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Disputes over GDP go on and on and on. MarketWatch reports that by another measure, the US economy was ho-hum in second quarter:   There are two ways to compute how well the economy is doing. One is to tally all the goods and services produced during a given time period…
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I recently explained that it’s one thing for a central bank to artificially prop up its own stock market. It’s another thing entirely to even imagine doing something similar to falling oil prices. What’ll they do – buy oil futures? Give me a break. Oil hit a six-year low this week.…
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Of the major asset classes, private equity has recently had the best absolute returns. According to Cambridge Associates, the 25-year return on private equity was 13.5%, relative to 9.75% for the Russell 2000. Academic studies, surveyed recently by Steven Kaplan and Berk Sensoy, have consistently found that private equity outperforms the public markets…
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I’m happy to report that I’ve never been in prison. I can only imagine that the first few days and weeks are a terrible period of adjustment. There is no freedom, you cannot choose when to go outside or when to turn the lights off at night, and the food…
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We just put out of a list of 50 Cent and other celebrities that have filed for bankruptcy protection. The question, though, is “Why do they do it?”  Is it simply because they have debts that they can’t pay, or is there a strategic aspect of declaring bankruptcy? What does…
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The news media normally latches onto names matched with an event. If this current market declines, I wonder…what will we call it, and what will we remember? Let's look at some historical names for important market cycle movements and how the media identified them. Some names that come to mind…
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One of the things I enjoy most about being in the financial industry is the exceptionally smart people I meet. I have often talked about the changes in our economy, the emergence of new industries, and the kinds of new jobs that are created as a result. We are hearing…
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Markets are obsessed with determining when the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006, from an all-time low since 2009, just as they got caught up with ‘when’ it was going to start tapering its third round of QE (QE3) in 2013. Once again, we know that it will happen as US…
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A few weeks ago, my lovely wife and younger daughter, who is still in high school, traveled to Texas for a birthday party. It wasn’t just any party, though, it was the centennial celebration for my wife’s great aunt.  More amazing than this lady’s longevity is that she’s not alone.…
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Two notable events happened this week for the first time: negative yield on 10-year government bonds and 100-year bonds by Mexico denominated in euros.  Please consider Swiss, Mexican Bond Deals Represent Milestones for Debt.   Until Wednesday, no country had ever sold 10-year debt that gives investors a yield of below 0%.…
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Over the years, I have developed a hierarchy of four macroeconomic cycles. I developed my first cycle in 1988, when my research culminated in the Generational Spending Wave, a very projectable demographic cycle spanning roughly 39 to 40 years that looks at how people spend as they age. Since then,…
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One of the craziest things in our culture is the existence of Star Trek conventions. The show only ran for about three years in the mid-1960s, and yet fans — most of whom were not even born when the show was broadcast — flock to these conventions by the thousands.…
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