Financial Review

Settling a Score

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-05-24-2017.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 7.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS…..Fed minutes point to June rate hike and slowly shrinking balance sheet. CBO scores AHCA and it is ugly. Trump and Pope Francis. Previously owned home sales sputter. China’s credit rating cut. Brazil ablaze. Fiat Chrysler pulls a VW. Facebook buying news.   Financial Review by Sinclair Noe for 05-24-2017

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Financial Review

Immovable v. Unstoppable

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-01-04-2017.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS…..FOMC minutes show Fed on track for 3 hikes. Mortgage apps slip. Obamacare first order of business. Auto sales record for 2016. Sears closing stores. Amazon the 800-pound gorilla of holiday shopping. Kohl’s, Macy sales dip. J&J halves hip award. Barclays trader pleads guilty to Forex rigging. US big banks on hook for Euro derivatives. Financial Review by Sinclair Noe for 01-04-2017

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Financial Review

Relatively Soon

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-10-12-2016.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS…..Fed minutes point to a hike “relatively soon”. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf is out immediately. Yemen rebels fire on a US ship. Qatar buys Boeing jetliners and fighters (maybe war does pay). OPEC oil output hits a high. Chromebooks are the back-to-school winner. Wal-mart hikes salaries to avoid overtime pay. Facebook gets out the vote. Financial Review by Sinclair Noe for 10-12-2016

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Financial Review

Pandora’s Box

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-08-17-2016.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFOMC minutes show the Fed stuck in neutral. Aetna threatened to pull out of Obamacare exchanges if DOJ did not approve Humana merger – how it could backfire on Aetna. The return of subprime. Cisco job cuts. Target blames Apple. Unstoppable inversion. Financial Review by Sinclair Noe for 08-17-2016

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Financial Review

Sneaking Through the Backdoor

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-17-2016.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe for 02-17-2016   DOW + 257 = 16,453 SPX + 31 = 1926 NAS + 98 = 4534 10 Y + .04 = 1.82% OIL + 2.35 = 31.39 GOLD + 8.10 = 1209.40   Three in a row; three up days, and good moves at that. If you believe the old adage that every stock market advance is short covering, you have some evidence to back your position. The most shorted stocks among Russell 3000 members gained 6.5% over just two trading days, Friday and Tuesday, while the least shorted issues trailed the Russell’s 4.6% advance over the same period. And while it looks like last Thursday’s lows provided some support in the short-term, it is too soon to see if that support will hold. Anyone who is calling a bottom in the market is just making stuff up. I don’t know, you don’t know. What we know is the markets have been all over the map in the past 2 months, flitting from one crisis to the next. The good news is that nothing has blown up yet. The bad news is that everything is volatile.   Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela announced an agreement Tuesday to freeze oil production in an effort to ease the oil glut. On Wednesday, Iran said it wouldn’t join the effort, as its production just came back online following years of …

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Financial Review

Bon Appetit

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-01-06-2016.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe for 01-06-2016 DOW – 252 = 16,906 SPX – 26 = 1990 NAS – 55 = 4835 10 Y – .07 =  2.18% OIL – 1.98 = 33.99 GOLD + 16.30 = 1094.80   Sometimes the world can be a messy place. Global markets get discombobulated. That has been the case in the first few trading days of the year. Saudi Arabia and Iran are about as friendly as cats and dogs, China’s economic growth is grinding slower, and then, in left field, North Korea drops a bomb, or at least tests a bomb, maybe.   North Korea announced that scientists had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was triggered near North Korea’s nuclear test site in the northeast of the country, but could not confirm that it was related to an H-bomb test.   China’s central bank set the yuan’s reference rate at an unexpectedly weak level, a reminder of the shock depreciation in August that sparked a wave of financial-market turmoil. Chinese media said that last summer’s selling ban on major shareholders would remain in place until the government publishes new rules on such sales.  The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.3 percent. Emerging-market stocks dropped to a six-year low and developing-nation currencies declined versus the dollar, while shares in Europe resumed losses after closing higher on Tuesday. Investors are …

