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 Opinion and Insight

 
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fullissue
WOWS — Full Issue
An Alternative Way To View Or Print The Entire Current Issue As A Single Document
12/22/17 3:00 AM
Attention Paid-Up Subscribers: To read or print the entire current issue as a single document, use the "easyprint" feature in the "Nav bar" to the right to open it, or any of WOWS' individual features, as an Adobe PDF file, and then print it. Alternatively, you can click "more" at the bottom of this paragraph and then click the red Adobe icon that appears. Your second click will download the full issue .pdf file of WOWS' latest issue to your computer, a process that -- depending on the file size and your connection speed -- might take more than the blink of an eye. Then, depending on preferences you've set on your device, it will either open automatically or show up in your downloads folder, waiting to be opened. [More]
 
listeningin
This Old Bull Likely To Slow — Not Expire
Glad Economic Tidings For Investors in 2018, From Gail Dudack
12/22/17

‘Twas the week before Christmas and the President and his Congress just slipped a tax package into everyone’s stockings. While devilishly obscure and convoluted details undoubtedly will eventually emerge, and the package is not up to Reaganesque standards, the new tax cuts for corporations and the investor class, opines Gail Dudack, will filter beneficially through the entire economy in the coming year, lifting GDP and the stock market’s returns. But not immediately. 


Gail, the doyen of Wall Street strategists, whose Dudack Research Group shingle these days hangs as a division of Wellington Shields & Co. LLC, is looking for a relatively flat first half to three quarters of the year, as companies and consumers both take time to believe what they’re seeing. [More]
 

guestperspectives
The Champagne Is Sparkling
What Time Is It? None of the Clocks Have Hands...
12/22/17 8:00 AM
By Craig A Drill
We enter the New Year swept along in a synchronized global economic expansion with little fear priced in markets. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasts world GDP growth of 3.7% in 2018, up from 3.6% in 2017, the fastest pace in seven years, with no major economy in recession.

Nearly all stock markets are up for the year, buoyed by a further revival of animal spirits. [More]

 
Charge It!
For Holiday Shopping Splurge, It’s Plastic All the Way
12/22/17 7:00 AM
By Dave Rosenberg
U.S. equity futures are in the green as the seasonal late-year melt-up continues and tax cut hopes morph into reality (the tax bill goes to the House floor for a vote today after a debate and then to the Senate where a vote is likely to be held tomorrow).

Next on the agenda is infrastructure spending and yet, not a worry in the world over the looming budget showdown — something that cannot be avoided without the help of the Democrats. [More]

 
Get Something Done!
Trump Signature On Deeply Flawed Tax Bill A Turning Point?
12/22/17 6:00 AM
By Trey Reik
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has become a microcosm of contemporary American politics. Bravado and obligatory motion have dulled senses and marginalized rational analysis. The tax bill in its current form has morphed into movement for movement’s sake, largely devoid of coherent economic policy. [More]

 
How High Can We Fly?
Challenges in 2018 Likely To Slow Rate Of Economic Ascent
12/22/17 5:00 AM
By Albert M Wojnilower
The above title does not refer to the stock market as many readers might prefer, but to the U.S. economy. Since springtime, real GDP has been growing at about a 3% rate, substantially faster than trend, which is estimated at 2% or slower. [More]

 
The ECB Stands Pat
But (Still Low) Odds of Rate Hike By End of 2018 Are Rising
12/22/17 4:00 AM
By Dimitri Balatsos
‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all thro’ the ECB not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Today’s ECB’s meeting repeated a similar litany of reasons why standing pat was the central bank’s default policy option. Despite expressing confidence in the strengthening economic expansion – EU Composite PMI is at 82-month high (Chart 1) – Sig Mario Draghi emphasized why a stubbornly low inflation rate required maintaining ultra-accommodative policies. [More]

 
Housing Finance In 2018
Tax Bill Takes Aim At Mortgage Perks; Is GSE Restructuring Next?
12/22/17 3:00 AM
By R Christopher Whalen
The U.S. housing market is completing another year of rising home prices in many — but not all — parts of the country. We’ve been in a sellers market for single family homes since 2012, fueled first by low prices, then by low interest rates, then lower FHA premiums, and also the relative dearth of new home construction. [More]

 
chartsightings
Signposts At Yearend
A Selective Look At The Year That Has Been, In Charts
12/22/17 7:01 AM
By Ron Griess
A sampling from the Chart Store. A look back at the ups and downs of the year. [More]

 
Taxing Matters
Pairs Trades For New Law Favoring Less Expensive Homes
12/22/17 6:01 AM
By Andrew Addison
The tax bill favors homebuilders of “starter” homes rather than the upper-tier of the market. That is because of limits on mortgage interest and state & local property tax deductability. [More]

 
Chart Of The Week
Sharing The Wealth: Inequality And Who Owns What
12/22/17 5:01 AM
By IMF Blog
Income inequality among people around the world has been declining in recent decades. But the news is not all good. [More]

 
deepdive
World Inequality Report
It’s Up, Nearly Everywhere But National Policies Can Affect It
12/22/17 8:00 AM
By Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman
We show that income inequality has increased in nearly all world regions in recent decades, but at different speeds. [More]

 
Global Safety Net
It Could Very Well Be Strengthened Against Future Crises
12/22/17 7:00 AM
By The International Monetary Fund
Heightened and protracted global uncertainty combined with frequent episodes of capital flow volatility have intensified demand for liquidity support. [More]

 
acuteobservations
Acute Observations, week ending December 22, 2017
Perceptive Commentary from December 8-22, 2017
12/22/17 8:00 AM
Emma Dunkley, Alice Woodhouse, and Adam Samson
The price of bitcoin tumbled 30 percent on Friday, with the rout accelerating early in the New York morning, after a week marked by high-profile security problems at two exchanges and warnings from global regulators about the risks cryptocurrencies pose. Bitcoin plummeted as low as $10,775.92, according to Bloomberg, leaving it more than 45 percent down from a record high touched at the start of the week. Its crash caps a volatile week for the controversial cryptocurrency that began the year at just $1,000, prompting some to question whether a bubble is bursting. [More]

 
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