The Dog That Did Not Bark: Why Isn’t the Market Reacting to Drama?

August 18, 2017

In thinking about the market over the past week or two, what has really struck me is how truly remarkable the market’s behavior has been. After the U.S. president implicitly threatened nuclear war, the market dropped, of course—but by less than 2 percent—and then it bounced back. Today, after CEOs from big-time companies essentially abandoned the White House, the market is down—but by less than 1 percent. We’ve seen more political drama in the past couple of weeks than we saw in years under some administrations—and the market is just sitting there. What’s going on?

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The Good News (and Bad News) About Politics and the Markets

July 28, 2017

Once more we have news from Washington that suggests the Republicans will not be able to move forward on a core priority—health care reform. You might expect political dysfunction at this level to disrupt the markets, but apparently you would be wrong. The markets are down a bit, but not much, and remain within 1 percent of the all-time high. What’s going on here?

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Here Comes Another Bus: The Debt Ceiling

July 20, 2017

There’s an important—and potentially very disruptive—issue that has been largely ignored during coverage of the health care debate. The U.S. government hit its borrowing limit on March 16, 2017. Yes, that’s right—the U.S. borrowed as much as it legally can four months ago. Since then, the Treasury has been using the usual “extraordinary measures” to fund the government, including “borrowing” from government pension funds, diverting various funds tasked to other purposes, and looking for spare change in the laundry and the washer to pay the bills.

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Washington and the Markets

July 18, 2017

The big news today is the collapse of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. With two more Republican senators declaring themselves unwilling to even vote to have the full Senate debate the bill, it appears that Obamacare will live on, at least for a while.

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The Connection Between Economic Policies and Political Populism

May 24, 2017

Yesterday, I talked about the problems that have led to the current surge of populism and ended with a link to a paper discussing the connection between conventional economic policies and political populism. Today, I will offer a look at what this connection might mean for politics and policies in the future and, of course, the impact for our investments.

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A Deeper Look at Politics and Populism

May 23, 2017

There’s a lot of political turmoil around the world—here in the U.S. certainly, but also in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Much of it seems to involve at least some rise in populist ideas. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking, trying to get a sense of the big picture, where these trends are coming from, and where they might be taking us. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts, along with a couple of white papers that I found both interesting and helpful.

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Political Risk Update: France and the U.S. Budget

April 25, 2017

With Emmanuel Macron through to the second round, the French election is (largely) off the table as a systemic risk. Polls show Macron well ahead of Marine Le Pen of the National Front, and the likelihood is that the next French president will be a pro-European centrist rather than an anti-European populist.

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Upcoming Appearances

Tune in to Bloomberg Radio's Bloomberg Businessweek on Friday, February 28, at 3:45 P.M. ET to hear Brad talk about the market. Stream the show live at https://www.bloombergradio.com/, listen through SiriusXM 119, or download Bloomberg's app, Bloomberg Radio+.

Tune into Yahoo Finance's The Final Round on Thursday, March 12, between 2:50 and 4:00 P.M. ET to hear Brad talk about the market. Exact interview time will be updated once confirmed. Watch at finance.yahoo.com

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