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Observation Deck
February 01, 2010 Posted by

The Federal Reserve decided on January 27 to keep interestrates at historically low levels despite pronouncing a continued pickup in economic activity and a deceleration of job losses. Faced with a double digit unemployment rate, tight credit conditions, and real estate price depreciation, the decision was not surprising. However, the federal funds rate has been pegged between 0 percent and 0.25 percent since December 2008, and the Fed’s ongoing comment that economic conditions “are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period” does cause us to re-ask the following questions: “What does the Fed mean by ‘extended period,’ and how should client portfolios be positioned?” 

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Economic Outlook
January 26, 2010 Posted by

A very interesting debate is developing regarding the business world (perhaps I should say the "government regulation" world) that has more to do with culture and sociology than getting business done. The underlying question is: How much risk is too much? 
 

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Economic Outlook
January 19, 2010 Posted by

Many readers have commented on my use of song quotes. In response, I've received many good and many not-so-good suggestions. The above quote, however, fits this column on my 2010 outlook exactly as all market participants look for their "own way" to protect principal while garnering above-market returns.

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Economic Outlook
January 13, 2010 Posted by

When writing a weekly column, one might suspect that it's a challenge to identify 52 topics in a year. Much of the time, that is true; however, I sometimes find myself with far too many topics to discuss all at once (Was that Billy Joel's problem?). So, I've decided to briefly list several of the topics I wish I had time to explore further. They are in no particular order, although if you'd like to hear more about any specific idea please don't hesitate to drop me a note. 

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Economic Outlook
January 05, 2010 Posted by

At 11:30 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a handful of significant changes to its support of those venerable twins: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Most significant was an unveiling of its potential equity injections for the next three years.

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Observation Deck
January 04, 2010 Posted by

As we enter 2010, fixed-income investments in the short end of the yield curve are trading at levels near historic lows. Even money fund investors are now facing yields hovering just above zero. This downward pressure has been caused by several factors.

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Economic Outlook
December 29, 2009 Posted by

Reviewing some of my older columns this week, I came across the article below that was written just over one year ago. Aside from the specific statistics I had cited, the general advice remains true embrace the horror that is

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Economic Outlook
December 15, 2009 Posted by

Managing one's psychological state is critical for the successful investor. This includes everything from finding balance between quantitative and qualitative inputs to ensuring you are mentally sharp when critical decisions must be made. The same, I guess, could be said for almost any endeavor. 
 

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Economic Outlook
December 08, 2009 Posted by

There are those who foresee the decline of American power in this world and a corresponding increase in the strength of the so-called BRIC nations, ultimately leading to deterioration in the United States' influence over world affairs. I admit I've found myself making statements that lean in such a direction. This overhang of doubt and uncertainty that started long before the current recession is feeding on itself, creating the real possibility of these scary consequences. But it needn't be so.

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Economic Outlook
December 01, 2009 Posted by

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days Thursday, Friday, Happy Days The weekend comes My cycle hums Ready to race to you Charles Fox and Norman Gimble (writers) The phrase "jump the shark" refers to the 1977 episode of

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