Debt Crisis

Mixed signals are what I'm getting on the U.S. economic impact from problems developing with domestic lenders. On the one hand, we have U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson expecting problems with the subprime mortgage to be "contained" and not cause a problem for the U.S. banking system. At…

There's no better way to describe a correction in the stock market. For most investors who hold a number of long positions -- it hurts! At the end of the day, there isn't much you can do about it. Even though there were other factors contributing to the…

I'm sure there are quite a few income trust investors who got badly burned in Ottawa's Halloween "all trick, no treat" surprise last year. So far, we have lamented on the situation long enough. The next thing to do is to find what other income-generating investment vehicles might…

Earnings in the third quarter were generally better than had been expected, but there are growth concerns for the fourth quarter and the first two quarters of 2007. The growth concerns stem from fears of an economic slowdown in the United States, as Michael discussed in PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL…

I have to mention American Oriental Bioengineering Inc. (AMEX/AOB) once again. This pure play China company is in the business of developing and selling plant-based pharmaceutical products and plant-based nutraceutical products that it distributes throughout China and Asia. It is difficult to get a real sense for the…

Consider these two startling studies: --- During the past ten years, the average number of new homes built and for sale in the U.S. at any give time was about 350,000 units. In 2005, that number ballooned to 450,000. Today, we are sitting with 550,000 new homes for…

Income trusts in Canada are still fuming over Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's decision to tax trust distributions. They are counteracting the Minister's so-called intervention at leveling the playing field by saying that income trusts are now labeled as pariahs when accessing money pools, which is ultimately likely…

U.S. mutual funds are sitting on a record $10 trillion in assets--a big increase from the $6 trillion they held only in 2002. This money has to make its way into investments. Thus, we have a severely overpriced stock market with investors chasing high earnings multiples and low…

You've been reading my articles in PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL over the past few months and have seen how negative I've become on the U.S. economy. Particularly, I believe it's the ramifications of the faltering housing sector which is being underestimated by economists. A recession does not take much to…

Dear Profit Confidential Reader: Here are a simple few paragraphs as to why I see the U.S. economy unraveling. Please print this issue out and keep it in your desk. Refer to it whenever you make an investment or major purchase so you can gauge how either will…

Yesterday, breaking a two-year tradition, the U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee met and decided not to raise interest rates in America. Yesterday's move marks the end of the Fed's longest string of interest rate increases without pause in 12 years. So, for now, the overnight lending rate…

With the cost of housing, gas, even going out for dinner, having all gone up over the past few years, you'd think family income would have risen. But it hasn't. According to recent report from the Federal Reserve, average U.S. family income fell 2.3% to an inflation adjusted…

The news is out and it's big. In January, the U.S. trade deficit was a new record $68.5 billion. What does this number mean? It means in January Americans imported $68.5 billion more in goods than they exported. At the current rate, the 2006 U.S. deficit will hit…

TASER International Inc. (NASDAQ/TASR) -- a maker of stun gun devices -- surged 19.41% to $6.52 on October 24 followed by an upside break of $7 the day after. An upgrade from Jefferies & Co. to Buy from Hold drove the buying frenzy in the troubled company that…

It's a funny stock market right now. Perhaps it always is. I was amazed that the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita didn't hurt stock prices more. Moreover, the Main Street economy is showing incredible resilience in spite of the constant shocks from Mother Nature, oil and gas…

I know Michael already discussed Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's recent speech to the National Association for Business Economics, but there's more to the story that I want to tell today. New research, conducted under the supervision of America's favorite 79-year-old financial talking head, shows that Americans are…

Today, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again, bringing the Federal Funds rate to 2.25%, up significantly (125%) from the beginning of 2004. While most market watchers, especially real estate analysts, want us to believe that higher interest rates will not have a negative effect on the…

By now, I'm sure you've heard the dismal job report: Only 112,000 new U.S. jobs were created in November -- far below the 200,000 new jobs analysts had been expecting. Combine November's weak job growth with a soft pre- Christmas retail market and slowing U.S. factory growth and…

In today's commentary on debt, I won't be talking about consumer or business debt. I'll only be discussing government debt and why, I believe, the government intends to keep it out of control. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office reported last week that it projects this year's U.S. federal…

I couldn't let the U.S. Department of Labor's recently reported August employment numbers go without comment. Especially since most analysts and economists see the employment numbers as good economic news, while I see them as just the opposite. The Labor Department reported Friday that 144,000 jobs were created…