Bibi, Be Quiet – You’re Undermining U.S. Support for Israel

The dangers to Israel’s existence, from a nuclear-armed Iran, are real. Equally real are the dangers of a pre-emptive military attack on Iran. Perhaps the greatest danger to Israel, however, is Prime Minister Netanyahu. America is Israel’s most important ally, providing financial (~$3 billion/year), military, and diplomatic support. In response to the Iranian nuclear threat, […]

Market Drivers in the Week Ahead

The US dollar began Asia on a firm note, but quickly succumbed to selling pressure.  The euro initially fell to almost $1.28, its lowest level since Sept 11, but rebounded smartly in late Asia and through the European morning. The other major and emerging market currencies have generally followed suit.  That said, the short-term momentum […]

Lending Is the Key to Putting the Fiscal Strategy On Track

My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. It is the party conference season, when the government’s economic strategy comes under attack, and ministers run some eyecatching announcements up the political flagpole. We have already had a foretaste of this from the Liberal Democrats. Most of it boiled down to […]

The Debate About Jobs

Sometimes the political and economic streams converge to determine the agenda. Prepare for a non-stop debate about  jobs. This week the major data all relate to employment.  We also have the first of the Presidential debates, Wednesday night at 9:00 PM EDT.  Moderator Jim Lehrer, whom I met when he got an honorary degree in my […]

Is the Fed Buying Up All the Treasury Debt?

No, according to the data provided by SIFMA.  The Fed actually holds a relatively small share of total marketable treasury securities:     The other big holders include foreigners, households, mutual funds, banks, and pensions.  So don’t blame the Fed for the low yields on Treasuries. This post was originally published at Macro and Other Market Musings and is […]

If QE Causes Commodity Price Inflation…

If QE causes commodity price inflation, what caused commodity prices to rise before QE?  It never ceases to amaze me that critics of quantitative easing fail to remember that commodity prices were rising well before the Federal Reserve engaged in quantitative easing: If anything, commodity prices have been moving generally sideways since the Fed began […]

Review of Major Asset Classes, September 2012

The capital and commodity markets in general enter the third quarter on a strong note. Nearly all of the major asset classes posted gains in September and everything is comfortably in the black for the year through the end of the third quarter. Looking backward suggests that all’s well. But rearview mirrors can be misleading […]

Fidelity’s Bond Funds Now Larger Than Equity Offerings

Way back in the Summer of 2003, I wrote a report that analyzed the Contrary Indicators 2000 – 2003 Bear market. It consisted of both internal and external signals that strongly suggested that the 2000 crash was over, and it was safe to get back into equities. The second of the external signals was that PIMCO’s Total Return […]

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