Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

The Bizarro Market in Europe

1 June, 2017 by Mark O'Brien in Commentary
The chart below is amazing.  It originates from Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch and shows the yield of European stocks currently exceeding the yield of European junk bonds. So why do I think this state of affairs is “amazing?”  First there is one’s reaction or ... read more...

Twenty years from now, would you rather be paid in euros or pounds?

17 October, 2016 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
I asked myself this question as I read the commentary about the recent sell-off in the pound sterling.  Here is the pound against the dollar: Many commentators have taken the opportunity of the sell-off to castigate Brexit and Britain’s new prime minister, who seems bent on implementing ... read more...

Barron’s on Competitive Devaluation

2 February, 2015 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
In my post from last week about central banks I argued that they are devaluing their currencies in a zero-sum game for stimulating their domestic economies at the expense of their trade partners.  A recent piece by Jonathan Laing in Barron’s echoes some of the same points.  Laing cites ... read more...

Time to Get out of Europe — and the Stock Market?

21 June, 2012 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary
When the chance acquaintance, i.e., the person ahead of me in line at Starbucks,  happens to  hear I manage money for a living,  he tends to ask me, sympathetically,  how’s it going? He will say, with a nod, that he expects I am retreating out of the market in anticipation of big trouble from ... read more...

It’s All About Bond Vigilantes Now

18 June, 2012 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary
Every morning at 11:00 AM this office has a conference call to talk about the news.  We invite a broker to join us, and he provides a different perspective.  What usually starts the conversation is a newly released government statistic  about industrial production,  housing starts, new home ... read more...