Research & News

Daily Comment (July 21, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady and Thomas Wash [Posted: 9:30 AM EDT] Happy Friday!  Here are the items we are following this morning: Pardon me:  Numerous media reports indicate that the Trump administration is exploring pardoning options and ways to ring fence Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.  There are overtones of Nixon in these comments.  First, seeking pardons when… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (July 21, 2017)

by Asset Allocation Committee In the past few years, we have generally avoided allocations to non-U.S. markets for our asset allocation portfolios due to two primary concerns.  First, the dollar was rising as a result of an improving U.S. economy and policy divergences between the U.S. and the rest of the world.  The Federal Reserve was… Read More »

Asset Allocation Quarterly (Third Quarter 2017)

Economic data remain supportive and the inflation outlook is currently benign. Though the economic expansion is elongated, we do not anticipate a near-term recession. Fed policy is expected to tighten in terms of rising short-term rates and the reduction in the size of the Fed’s balance sheet. We expect the Fed to commence the reduction… Read More »

Daily Comment (July 20, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady and Thomas Wash [Posted: 9:30 AM EDT] Equity markets continue their quiet rise to new records.  Here are the items we are watching this morning. ECB, BOJ lean dovish:  The BOJ came out overnight with nothing that wasn’t unexpected.  It is clear the bank won’t reach its inflation targets anytime soon, so it… Read More »

Daily Comment (July 19, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady and Thomas Wash [Posted: 9:30 AM EDT]The summer doldrums are upon us.  Financial markets are very quiet this morning in front of tomorrow’s ECB meeting and press conference.  Here is what we are watching this morning: The ECB:  The EUR has been rising recently, in part due to expectations the ECB will… Read More »

Quarterly Energy Comment (July 18, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady The Market Oil prices peaked in March around $55 per barrel.  There have been a series of lower highs and lower lows, as shown by the lines on the chart. (Source:   This obvious downtrend has led to a general bearish tone to the market.  We don’t necessarily share that level… Read More »

Daily Comment (July 18, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady and Thomas Wash [Posted: 9:30 AM EDT] Although global equity markets are steady to lower this morning, there is a lot of action in the forex markets.  The dollar is sliding on a combination of lower expectations for Fed policy tightening and the lack of policy progress from the Trump administration.  Here are… Read More »

Weekly Geopolitical Report – A Productivity Boom: A Response to Robert Gordon, Part I (July 17, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady Robert J. Gordon is a well-known economist and a professor at Northwestern University. A member of the National Bureau of Economic Research, his most notable work is in the area of productivity.  His 2016 book[1] argued that the best years of American productivity are behind us—highlighted by the introduction of steam power to… Read More »

Daily Comment (July 17, 2017)

by Bill O’Grady and Thomas Wash [Posted: 9:30 AM EDT] It was another quiet weekend.  Here are the news items we are tracking this morning: China economy:  GDP, somewhat predictably, came in a bit stronger than expected, at 6.9% (y/y%).   It’s important to remember that China can generate any growth number it wants as long as… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (July 14, 2017)

by Asset Allocation Committee One of the mysteries of this expansion has been the slow pace of wage growth.  Despite the plethora of evidence that labor markets are tight, including hires-to-openings ratio below one, low unemployment, low initial claims and a low unemployment rate, wage growth has remained stunted.   The chart below is one we have… Read More »

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