OPEC’s oil ploy

OPEC’s oil ploy Over the last four months Americans have received an early Christmas present. The price of oil has dropped precipitously, benefiting both corporations as well as the consumer. But that could be a two-edged sword for this nation. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark in the futures market, has declined 23% since its [...]

Will the ghost of William Wallace finally see the British thrown out of his country once and for all? If the latest polls on the outcome of the September 18th referendum on Scottish Independence are any indication, Scots are in a dead heat over the political and economic future of their country.

  The European Central Bank has lagged behind both the U.S. and Japanese counterparts in their efforts to stimulate the economies of the European Union. Today, they attempted to address that fault before Europe sinks into a recession.

  Twenty thousand Russian troops are massing along the Ukraine border. Yesterday, in retaliation for another round of Western sanctions, Vladimir Putin imposed sanctions on certain U.S. and EU imports. And yet the markets barely registered the event. Are investors a bit too complacent?

The Federal Reserve Bank announced an end to their latest quantitative stimulus program on Wednesday. The markets worldwide sold off on Thursday. Was it just a coincidence?

  Financial gurus have come up short in explaining exactly why interest rates are going down, and not up, as everyone expected them to do. The same thing is happening overseas. What gives?

This week several multi-billion dollar deals were announced in the pharmaceutical sector. Mergers and acquisitions on a global scale appears to be heating up in this sector with over $140 billion in transactions so far this year. What’s behind this feeding frenzy?

This week the eight largest U.S. banks were told they need to increase capital by about $68 billion. In some ways it is too little, too late in the government’s efforts to prevent another financial meltdown. Nonetheless, the regulations do provide an increased level of safety for taxpayers.

  The markets had a great year. The benchmark S&P 500 Index was up 30%. Other averages were up almost as much. So why are some investors disappointed? “Why am I paying you a fee to manage my money?” asked one disgruntled client recently.

It was a word rarely spoken in post-War Japan. “Bushido” or the “Way of the Warrior,” evoked too many embarrassing and shameful memories culminating in the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  But times have changed.  On December 26th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did the unthinkable. Defying the Koreas, China and the U.S., he visited the [...]