Shifting trends show that Millennials are living their lives differently from past generations and there are strong implications for investments

The following link to a very interesting article shows the shifting trends within the millennials generation that we should all pay close attention too when evaluating investments. These trends are likely to continue to develop, and future generations will build upon these trends, driving meaningful shifts in the economy. These shifts will drive many businesses into extinction, while others will grow dramatically, and still others will be born of these…

Fed Rate Increase As Expected; Shrinking Balance Sheet Much More Interesting

As expected, The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) of the Federal Reserve raised the Fed Funds rate by 1/4-point to a range of 1% to 1.25%. They further projected that one more rate increase will be needed this year. This is all pretty much as was expected (the futures were indicating a 99%+ likelihood on a 1/4-point raise). What was much more interesting is that the Fed now plans to…

Greek Debt Crisis At Tipping Point

Greece owes more than 341 billion euros (about $378 billion) and counting. Their bailout package expires at midnight tonight, after a last-minute extension request was rejected today by finance ministers across the EU. Keep in mind that they have a payment due today of $1.54 billion euros, which they cannot pay. How anyone can believe that Greece will ever be able to repay 341 billion euros in debt, plus all…

The Lowdown on Greece – Nothing New Under the Sun

Well, here we are again, and again, and again. If you feel that the news on Greece seems like a broken record, you’re right. The real problem is that Greece has been broken, and broke, for a very long time; they have been really good at lying about it, until now. Banks and the financial markets are closed at least all week this week in Greece. People on the street…

Fed Window for Rate Hikes is Now, Officially Open!

The long awaiting Fed rate raising cycle is now, officially upon us. The question of whether or not the Fed will raise rates has long been answered in the affirmative, and so, it is not a question of if, but when will the Fed tighten. June was almost universally forecast to be the first Fed meeting at which Fed governors would possibly vote to raise rates. The June meeting occurs…

U.S. Stocks Rally to New Highs on Empty Greek Promises

Stocks rallied today to close at all-time highs (again) after a deal was announced that basically delays Greece’s responsibilities to repay loans and follow required austerity measures as part of their bailout.  The reality is that this changes nothing; it simply puts-off the pending implosion of the Greek economy and the probable end to the EU resulting from a Greek exit from the euro.  Nothing has changed – the risks…

Germany swiftly rejects loan extension request by Greece

Just hours after Greece submitted a proposal to extend their bailout loans, Germany rejected the request citing Greece’s failure to include an agreement to also extend the austerity measures that are a requirement of the original bailout.  Greece is clearly trying to avoid continuing the austerity measures, and obviously cannot afford to service their debt.  It is amazing to me that financial markets around the globe, and especially those of…

Fed’s Bait and Switch a Brilliant Move by Bernanke & Company

Yesterday’s surprise move by the Fed to announce a $10 billion reduction in their monthly bond buying program, from $85 billion to $75 billion, was accompanied by a commitment to maintain 0% short rates indefinitely.  This was a significant policy shift from the previously stated target of 6.5% unemployment, after which rates were to begin to rise.  This added announcement on short-term interest rates served to offset (and then some)…

Dow Cracks 15,000 as U.S. Default Fears Mount – 10-3-13

The Dow is trading down more than 1%, off 150+ points so far today as fears about the U.S. government defaulting if the Congress does not act push investors to sell.  The 1-month U.S. treasury has also spiked in yield, as investors exit bonds as well.  All three major stock indexes are down more than 1% at-present.  If the Congress doesn’t act, we will run out of ways to borrow…

Fed Stimulus Just Isn’t Working – Published in Noozhawk Monday, September 23, 2013

For months and months, many of us have been discussing and evaluating the costs and benefits of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus — the third round of the Fed’s quantitative easing, or QE3— through which it is buying $85 billion each month in bonds to stimulate economic growth. Twelve months into QE3, the Fed is facing a difficult choice: Does it remove stimulus and risk stifling the economy, or does it continue pumping cash into…