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Archive for June, 2013

Pope Francis: No Patience for Corruption

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 28th, 2013 8:13 AM |

What defines a real leader?

In my opinion, a real leader is one who can inspire while uninhibitedly doing the right things. In other words, “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”

Who might we put in the category of real leaders in our nation today? Regrettably, I think the list is very, very short. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of those individuals who would rise to the level of what I would deem real leadership. Maybe my bar is too high . . . or maybe not.  (more…)

John Bogle’s Sense on Cents

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 27th, 2013 5:50 AM |

When it comes to investing, how does one get ahead?

Do not start from behind, that is, do not invest in funds or investments that come with a variety of fees, charges, loads, and assorted other excessive expenses. Think of it as the equivalent of not having to run extra laps in a race of any distance.

Who espouses this same basic principle of keeping costs down and other great investment practices?  One of Wall Street’s legendary investors, John Bogle, who recently provided words of wisdom for both investors and advisors alike in a brief 90 second clip.

Thanks to Investment News for bringing us Bogles’s sense on cents(more…)

Boston Fed Research Paper: The Key Variable for Monetary Policy Is . . .

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 26th, 2013 7:47 AM |

Are we supposed to really think that Ben Bernanke believes our economy — and especially our employment situation — is markedly improving?

If we were to gather our news from USA Today or similar outlets, I guess we could just think just that.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

What are many in and around the Federal Reserve likely reviewing in an attempt to gauge the real health of our employment situation? (more…)

Parking in Chicago: Two Minutes for Two Bits

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 25th, 2013 8:35 AM |

Do you ever get to the point when you think your life is one large windshield and every bird in the world has taken a liking to you?

Let’s take a break from trying to decipher the nuances and obfuscations in all too many statements emanating from the Federal Reserve system and focus on simple matters of everyday life.

To do just that, let’s navigate to the Windy City and the state of Illinois and revisit a chilling comment left here the other day by a regular reader: (more…)

What Market Forces Are Driving Long Rates Higher?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 24th, 2013 8:05 AM |

With global markets currently palpitating in a fashion all too similar to those living on the Bowery and beginning a withdrawal program, I think it is overly simplistic to say that Bernanke’s remarks alone are forcing ‘everybody out of the pool.’

What are the underlying forces at work in causing such a sharp move higher in long term rates the last 7 weeks?

While the rate on the 2 yr Treasury has moved higher by a not insignificant .2% during this time frame,  the 10 year rate has moved higher by close to a full percentage point. Let’s navigate .  .  . but before addressing the forces at work, how about a cautionary comment as a preface.  (more…)

Weekend Serving of Sense on Cents

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 22nd, 2013 8:24 AM |

For those who care to dig a little deeper in order to gain a greater degree of ‘sense on cents’, I welcome sharing a few commentaries and reports that I found to be of very real interest.

Interested in getting a decidedly wider-eyed and detailed view of the world than what might commonly be delivered elsewhere? Grab a second cup of coffee and span the globe as these noted economists discuss an array of critically important international issues:

1. Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini Unveil the New AbnormalInstitutional Investor

What was really going on within the credit agencies? Talk about aiding and abetting . . . (more…)

What Did Bernanke Really Accomplish?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 21st, 2013 8:23 AM |

How will the history books treat Ben Bernanke? Well, only time will tell.

Supporters will tout his integral role in saving the system.

Those who look less kindly on the Fed chair will denigrate him for: 1) his participatory role in allowing Wall Street to bring our economy to its knees, and 2) providing excess liquidity for the well positioned to take advantage of a newly defined rent-seeking economy while the rank and file American public struggle to keep their head above water.

Perhaps he is deserving of both a measure of praise and derision, but let’s take a harder look at what he really accomplished — or not — depending on how you might view things. (more…)

Spitzer: Lanny Breuer at DOJ Was a Disaster

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 20th, 2013 8:26 AM |

Hat tip to Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture and our friends at eWallStreeter

Say what you want about Eliot Spitzer’s personal shortcomings but when it comes to many of the regulatory capture issues addressed regularly at this blog, he is not evasive or deferential as so many former pols and regulators are wont to be.

True to form, Spitzer pulls no punches in a recent Bloomberg Law interview. What does he think of the former Assistant AG for the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice Lanny Breuer’s tenure? Simply a “disaster.”

What does he think of the revolving door, current SEC chair Mary Jo White, and the practice of “neither admit nor deny”?  (more…)

Ben Bernanke: My Work is Done Here

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 19th, 2013 4:29 PM |

I just listened to the release of the FOMC’s statement and juxtaposed that with the Q/A with Big Ben.

I detected some not so subtle differences in these deliveries, and clearly the market did as well.

The markets were remarkably stable after the initial release as the Fed stated that its policy remains unchanged and there was no hint of tapering asset purchases as has been the concern since that term was used by the Fed a month ago.

The statement had a mildly positive spin on the economy but nothing overly exuberant as to serve as a warning sign that the Fed might begin to pull in on the reins so to speak. In fact, the rate of inflation remains well below the long term target of 2% so that should actually allow greater leeway for the Fed to stay the course with its current policy.

Then the afternoon took a decidedly different turn of events. (more…)

UK Leads, USA Follows: Changing Banking for Good

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 19th, 2013 8:10 AM |

At one point in time, the USA may have been viewed as the preeminent world leader on major financial issues.

While many arrogant bankers, regulators, and political leaders here in the USA might care to continue to believe they hold that leadership position, I think most who might read this blog know that those days have passed.

Dodd-Frank reformed our financial system? Really? Then why is it that bankers from Citigroup are virtually writing entire new legislation under the heretofore now designated Fraud-Dank umbrella?

If we care for a more honest assessment of the comparably incestuous, crony, corruptible dynamic at play within these parts, let’s redirect our focus across the pond. (more…)

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