Season Investments

 facebook-logo.pngtwitter.pnglinkedin-logo.png

Search Insights

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. https://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. https://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. https://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. https://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. https://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. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/fed-ed-pulling-back-the-curtain/

Fed Ed: Frankenstein's Monster

In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dr. Victor Frankenstein takes pride in his wisdom and decides to play god by experimenting with the creation of life. In a similar vein, the Federal Reserve was born out of the wisdom and confidence that a central bank can benefit a country’s citizenry by managing the economy. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/fed-ed-frankensteins-monster/

Monthly Macro: Green Shoots, Meet Congress

The month of September brought a slew of positive marginal changes in global economic data, the FOMC decided to leave its quantitative easing program unchanged at $85 billion a month, and Congress decided to embark on the "Shutdown Showdown." https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/monthly-macro-green-shoots-meet-congress/

Dual Headed Policy Monster

We have been, and continue to be, in a policy-driven market environment. While the focus has largely been on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, Washington’s fiscal policy has also been hugely influential. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/dual-headed-policy-monster/

Monthly Macro: Falling Forward vs Just Falling

In our Monthly Macro, 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 US recovery, speculation about Fed tapering, the improving federal deficit and a shift in Germany’s stance on austerity. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/monthly-macro-falling-forward-vs-just-falling/

Lack Of Participation

In an era of policy-driven capital markets it’s essential to stay in tune with and even anticipate major policy shifts before they are yesterday’s news. The labor force participation rate is one of the key economic data points that will have an impact on Fed policy in the coming quarters. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/lack-of-participation/

Recipe For A Bank Run

Cyprus is making front page news due to some radical terms which the Troika proposed for a bailout of their banking system. Although the initial proposal has been shot down, the damage to the European banking system may have already been done. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/recipe-for-a-bank-run/

Exporting Unemployment

The global financial crisis in 2008 was a game changer on many levels. One of which was, and continues to be, the gross reality that developed economies can no longer borrow their way to prosperity. According to many central banks, the answer to this problem is to export unemployment to other countries through competitive currency devaluation. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/exporting-unemployment/

The 95th Raising of the Debt Ceiling

The whole concept of the debt ceiling is a bit strange in that Congress has the power to set revenues and spending, but not the issuance of debt to fill the gap between these two. How did the debt ceiling come about and will this most recent debate over raising it for the 95th time be a game changer? https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-95th-raising-of-the-debt-ceiling/

An 18-Month Devolution

The deal Congress reached on New Year's day dealt with several, but not all, of the important components of the Fiscal Cliff. The real fireworks may be yet to come... https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/an-18-month-devolution/

Wimpy Economics

Our modern society believes that pain and sacrifice are unnecessary evils that can be alleviated by borrowing from our future prosperity. We can think of this as Wimpy economics since we would “gladly pay you Tuesday” for a hamburger today. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/wimpy-economics/

The Best of a Terrible Set of Choices

The US Treasury has just announced that it will sell its remaining 234 million AIG shares in its sixth offering since the rescue, thereby securing a $4.1 billion profit on its investment in AIG stock. But while the economic tethers of the bailout will soon be cut free, has the success of the AIG bailout created a slippery slope for future bailouts? https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-best-of-a-terrible-set-of-choices/

The Definition of a Bad Economist

American fiscal policy today seems more intent on delivering "heroics" than "healing". The upcoming Fiscal Cliff presents yet another moment of truth for the US Congress as it decides what to do with roughly half a trillion dollars of scheduled spending cuts and tax increases. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-definition-of-a-bad-economist/

It's An Upside Down World

In John Mauldin’s “upside down world” capital markets are no longer driven by finance and economics – they are driven by public policy. This is the world we’ve lived in for nearly four years now, and current price action in the market continues to bear this out. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/its-an-upside-down-world/

Macro Update: Central Bank Policy

We have been in a policy-driven market now for roughly four years. Both monetary and fiscal authorities have played a heavy-handed role in the economy and capital markets over this time period. Global central bank (monetary) policy is on our Macro Radar due to its post-financial crisis impact on investor sentiment and the performance of both stocks and commodities. https://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/macro-update-central-bank-policy/