ahead
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q4 2018
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q3 2018
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q2 2018
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q1 2018
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q4 2017
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q3 2017
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q2 2017
March 20, 2019 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter Q1 2017
March 15, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The EU’s Weak Link
March 8, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Sometimes Bad News Is Actually Bad News
March 1, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Value Investor’s Lament
February 22, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Inflation Never?
February 15, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Return of the Corridor Trade?
February 8, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Troubled Technicals and Hyper Headlines
February 1, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: And There It Is, the Powell Put
January 25, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Why So Glum, Davos Man?
January 18, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Breadknives and the Algos That Make Them
January 11, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Earnings Season Darling Or Another Dead Cat Bounce?
January 4, 2019 MV Weekly Market Flash: Our 2019 Market Outlook
December 28, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Rule of 19.8 Percent
December 21, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Breathe In, Breathe Out, Repeat
December 14, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: China’s Rebalancing, Interrupted
December 7, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Slowdown, Recession or Recession-Plus?
November 30, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Does the Fed Put Still Exist?
November 21, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Theresa May and the Turkeys
November 16, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Defensive Rotation’s Uphill Climb
November 9, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Relief, Risk and the Big Unknown
November 2, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Four Octobers
October 26, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Narrative Battle Comes into Focus
October 19, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Italian Debt Job
October 12, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Four Takeaways from the Pullback
October 5, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bonds Away, We’re Okay
September 28, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Wages, Prices and Rates
September 21, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Sector Spaghetti
September 14, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Law of Gravity, Post-Crisis
September 7, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Four Rate Hikes and an EM Funk
August 31, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Fall Event Risk Outlook
August 24, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: What Record Bull?
August 17, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Pastor and the Peril
August 10, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Public Markets, Private Markets and Asset Allocation
August 3, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Great Rotation That Wasn’t
July 27, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Soybeans and Sustainable Growth
July 20, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Cash Equivalent’s New, Old Look
July 13, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Flat Curves and Rising Markets
July 6, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Second Half of Contradictions
June 29, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: China In Trouble For the Right Reasons
June 22, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The World’s Most Loved, Least Useful Stock Index
June 15, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Technocracy in Trouble
June 8, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Volatility Heads for the Valley
June 7, 2018 Upgrading Non-Profit Retirement Plans: Upgrading IAC Plans to Open Architecture (Part 3 of 3)
June 1, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Another Summer of Europe
May 25, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: A World of Pain for Consumer Staples
May 22, 2018 Upgrading Non-Profit Retirement Plans: Strengthening Your Plan with Advisory Services (Part 2 of 3)
May 18, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Baby Blues
May 11, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Populists March on Rome, Investors (Mostly) Shrug
May 8, 2018 Upgrading Non-Profit Retirement Plans: Limitations of Individual Annuity Contracts (Part 1 of 3)
May 4, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Eurozone Falling Out of Sync
April 27, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Well-Tempered Correction
April 20, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Emerging Markets Resilient, But Currencies Could Spell Trouble
April 13, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Volatility Is In the Eye of the Beholder
April 6, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: 1-2-3-4, I Declare a Trade War
March 29, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: When Tech Sneezes, the Market Catches Cold
March 23, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Carlyle, Tolstoy and the 2018 Investor
March 16, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Fork in the Road
March 9, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bad News Good, Good News Better
March 2, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Ides of March Come Early This Year
February 23, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Hope Accelerates – Will Reality Follow?
February 16, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Dollar Is Sitting Out This Party
February 9, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Peril and the Promise of Higher Rates
February 5, 2018 2018: The Year Ahead
February 2, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Another Miss for Productivity
January 26, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Market of Wandering Cats
January 19, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Our 2018 Investment Thesis
January 12, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Exuberance and Edginess
January 5, 2018 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bomb Cyclones and Melt-Ups, Hello 2018!
December 29, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: People Are Calendar-centric; Markets Are Not
December 22, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Frothing at the Bit(coin)
December 15, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Yellen’s Lesson, Powell’s Challenge
December 8, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The China Syndrome, Again
December 1, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Groundhog Day in December
November 22, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Turkeys of 2017
November 17, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Still Quiet on the Investment Grade Front (Junk Jitters Notwithstanding)
November 16, 2017 Taking Time Off? Here’s Some Food for Thought Before You Do
November 10, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: More Fuel in the Tank for Energy Stocks?
