Trade Tensions, the Petroyuan, and US Government Debt

Tit for Tat

The United States trade deficit during 2017 totaled US$ 568 billion.  $375 billion of the US trade deficit was due to its trade imbalance with China.  During 2017, China had a trade surplus of US$ 435 billion.  Excluding its trade with the US, China had a trade surplus of $60 billion with the rest of the world.

The New Game in Corporate Finance

Corporate Borrowing and Share Repurchases

Reality Check

Stock Markets Take a Breather

The S&P 500 Index currently trades at 25.2X trailing 12 months “as reported” earnings or 32.2X earnings using the Shiller price/earnings ratio (the denominator uses an average of inflation-adjusted earnings for the past 10 years).  I prefer to use the Shiller PE ratio as a measure of valuation levels because financial research indic

2018 Financial Market Outlook

We Don't Need No Stinking Tax Revenue

Changes to the US tax code have received more attention in the financial markets lately.  The House of Representatives voted for approval on November 16 for their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  On Saturday morning, the Senate passed their version of the bill.  The House and Senate versions have many similarities but there are different provisions that will have to be nego

Enthusiastic Borrowing

Since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, there has been enthusiastic borrowing by the Federal Reserve (Fed), the US Government, corporations, investors, and households.  The expansion of credit has had a positive impact on the financial markets.  The obvious question for investors now is how much longer can this continue?

Towards a Multipolar Financial World

China is the largest oil importer in the world.  It imported an average of 8.55 million barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2017.  According to the Nikkei Asian Review and other sources, China is now expected to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan.  Furthermore, the yuan payments can then be converted to gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Financial Market Commentary, 9/1/2017

The Federal Budget and Debt Ceiling

After September 5, Congress will return from its summer recess to negotiate the federal debt ceiling and budget for the new fiscal year starting October 1.  This comes at a time when political and social acrimony appear to have reached their highest levels in several decades for our country.

Howard Marks re: Today's Investment Environment

Howard Marks, co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, is well-known for his memos to investors.  In his latest memo, "There They Go Again... Again," he provides his opinion on the current investment environment.  He has written several cautionary memos in the past which ultimately proved to be early but prescient.

Tad Rivelle re: Central Bank Policies

Tad Rivelle is Chief Investment Officer - Fixed Income at TCW (Trust Company of the West).  He has been skeptical of the Federal Reserve Board's policy.  In his latest commentary, "The Fed's Quixotic Journey," he demonstrates that the major central banks are adding reserves to their banking systems at the highest rate since 2010.

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