• CIO INSIGHTS

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    • YASOU!

      YASOU! 05-29-2015

      Let me stipulate up-front: I love Greece. Everything about it: the food, the weather, the history, the music, the people. Everything.But I wouldn't ...

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    • LONG TERM

      LONG TERM 05-26-2015

      In much of life, certainty dissipates with time. Weather forecasts are pretty accurate over the next 24 hours, a little better than a coin flip over ...

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    • DON'T BLAME NATURE

      DON'T BLAME NATURE 05-22-2015

      Commodity prices rise and fall; no great insight there. Which is why most of us, mostly, take the fluctuations in stride. We (I) may get a little ...

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    • DISTORTION OR REFLATION?

      DISTORTION OR REFLATION? 05-21-2015

      A month ago, Germany could borrow for 10 years at a rate of 0.06%. Lenders were also happy that day to earn 0.47% for the next 30 years. That's $4,700 ...

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    • TRADE

      TRADE 05-07-2015

      The trade deficit ballooned in March to over $51 billion, $8.6 billion more than a year ago. Exports were up a little, but imports surged, up more ...

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    • FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!

      FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO! 05-05-2015

      There will always be a debate about the relevance of history to current conditions. I am firmly in the pro-history camp, but am quick to acknowledge ...

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    • SKYSCRAPING

      SKYSCRAPING 05-04-2015

      In 2009, there were 19 buildings in the world with heights above 1,000 feet (305 meters for the non-American readers). Today there are 79 such ...

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    • WAGES

      WAGES 05-01-2015

      They're going up. Total salaries and benefits moved up 4.4% in 2014, rising to 53.6% of GDP, still below historic averages, but a decided bounce off ...

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    • SEVEN LEAN YEARS? DONE IN SEVEN MINUTES

      SEVEN LEAN YEARS? DONE IN SEVEN MINUTES 04-30-2015

      In Genesis (41:27), Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dream of 7 fat cows followed by 7 lean (and apparently, ugly) cows, as foretelling the coming feast ...

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    • VALUATION

      VALUATION 04-21-2015

      Most observers would agree that equities are rich (expensive, overpriced, etc.). Corporate profits are at record highs, and the forward ...

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    • SINE AQUA

      SINE AQUA 04-14-2015

      The Ancient Mariner violated Nature by killing an albatross for sport, thus condemning his boat and crew to the purgatory of the open sea where, one ...

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    • CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

      CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' 04-02-2015

      Well, maybe not dreaming, but some thoughts.Below, my graph shows the unemployment rates for California and the US since 1976. California was ...

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    • NEW OWNERS

      NEW OWNERS 04-01-2015

      A few years, I was at a conference, standing in a buffet line. I must have become fixated on extracting the blueberries from the fruit platter (I ...

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    • 1ST QUARTER 2015 - FUNAMBULISM

      1ST QUARTER 2015 - FUNAMBULISM 04-01-2015

      Sports have been an integral part of human existence since, well, the beginning. Drawings in the Lascaux caves in France from more than 17,000 years ...

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    • NEGATIVE YIELDS

      NEGATIVE YIELDS 03-19-2015

      One of the (many) perplexing phenomena facing investors is the persistent (and falling) low yields on government bonds.Most of the time, we look to ...

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    • ERIN GO BRAGH!

      ERIN GO BRAGH! 03-17-2015

      In honor of St. Patrick, I thought I'd share this (mostly) green chart with you, showing the DJIA over the past 115 years, delineated by bull and bear ...

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    • REBALANCINGS

      REBALANCINGS 03-16-2015

      Apologies for slipping on the blogs, but I've been traveling around the continent, from Alaska to DC.One of the more common questions/comments we've ...

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    • NOT DEFLATION

      NOT DEFLATION 02-26-2015

      The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.7% in January, bringing the year-over-year change to negative 0.1%. With the exception of the 2008 financial ...

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    • DIVERSIFY

      DIVERSIFY 02-19-2015

      Each year for clients we update a very colorful graphic ranking the annual performance of various asset classes. Each asset class has its own color, ...

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    • PATIENCE

      PATIENCE 02-17-2015

      Interest rate cycles are long: lasting not years, but decades. Consequently, we don't have many data points for statistically significant conclusions ...

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    • WHERE HAVE ALL THE BONDS GONE?

      WHERE HAVE ALL THE BONDS GONE? 02-09-2015

      Apologies to Pete Seeger for stealing his song lyric, but I think bonds and flowers are sufficiently different that he wouldn't mind.The chart below ...

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    • DOLLAR

      DOLLAR 02-06-2015

      My quarterly letter talks about the strength of the US dollar and why it should continue to rise (see Chart below), but I wanted to note here the huge ...

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    • JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

      JOBS, JOBS, JOBS 02-06-2015

      The US economy is stronger than we think: 257,000 net new jobs in January, but another 404,000 jobs were "found" (due to a recalculation) in November ...

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    • CONSENSUS

      CONSENSUS 01-28-2015

      Europe is a mess, everyone agrees: poor demographics, sclerotic and oppressive regulation, political dysfunction. European stocks lost 6% last year as ...

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