November 3, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Tax Mania!
October 27, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bond Bull Goes for the Thousand Year Gold
October 20, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Market’s Next Big Non-Event
October 13, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: What’s Next for Emerging Markets?
October 6, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Sunny Skies and Swan Songs
September 29, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Reflation Pony Returns
September 22, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Inflation, Economists and the Rest of Us
September 15, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Will the Market Party Like it’s 1987?
September 8, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Giving Up on the Greenback?
September 1, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Marathon Bull
August 29, 2017 Don’t Let Your Skepticism of the Markets Keep You from Investing
August 25, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Competing Narratives for Back to School Week
August 18, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Rocky Mountain High
August 11, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Drifts and Shocks
August 4, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bonds and the Limits of Historical Data
July 28, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Markets and Political Risk
July 21, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Copper, the New Texas Tea?
July 14, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Summer of Confusion
July 7, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: 2017 Halftime Report
June 30, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Prices, Rates and the Lowflation Era
June 23, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Confusing Times in Emerging Markets
June 16, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Market’s Leadership Problem
June 9, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Brexit Shrouded by (London) Fog
June 2, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Value Effect’s Time of Troubles
May 26, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Stocks Are From Mars, Bonds Are From Venus
May 19, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Inconsequential Tremors
May 12, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Fed and the Spread
May 8, 2017 You Received a Tax Refund, What Now?
May 5, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Popular Data, Invisible Data
April 28, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Hard, the Soft and the Ugly
April 25, 2017 To Uber or Not to Uber: When to Stop Sharing & Start Buying
April 24, 2017 Should You Pay Down Student Debt or Save for Retirement First?
April 21, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Eurozone Is Priced for More of the Same
April 13, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: End of the Complacency Trade?
April 7, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Noise and Signals in the Labor Market
March 31, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Dog Days of Spring
March 24, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Oddities Down the Risk Frontier
March 17, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Peak Populism?
March 10, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Crunch Time for “Secular Stagnation”
March 3, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Japan and the Fifty Percent Curse
February 24, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Some Vague Hints of Discontent
February 17, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Political Risk and the Cloak of Invisibility
February 10, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Let the Real Brexit Madness Begin
February 6, 2017 2017: The Year Ahead
February 3, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Contrarian Case for Europe?
January 27, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: GDP Matters, Productivity Matters More
January 20, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Shape-Shifters
January 13, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: Our 2017 Investment Thesis
January 6, 2017 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Valuation Ceiling’s Moment of Truth
December 31, 2016 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter December 31st, 2016
December 30, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Dr. Pangloss’s Market
December 23, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Magic Numbers and Animal Spirits
December 16, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Return of the Dot-Plotters
December 9, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Fiscal Policy and Its Limits
December 2, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Predictions Were 2016’s Biggest Loser
November 23, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Melt-Up Has Arrived
November 18, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Infrastructure-Reflation Mirage
November 11, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: One Question Answered, Three More On Tap
November 4, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Apocalypse Where? The Case for (Guarded) Optimism
October 28, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Quarterly Diversions and the Long Term Growth Mystery
October 21, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Whole Lot of Nothing
October 14, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Oil Smooths the October Glide Path
October 14, 2016 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30, 2016
October 7, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Fat Fingers and the Wisdom of Crowds
September 30, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: New Adventures of the Old Corridor
September 23, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: What We Learned from Policy Week
September 16, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: How Hard Is the Valuation Ceiling?
September 9, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Central Bank Declaration of Independence?
September 2, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Here We Go
August 26, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Janet Yellen’s Long-Term Angst
August 19, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Flash Crash of ’62, and Other Bear Market Anomalies
August 12, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Another Whiplash Week (and Month, and Year) for Oil
August 11, 2016 MVF Research Special Comment: Presidents, Politics and the Market
August 5, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Event Risk Italiano
July 29, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Consumers Spend, Businesses Save, Stocks Shrug
July 22, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: It’s Quiet at the VIX…Too Quiet?
July 15, 2016 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: June 30, 2016
July 15, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: When September Comes
July 8, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Trading Places
June 29, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: That Seventies Market
June 24, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: And Then There Were 27
June 17, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Tempest in a (British) Teapot
June 15, 2016 MV Research Insights: 2016 Halftime Report