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Financial Review

Nice Little Planet

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-11-18-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe for 11-18-2015 DOW + 247 = 17,737 SPX + 33 = 2083 NAS + 89 = 5075 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.27% OIL + .03 = 40.70 GOLD + .20 = 1071.00 SILV – .01 = 14.28   Stocks rallied the most in four weeks, while Treasuries pared losses. The dollar traded near a seven-month high against the euro. Oil was little changed near a two-month low after dropping below $40 a barrel in New York for the first time since August as producers’ output swelled global inventories to a record. U.S. supplies climbed to the highest for the season in more than 80 years.   A predawn police raid on an apartment building in a Paris suburb led to the deaths of two extremists, including the alleged ringleader of last weekend’s attacks – although there is no official confirmation; the raid also resulted in seven arrests. Police also found plans in the apartment for more attacks on Paris. French President Hollande renewed his case for an extension to a state of emergency decreed after the attacks and for changes to the constitution that he said would make France safer. Meanwhile, a French aircraft carrier headed to the eastern Mediterranean to intensify the bombardment of ISIS positions in Syria.   Hacking collective Anonymous accessed and took down more than 5,500 social media accounts associated with ISIS. As part of its efforts, Anonymous …

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Financial Review

Anticipation of Consequences

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-10-08-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe for 10-08-2015 DOW + 138 = 17,050 SPX + 17 = 2013 NAS + 19 = 4810 10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.11% OIL + 1.86 = 49.67 GOLD – 6.80 – 1140.00 SILV – .39 = 15.77   This morning was full of anticipation: earnings season scheduled to kick off after the closing bell, the FOMC scheduled to release minutes from their September policy meeting, the House of Representatives scheduled to select a new Speaker of the House. Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.   Earnings season is underway; the unofficial start is when Alcoa reports; ticker symbol AA, they lead the pack alphabetically, and then it just became tradition. The company reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share on revenue of $5.57 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $5.66 billion. Alcoa indicated that China’s industrial economy is slowing more rapidly than expected, as the aluminum producer slashed its production outlook for the country for cars, trucks and construction. And just like that, we have a trend.   Short interest has hit a peak. Short interest on companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) just hit a seven-year high, going back to the 2008 financial crisis. Short interest, or a bet that prices will drop, tends to increase as stocks are falling, and …

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Financial Review

Close Calls

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-10-07-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe for 10-07-2015 DOW + 122 = 16,912 SPX + 15 = 1995 NAS + 42 = 4791 10 YR YLD + .03 = 2.06% OIL – .47 = 48.06 GOLD – 1.80 = 1146.80 SILV + .17 = 16.15   The S&P 500 closed at its highest level in three weeks. The S&P 500 has been up for 6 out of the past 7 sessions.  The S&P is down 3.09 percent for the year and the Dow is off by 5.11 percent ytd.   Yesterday, oil prices jumped nearly 5% as the American Petroleum Institute reported a 1.2 million barrel decrease in crude stocks last week. The International Energy Agency has said it expects world oil demand to increase by around 1.7 million barrels per day this year, one of the fastest rates for years as consumers respond to much lower fuel prices. The tightening market balance comes as U.S. production starts to decline. This morning, the Energy Information Administration reports global oil demand should increase by its fastest rate in six years in 2016, suggesting a surplus of crude is easing more quickly than expected. The EIA forecasts U.S. oil output will fall to 8.8 million barrels per day from an average of 9.25 million in 2015. But the EIA report also showed U.S. crude inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations …

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Financial Review

What? Me Worry?

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-11-19-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review DOW – 2 = 17,685 SPX – 3 = 2048 NAS – 26 = 4675 10 YR YLD + .03 = 2.35% OIL – .51 = 74.61 GOLD – 14.40 = 1184.10 SILV – .06 = 16.23 The Federal Reserve’s most recent FOMC meeting was October 28th and 29th; after the meeting they issued a statement saying that QE3 was finished; they painted a fairly positive picture off the economy to confirm their decision. Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her central bank colleagues last month focused on improvements in the labor market when they announced an end to their stimulative bond purchases. They also said that the risk of inflation remaining persistently below their goal had ebbed. Today, they released the minutes of the FOMC meeting and we get some better understanding of their thoughts. No bombshells, not much that was not expected. Policy makers last month “pointed to a somewhat weaker economic outlook and increased downside risks in Europe, China, and Japan,” in addition to a stronger dollar. There were concerns “that if foreign economic or financial conditions deteriorated further, US economic growth over the medium term might be slower than currently expected.” There was some debate over whether to acknowledge the weakening global economy; the general feeling was that the effects weaker growth overseas would “likely be quite limited,” and that any mention of global weakness could send an unwarranted …

