If Someone is Drowning, Throw a Life Ring, Not an Anchor

Reading an essay this morning on the demographic challenge currently facing several South American nations (aging populations), I came across one of those obvious, but often ignored assertions (like the one, “Wear clean underwear, you never know when you’re going to be in an accident”; the ignoring part is not about wearing clean underwear, but … Continued

A Prescription for Job Growth

August 10, 2012: www.wikianswers.com– “What percentage of Greece’s population is government employed? 1 in every 3 workers, 33.33% of the working population.” August 9, 2012: Wall Street Journal headline – “Greek May Unemployment Rate Hits Fresh High of 23.1%” August 9, 2012: Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press– “For unions and the whole idea of collective … Continued

Murder, Conspiracy, Corruption, and Communism

The tales of murder, conspiracy, and corruption that are leaking out from China regarding the Bo Xilai scandal have been remarkable to follow. Truth can often be much stranger than fiction and the scandal surrounding this ousted politician has managed to rock the Chinese government. Prior to his ousting, Bo was seen as somewhat of a populist … Continued

France’s Equity Markets Cast Their Own Vote

On Monday, following Sunday’s first-round of presidential elections in France, the CAC 40 index (which is largely representative of the French equity markets) fell nearly 3%.  The presidential incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been on board with Germany’s austerity plans to tackle the European financial crisis, came in second place in the first-round vote to … Continued

Sound Familiar?

While I follow several economic and financial related publications, this week John Mauldin’s e-letter, titled ‘Unconsidered Consequences’, contemplated intriguing and timely observations regarding the proposed debt resolution issue facing the Greek government and the role of the European Central Bank (ECB). Below are a couple excerpts that caught my eye. “As noted above, ECB financing, … Continued

Thinking Out Loud

Below is a recent internal email conversation that took place amongst a few of our investment professionals. This thread may prove interesting to those who are also pondering possible ‘fixes’ for the Eurozone’s current money woes. If you have any further thoughts or comments, please feel free to share! From: Robert Bilkie, Jr. Thinking out … Continued

It’s All Greek To Me

Equity markets have proven their penchant for volatility in August. The last few trading sessions have been mostly positive though. As the volatility temporarily fades from the radar screen and we turn our sights to other matters germane to investment decision making, we thought it notable that Greek sovereign bonds are currently trading for anywhere … Continued

Give and Take?

Citizens outside of Greece, specifically the Germans, are frustrated by the notion that their taxes will be used to pay for what they view as the recklessness or laziness of others. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been very vocal about her stance on the situation. Her position is quite simple – all stakeholders, no matter … Continued

Why Governments Matter!

Many of our blogs focus on government policy and actions. We may not always be as clear as we should be as to why we pay such close attention to government policy, making an assumption that this is clear to our readers – that government actions can materially affect the economy and financial assets. A … Continued

Still Climbing a Wall of Worry

Political conditions in Libya appear to be deteriorating. The rest of the Middle East and North Africa continue to be buffeted by protests. President Obama warned Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi yesterday that the “US was outraged by the violence.” This is good old fashioned saber rattling, but it indicates an escalation of global tensions. Crude … Continued

Revolutionary Lessons from the Middle East and North Africa

This blog was written by Haleh Vaziri, Ph.D, a long time friend and confidante of Sigma’s President, Bob Bilkie. Haleh has a rich training in, and personal knowledge of, Middle Eastern politics and culture, which make her views of the current tumult in that region of the world particularly timely and valuable. * * * … Continued

Is This A Bull Market?

I have been watching stock markets for the better part of 25 years. In my career, I have witnessed many global geo-political “surprises.” The impact on common stock prices has typically been negative as investors generally abhor uncertainty. Hence, I have been observing with wonderment at the direction of global stock prices – with the … Continued