June 10, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Ten Year Bunds at the Event Horizon
June 3, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Picasso Jobs Report
May 27, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Risk in the Summertime
May 20, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bank of Japan Goes Full Hedge Fund
May 13, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Mopey Retailers, Perky Consumers
May 6, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Jobs OK, Productivity Not So Much
April 29, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: The BoJ’s “Bazooka” Backfires
April 22, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Fifth Time’s the Charm at the Valuation Ceiling?
April 15, 2016 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: March 31, 2016
April 15, 2016 2016: The Year Ahead
April 15, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: China Goes Back to the Sugar Fix
April 8, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Bovespa Bounce
April 1, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Learning to Love the Slow-Growth Recovery
March 25, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Underperforming (Non-US) World
March 18, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Welcome Back to the Corridor
March 11, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Quality Rally, We Hardly Knew Ye
March 4, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Still a Long Way to Go for EMs
February 26, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Nice Rally, But Don’t Get Too Comfortable
February 19, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Wages, Prices and the Fed’s Trilemma
February 12, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: NIRP Nihilism
February 5, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Headlines Heading South
January 29, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Kuroda Comes to Wonderland (Sort Of)
January 27, 2016 2016: The Year Ahead
January 22, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Slow Burn Pullback
January 15, 2016 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: December 31, 2015
January 15, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: 2016 Investment Thesis: Executive Summary
January 8, 2016 MV Weekly Market Flash: Think Before You Panic—Lessons from 1997-98
December 31, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: 2015 Markets in Review: Not Great, Could Have Been Worse
December 18, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Five Observations for a Post-12/16 World
December 11, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: 203 and Counting
December 4, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: One of Those Weeks
November 25, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Giving Thanks
November 20, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Adele and the Gross Domestic Product
November 13, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Volatility: Peaks, Valleys and Mesas
November 6, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Hello, Rate Hike
October 30, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Presidential Year Curse, and Other Popular Delusions
October 23, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Quality Rally or Melt-Up?
October 16, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Two Cheers for China’s Consumers
October 15, 2015 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30, 2015
October 9, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Oil Rally: The Real Deal or Another False Dawn?
October 2, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Jobs and the Limits of Monetary Policy
September 25, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Pullbacks of a Feather…
September 18, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Fed At the Credibility Cliff
September 11, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Emerging Markets: An Unconvincing Quarter Century
September 4, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Goldilocks Versus the Bears
August 28, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Five Things We Learned This Week at the Crazy Farm
August 21, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Large Cap Fortress Breached
August 14, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: China, Reserve Club Dreams and the Fed
August 7, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Summer of Misery for Commodities
July 31, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: And Now…The Dog Days of Summer
July 24, 2015 MV Special Midyear Comment: The Current State of the Markets
July 17, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Economic Consequences of the (Eurozone) Peace
July 15, 2015 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: June 30, 2015
July 10, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Yet Another Week of Crises Deferred
July 6, 2015 MV Technical Market Comment: Greece, Europe and Global Asset Markets
July 2, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Not Dead Yet: Dividend Stocks in a Rising Rate World
June 26, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Euro Standard
June 19, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: …Baby One More Time – Party Like It’s 1998!
June 12, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Interest Rates and your Bond Portfolio
June 5, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Rate Hike? Buy the Pullback
May 29, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Reversing Reversals
May 22, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Another Summer of Tranquility, or Peaks Ahead?
May 15, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Japan – Halfway to Zero
May 8, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Stunted Growth?
May 1, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Meh Market
April 24, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Brent Breaks Out – More Upside Ahead?
April 17, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Fed Wars: Rosengren v. Bullard
April 15, 2015 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: March 31, 2015
April 10, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Emerging Markets: In Search of Lost Growth
April 3, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Tricky Currents Ahead
March 27, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Small Caps: Dollar Haven or Danger Zone?
March 20, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Kabuki in the Eccles Building
March 13, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Currency Conundrums
March 6, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Beware the Ides of March
February 27, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: NASDAQ Fever, v2.0
February 20, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Look Who’s Growing, Too
February 13, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Tale of Two Oils
February 6, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Growth Trumps Rates?
January 30, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Volatility in 2015: Peaks and More Peaks
January 23, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Lower for Longer
January 22, 2015 2015: The Year Ahead
January 16, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Retail Sales Slowdown
January 15, 2015 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: December 31, 2014
January 9, 2015 MV Weekly Market Flash: Jobs, Money and Growth
