Archives for the ‘The Economic Scene’ Category

Wells Fargo: Will They (We) Ever Learn?

Written By • Sep 20th, 2016

An unfortunate side effect of the heated presidential campaign is that it sucks away important stories from the daily headlines. One example has to be the disgrace at Wells Fargo, one of America’s largest banks. It’s a mind-boggling scam with far reaching implications, yet it’s received scant coverage in the general media. Briefly, thousands of […]

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Lessons of the Debt-Ceiling Crisis

Written By • Oct 21st, 2013

The debt-ceiling crisis is over, at least for now. And that means a respite from daily headlines full of words like “crisis,” “default,” “disaster” and “cataclysm.” As always, alarming headlines intimidate many investors into making bad decisions. But I am happy to report that, in our office at least, there were far fewer phone calls […]

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Lavish Hedge Fund Paydays – Just Not for the Investors

Written By • Apr 16th, 2013

Profits are good. You love profits, I love profits. But with some regularity a few titans of the financial world take home mind-boggling profits, and you have to wonder, why? Did they really deserve it? An article in The New York Times of 4/15/13, documented how a handful of hedge fund managers made massive amounts […]

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The Sequester and Other “Calamities.”

Written By • Mar 8th, 2013

 The stock market’s response to the “sequester”—Washington’s $85 billion in annual spending cuts that took effect March 1st—wasn’t what many expected. After the nation’s leaders failed to reach a budget deal to avert the painful budget cuts, the market, many assumed, would have fallen like a rock. Instead, it didn’t do much of anything; investors […]

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The “Fiscal Cliff”… A Reality Check

Written By • Nov 16th, 2012

For months, you’ve been hearing about the “fiscal cliff.” Specifically, $500 billion in tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts are scheduled to take effect after Jan. 1 unless President Obama and Republicans reach a new deal to reduce the deficit. The political parties created the deadline last year as a way around their debt-ceiling impasse. […]

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The Triple-A Miscalculation

Written By • Aug 14th, 2012

One of my favorite pastimes is debunking experts. What follows is a gold medal example of how the best and brightest can be wrong, big time. Last August, the mighty Standard & Poor’s downgraded, for the first time ever, the credit rating of the United States.  America was no longer an AAA lender, according to […]

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More Greed on Parade

Written By • Jul 9th, 2012

It’s bad enough that JPMorgan Chase recently lost an admitted $2 Billion, a figure some experts expect to grow to $9 Billion. Now, to add insult and injury to more insult and injury, The New York Times begins a story saying, “Facing a slump after the financial crisis, JPMorgan Chase turned to ordinary investors to […]

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Tick Tick Tick

Written By • May 17th, 2012

JPMorgan Chase lost $3 billion (up from the initial $2 billion, and that amount may grow significantly bigger). That’s the headline. It’s all over the news, but many Americans will wonder, “Why should I care?” You should care because it was just three years ago when the U.S. financial system was teetering on the verge […]

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Uh Oh. The Big Money Guys are Optimistic.

Written By • Apr 27th, 2012

According to the April 25, 2012 issue of Barron’s magazine, a majority of investment professionals now expect the coming year (through June 2013) to be good for American stocks. Specifically, 55% are bullish, 31% are neutral, and 14% see declines ahead. As I’ve said in the past, I tend to get a little queasy when […]

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Goldman: Putting the Firm First

Written By • Mar 22nd, 2012

No one knew the name Greg Smith before March 12, 2012. He was a mid-level executive at Goldman Sachs who decided to quit the firm in a most public manner – his unofficial letter of resignation was published in The New York Times, and it sent shock waves throughout the financial industry. Smith slammed Goldman […]

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