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Financial Review

Work Hard and Invest in the Future

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-11-17-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review DOW + 13 = 17,647 SPX + 1 = 2041 NAS – 17 = 4671 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.34% OIL – .37 = 75.45 GOLD – 2.00 = 1187.50 SILV – .18 = 16.24 Another day, another record on Wall Street. A record high close for the S&P 500. The Dow did not close above Thursday’s record close of 17,652. The Dow Transports were down today, but Transportation stocks are the best performing names on the market over the past month. Since the market bottomed out on October 13th, the Dow Jones Transportation Average has soared an incredible 18%. So if you thought the S&P’s furious 11% rally has been a sight to behold, you clearly weren’t paying attention to the soaring plane, train and trucks. Another Merger Monday; Halliburton agreed to buy Baker Hughes for about $34 billion. Actavis agreed to buy Allergan for $66 billion. The Halliburton acquisition of Baker Hughes will unite 2 major oilfield services companies. Halliburton and Baker Hughes began discussions in mid-October; an interesting time as oil prices were falling, raising questions about the viability of expanding oil and gas exploration and development. The acquisition was on again, off again, and briefly turned hostile last week. The deal could still face regulatory scrutiny, even though Schlumberger is still the largest oilfield services company, bigger than a combined Halliburton/Baker Hughes. Halliburton has agreed to …

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Financial Review

Send Thank You Notes to Janet

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-10-08-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review DOW + 274 = 16,994 SPX + 33 = 1968 NAS + 83 = 4468 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.33% OIL – 1.23 = 87.62 GOLD + 13.20 = 1222.50 SILV + .19 = 17.48 Volatility has kicked into high gear. Yesterday the VIX, the Volatility Index was up 11%, and today it dropped 12%. The Dow has had moves of 200 points or more five times in the last 10 days. There have only been 10 other days this year when the index has made moves of that magnitude. Yesterday was an ugly decline and today, stocks started drifting lower, and then suddenly, dramatically, jumped higher; by the closing bell it was the best day of the year. Send your thank you notes to Janet Yellen. Pause for just a moment and think about what has been driving the markets for the past 5 years. Certainly, there are many factors but a big factor would have to be Federal Reserve monetary policy. Yesterday stocks looked like they were going to hell in a hand basket, and today the Fed’s FOMC minutes were released and the markets were revived as if they’d been given a big old hypodermic full of adrenaline straight to the heart. We all know the Fed is ending its bond buying crusade this month, and the open question has been when they will raise interest rates. …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 – Congratulations Graduates, Yada, Yada, Yada

Congratulations Graduates, Yada, Yada, Yada by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 158 = 16,533 SPX + 15 = 1888 NAS + 34 = 4131 10 YR + .02 = 2.53% OIL – 33 = 103.74 GOLD – 2.40 = 1292.90 SIL  un = 19.49   Earnings season is winding down; about 96% of S&P 500 companies have reported results, with profit growth this quarter of 5.5% and revenue up 2.8%. While more companies have topped earnings expectations than usual, fewer have beat on the revenue side. This has been an ongoing theme for corporate profits; bottom line growth without corresponding sales. If this formula sounds unsustainable, it is, unless there is some other factor pumping up the markets.   Follow-up from yesterday: China has signed a 30-year deal to buy Russian natural gas worth about $400 billion. The gas deal gives Moscow an economic boost at a time when Washington and the European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on dozens of Russian officials and several companies over Ukraine. It allows Russia to diversify its markets for gas, which now goes mostly to Europe; essentially opening the door to Asia’s gas market and potentially closing the door on the petro-dollar.   The Federal Reserve today released the minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting. Fed policymakers considered several approaches to tightening monetary policy, but decided to remain flexible; which is another way of saying QE is a big experiment and they are just hoping nothing explodes in their …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 – Feeding Time at the ZIRP Trough

