by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on April 14, 2014

in Geopolitical,Tribute,United States of America

I was tempted to write about the great March retail sales this morning.  It is certainly a positive for the economy and the markets.  But I heard something this morning on NPR that is timely, and such an important reminder about the value of freedom, that I am highlighting that instead.

The civil war in Syria has caused much suffering for the people of Syria.  Loss of life, food insecurity, and destruction of property and infrastructure.  However, one ethnic group in Syria is experiencing a silver lining of sorts.  The Kurds, many of whom have fled the civil war for northern Iraq, are experiencing a type of religious freedom that they were deprived of in Syria.  An English speaking woman who was interviewed by NPR said that although they are living in makeshift tents, and they are poor, they are happy to finally be free to speak their language and celebrate their Holidays.

Tonight the Jewish holiday of Passover begins.  It is a celebration of freedom from slavery.  At each Passover Seder (dinner) tonight, Jews around the world will re-live and remember, through the ceremony, what it was like to be deprived of the very freedoms many people today are still lacking, and the same freedoms some Kurds are now enjoying.  We also remember that freedom is not to be taken for granted.

At this special time of year let us remember those who still lack even the most basic of freedoms.


What’s new?

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on April 10, 2014 in Economic Indicators

With the equity markets selling off, and the 10-year Treasury trading just under to 2.65%.  What’s new?  What is going on that has created this wave of selling. Our good friend from Sandler O’Neill, Marc Flaster, visited us today and had these interesting comments: 1.  The Federal Reserve is not “moving off the dime”. They will not [...]

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The Fed Effect on the Market

by Marilou Long on April 1, 2014 in Employment

We mentioned in our Q1 letter the effect that commentary from the new Chair of the Federal Reserve has on the market. Here is a video from CNBC that goes in to more detail.

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China needs a Safety Net

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 27, 2014 in Economic Indicators

On the “WSJ Blog” post supplied by Dow Jones yesterday, there was a fascinating article about China and it’s need for a social “safety net”.  The article highlights the reasons Chinese households hate to consume: pension provisions are scant,  and the lack of a decent insurance system causes medical costs to weigh heavily on the sick. Stephen [...]

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The Middle Aged Bull Market

by Marilou Long on March 25, 2014 in Credit Crisis

As the market continues to churn around these levels, the key question is whether or not the economy is going to limp along or continue to improve.  The bad winter weather certainly contributed to some weakness at home, and there are also problems with the recovery abroad.  This column by Kopin Tan in this week’s [...]

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Janet Yellen’s Testimony Today

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 19, 2014 in Fed policy

Janet Yellen, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, held her first press conference today following the meeting of the FOMC or Federal Open Market Committee.  When asked a question about how long she plans to keep the Fed Funds rate at 0%-.25%, she said at least for six months after quantitative easing ends.  This [...]

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I Want to Meet This Guy

by Marilou Long on March 11, 2014 in Investment Strategies

I saw this article on BusinessInsider this morning about Pimco’s new hire, Harley Bassman.  I really like his approach to life and business.  From the linked article: On his website,, Bassman reveals his life mantra: For those of you who are meeting me for the first  time, let me recite my Mantra: 1) It [...]

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Three things to add to the “Worry List”

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 7, 2014 in Economic Indicators

From Ed Yardeni earlier this week: “Over the past five years of the bull market, the bears focused mainly on three worries, namely: (1) a double-dip recession in the US, (2) a financial meltdown in the Eurozone, and (3) a hard landing in China.  They haven’t given up on those concerns. Instead, they’ve added three [...]

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Market quote for the Week

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 3, 2014 in Earnings

Great quote from Kopin Tan of Barron’s.  I thought it summed up the current market sentiment, perfectly. “So what do we have here?  We’re in a bull market, but it’s an uncommitted, antsy herd.  Maybe we’re bullish because bonds in the face of rising interest rates, cash parked in savings, and pricey Picassos aren’t exactly [...]

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Now That’s a Steer!

by Marilou Long on February 25, 2014 in Education

Congratulations to Braedon Raub on his steer Beaver being named Grand Champion at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. All our New York friends who like to eat steak and charge their electric cars should think about Texas when they fly over us to the West Coast.

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