January 2, 2015 MV Weekley Market Flash: Divergent: The Different Worlds of the Fed and the ECB
December 26, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: You Can Go Your Own Way: The 2-Year / 10-Year Split
December 19, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Melt-up? Earnings vs. Animal Spirits
December 12, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Greek Drama, Act III
December 5, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bulls in the China Shop
November 26, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Giving Thanks
November 21, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Home Stretch: Charting a Course to 12/31
November 14, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Time for a Check-up: Assessing Performance in the Health Care Sector
November 7, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Russia: The Economic Cost of Geopolitics
October 31, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Hello Goodbye: QE at Home and Abroad
October 24, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Right Back Where We Started From
October 17, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Growth Debate
October 15, 2014 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30, 2014
October 10, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Crude Realities: Oil Supply Overwhelms Demand
October 3, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Never-Changing Story
September 26, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Dominant Dollar
September 19, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Nae Today, Sí Demà?
September 12, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Cupertino Circus
September 5, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Jobs: The Great Opt-Out Continues
August 29, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Magic Numbers, Catalysts and Pullbacks
August 22, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Continent at the Crossroads
August 15, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Eurozone: The Fearful Trip is not Done
August 8, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Summer of Noise
August 1, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Yellen’s Dilemma
July 25, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Earnings Season 1, Efficient Markets 0
July 24, 2014 MV Research Insights: The Perils of Past Performance
July 18, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Hiccup or Catalyst?
July 15, 2014 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: June 30, 2014
July 11, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Yellow Card for Portuguese Banks; Markets Unfazed
July 3, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: A Tale of Four Commodities
June 27, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Stocks & Bonds: Everyone Gets a Trophy
June 20, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Money For Nothing And The VIX For Free
June 13, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Let the Dog Days Begin
June 6, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Negative Rate Wonderland
May 30, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Europe’s Elections: Less Drama Than Meets The Eye
May 23, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Where Did All The Risk Go?
May 16, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Split Market: How Will It Un-split?
May 9, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Send in The Crowds
May 2, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Planets Align
April 25, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Strange Case of European Bonds
April 18, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Japan: Is the Sun Finally Rising?
April 14, 2014 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: March 31, 2014
April 11, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Sector Stories
April 4, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: From the Eurobond to the “Flash Boys”
March 28, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Candy Crush: End of the Silly Season?
March 21, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Utilities: The Wild Ride Continues
March 18, 2014 MV Research Insights: The Anatomy of Pullbacks
March 14, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Event Risk Is Back
March 7, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Winter of Economic Uncertainty
February 28, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: China’s Currency Challenge
February 21, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Ukraine, Markets and the Geopolitical X-Factor
February 19, 2014 Understanding the ‘HR Gap’
February 14, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: What’s Next for Emerging Markets?
February 7, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Volatility Gap Due To Close?
February 4, 2014 Who is ‘MyRA’?
January 31, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Market and the Economy
January 24, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Return to Risk-Off?
January 17, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Vanishing Trade Deficit
January 15, 2014 2014: The Year Ahead
January 10, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Jobs and the Fog of Uncertainty
January 3, 2014 MV Weekly Market Flash: Pondering the “Big Melt”
December 27, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: 2013: The Year In Review
December 20, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Price of Certainty
December 13, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Where’s the December Effect?
December 6, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Economic Cheer vs. Taper Tantrums
November 27, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Giving Thanks
November 22, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Mystique of Round Numbers
November 15, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Perils of the Financial Tabloids
November 8, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: With a Tweet and a Prayer
November 1, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Growth Markets and False Dawns
October 25, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: How Now, Low Dow?
October 19, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Market Mind Games
October 19, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Next Up: 3Q Earnings
October 11, 2013 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30, 2013
October 4, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Event Risk…and Relief Rallies
September 27, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Curious Case of the Volatility Gap
September 20, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Taperphobia
September 13, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Steady Tack into Taper Week
September 6, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Fed’s Jobs Dilemma
August 30, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Thirty Days Has September
August 22, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Era of Glitches
August 16, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Inflation Question
August 9, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Is The “China Turn” At Hand?
August 1, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Dog Days…and Beyond
July 25, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: The Vanishing Act of Low Correlations
July 18, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Equities Fever
