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Credit Crisis

Six years ago this month, in the midst of the Great Recession, Lehman Brothers, one of the most well-known investment banks in the U.S. economy, filed for bankruptcy. At the time, Lehman’s bankruptcy sparked widespread worries…and the U.S. financial system teetered on the verge of collapse. For those…

The U.S. dollar is still regarded as the reserve currency of the world. The majority of international transactions are settled in U.S. dollars and most central banks around the word hold it in their foreign exchange reserves. But since the Credit Crisis of 2008, and the multi-trillion-dollar printing…

Remember Alan Greenspan? He was the chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. Several media sources, including this one, blamed the sub-prime mortgage fiasco that led to the Credit Crisis of 2008 on the easy money policies under the leadership of Greenspan. But the Credit Crisis…

My colleague Robert Appel (BA, BBL, LLB) issued a research paper to the subscribers of one of his financial advisories earlier this week. I thought it important that all my readers be aware of and understand the crux of what Robert is saying about our current economic situation…

In 2012, I predicted that if the Federal Reserve couldn’t get the economy growing again, it would take interest rates into the negative zone. Well, yesterday, the European Central Bank (ECB), the second-biggest central bank in the world, trumped the Fed and became the first major central bank…

While the Federal Reserve has cut back on its money printing program, the fact of the matter is that the “official” U.S. national debt is closing in on $18.0 trillion. The unofficial national debt (when obligations like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, and now Obamacare are taken into…

The housing market that lured institutional investors in during 2012 and 2013 is showing signs of cracking. Before I go into more detail, you have to keep in mind that affordability is the key to the housing market and affordability for housing only increases once home buyers’ wages…

In 2013, consumer spending accounted for 67% of U.S. gross domestic product. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis web site, last accessed April 2, 2014.) It’s plain and simple: economic growth cannot be achieved unless consumers are spending. And unfortunately, higher prices and lower discretionary spending are…

In the early days of the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve said, “Job losses, declining equity and housing wealth and tight credit conditions have weighed on consumer sentiment and spending. Weaker sales prospects and difficulties in obtaining credit have led businesses to cut back on inventories and…

For a moment, consider yourself a loan officer at a major bank. Would you approve a loan for a customer who says they earn $1,000 a month, spend $1,300 a month, and don’t have a job? They also tell you they have unpaid debts of $17,000. I don’t…

When news first broke from the Federal Reserve that it would slow down the pace of its quantitative easing program, the consensus was that the U.S. dollar would start to rise in value as the Fed would be printing fewer new dollars and actually eliminating all new paper…

In the first five weeks of this year, investors bought $22.0 billion worth of long-term stock mutual funds. (Source: Investment Company Institute, February 12, 2014.) But as investors poured money into the stock market, hoping to ride the 2013 wave of higher stock prices, stocks did the opposite…

As I have been pointing out to my readers, the “official” unemployment numbers issued by the government are misleading because they do not include people who have given up looking for work and those people with part-time jobs who want full-time work. In January, there were 3.6 million…

As more and more public companies warn about weak fourth-quarter corporate earnings reports, quite a number of them are resorting to the use of words like “corporate restructuring” or “cost cutting.” At the very core, these cost-cutting measures mean reducing the number of employees working at these companies.…

Last night started out like every other State of the Union address I’ve seen… The President told us all the good stuff about the U.S. economy, like how American corporate profits are at a record high, how the stock market is at record highs, how millions of new…

When it comes to love, we often hear the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, the same could be said for the stock market. Many investors look for the companies that deliver consistent results and satisfy the number-crunchers on Wall Street. While I belong…

All of a sudden, auto sales are declining… Auto sales in the U.S. economy declined to an annual rate of 15.4 million units in December. In November, this number stood at 16.41 million units—a decline of more than six percent. (Source: Motor Intelligence, January 3, 2014.) Analysts were…

Quietly, without much fanfare or news, the bellwether 10-year U.S. Treasury hit a yield of 2.9% this past Friday—double what it yielded in June of 2012. (Source: Treasury.gov, last accessed December 20, 2013.) Yes, the Federal Reserve only slightly pulled back on its money printing program and interest…

Nearly 100 years ago, on December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve was created. The central bank was created for many reasons, such as minimizing the impacts of panics, becoming a banker of last resort and “smoothing” economic cycles. But along the way to keeping the monetary system stable,…

While the media and politicians tell us we’re in an economic recovery…I keep writing about the slowdown we’re heading towards. How can I say that? First, take out the stock buyback programs, and you’ll see that U.S. companies are seeing their earnings and revenues grow this year at…