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Muni Investors Beware: If You Get Burned, You Deserve It

Steve Malanga | August 7, 2013

Detroit's bankruptcy has provoked a considerable amount of debate about how the municipal bond market is changing. The city's emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, has even declared that he would treat a chunk of Detroit's general obligation bonds, traditionally considered the safest local debt, as unsecured borrowing.

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Wavebreak Media

Economists For Keeping The Charitable Deduction

e21 | April 25, 2013

The federal income tax code is saddled with inefficient exemptions, deductions and credits. Streamlining them is an important policy goal, and Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Dave Camp, the respective Chairmen of the two tax writing committees in Congress, are in the process of working through an overhaul of the tax code to lower rates and remove distortionary deductions. Tax simplification is a universal goal, but it has thus far been elusive because what seems a special interest carve-out to many can seem to others the promotion of a valid public policy goal. One example is the deduction for charitable contributions. A group of over two hundred economists published an open letter to Congress as a full page ad in Politico on Thursday, April 25, arguing for the uniqueness of the charitable deduction, which is pasted below. Read full post...

March Job Trends

e21 | April 5, 2013

Today's employment situation report is a dismal one, coming in far below expectations. Every month, Matt McDonald at Hamilton Place Strategies produces a cheat sheet summarizing the key statistics and trends. Click on the image for a larger version. Read full post...

2013 CBO Baseline Shows Areas Of Concern

e21 | February 6, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office released their 2013 outlook of the federal budget for the next decade, which projects that today's historically huge deficits will slowly shrink to merely being very large deficits in the next decade. In the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, the CBO sets the baseline for Congress to use when analyzing how their policy changes will affect the government’s fiscal picture. Here are a few of the main points of interest.

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January's Employment News

e21 | February 1, 2013

Today we received the first jobs report of 2013, pending any future revisions. Every month, Matt McDonald at Hamilton Place Strategies produces a cheat sheet summarizing the key statistics and trends. Click through for the graphic. Read full post...

Ingram Publishing

Approaching the Debt Limit

e21 | January 17, 2013

Advocates of responsible fiscal consolidation consistent with economic growth find themselves in a bind. By late February or early March, the federal government is expected to hit its debt limit. Breaching the debt limit is likely to cause considerable anxiety among investors, and there is a nontrivial chance that it could trigger yet another downgrade of U.S. debt. Though many analysts observe that breaching the debt need not lead to default, as debt service payments can be prioritized over other expenditures, federal revenues are not entirely predictable. Read full post...

The December Employment Situation

e21 | January 4, 2013

Today we received the last jobs report of 2012, pending any future revisions. Every month, Matt McDonald at Hamilton Place Strategies produces a cheat sheet summarizing the key statistics and trends. Click on the image for a larger version. Read full post...

Fed Launches Contractionary QE4; Continues Unlimited Expansion

David Malpass | December 13, 2012

As expected, the Fed announced today that QE4 bond buying will start in January.  We think Fed policy is contractionary. The announcement of more bond buying doesn’t improve the outlook.  Equities and gold rose following the announcement but then closed flat on the day.  Even though we disagree with the Fed’s decision to buy more bonds, we welcome the openness of the Fed’s discussion about its monetary policy vision.  In today’s press conference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke answered many detailed questions from financial reporters on Fed policy and on the fiscal cliff, creating a sharp contrast with the lack of openness and vision for U.S. fiscal policy.  Read full post...

Key Variables in the Global Outlook

David Malpass | November 27, 2012

We expect superficial positives in coming weeks including deal-talk in Washington, a disbursement to Greece, a Spanish request for European aid, fewer rocket launches from Gaza into Israel, Fed movement toward QE4, and more monetary easing and infrastructure spending in China. Read full post...

iStockphoto

Key Variables in Stopping the Downturn

David Malpass | November 14, 2012

Our September pieces focused on three crunch points that were pointing to a slowdown and a market top:  the U.S. year-end tax increase, likely disappointing news from Europe and overdone expectations regarding Fed and ECB powers (see Sept 29 WSJ Economic Signals Point to a 2013 Recession and Sept 4 piece Slow Growth, More Debt, Market Top.)

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