July 15, 2013 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: June 30, 2013
July 11, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Bernanke to Market: Party On
June 27, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash:The Bond Bear’s Shadow
June 20, 2013 MV Market Flash: Hard Times for Hard Assets
June 13, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Rehab? Investors Say No, No, No
June 6, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: Japanese Equities Fall…and Fall…And Fall
May 30, 2013 MV Weekly Market Flash: From “Risk On, Risk Off” to “Risk Here, Risk There”
May 16, 2013 MVCM Weekly Market Flash: The Pullback that Still Isn’t
April 24, 2013 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Apple Embraces the Earnings Culture
April 17, 2013 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: A Tale of Two Ex-Havens
April 12, 2013 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: March 31, 2013
April 4, 2013 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: What’s Up with Emerging Markets?
March 21, 2013 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Cyprus: Fury Unites the 1% and the 99%
February 21, 2013 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Catalysts
February 13, 2013 1527: Hello, Goodbye?
February 7, 2013 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Flirting With the Bulls
January 23, 2013 2013: The Year Ahead
December 30, 2012 2012 Year in Review: The Year of Living on the Edge
December 19, 2012 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Happy Birthday to You, ETP’s!
November 21, 2012 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Reasons to be Thankful
November 7, 2012 Election’s Over: What Happens Next?
November 6, 2012 MVCM Midweek Market Comment: Election Fever Breaks, Eurozone Jitters Return
October 24, 2012 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30, 2012
October 17, 2012 Midweek Market Comment: Transition: Synthetic Rally to Organic Growth?
October 11, 2012 Midweek Market Comment: Elections, Taxes and Investment Strategy
October 3, 2012 Midweek Market Comment: Debate Over Jobs?
September 25, 2012 Midweek Market Comment: Floors, Ceilings and “Kick the Can”
September 20, 2012 Midweek Market Comment: Competitive Easing
September 14, 2012 Midweek Market Comment: QE3: The Two Key Questions
September 5, 2012 Midweek Market Comment
September 5, 2012 Are Equities a “Cult”?
August 6, 2012 Inside the Libor Scandal: What It Means and Why It Matters
July 12, 2012 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: June 30, 2012
June 19, 2012 Liquidity, Credit and Solvency
June 6, 2012 200 Days of Tea Leaves
June 1, 2012 The Anatomy of an IPO
April 19, 2012 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: March 31, 2012
March 28, 2012 First Quarter Flowers, Future Showers?
February 16, 2012 All Over Again?
January 27, 2012 2012: The Year Ahead
December 28, 2011 2011: The Year in Review
November 23, 2011 Directionless Volatility
November 4, 2011 Weekly Market Comment: Occupy Eurozone
October 10, 2011 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30, 2011
October 7, 2011 October Surprises
September 13, 2011 The New Permanence of Volatility
August 24, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: It’s Ben Week Again!
August 8, 2011 Special Market Comment: Relatives and Absolutes
August 4, 2011 Learning to Ride
July 27, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: Safe Haven Economics 3.0
July 27, 2011 A Healthy Dose of Agnosticism
July 20, 2011 Murdoch, Markets and Mistrust
July 7, 2011 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: June 30 2011
June 24, 2011 Special Comment: Postmodern Portfolio Theory
June 15, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: Pandora and the Zombies
June 9, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: A Slow-Burning Funk
June 2, 2011 Summertime in Wonderland
May 24, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: Europe’s Woes
May 18, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: Peccadilloes, Policy and Prognosis
May 11, 2011 Midweek Market Comment: The Performance Paradox
May 5, 2011 Health Check on the Economy
April 27, 2011 Treasuries and the Rating Agencies: Newsworthy or Non-Event?
April 10, 2011 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: March 31 2011
March 16, 2011 Special Market Comment: Japan and the World
March 4, 2011 X-Factors Run Amok: An Uncertain and Volatile Landscape
January 31, 2011 The Year Ahead: Annual Market Outlook 2011
January 12, 2011 Midweek Market Comment
December 16, 2010 End of the Free Lunch? A New Era for Fixed Income
November 17, 2010 Technical Comment: Return of the Eurojitters
November 9, 2010 This Week in Global Markets: Technical Comment
October 27, 2010 Portfolio Migration (1): A Strategy for the New Economic Landscape
October 25, 2010 This Week in Global Markets
October 13, 2010 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter: September 30 2010
October 11, 2010 This Week in Global Markets
September 16, 2010 Technical Comment: Basel III and Much Ado about 2019
August 31, 2010 Quantitative Easing and the Expectations Game
August 2, 2010 The Growth Paradox: GDP, Businesses and Consumers
July 29, 2010 Earnings and Confidence
July 27, 2010 The Apple of Our Eyes
July 12, 2010 The Week Ahead: The Market’s Dog Days
July 12, 2010 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter June 30 2010
June 29, 2010 Midweek Market Comment: The Market’s Exquisite Philosophical Dilemma
June 7, 2010 The Week Ahead: The Friday Flop Continues and Japan Feels the Pain
June 4, 2010 The 3:30 Club
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May 11, 2010 Volatility, the Sequel
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April 10, 2010 MVCM Quarterly Newsletter March 31 2010
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September 22, 2009 The Path to Tomorrow
August 22, 2009 Bubbles in Wonderland
May 21, 2009 2009 Intermittent Market Commentary
March 30, 2009 Mind the Gap
March 5, 2009 Sunrise over Asia
January 27, 2009 The Year Ahead: Annual Market Outlook 2009
January 13, 2009 Of Mice and Managers
December 10, 2008 We’re Here, What’s Next?
November 13, 2008 The Limits of Analysis
September 16, 2008 Market Tectonics, Balance Sheets and You
August 7, 2008 As Goes the Financial Sector
June 25, 2008 The Bubble Decade
May 18, 2008 Bulls, Bears and Opportunities
March 27, 2008 The DNA of an Economic Crisis
February 27, 2008 Sideways Markets and the V-Word
January 24, 2008 The Year Ahead: Annual Market Outlook 2008
January 18, 2008 When Fear Takes Over
January 15, 2008 Understanding Alternative Assets
November 13, 2007 Economy versus Credit Markets, Round II
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September 13, 2007 The Prudent Man and Mr. Market
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June 23, 2007 Bad Medicine and Good Health
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April 19, 2007 Market Timing’s Siren Song
March 22, 2007 Road to Where?
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December 11, 2006 Emerged Markets
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October 10, 2006 Of Managers and Markets
August 13, 2006 Pausing in the Corridor
July 11, 2006 A Tale of Two CWs
June 8, 2006 Nowhere to Hide
May 18, 2006 Sprints and Marathons, Exuberance and Endurance
April 24, 2006 What Does It All Mean?
March 24, 2006 Realignments on the Horizon
January 24, 2006 X-Factors
January 13, 2006 In With the New
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December 10, 2008 | Market Commentary | Masood Vojdani & Katrina Lamb, CFA

