Climate and the Great Lakes

Recent reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) suggest that water levels in the Great Lakes are likely to stay at or above the long-term average over the next six months.  With the exception of Lake Ontario, lake levels are currently above the seasonal long-term … Continued

Happy New Year!

“Let us enter the New Year cheerfully.  Let us resolve to look on the bright side, to make the best of whatever may befall, to maintain faith that doing the right thing will ultimately bring victory.  Let us cultivate sunniness, resist sourness.  We can better wrestle with difficulties, obstacles, problems in a spirit of buoyancy … Continued

Volatility/Turbulence/Uncertainty

These three words, while all different, are all applicable to the near term outlook for the stock and bond markets.  It seems that the equity markets are being buffeted by more frequent and larger percentage changes than in recent memory.  Commodity prices have sustained large price changes with major declines in the price of oil … Continued

Government Economic Data?

Any attempt by investors to strategize based on government data should consider that virtually all announced monthly statistics are subject to almost endless revisions, some of which may be substantial.  It is also clear that the media will precede actual announcements with a seemingly endless and widely diverse array of projections, followed by a minute … Continued

Scalability

Wikipedia defines scalability as the capability of a system, network or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to be enlarged in order to accommodate that growth. This is an important concept for investors.  In a business setting, scalability defines a system whose performance improves after additional investment proportionally to the … Continued

To Bundle or Not to Bundle

The question of bundled or unbundled products or services is becoming an increasingly important issue across a wide range of industries. Bundling is buying a total package that includes a fairly substantial menu of services, compared to unbundled, in which you buy just the specific product or service that interests you.  In the world of … Continued

Can Political Lightening Strike Twice?

During the 1992 presidential elections, a wealthy individual ran a substantially self-funded presidential campaign as an independent, in competition with the established parties’ candidates, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The impact of Ross Perot’s run on the eventual outcome remains a subject for debate, with no clear consensus as to which of the … Continued

“Excellence is a Warped Ambition”

This declaration was part of a justification on the part of Greece’s Education Minister, Aristides Baltas, for his plan to return control of Greek universities to students. This may work for Greek higher education, or not, but investors would be well advised to continue to carefully consider management when committing funds.  The importance of management … Continued

Politics and the “Silly Season”

According to Wikipedia, in the United Kingdom and in some other places, the “silly season” is the period lasting for a few summer months typified by the emergence of frivolous stories in the media. In U.S. politics and life styles, the “silly season” is the period from early summer until the first week of October … Continued

The Supreme Court and Public Opinion

Does the Supreme Court look at public opinion polls?  This is not a new question, but recent decisions may reflect, in the opinion of some, an increased awareness of the “big picture” as opposed to a literal reading of the constitution. This is a question that is not likely to be resolved, but will probably … Continued

The Environmental/Climate Change Fossil Fuel Dilemma

While the entire issue of climate change, the use of fossil fuels and recycling are very complex and controversial, I was recently able to observe the breadth of the dilemma while standing in one place in the parking lot of my hotel on the shores of Lake Powell. Behind me was a collection of refuse … Continued

Interest Rate Head Fakes

We have seen significant sell-off in the bond market over the past few weeks as the markets try to get their arms around future Fed actions.  These sharp moves in yields can cause one to be uneasy about what could happen.  The fear is that interest rates project upward causing large losses in bond portfolios.  … Continued