Insights

 

FX Outlook
January 19, 2010 Posted by

On January 7 of this year, the day after his appointment as Japan's finance minister, Naoto Kan stated that there was a need for the yen to weaken in order to help Japanese exporters. The markets did not treat this statement lightly, for it effectively reverses the long-held position of his predecessor, Hirohisa Fujii, of allowing the value of the yen to be determined solely by market forces. Fujii-san had resigned earlier in the week due to ill health. Kan explained that he "must work with the Bank of Japan to bring the yen to appropriate levels given its impact on the economy" and that "many Japanese firms favor yen at around ¥95." The currency markets were caught completely off guard by his comments and responded by selling the yen in a panic, driving it lower by more than half a yen vs. the dollar -ultimately to ¥93.77, its lowest level versus the dollar since last August.

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FX Outlook
January 13, 2010 Posted by

In today's business environment, escalating a technology company into the international marketplace may no longer be just an option, but a necessity for growth. However, like any significant endeavor, conducting business across borders also has its challenges. 

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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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Global Edge
January 13, 2010 Posted by

More and more U.S. companies are generating an increasing share of their revenues from export sales. Over the years, a significant portion of these export sales have shifted towards open account terms with no payment guarantees (such as a traditional letter of credit). As the Ex-Im Bank explains, savvy CFOs should consider leveraging export credit insurance.

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Quarterly Economic Report
January 06, 2010 Posted by
Many market commentators are referring to today’s economic malaise in the form of letters. Are we in a “U-shaped” recession or will it be a “W?” Perhaps the worst of both worlds: the dreaded “L.” The obvious extended nature of our current downturn will be much longer than that implied by these simplistic descriptors. Instead, I prefer the analogy of crossing a riverbed. Today, we stand in the flat portion at the bottom of the riverbed, having sped down towards the bottom rather violently.
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FX Outlook
January 05, 2010 Posted by

The holiday had brought tidings of comfort and joy for the USD and the U.S. market. Apart from the Asian economic recovery, recent U.S. employment data has lead to optimism that 2010 will bring further sustained economic improvement in the U.S. U.S. stocks marked recovery-trend highs, long yields ascending to four-month highs and the USD index rebounded to three-month highs.  

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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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