The (Serious) French Connection

By | 2017-07-17T16:47:38+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What do you do when your boss announced plans for a layoff? Emmanuel Macron. Source: Wikipedia That’s what Emmanuel Macron did a couple days ago, in a powerful speech to both houses of the French Parliament. The assembly has 925 seats, and Macron announced plans to cut its number by a third. If the houses don’t agree, he said, he will bring his initiative to the voters directly. He also told the lawmakers that they need to legislate less, that France can’t keep up [...]

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 [...]

Broken Audits?

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:59+00:00 April 1st, 2015|Global Market Update|

Is financial reporting broken? Source: Photobucket As an investor, I depend on financial statements to assess corporate performance. With the exception of “Bizarro” bond yields in Europe, no one invests in order to lose money. But there’s a problem. Companies self-report their earnings, then pay auditors to provide assurance to investors that these financial statements reflect reality. Executives might not want to air all their dirty laundry; compensation is usually tied to financial performance. And auditors that are too strict or picky can be [...]

Fast and Slow

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

Why is US growth faster than Europe? Source: 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? […]