Feeding Time at the ZIRP Troughby Sinclair Noe DOW + 181 = 16,437SPX + 20 = 1872NAS + 70 = 418310 YR YLD un = 2.68%OIL + 1.04 = 103.60GOLD + 4.30 = 1313.30SILV  – .22 = 19.95 In an otherwise light week for economic news, the big report is today’s release of the FOMC minutes from last month’s meeting. No surprises. You may recall that after the last meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen talked about the possibility of raising the fed funds target rate after a “considerable time”; when pressed she indicated a “considerable time” was about six months after the Fed ends it asset purchases under Quantitative Easing. That would mean late spring or summer of 2015. Fed policymakers were unanimous in wanting to ditch the thresholds they had been using to telegraph a policy tightening; no hard and fast target of 6.5% unemployment or 2% inflation. The minutes indicate the Fed would like to see more improvement in the economy; the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. In other words, the Fed remains dovish, and they will taper but they will also keep rates low for a long time. And also, those “dots” are over-rated. The dots are actually charts suggesting the fed funds rate would top 2% by the end of 2016. In the minutes published today, several policy-makers claim the charts overstated the shift in projections, which would suggest the Fed is not ready to tighten policy. A couple of the voting members wanted to commit …

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Financial Review

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 – When Stuff Aligns

When Stuff Aligns by Sinclair Noe DOW + 10 = 16,256 SPX + 6 = 1851NAS + 33 = 411210 YR YLD – .01 = 2.68%OIL – .28 = 102.28GOLD + 11.10 = 1309.00SILV + .20 = 20.16 Every now and then the planets align. Tonight is one of those times; Mars, the Sun, and Earth will be aligned in opposition. And Mars is closer than normal, although still about 92 million miles away. I have no idea what this means in the cosmic scheme of things, but when the sun sets in the West, Mars will rise in the East; and it will be overhead around midnight. You should be able to spot it easily as it will look light a bright star with a red or burnt orange color. If you can’t watch tonight, you can look to the skies for the next week.  On April 14, there will also be a total lunar eclipse causing the full Moon to turn as red as the Red Planet itself. Investor sentiment remains upbeat ahead of earnings and despite the smack-down in prices Friday and Monday. On Friday, the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped down to a multi-month low of 12.6 and even after a few days of triple digit declines the VIX has only edged back into the mid-14 range. And although Alcoa is the official start of earnings season, a few companies have already reported, including Oracle, Nike, and Fed Ex; without inspiration. The floodgates on profit …

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Friday, February 14, 2014 – Cold, Cold, Cold

Cold, Cold, Cold by Sinclair Noe DOW + 126 = 16,154SPX + 8 = 1838NAS + 3 = 424410 YR YLD + .01 = 2.74%OIL – .05 = 100.30GOLD + 16.30 = 1320.10SILV + 1.02 = 21.61 The cold weather back East has left its frozen footprints all over a variety of economic reports from payrolls to new home sales to retail sales. Estimating the extent of the weather effect is a guess at best, and it is possible that consumer spending might have slowed even with more pleasant weather. The best guesses from economists are that the snow, ice and bitter cold this winter will shave about 0.3 percentage point from economic growth; that works out to about $47 billion in lost productivity and about 76,000 jobs. Other estimates suggest fourth quarter GDP could be revised from 3.2% to as low as 2.2%(so maybe – $15 bln). Fortunately, a revision in GDP does not mean you have to write a refund check; whatever you made or lost in the fourth quarter is unchanged. Schools closed, traffic non-existent, or massive traffic pile-ups, businesses closed, thousands of flights cancelled, electricity outages, the Great Lakes are 75% frozen over; it’s all a big frozen, expensive mess. The most recent storms, the ones going on right now in the East, could cost $20 to 40 billion. The Federal Reserve reported this morning that manufacturing output fell 0.8% in January; they blamed the severe weather. At the same time, utility use jumped 4.1% last …

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013 – Ticking Away the Minutes

Ticking Away the Minutes by Sinclair Noe DOW – 105 = 14, 897SPX – 9 = 1642NAS – 13 = 359910 YR YLD + .04 = 2.85%OIL + .04 = 105.00GOLD – 4.20 = 1367,80SILV – .14 – 22.89 Stocks slid, clawed back to breakeven, then sold aggressively into the close. News of the day in the form of FOMC minutes showing policymakers are talking about pulling away the Quantitative Easing punchbowl. The Dow closed below 15,000 for the first time since July 3; the Dow is now down for six sessions; the S&P ended negative, dragged by utilities and financials; techs held up relatively well. Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury hit a fresh session high of 2.88%. The dollar held up against most currencies, and most emerging market currencies continued to take a beating. So, what did the Fed say in the FOMC minutes? Nothing unexpected. Policy makers were “broadly comfortable” with Bernanke’s plan to start reducing bond buying later this year if the economy improves, with a few saying tapering might be needed soon. But they weren’t saying they had to taper right this moment. The central bankers did not signal as to whether such a taper of the $85 billion-per-month bond purchase plan would come in September, October or December, the three remaining meeting dates for 2013, but they indicated they would like to have it tapered down by the middle of next year. “A few members emphasized the importance of being patient and evaluating additional …

