European Futures

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:27+00:00 March 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? [...]

Euro Futures

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:56+00:00 May 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 [...]

Alpine Meadows

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:57+00:00 May 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 [...]

Rising Dollar, Rising Markets?

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00 March 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. […]

Germany Uber Alles?

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00 March 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. […]

Fast and Slow

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:15+00:00 October 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Why is US growth faster than Europe? Source: drdianahoppe.com In 2008 and 2009, the global economy collapsed, brought down by a credit crunch that started in here but quickly spread around the world. Since then, the US economy, while weak, is moving back towards normal. Europe, on the other hand, looks like it’s about to enter its third recession in six years. Why the difference? […]

Uh Oh ….

By | 2014-09-18T09:50:31+00:00 August 13th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Is Europe headed into another recession? Europe’s industrial production fell last month, after falling the previous month. Unemployment is stuck at almost 12%. Credit is contracting. Two-year German government bonds have negative yields. Short-term interbank rates are already negative. Even as the US appears to be accelerating, Continental Europe looks like it’s running out of gas. This is important. The Euro-zone is almost 20% of the world’s economy—bigger than China. From BMWs to Pirelli Tires to Hotel Sofitel, their goods and services compete with [...]

European (dis)Integration?

By | 2014-04-28T10:49:47+00:00 April 28th, 2014|Global Market Update|

What good is the European Union? The conventional wisdom is that the European countries that are part of the European Union have done better economically, but by how much? The Euro crisis made that question pretty important. The countries that had traditionally devalued their currencies to compete—Italy, Spain, Portugal—couldn’t do so anymore. So their exports—and their economies—suffered. If the benefits aren’t worth the cost, the Euro won’t survive. So what is the advantage? Several researchers have looked into the question. They found that EU [...]

Righting the Ship (Part 3)

By | 2013-06-26T09:46:43+00:00 June 26th, 2013|Global Market Update|

What do we mean when we talk about investors’ rights? Investor rights are non-negotiable. They’re the principles that should undergird financial industry practices and securities laws. What’s legal isn’t just the minimum standard necessary. In many cases it’s totally inadequate to the task of safeguarding investors’ interests. One example of this is in the area of confidentiality. Americans tend to think that their securities laws are the best out there, but this is an area where our societal mores and expectations lag behind Europe’s. [...]