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Deducing Deductions

While we will likely have more to say on tax reform in the coming weeks, we’d like to narrow in on a couple particular elements of the proposed reform in this post: the increase of the standard deduction, along with the related changes to the personal exemption and child tax credit. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/deducing-deductions/

Cure Or Curse?

The prospect of major tax reform is obviously playing a very prominent role on the political stage right now. Given the current focus, we thought we’d write about a widely debated symbol of supply side economic theory - the Laffer Curve. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/cure-or-curse/

Taking Stock in the Election

Today we’re taking a slight departure from any semblance of serious financial commentary and discussing one of those topics that is sure to bear little to no fruit – if not end up being downright counterproductive.It’s time to talk politics! More specifically, let’s prognosticate what might happen in financial markets in response to a Trump vs Clinton victory. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/taking-stock-in-the-election/

All Together Now

Last Friday we caught a glimpse of the extent to which financial markets are still addicted to monetary stimulus when stocks, bonds and commodities all tumbled in response to comments made by Fed officials. When everything is grinding upward, moving All Together Now is not a problem, but that sentiment changes quickly when asset classes begin to nosedive in tandem. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/all-together-now/

NIRP Is The New ZIRP

Zero interest rates are intended to induce growth in borrowing, lending and general risk taking throughout the economy. But what happens when ZIRP doesn’t have its intended effect on economic activity? You move to the next logical extreme: NIRP. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/nirp-is-the-new-zirp/

Is Repatriation A Patriotic Duty?

As we all know, election years tend to dredge up a variety of widely debated topics and issues. One big one is tax policy. Where should tax rates be set? Who should be responsible for how much? These are questions that will always be highly contested, not just on the national stage but at the state and local level as well. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/is-repatriation-a-patriotic-duty/

Daylight Saving Time: Why?

If you live in the United States, this past weekend you had to endure the time honored tradition of losing an hour every spring for Daylight Saving Time. In this week’s Insight we explore where DST came from and why it is still practiced in the US today. Spoiler alert…like many things in this world, it all comes down to money. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/daylight-saving-time-why/

Unintended Consequences

It is everyone’s favorite time of the year where we are all inundated with sound bites, headlines, and advertisements telling us why we should or should not cast our vote for a particular Presidential candidate. One of the many topics of discussion this election season has been income inequality, which is the topic of this week's Insight. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/unintended-consequences/

What is a Rate Hike Anyway?

We are now entering a new phase of the Fed cycle. After nearly seven years of zero percent interest rates we are finally on the precipice of an interest rate increase. In light of this, we thought now would be a good time to dig into what all this rate hike talk really means. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/what-is-a-rate-hike-anyway/

The Greek Tragedy (Act III)

The Greek crisis will surely be one of the defining macroeconomic stories of this decade. We are now in the sixth year of this drama. Greece has found its way back onto the front page repeatedly since late 2009, and the past six weeks have ushered in Act III (as measured by the number of bailouts the country has received) of what is truly turning into a Greek Tragedy. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-greek-tragedy-act-iii/

Not Here Yet

Now that the Fed’s third, and supposedly final, round of QE is concluded, the next step is to begin reversing its zero interest rate policy by making short-term interest rate hikes. Predicting when the first rate hike will take place, despite being a near impossible task as we will show, has been the source of endless discussion in the financial media in recent months. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/not-here-yet/

Swiss Surprise

Last Thursday the Swiss National Bank (SNB) surprised the market by announcing that it would no longer peg the value of the Swiss Franc to the Euro. The news sent the Franc soaring against the Euro while the Swiss stock market cratered. This week we look at the reasons for the peg, why it may have ended so abruptly, and what it all means for our US-based clients. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/swiss-surprise/

Russia Hits The Panic Button

Although we are experiencing smooth sailing here at home, it’s important to realize that this is not the case when looking abroad. A handful of emerging economies are reeling in the face of collapsing oil prices with perhaps the most tenuous situation being found in Russia. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/russia-hits-the-panic-button/

Crude Chaos

Chaos theory is extremely applicable to the world of economics, capital markets and public policy. If the economy is a pool of water, every decision made by every individual, corporation and policy maker is a pebble (some larger than others) creating its own individual ripple effects. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/crude-chaos/

Opposite Directions

With quantitative easing on its way out, the next important step from US policy makers will be to signal to the markets that they are ready to begin raising interest rates. Across the pond in Europe the situation is quite different, and monetary policy appears poised to move in the opposite direction as the US. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/opposite-directions/

An Update on the Fed

Janet Yellen is presenting the first of two days of testimony to Congress in which the Federal Reserve Chair will deliver prepared comments that is followed by grueling questioning. All eyes and ears are fixed on any additional guidance and insight Ms. Yellen might provide into when and how the FOMC might begin to shift its policies. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/an-update-on-the-fed/

The Jobs Monkey Wrench

The December jobs report was released last Friday with some data points that surprised many economists. Although it is only one month's data point, the December jobs report might have thrown a monkey wrench in the Fed’s plans. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-jobs-monkey-wrench/

Monthly Macro: Policy Downshift

Our Monthly Macro is a recurring post that appears on the first Tuesday of every month and recaps the high level macro developments of the previous month. We highlight the global themes that we believe are the most important and discuss why they matter for investors. This month’s piece will focus on the long-awaited Fed taper, Washington’s budget deal and the skyrocketing stock market. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/monthly-macro-policy-downshift/

Fed Ed: Mood Management

So far in our Fed Ed series we've looked at the history of the US banking system, reviewed the first 100 years of the Fed’s activities and provided an outline of the Fed’s structure and basic operations in the financial markets. This week we conclude with a focus on the highly controversial policy of quantitative easing. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/fed-ed-mood-management/

Fed Ed: Pulling Back The Curtain

The sad but true reality is that the average American is heavily impacted by the Fed’s policies, but really has very little understanding of what the central bank actually does.This week we try to pull back the curtain on the mystery of how the Federal Reserve is structured and its basic operational functions. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/fed-ed-pulling-back-the-curtain/

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