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – Trying to Make Some Sense of It All

Trying to Make Some Sense of It All by Sinclair Noe DOW – 8 = 15,291SPX + 0.3 = 1652NAS + 16 = 3520 10 YR YLD +.05 = 2.68OIL + 2.64 = 106.17GOLD + 12.20 = 1263.90SILV + .20 = 19.57 Over the past couple of days, we’ve talked about the slowdown in the global economies; the IMF revised growth forecasts. We’ve also talked about the new capital reserve requirements for banks. Today, we got the minutes of the last FOMC meeting in June. Today, I’ll try and put it all together and explain it so it makes a little sense. I’ll try. Everywhere around the world, economic growth is slowing; this is especially true in emerging markets. For example: growth in China is forecast to be 7.8 percent in 2013, a downward revision of 0.3 percent; growth in India is forecast to be 5.6 percent, down 0.2 percent, growth in Brazil is forecast to be 2.5 percent, down 0.5 percent;  growth in Russia is forecast to be 2.5 percent, down 0.9 percent. There is still growth in the emerging markets, but the BRIC countries had been looking at really strong growth, now it’s slightly sluggish growth, and the rate of change is the attention grabber. In China, there is considerable downside risk because they are facing a financial crisis brought about through a shadow banking system that financed unproductive investment and succeeded only in building credit risk. Now that risk is coming home to roost. Japan is looking …

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013 – What’s It All About?

What’s It All About? by Sinclair Noe DOW + 75 = 15,300SPX + 11 = 1652NAS + 19 = 3504 10 YR YLD -.01 = 2.63%OIL + 1.38 = 104.52GOLD + 13.40 = 1251.70SILV + .18 = 19.36 It’s earnings reporting season. The stock market is feeling happy for the moment. Second quarter earnings are expected to be soft, but expectations have been ratcheted down, so there is potential for upside surprises. That’s the game that’s played on Wall Street to siphon a little bit of trading profit. Anywhere else, they’d call it price fixing. But this game of diminished expectations may have some basis in reality. The top line numbers more than likely suck. Analysts expect the 30 companies in the Dow Industrial Average to see revenue growth of just 0.7%; that number could be ratcheted down into negative territory; that follows a 0.6% drop in revenue in the first quarter. What do you call it when there are two consecutive quarters of economic contraction? Recession. That’s a bit of a non sequitur, but the logical conclusion is not too far removed from the premise. After all, we’re talking about 30 of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world and they are struggling to grow sales. They’re still reporting profits, but that comes from cost cutting, which tends to fall on the labor force. There are limits to cost cutting as a business strategy for growing profits. No worries. The S&P 500 closed above 1650 and looks poised …

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Friday, May 24, 2013 – Where the Puck Will Be

Where the Puck Will Be by Sinclair Noe DOW + 8 = 15,303SPX – 0.91 = 1649NAS – 0.27 = 345910 YR YLD – .01 = 2.01%OIL – .38 = 93.87GOLD – 5.20 = 1387.30SILV – .24 = 22.39 The S&P 500 is now down for 3 consecutive days and the major stock indices posted their first negative week in more than a month. For the week, the Dow slipped 0.3 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each lost 1.1 percent. The Federal Reserve left many people mildly dazed and slightly confused this week, what with Bernanke speaking before the Joint Economic Committee and the release of the FOMC minutes. It used to be easier to figure out the Fed; it was a fairly straightforward cost/benefit analysis of inflation versus employment and inflation was usually at the top of the list. Then all of the sudden financial instability suddenly became the main concern. So, people were rethinking monetary policy; probably thinking too much. I don’t think the Fed is ready to step away from its easy money policies, but they are likely to change the composition. Maybe a little less mortgage-backed securities purchases and a little more Zero Interest Rates; maybe they’ll look toward some other areas altogether. How about jumping into the Muni-bond market? Or something else that might be a bit more direct? Maybe the Fed could make some direct injections of capital for infrastructure. America has dropped in the World Economic Forum’s global rankings of economic …

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