We’re Here, What’s Next?

Economy, Economy, Economy

On the evening of Election Day 2000, as candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush headed towards that inconclusive night and interminable recount battle, NBC’s Tim Russert famously held up a little white board with “Florida, Florida, Florida” scrawled hastily in black magic marker, underscoring what that election ultimately boiled down to. Sadly Mr. Russert was not on hand to observe the proceedings eight years later, having died tragically of a heart attack in June of this year. It is fair to conjecture however that a Russert white board circa 2008 would have borne the phrase “Economy, Economy, Economy” in bold, definitive letters. This past election was all about the economy. Barack Obama’s path to the Presidency was forged by the riveting currents of the onset of the worst economic downturn that most Americans have experienced in their adult working lives. And it is reasonable to opine that Barack Obama’s future legacy as President starts with how he and the high-powered team he has assembled attack the many ill forces facing us today and help guide us back towards growth.

It’s been a head-spinning several months, with the S&P 500 losing 33% between September 1 and November 30, basic lending markets frozen and a tidal wave of negative news about jobs, incomes, spending, home prices…practically anything that matters to most households. How did we get here? More importantly, how do we get out of this mess and what come next?

L’economie, qu’est-ce que c’est?

To begin, let us put some definitional context to answer the question: what is “the economy”? We hear the word bandied about by literally every talking head out there in the commentariat, but could we actually identify it? Pick it out in a crowd?

The US economy as of the end of the 3rd quarter of this year was worth about $14.4 trillion, as measured by GDP. GDP is a measure of all our collective output – the things we spend money on whether those “things” are interstate roads or recycling facilities or rhinestone-tipped Jimmy Choos.

