Financial Review

No Expectations

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW + 100 = 17,131 SPX + 14 = 1998 NAS + 33 = 4552 10 YR YLD un = 2.59% OIL + 1.79 = 94.71 GOLD + 2.20 = 1235.90 SILV + .03 = 18.79 Tomorrow the Federal Reserve FOMC wraps up its meeting to determine monetary policy. Even before the Fed issues a statement, the financial press is dissecting every phrase and utterance of every Fed policymaker, and trying to impart conflated significance to every twitch of an eyebrow or overstuffed briefcase. It’s pretty simple really; not much has changed over the past couple of months; the Fed is on track to end the large scale asset purchases under QE; the Fed will raise rates at some point, unless something drastic changes; the nuances of language are inconsequential. There, I’ve just condensed about 100 articles into about 100 words, and you didn’t miss anything. You’re welcome. Today, China jumped on the QE bandwagon. The People’s Bank of China will print about 500 billion yuan, which works out to about $81 billion. They will hand out the money to the five largest banks in China. That money will eventually make its way into the financial markets. Considering the cost of printing 500 billion yuan…, US producer prices were flat in August. The Labor Department said falling gasoline and food prices restrained its producer price index for final demand last month. The PPI moved up just 0.1% …

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Financial Review

It’s Just a Matter of Time

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW + 43 = 17,031 SPX – 1 = 1984 NAS – 48 = 4518 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.59% OIL – .17 = 92.75 GOLD + 4.40 = 1233.70 SILV + .04 = 18.76 The Nasdaq just went south today; it was the worst day since July. I’m not sure there is a good explanation, but some of the excuses were entertaining. One idea is the Alibaba IPO is causing traders to rotate from certain stocks in preparation. Yea, sure. The Federal Reserve FOMC is meeting this week to determine monetary policy. We know the Fed is headed toward the end of QE next month; they are on track to end their massive purchases of mortgage backed securities and Treasuries; they will probably issue some guidance, or hints about when they will raise the target on interest rates. The general expectation is that the federal funds rate will go from near zero to 3.5% by the end of 2017, with the first increases in about 6 to 9 months. The two day FOMC meeting concludes Wednesday; the FOMC will issue a statement and then Janet Yellen will hold a press conference. Also Wednesday, the Fed’s economic forecasts will for the first time offer estimates for growth, unemployment, inflation and interest rates in 2017. New projections will also be given for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The data will offer some insight into the expected path …

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Financial Review

The Brute Economic Power of Oil

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 61 = 16,987 SPX – 11 = 1985 NAS – 24 = 4567 10 YR YLD + .08 = 2.61% OIL – .58 = 92.25 GOLD – 11.90 = 1229.30 SILV – .06 = 18.71 For the week, the Dow was down 0.9%, the S&P 500 was down 1.1% and the Nasdaq was down 0.3%. Let’s start with the economic data: Business inventories rose 0.4 percent in July vs a 0.8% rise in business sales that keeps the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at a healthy and lean 1.29. In a separate report, retail sales and consumer sentiment pointed at an improving economy. The preliminary September reading on the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index rose to the highest level since July 2013 and topped consensus expectations. Sales at US retailers rose in August by the largest amount since April, sales were up 0.6%; raising confidence in the economic outlook for the second half of the year. Retail sales would have been higher, but the price of gas dropped; after excluding gasoline, spending rose 0.7% in August. Of course, one of the reasons Americans spent more money going out and eating and shopping is because the price of gasoline has been low. Spending at gas stations declined an estimated 0.8% in August. That followed a flat July and another 0.8% drop in June. A separate report from the Labor Department on Friday showed that prices of fuel …

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Financial Review

We Have Met the Enemy

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 19 = 17,049 SPX + 1 = 1997 NAS + 5 = 4591 10 YR YLD – .01 = 2.53% OIL + 1.38 = 93.05 GOLD – 8.80 = 1241.20 SILV – .27 = 18.77 I’m fairly certain that at some point during this day you have taken at least a moment to recall where you were 13 years ago, how you heard the news, how you responded to the news. Maybe you can recollect specifics or maybe some of the memories have faded in time. What you knew exactly 13 years ago is probably quite different than what you know today. Last night I watched the president announce another war; this one will be different than the last one; so we are told. The plan is to expand the airstrikes against ISIS and take the fight to their base in Syria. It is no longer just about protecting American embassies and limited humanitarian efforts. The new plan is open-ended, and will likely be long-term. We won’t have combat troops on the ground, but we will have troops in Iraq; about 1600 US troops; I’m fairly certain they are capable of combat if pushed. Boots on the ground combat will come from Iraqi forces and Syrian rebels, apparently. House Speaker John Boehner says the country should unite behind the administration, even if we don’t know all the details of the plan. Some opposition has come …

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Financial Review

Timing is………..Everything

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW + 54 = 17, 068 SPX + 7 = 1995 NAS + 34 = 4586 10 YR YLD + .03 = 2.53% OIL – 1.13 = 91.67 GOLD – 6.80 = 1250.00 SILV – .12 = 19.04 Later today, at 6PM local time or 9PM eastern, President Obama will address the nation and lay out his strategy to degrade and destroy the Islamic State insurgency operating in Iraq and Syria. This will likely involve significant escalation of the US military role in the area, but we aren’t sure about the intervention in Syria; probably a combination of airstrikes, and support for more moderate Syrian forces willing to carry out attacks on both ISIS and Assad; along with regional allies providing on the ground support. The president has pledged there will not be boots on the ground. He said: “This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war. What this is similar to is the kinds of counter-terrorism campaigns that we’ve been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years.” Which sounds like a distinction without a difference. Earlier today an administration spokesman said: “The president will discuss how we are building a coalition of allies and partners in the region and in the broader international community to support our efforts, and will talk about how we work with the Congress as a partner in these efforts.” That doesn’t mean Congress would actually vote on …

