French Revolution?

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:19+00:00 May 10th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What does Sunday’s election mean? Photo: Lorie Shaull. Source: Wikipedia On Sunday the reformist candidate Emmanuel Macron defeated populist Marine LePen by a landslide, 66% to 34%. The 39-year old will become the youngest French head of state since Napoleon. Macron has been described as a social democrat, who supports liberal social policies but who wants to enact conservative fiscal reforms, along the lines of the “third way” advocated by Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Gerhard Schröder. It’s astounding that Macron was elected. He [...]

French Revolution?

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:20+00:00 April 25th, 2017|Global Market Update|

How does the French election figure into this crazy season? Photo: Benh Lieu Song/ Source: Wikipedeia France’s weekend’s election prompted markets to rally around the world – a development some have called, “Le Phew.” The French stock market rose by 5% – the equivalent of 1000 points on the Dow. Other markets also rallied: Germany was up 3, London 2%, even Japan rose at least 1%. There has been a global “risk-on” trade, because the most radical outcome – a France that rejects the [...]

French Lessons

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:28+00:00 March 1st, 2017|Global Market Update|

And people thought our Presidential election was wild. Source: Marine 2017 Election season in France has generated one surprise after another. The first round in their Presidential race occurs April 23rd. Currently, there are 10 contenders. Marine Le Pen – the French Nationalist candidate – is leading in the polls with 27% of the vote. If no candidate wins a majority in the first round, as seems likely, there will be a run-off vote between the two leading vote-getters on May 7th. Parliamentary elections [...]

The Rational Voter

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:37+00:00 November 10th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Why do people vote? Photo: Kirk Cameron. Source: Morguefile The odds of one vote affecting a national election are infinitesimally small. This year, in New Hampshire, those chances increased from infinitesimally to microscopically small. But still, any rational observer would have to conclude that Election Day is an exercise in the triumph of hope over experience—a sort of mass-delusion in which we willingly deceive ourselves into believing that We Can Make a Difference. Because we also know that if it comes down to a [...]

Keep Calm and Stay Invested

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:37+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Global Market Update|

The sun will rise again. Sunrise from space. Source: NASA That’s what I thought this morning when I read the headlines. Lots of folks – both left and right – are freaking out. I can’t comment on social or political issues – they’re outside of my zone. But I do have one suggestion for investors: stay calm. When President Obama was elected a lot of people on the right expected that higher taxes and greater regulation would damage the economy. And we saw higher [...]

Rule, Britannia?

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:57+00:00 May 12th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Is Great Britain destined for history’s dustbin? Source: Wikipedia On Thursday, David Cameron’s Conservative Party won a surprising electoral victory. But a lot of folks have opined that the Tories’ troubles are just beginning. The rise of the Scottish Nationalist’s up north and Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on England’s place in the European Union have many wondering whether Cameron will become the founder of “Little England,” an England cut off from Europe and bereft of Scotland and Wales. […]

UK, U-Vote

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:58+00:00 May 7th, 2015|Global Market Update|

There’s a joke about the economics of voting. Two economists see each other at the polls. They avoid looking at one another, but one finally blurts out, “I won’t tell if you don’t.” Photo: Mdbeckwith. Source: Wikipedia Economists sometimes talk about the irrationality of voting. Since one vote rarely makes a difference, they claim that rational actors won’t bother to vote. Of course, if everyone acted this way, democracy would break down. So we go to the polls, if only to see if our [...]

Dollar Rising?

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:14+00:00 November 5th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Where is the dollar going? Source: Wikipedia Last night we had an election. Republicans took control of the Senate and expanded their control of the House. Millions of Americans took to the polls to express their political preferences. But a different election has been taking place—one where anyone, anywhere can vote. And this election happens every day. This occurs in the financial markets—stocks, bonds, and currencies. Voting requires only dollars, not sense. And lately they’ve been expressing confidence in the US economy. The trade-weighted [...]

Elections Uber Alles (Part Zwei)

By | 2013-09-24T09:43:07+00:00 September 24th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Maybe they’ll care now? On Sunday Germany’s electorate gave Angela Merkel a stunning victory, increasing her party’s share of the vote from 33.8% to 41.5%. It’s the best result for the Christian Democrats since 1990, when Helmut Kohl won a third term. In fact, she almost won an outright majority in the Bundesrat, Germany’s lower house. Now she has to form a coalition. The CDU’s current partner, however, is not available. The Free Democrats’ share fell from 14.6% four years ago to 4.7% now—not [...]

Elections Uber Alles?

By | 2013-08-22T10:27:21+00:00 August 22nd, 2013|Global Market Update|

What if they held an election and nobody noticed? That's the situation in Germany right now. Their federal elections will be held in a month, but German voters don't seem to care. In spite of scandals involving defense procurement or plagiarism by her ministers, Angela Merkel remains well-liked. It is widely seen that this election will have a significant impact on the future of the Euro, but the German public just isn't that engaged. Recent polls indicate that less than a third of voters [...]