We then divide that $14.4 trillion into its component parts. Consumer spending accounts for $10.2 trillion (that’s where the Jimmy Choo purchases go). That’s 71% of the total economy. Private sector investment accounts for another $2 trillion and government spending (including the giant defense budget) makes up $2.9 trillion. We import more than we export, so the “net exports” category subtracts $0.7 trillion from the total. Add these numbers together – personal consumption, private sector investment, government spending and net exports – and you get GDP. The economy, in other words.

So that’s the thing we have to “fix” – that $14.4 trillion colossus we call our GDP. Moreover there’s no particular mystery to the word “fix”, which is simply interchangeable with “grow”. If the colossus grows then we are on the right track. If the colossus shrinks then we are in trouble.

So if we know who the patient is and we know what the patient needs to do to recover, then why are the doctors so jittery as they pick up their surgical tools? We provided a hint to this answer a couple paragraphs above – that’s 71% of the total economy. Consumer spending, that is. Apparently our economy lives and dies on the basis of how many Viking grills and gold-plated bathtub fixtures and dinners at Nobu we consume. The problem, as we all know, is that not only are consumers not in the mood to buy those souped-up Viking numbers that run into the thousands (or so we are told…) but they are reluctant to shell out $25 for a basic Weber model at the local Wal-Mart.

Quo vadis, consumer?

Consumer spending is in decline for fairly understandable reasons. Household incomes, the ultimate barometer of budgets for discretionary purchases, have been flat for a very long time and in the past couple years have decidedly trended negative in real terms. Meanwhile consumer debt has reached historic highs thanks to the tireless efforts of financial institutions to figure out new ways for people to spend money that they don’t actually have. The asset side of most household balance sheets is dominated by housing values, and we all know how these have been doing. So these household balance sheets are short assets and long liabilities – not a happy confluence.

All these were facts well before September 2008 – but then came the credit crisis. The difference between August and October can be summed up thus: if you were someone with a good, though perhaps not stellar, credit score and you were thinking about buying a new car in August, by October your thoughts were far away from that as you couldn’t finance the purchase with a new car loan even if you wanted to. The data points in for durable good sales (like cars and other major items that typically require financing) in October and November are dismal and presage a truly terrible 4th quarter GDP. This turn of events, of course, has also driven a stake through whatever remained of the flagging fortunes of US car makers, who are now in the intensive care unit while the Economy Doctors hastily rig up a temporary life support device for a $15 billion injection.

Then came the news last week that jobs disappeared in November buy the largest amount since 1974. Yep, the era of “Kung Fu Fighting” and regrettable wardrobe choices for the junior high class picture inexplicably continues to work its cloying influence on our present day Zeitgeist. But even that figure doesn’t properly reflect the magnitude of problems in the US employment environment. Here’s a sobering tale we came across the other week. It is a tale surprising in more ways than one – it marks the first time we have ever sourced a story idea for one of our commentaries from a Maureen Dowd op-ed piece in the New York Times. In her November 30 2008 column Dowd introduces Pasadena Now, an online newspaper whose founder pleasantly describes the newspaper business as a “one-way ticket to Bangalore [India]”. All of Pasadena Now’s content is developed and written by journalists in India (including Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies and other arcana local to the Pasadena scene), with the going rate being somewhere around $7.50 for every thousand words (that same thousand words would typically fetch between $200-800 when sourced locally).

The effects and the long-term implications of outsourcing could take up an entire discussion (and probably will resurface later on in this series of articles). But for now let’s return the discussion back to consumer spending. So all these bad trends are depressing the consumer, and so in order to “fix” the economy we have to inject our growth serum into some other part of the body to kick-start the process. But where? Well, the phrase on everyone’s lips these days is “government spending”, for the simple if not entirely correct reason that it seems like something we can just decide to do. We can enact spending- oriented policies and – presto – the economy will grow.

Stimulus math

But the math gets tricky. Say, for example, that consumer spending declines by 2% (that would be somewhere on the rather tame side of current consensus expectations). That would imply a $200 billion decrease to total GDP, going back to our numbers earlier in this paper. So all else being equal (ceteris paribus for the Latin aficionados among us) all we would have to do would be to ramp up government spending by $200 billion to break even – right? And haven’t we already done even more than that with all these bailout thingies that keep coming out every day?

Not really. We did in fact throw money at US consumers back in early 2008 – remember that? That was part of a government stimulus package to stimulate the economy including tax incentives for businesses and a grab-bag of other measures in addition to that $600 check that many of us received from the IRS this year. The government estimated the cost for the entire Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 to be $158 billion – not far from that $200 billion cited above but also clearly not enough to buttress the economy from the howling banshee of the credit meltdown that followed.