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Financial Review

Apple Bites

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 97 = 17,013 SPX – 13 = 1988 NAS – 40 = 4552 10 YR YLD + .03 = 2.50% OIL + .05 = 92.80 GOLD + .30 = 1256.80 SILV + .04 = 19.16 Today’s epiphany is courtesy of Apple; they unveiled not one but three new things. Let’s examine. The iPhone 6 is the new phone, and it is a little bit bigger than the old phone. And they even have an iPhone 6 plus, which is a little bit bigger. So, the new phones won’t fit in your pocket anymore. I know, it’s like the most totally incredible thing ever. The Apple Watch is smaller than the old phone; so small it can be strapped on your wrist. It even has a dial so older people will realize it is supposed to be a watch and not just a little phone strapped to your wrist. It is called the Apple Watch because iWatch was just a little too creepy. The third thing is Apple Pay, which is a payment processing service that has Apple partnering with American Express, MasterCard, and Visa so you can pay for purchases with a big iPhone 6 or an Apple Watch, just like you can pay for things with an American Express, MasterCard, or Visa credit card. The big difference is this is new technology, whereas the credit card is like 50 years old; and this new …

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Financial Review

Face the Facts

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:14 — 6.1MB) DOW – 25 = 17,111 SPX – 6 = 2001 NAS + 9 = 4592 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.47% OIL – .63 = 92.66 GOLD – 12.90 = 1256.50 SILV – .17 = 19.12 The Federal Reserve reports consumers increased their debt by a seasonally adjusted $26.0 billion in July, up from an $18.8 billion gain in the prior month. Monthly debt rose at a 9.7% annual rate in July, compared with a 7.1% rate in the prior month. On a dollar amount, that’s a record gain, and on a percentage basis, it’s the highest since July 2011. Crude oil for October delivery fell 63 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $92.66 a barrel in New York, its lowest level since January. Oil prices have fallen for three days straight as geopolitical worries in Ukraine and Iraq have eased. The ceasefire between Russia and the Ukraine is holding by a thread. The EU has approved a second round of sanctions against Russia, but today, they put the sanctions on hold, hoping for a favorable outcome. In an initial set of economic sanctions imposed in late July, the EU barred five state-owned Russian banks from selling shares or bonds in Europe; restricted the export of equipment to modernize the oil industry; prohibited new contracts to sell arms to Russia; and banned the export of machinery, electronics and other civilian products with military uses to military users, …

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Author Interviews

Zachary Karabell – The Leading Indicators

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:50 — 9.1MB) Listen to Zachary Karabell, the author of “The Leading Indicators” interviewed by Sinclair Noe. For more information on the book or to purchase the book, click the banner. The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World interview recorded Feb. 2014 How did we come by the “leading indicators” we place such stock in? We allocate trillions of dollars and make public policy and personal decisions based upon them, but what do they really tell us? “The leading indicators” shape our lives intimately, but few of us know where these numbers come from, what they mean, or why they rule the world. GDP, inflation, unemployment, trade, and a host of averages determine whether we feel optimistic or pessimistic about the country’s future and our own. They dictate whether businesses hire and invest, or fire and hunker down, whether governments spend trillions or try to reduce debt, whether individuals marry, buy a car, get a mortgage, or look for a job. Zachary Karabell tackles the history and the limitations of each of our leading indicators.

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Author Interviews

Laurence Kotlikoff – The Clash of Generations

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:50 — 9.1MB) Listen to Laurence Kotlikoff in an interview with Sinclair Noe recorded 09-05-2014. To find out more about the book or to purchase the book, click the bannner. The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy The United States is bankrupt, flat broke. Thanks to accounting that would make Enron blush, America’s insolvency goes far beyond what our leaders are disclosing. The United States is a fiscal basket case, in worse shape than the notoriously bailed-out countries of Greece, Ireland, and others. How did this happen? In The Clash of Generations, experts Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns document our six-decade, off-balance-sheet, unsustainable financing scheme. They explain how we have balanced our longer lives on the backs of our (relatively few) children. At the same time, we’ve been on a consumption spree, saving and investing less than nothing. And that’s not to mention the evisceration of the middle class and a financial system that has proven it can’t be trusted. Kotlikoff and Burns outline grassroots strategies for saving ourselves–and especially our children–from what could be a truly catastrophic financial collapse.

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Financial Review

Everything You Need to Know About the Jobs Report

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Financial Review 09-05-2014 DOW + 67 = 17,137 SPX + 10 = 2007.71 (record) NAS + 20 = 4582 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.46% OIL – 1.00 = 93.45 GOLD + 7.50 = 1269.40 SILV + .13 = 19.29 The S&P 500 index closed at a record high; the Dow Industrials closed just short of a record high. The S&P 500 and the Dow recorded their fifth consecutive weekly gains. For the week, the Dow and the S&P each gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose 0.06%. Today is a jobs report Friday. In August, the economy added 142,000 net new jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%. This was a weaker than expected report. The economy had been averaging more than 200,000 new jobs a month for the past 6 months. Economists expected somewhere around 220,000 to 230,000 new jobs. Employment gains for July and June were lowered by a combined 28,000; June was revised from 298,000 to 267,000, and the change for July was revised from 209,000 to 212,000. The August report will likely be revised as well. Each job report starts with an initial estimate on the first Friday of the month, followed by two revisions. The month of August is prone to sharp revisions; over the past 5 years, the difference between the first and third estimates have averaged more than 70,000 per month; and each of the past 5 August revisions were …

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