Uncertainty and Black Swans

We continue to hear about the struggles of our economy due to “uncertainty.” Much of the criticism towards Washington focuses on this “lack of certainty.” Businesses have been crying that this lack of certainty regarding regulation and taxes has postponed plans to spend and hire, resulting in growing amounts of cash on their balance sheets. … Continued

Good Policy

Many of my blogs over the past few months have focused on government policy – fiscal and/or monetary. While this may seem to the casual observer somewhat removed from investment analytics, the reality is that government policy always impacts the financial markets (Ronald Reagan’s massive tax cuts in 1981 ignited the subsequent stock market rally; … Continued

‘Not So Fast – Raising Taxes Could Impact Jobs”

Robert Frank writes in the New York Times on 11/28/10, that taxpayers who have incomes above $250,000 can handle the tax increases embedded in the expiring tax cut legislation from the Bush Administration because it would not “…affect their own standard of living.” He notes further that “Truly wealthy families wouldn’t have to alter their … Continued

Detroit Tiger’s Trades – Capital Gains or Losses?

As a former professional baseball player, it appears appropriate to me to take my “portfolio managers” hat off and turn it around and attempt to be the General Manager for the Detroit Tigers in analyzing where the Tigers were a year ago versus where they are today, given the announcement of recent trades and some … Continued

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my most favorite holiday. I have many childhood memories waiting downtown Detroit for Santa to appear on Woodward. My Dad and Uncles would wedge a wooden plank between two ladders from where my sister, cousins and I would watch the parade while drinking hot chocolate from a thermos. While the parade … Continued

A Hidden Gem from the United Nations

The United Nations reported on November 4, 2010 “There had been tremendous advances all over the world since 1970, as indicated by the Human Development Index… .” This Index measures health, education, and income levels across the globe. Some may assert it is not a comprehensive measure of the well being of the world’s inhabitants, … Continued

Thoughts on the Election

Like a large number of their fellow Americans, the Democrats lost their house on Tuesday. The power has shifted in Washington with the Republican controlled house serving as a counterbalance to President Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate. A major concern is gridlock in this weak economy. Gridlock would be a result of … Continued

November Surprise

Given expectations of material changes in the contours of Congress after next week’s elections, it is not inconceivable that the leader of the Democratic Party, President Obama, could launch a “November Surprise.” While this is pure speculation, our hunch is that it could be related to the Afghan war which is very unpopular with the … Continued

Michigan’s Number One Export

There has been much discussion regarding the outflow of college graduates from Michigan. By some accounts more than half of all recent college graduates have left the state for a job. We’ve experienced it with our own family members, and have heard plenty of similar stories of our clients’ children heading to Chicago, New York, … Continued

Timeless Advice

Washington DC policymakers continue to grapple with measures to spur job growth. The October 12, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal does a service to its readers with the inclusion of one of James Madison’s 222 year old submissions to the Federalist Papers (Number 62). His observations are every bit as insightful now as … Continued

Just Another Number

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been bumping up against the “11,000” level. While for those who are “long” stocks, the increase means their net worth has been enhanced, but there is still nothing particularly noteworthy about this level. However, investors and observers are riveted on these milestones and accept each as a barometer with … Continued