So then how much money is needed to fix the patient? Looking back, our whole perspective on money in the world of just two months ago seems rather quaint – remember the $700 billion stimulus package? That caused such a commotion back in late September, what with presidential campaigns being “suspended” and David Letterman blown off and Treasury Secretaries warning that failure to enact radical levels of spending within the next ten seconds would end the Holocene Epoch as we know it.

Of course other quaint little things – like daily swings in the Dow 500 points up or down – also managed to cause a stir back then but barely raise so much as an eyebrow now. Forget $700 billion – we’re into mid-to-upper thirteen figures now. Economists look at our environment and see a landscape so bleak that otherworldly numbers are the only ones that even hold out some faint promise of hope. $5 trillion is not surreal or outlandish – it’s just the ante.

The other thing that is not quite right in that example above is the assumption of ceteris paribus. An injection of $2 trillion or $5 trillion or whatever amount will certainly not result in a state of “all else being equal”. Money injected into the economy through one channel will stimulate others – and now we come to the centerpiece of the Obama team’s vision. Government spending – whether on infrastructure projects or new technologies or bailing out Detroit or Wall Street – should have a kick-start effect on both private business investment and consumer spending to a greater or lesser degree.

The recipe: is there a special sauce?

That “degree” really matters – and goes to the heart of what exactly the government decides to do. What’s next? In simplistic terms, if all of the stimulus spending is applied to bailing out Wall Street firms, and if those firms in turn dole out most of it on seven and eight figure bonuses for their employees, then the “kick-start effect” of the stimulus will be pretty dismal indeed. Likewise if it all goes into helping auto and other industrial manufacturers avoid bankruptcy and go right back to their failed strategies of the past then our economy isn’t going to get anywhere near that tipping point where stimulus turns into a self-fulfilling virtuous spiral of growth.

The problem with making choices like this is that none of them are glaringly obvious recipes for success. Investment in things that matter for the long term – education, public infrastructure, new healthcare or energy technologies – don’t always produce great results in the short term. On the other hand focusing the solution solely on new ways to put more dollars into American hands to go out and use at the mall today may provide a short-term bump with nothing to show for it after a couple years (this in fact could serve as an apt characterization for that whole illusory mid-decade growth spurt from 2003-07, with empty Neiman Marcus shopping bags and vacant Miami condos as evidentiary proof). A successful plan has to contain a bit of both – something that stimulates more jobs, spending and investment in the short- term but has a real payoff – greater productivity, new industry sectors etc. – in the long run.

Moreover whatever the government spends will likely be much more productively applied if leveraged by private sector investment. The incoming Obama administration wants to achieve energy independence in ten years, and active investment in alternative energy could be a viable way to get there, while creating jobs and other primary and secondary stimuli along the way. Much more viable indeed this objective will be if Silicon Valley and other entrepreneurial hot spots around the country get into the act and attract sizable volumes of private capital formation via venture capital and small-business lending. If there is one thing the US arguably does better than anywhere else in the world, it is to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and support the animal spirits of innovation and commercialization of promising new technologies.

A glass half-full

Will that be enough to slay the dragons of economic crisis that currently beset us? It is a narrow path through unfriendly terrain, but nonetheless it is a path. It’s the best shot we have. The incoming administration should grab it with both hands and do whatever it takes to lead the way with aggressive, forward-thinking policies that upend the status quo, dispel the formidable resistance of the entrenched powers with a vested interest in the status quo, and communicate directly and honestly to grass-roots efforts in communities, businesses and other institutions about the inevitable sacrifices in the immediate term and the rewards in the longer term.

We have gone through wrenching changes before. The economy went into cardiac arrest in 1906-07 and again in the early 1930s. Both times we experienced profound change on many economic, political and cultural levels and emerged with new institutions – the Federal Reserve and anti-monopoly statutes in the early 1910s, labor unions, the progressive income tax system, the New Deal institutions and so on. We imagine that tangible new things will come out of this present period as well. And to be perfectly honest, we are more excited about the opportunities these new things may bring than we are despairing of the daunting obstacles that stand in our way. Call us Pollyannas, but that’s how we see it. These interesting times – well, sometimes they are actually interesting in a good way.