Thursday , October 17 2019
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Alhambra Investment Partners

The Alarming Growth of Elder Bankruptcy

Being elderly in America has more than its share of issues—affording proper healthcare, being forced to work much longer because of the need for health insurance or not having saved enough for retirement. Now, throw one more financial demon into the mix. More and more elders are being forced into bankruptcy. In 1991, elder bankruptcies made up 2% of total filings. According to a report from Indiana Legal Studies, it is now up to 12% and growing. The study found that 78% of elders who file for...

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Benign Neglect Check

The key has always been the first part of the word rather than the more common focus on the second. A eurodollar is more about the “euro” than the more obvious monetary denomination. Since it began decades before Europe created its common currency, the eurodollar has nothing whatsoever to do with the euro. But those four letters mean absolutely everything. The whole world’s fate remains tied to them. In its earliest days, it was simply called the Continental dollar. For various and perhaps...

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The Inflation Check

After constantly running through what the FOMC gets (very) wrong, let’s give them some credit for what they got right. Though this will end up as a backhanded compliment, still. After having spent all of 2018 forecasting accelerating inflation indices, from around New Year’s Day forward policymakers notably changed their tune. Inflation pressures that were in December 2018 building underneath leading officials to fear a harmful breakout, by January 2019 they were suddenly “muted.” What’s...

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Never Attribute To Malice What Is Easily Explained By Those Attributing Anything To Term Premiums

There will be more opportunities ahead to talk about the not-QE, non-LSAP which as of today still doesn’t have a catchy title. In other words, don’t call it a QE because a QE is an LSAP not an SSAP. The former is a large scale asset purchase plan intended on stimulating the financial system therefore economy. That’s what it intends to do, leaving the issue of what it actually does an open question. The SSAP is what’s coming next. A small scale asset purchase plan whose intent is only to raise...

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Doom & Gloom, Good Grief

When I first got in this business oh-so-many years ago, my mentor told me that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about the things everyone else was worrying about. As I’ve related in these missives before, he called those things “well-worried”. His point was that once everyone was aware of something it was priced into the market and not worth your time. That has proven to be valuable advice over the years and I think still relevant today. We continue to hear, on an...

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Roth IRA Conversion Traps to Avoid

Since the Roth IRA was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, it’ been an appealing addition to retirement planning. While contributions to a Roth are not tax-deductible, the trade-off is tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals after you cross the age of 59 ½. The withdrawal benefit is one reason many people consider converting their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. Also, there is no Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) on a Roth IRA as there is on a traditional IRA. As with any plan, there...

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From JOLTS Series Shift To Series of Rate Cuts

I’ve said all along that they would be dragged into them kicking and screaming. After all, the Federal Reserve undertook its last rate hike in December 2018 – just as the markets were making clear he was completely mistaken in his view of the economy. What followed was the ridiculous “Fed pause” which pretty much everyone outside of the central bank and the Economics profession knew wasn’t the end of it. You know the story. When he finally gave in at the end of July, the Federal Reserve...

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The Scientism of Trade Wars

One year ago, last October, the IMF published the update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for 2018. Like many, the organization began to talk more about trade wars and protectionism. It had become a topic of conversation more than concern. Couched as only downside risks, the IMF still didn’t think the fuss would amount to all that much. Especially not with world’s economy roaring under globally synchronized growth. Even though there were warning signs already by then, the idea was that the...

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Head Faking In The Empty Zoo: Powell Expands The Balance Sheet (Again)

They remain just as confused as Richard Fisher once was. Back in ’13 while QE3 was still relatively young and QE4 (yes, there were four) practically brand new, the former President of the Dallas Fed worried all those bank reserves had amounted to nothing more than a monetary head fake. In 2011, Ben Bernanke had admitted basically the same thing. But who was falling for it? The stock market, sure. Investors on Wall Street are still betting as if it will work any day now. The financial media,...

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SPECIAL REPORT: Money Market Turmoil

Jeffrey Snider’s Follow The Money Series: Money Market Turmoil On Monday, September 16, funding markets came under significant pressure. In repo, the GC rate (UST) jumped to 2.876% from 2.288% the Friday before. Repo rates and other money rates like federal funds had been elevated already but this 60-basis point move was highly unusual. Our Special Report on the Money Market Turmoil will help you make sense of this short-term funding phenomenon and all its implications, and will counsel...

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