This note helps readers understand how corporate management thinks about and makes deliberate choices about their capital structure, depending upon market conditions, discount rates, level of employment in the economy and other factors. A refresher on Modigliani and Miller, and assessment of why companies appear to be doing better yet unemployment remains high.
The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to both maintain price stability and reasonably full employment at the same time. This differs from that of its counterparts in other countries, which focus primarily on fighting inflation. Because of this, the Fed’s monetary action are often overtly counter-cyclical, raising or lowering interest rates or tightening or loosening money and credit to try to fuel or slow economic growth. Read this note to understand the Fed’s role and reasons for its actions better.
What is money? You might as well ask, “What is time?” It’s one of those concepts we all think we understand until we really examine them. After all, we use money in its various form to buy things every day. But where does it come from? What does it represent? And most important of all, what stands behind our confidence that if we use our money to pay for something, the seller will accept it? This note answers all of those questions, and more.
In Nov. 2010, the Fed launched a second round of quantitative easing, dubbed the “QE2”. The action raised many questions and this note explores the possible impacts of this action on the economy. It continues the discussion started in the prior note-addressing the Government’s fiscal policies-and focuses this time on the Government’s monetary policy.
Discusses why governments need private savings to maintain stimulative fiscal policies and why channeling those savings into investments is best. Review of the Keynes paradox of thrift, the need to reduce deficits but also how that can also be a recipe for disaster. Describes how the Feds can avoid igniting inflation and why government spending and borrowing can prevent deflation.
Discusses the philosophical framework of the Obama Administrations' stimulus plan and places it into an historical context, discussing its Keynesian economic impact and Hamiltonian design, revealing the coherence and consistency of the ideas behind it.
Review of the more than run-of-the-mill market corrections and diagnoses of actions by the government to stem the failures by such entities as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while permitting the collapse of Lehman and Bear Stearns. Implications of the political uncertainty in light of the upcoming presidential elections and market reactions.
Reflections on the power of the dialectic within the academic approach for diagnosing and solving the vexing issues relating to investing for individuals. Further reinforcement for upholding the principle of working to best solve the specific individual needs of each investment client, rather than contorting clients' portfolios to fit into existing products.