RECENT PROGRAMS

James Grant: The Federal Reserve’s Most Outspoken Critic

September 28, 2012

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been widely credited with playing a key role in saving the global financial system from spiraling into a deeper recession. As a recent Financial Times headline read, “Central Bank Action Lifts Gloom”; “Bold Fed and ECB Moves Cheer Investors- Confidence Increases in U.S. and Europe.” There is no question that the Fed and to a lesser degree the ECB, the European Central Bank, are pulling out all stops to boost economic growth, investor confidence, and stock returns, going far beyond what their critics maintain is their proper role. As this week’s guest, financial journalist and historian James Grant told me, “Central bankers have morphed into central planners.” Continue Reading »

Matt McLennan: The Collision of Macroeconomic Tectonic Plates

September 21, 2012

Have the financial markets become more stable? Is a sense of equilibrium returning to the global financial system? Several widely followed measures would seem to indicate yes.
Continue Reading »

David Darst: Should You Trust the U.S. Financial Markets?

September 14, 2012

Is the cult of equity dying, as bond king Bill Gross recently opined in his monthly investment outlook? Gross runs the world’s largest and one of its most successful bond funds, the PIMCO Total Return Fund and is one of the country’s most influential investors and prognosticators. As Gross’ chart, “Stocks For The Really Long Run” shows, stocks, with their 6.6% annualized inflation adjusted returns, have vastly outperformed bonds and cash over the last one hundred years; a fact chronicled by Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel in his investment classic, Stocks For The Long Run. Gross maintains this track record is unsustainable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is PIMCO’s expectation that the economy will grow at a much slower pace for the foreseeable future.  Under PIMCO’s now famous “new normal” forecast, real GDP should crawl along at 1-2% a year versus the historical average of 3.5% in the post-war era.
Continue Reading »

SARGEN & LIPSKY: THE DECLINE OF U.S. FINANCIAL DOMINANCE

September 7, 2012

The Decline of U.S. Financial Dominance

The Effectiveness or Lack Thereof of Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy

It has been four years since the start of the worst financial crisis in the post war era. It feels like a lifetime to me. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, tipping the world into a systemic financial meltdown which we have been recovering from ever since. It’s helpful to step back every once and while and see how far we have come since the market lows of March 2009, when the S&P closed under 700. It has more than doubled since then, but oh what a ride it has been!
Read MoreOne of this week’s guests, Fort Washington Investments Nick Sargen, points out that there have been three distinct market phases since the financial crisis began. First, “the sell off” from September of ‘08 to March of ‘09 when global credit markets froze, economies fell into recession, and the Fed drove interest rates to zero. During the sell-off, the S&P lost 46%, other markets plummeted; U.S. Treasuries and gold were the only major asset classes to gain.
Continue Reading »

Niall Ferguson (R)

August 31, 2012

The Decline of U.S. Financial Dominance

We believe in having a long term perspective on WEALTHTRACK and helping our viewers and ourselves build financial security to last a lifetime. But sometimes it is necessary to step back even further and think beyond a lifetime, in terms of centuries, to really grasp the era we are living in. That is what we are doing this week as we revisit a timeless interview from last year with British historian Niall Ferguson. According to Ferguson, we are living through one of those seismic epochal shifts that require rethinking the old rules, including our investment ones.

Read MoreFerguson is one of those rare individuals who has the intellectual and educational fire power to tackle such a broad sweep of history. And as you will see in a moment, he also has the gift of gab to bring it alive. A professor of history at Harvard, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Ferguson is the author of numerous articles and columns, a recent one became the cover story of Newsweek.  He has also authored several books, including The Ascent Of Money and more recently Civilization: Civilization: The West and the Rest
. Both were turned into PBS specials.
Continue Reading »

Back to Top