European Mud Season

By |2019-03-11T08:57:12-05:00March 11th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is Europe stuck in the mud? Photo: Stephen West. Source: Wikimedia In New England we’re about to enjoy mud season, that period in late winter and early spring where the roads can become impossible to manage. During the day, the frozen roads thaw from the surface on down, and all the water from melting snow seeps into the thawed layer. Then the road freezes again overnight. The repeated freezing and thawing allow the saturation to migrate deeper and deeper into the soil. The result [...]

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Of Nations and Nationalism

By |2018-09-07T06:40:51-05:00September 7th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Can Europe hold itself together? Recent YouGov Poll. Source: YouGov. In 1848, revolution swept across Europe. Governments fell in Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, and elsewhere. In all, over 50 countries were affected. The uprisings were led by shaky ad hoc coalitions of reformers, intellectuals, and workers, which weren’t competent at governing They were often violently put down, but the 1848 revolutions frightened the ruling class into making significant social changes, even if they were only temporarily overturned. This history was all-but-forgotten during [...]

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Investing by Starlight

By |2018-04-17T06:50:01-05:00April 17th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Every decade or so, a new investment star is born. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Source: MOMA In the ‘60s it was growth stocks. In the ‘70s it was gold. In the ‘80s we all turned Japanese. The ‘90s had the Nasdaq. The ‘00s saw China’s growth. And now we have the data giants. Each one of these markets rallied some 10-fold during its heyday. What’s next? One approach is to look for the asset that no one wants. In the early ‘80s Japan just [...]

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In Europe We Trust?

By |2017-09-22T07:20:40-05:00September 22nd, 2017|Global Market Update|

Why didn’t Europe fall apart? Horace Vernet, “The Battle of the Barricades.” Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia In 1848, revolution swept across Europe. Governments fell in Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, and elsewhere. In all, over 50 countries were affected. The uprisings were led by shaky ad hoc coalitions of reformers, intellectuals, and workers, which didn’t hold together for very long. They were often violently put down, but resulted in lasting social changes, even if the political order was only temporarily overturned. This history [...]

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European Futures

By |2017-07-17T12:21:27-05:00March 10th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Where is Europe going? Source: Wikipedia An old joke from the ‘90s stated that the most boring headline of the time was, “Whither NATO: Canadian Proposal has Merit.” Europe has been struggling with its identity for as long as I can remember. During the Cold War, it was at the center of the ideological struggle between communism and democratic capitalism; since then it has tried to define itself economically, politically, and culturally. Is Europe simply an accident of geography? Or is it something more? [...]

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Euro Futures

By |2017-07-17T12:21:56-05:00May 25th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is the Eurozone dying? Photo: Dave Meier. Source: Picography It’s certainly facing tough times. Economically moribund, most Euro government bonds carry negative interest rates. Countries on the economic periphery still face crushing debt service. Unemployment remains above 10% -- the same level it was shortly after the Great Recession. And soon Britain will vote to leave the EU. Who can blame them? Who wants to tie their economic future to a 20-ton anchor? But bad as things are right now, they were significantly worse [...]

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Alpine Meadows

By |2017-07-17T12:21:57-05:00May 23rd, 2016|Global Market Update|

What comes to mind when you think of the Alps? Photo: Kevin Connors. Source: Morguefile Maybe it’s clear mountain lakes and crystal blue skies. Maybe it’s sun and snow and skiing. Or maybe it’s money? A map of Europe scaled by per-capita GDP reveals an interesting tendency: the areas with the most mountainous topography tend to have higher incomes. Northern Italy, western Austria, southern Germany, and Switzerland are all significantly richer than other regions. This holds true despite differences in taxation, culture, transport, and [...]

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Rising Dollar, Rising Markets?

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01-05:00March 17th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What does a strong dollar mean for the rest of the world? Source: Digital Juice Over the past six months the trade-weighted dollar has risen 25%. A strengthening labor market here, monetary stimulus by the Bank of Japan, Q€ in Europe, falling oil prices in Canada, and a slowdown in China have depressed those currencies relative to ours. […]

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Germany Uber Alles?

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01-05:00March 16th, 2015|Global Market Update|

The German stock market is making new highs. But what is Germany, really? Source: National Geographic For many people, Germany calls up images of the Bavarian castles or the Rhine. For others it’s Oktoberfest and lederhosen, or the Autobahn, or cathedrals. Still others get their images from old war movies. […]

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European Blues

By |2017-07-17T12:23:07-05:00January 6th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What happened to Europe last year? Source: Wikipedia 2014 was supposed to be the year the Euro left its debt problems behind. It was supposed to be the year the credit crisis countries proved that they can balance their budgets. It was supposed to be the year for growth to take off. What happened? […]

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