Some Geopolitical Thoughts About Cuba and the U.S.

December 19, 2014

As I discussed yesterday, the ongoing realignment of many countries is driven fundamentally by economics, rather than by geopolitics, but that doesn’t mean the realignment is geopolitically unimportant. Quite the contrary: What we see here is an accelerating trend that is reinforcing the predominance of the U.S. in the global system, with each piece of the puzzle supporting the others. Cuba is a perfect example.

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Russia and Cuba: Exploring a Common Theme

December 18, 2014

I’d planned to write about how Russia can respond to its current crisis, and I will. But the announcement that the U.S. and Cuba are resuming normal diplomatic relations has kind of gotten in the way.

Thinking about it, though, the events in Russia and Cuba are, in many ways, different facets of the same story.

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Thoughts on the Russian Currency Crisis

December 17, 2014

As the Russian currency crisis grows and threatens to expand to other emerging and commodity-based markets, I’ve been thinking about how this might play out on a country-by-country basis—not so much here in the U.S., but around the world. (As I’ve written before, I think the U.S. is pretty well insulated in the medium term and longer, despite any short-term shocks.)

There are three major factors I think we need to look at when we consider the economic risk level of a country as a whole.

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Market Turbulence: Nothing to Worry About Yet

December 16, 2014

On the heels of our premortem of the stock market in 2015, let's take a look at the market turbulence we experienced last week and yesterday.

The short version? There’s nothing to worry about yet.

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Premortem: The Stock Market in 2015

December 15, 2014

Following up on last week’s post about the value of premortems, I thought I’d do one on the stock market for the coming year. We’ll imagine that a decline has happened and try to figure out how and why, with the goal of strengthening our positioning today.

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Want to Avert Failure? Try Doing a Premortem

December 12, 2014

One of my favorite takeaways from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow is the idea of the premortem—that is, looking at a new or proposed project, assuming it has failed, and projecting why that happened. (It's a more proactive version of the postmortem, where you look at actual failures and try to figure out what went wrong.)

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Who Suffers from Cheap Oil?

December 11, 2014

As I wrote the other day, the U.S. stands to benefit considerably from cheap oil. The question now is who will suffer—and what might that mean for the U.S.?

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Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.

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