- the source for market opinions


February 26, 2021 | The Federal Reserve is Both Arsonist and Firefighter

The stance of the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, as confirmed publicly this week, is for continued support for the economy, as 10 million jobs are still missing. A year ago the Fed lit a fire under prices for assets like stocks with its expansion of credit and extremely low interest rates. At some point […]

February 19, 2021 | A Commodity Super-Cycle

The price of base metals, especially copper and nickel, are known as indicators of future economic growth. While the validity of that relationship is in doubt, it makes sense that base metals would move higher with an expectation for rapid economic growth. Is the recent surge in these metal prices predicting a robust economy?   […]

February 12, 2021 | Corporations Are Jumping on the Green Energy Bandwagon

Many corporations are announcing new sustainability or net-zero emissions targets, by a set date, usually 2050. More than 620 companies announced a science-based target in 2020. The total for 2021 will be even higher. As they struggle to meet these targets billions of dollars will be invested to reduce carbon emissions and to purchase offsets. […]

February 5, 2021 | Inflation The Most Likely Outcome

The unprecedented run of increased government deficits continues apace in 2021. Governments and central banks have decided that borrowing for stimulus during the recession is more important than worrying about debt levels. How does this rapid acceleration in debt get resolved? I wrote about the inflation risk in November 2020, suggesting that higher inflation might be a […]

January 29, 2021 | The Biggest Housing Bubbles of all Time

The housing bubble has become enormous in these three countries, and when these bubbles burst, it will be very painful. Canada, Australia and New Zealand continue to defy the odds as house prices move further into unaffordable territory. Are these house prices justified?     Source: Bank for International Settlements From 1970 to 2020 New […]

January 22, 2021 | President Biden Goes Green

President Joe Biden plans a serious push into clean energy, with significant acceleration in the adoption of renewable energy in the U.S. The stock market anticipated a Biden win in November 2020, with shares of most companies in the clean energy sector surging far ahead of the broad market. Will President Biden satisfy expectations for […]

January 15, 2021 | Speculative Blank Check Companies Create Billions of Paper Profits

A $12.5 million investment in clean energy earned an “accidental” profit of $200 million from a blank-check company. Here is how that works. Blank-check companies — SPACs or Special Purpose Acquisition Companies — are proliferating, a strong signal that this market has gone wild. Blank-check vehicles are shell companies used to take a private company […]

January 8, 2021 | Grantham Predicts a Crash

Investment guru Jeremy Grantham, founder of a major investment firm based in Boston, delivered a warning this week. He says that the U.S. market is in the late stages of a major bubble. He predicts losses in the stock market comparable to the post-2000 period when the tech-heavy NASDAQ index declined 82 percent over two […]

December 25, 2020 | Things to be Grateful for in 2020

While 2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us, I have learned that taking the time to make a gratitude list is always helpful. Many years ago, I was complaining about things that I felt were not going my way and an older and wiser person said to me, “What are you […]

December 18, 2020 | A Canadian Hydrogen Strategy Could Be a Winner

Canada’s new clean energy plan was unveiled on December 11, 2020. The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada came out this week. Every region of Canada has the potential to produce hydrogen, from several different sources. Will hydrogen play a key role in saving Canada’s energy industry? The Hydrogen Strategy is part of the Trudeau government’s bold […]

December 11, 2020 | Canada Needs an Electric Vehicle Option

Canada risks falling behind in the race to build electric vehicles. Decades of reliance on the Big Three U.S. automakers means that Canada may not have any significant electric vehicle manufacturing capacity when most new vehicles will be electric powered. Is it time for an all-Canadian electric auto? A report from Clean Energy Canada, of […]

December 4, 2020 | Robinhood Traders Recreate the 1999 Market

The popular stock-trading application for new investors, Robinhood Markets Inc, was valued at about $11 billion in August. Launched in 2013, the app allows investors to trade stocks in small amounts for zero commission. Robinhood has captured substantial market share in the online stock trading business, going up against giants like TD Ameritrade and E*Trade. […]

November 27, 2020 | Shopping Malls Put To The Test

The demise of the shopping mall has been a topic of interest for years, but the COVID-19 recession is accelerating those changes. The move to online shopping was well underway before February 2020 but, now that many people are afraid to go outside, online could be the preferred option. This holiday season will be a […]

November 20, 2020 | Tesla Joins The S&P 500

Tesla Inc. will join the S&P 500 index as of December 21. At more than $500 billion in value, Tesla will be one of the most valuable in the index, giving the maker of electric vehicles a ranking in the top ten by size. Since there are many index funds and fund managers that track […]

November 13, 2020 | Higher Inflation Would Test Markets

Higher inflation now would be a genuine surprise to markets. Equities and bonds are priced as if low interest rates, even negative ones, will last for years. But recent data show that inflation might not be dead after all. Could inflation rise? What would happen to markets? In the early years of my career inflation […]

November 6, 2020 | Joe Biden and Stock Market Returns

A “clean sweep” on November 4 for Joe Biden and the Democrats looks increasingly possible. To get a “clean sweep” Biden would win and voters would give Democrats a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. What would happen to stock markets? Jimmy Carter won a clean sweep in 1976, after the […]

October 30, 2020 | Joe Biden and Stock Market Returns

A “clean sweep” on November 4 for Joe Biden and the Democrats looks increasingly possible. To get a “clean sweep” Biden would win and voters would give Democrats a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. What would happen to stock markets? Jimmy Carter won a clean sweep in 1976, after the […]

October 24, 2020 | Tesla Beats Expectations Again

This week Tesla’s latest earnings report revealed impressive results. The profit trend continues to improve, with growing auto production, cash flow and net income. Do Tesla shares make a good investment today? Tesla’s fifth consecutive profitable quarter solidifies a trend that has impressed even the most skeptical analysts. Production from the new China factory showed […]

October 16, 2020 | The Second Wave of COVID-19

Six months after the COVID-19 pandemic started, reports abound of significant increases in cases in some countries. The United Kingdom, for example, shows new daily cases higher than any previous peak. How big is this second wave? How will it affect the economy? As recently as mid-September pundits were forecasting a recovery in the economy […]

October 10, 2020 | Clean Energy Wins The Race

Clean energy investing outperformed stock market averages worldwide over the past year. The investment crowd is piling into investments related to renewable energy. Will the clean energy sector continue to outperform? The performance of clean energy companies like Tesla, Vestas and Enphase has been spectacular this year. Funds that specialize in renewable and clean energy […]

October 2, 2020 | The Recession Becomes Real

The Canadian government, the biggest spender of the G7 countries, rushed legislation through Parliament this week that extends an income support program to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new subsidy under Employment Insurance (EI) replaces the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). About 4 million people, or 20 percent of the workforce, were receiving […]

September 26, 2020 | Expectations For Help Are Very High

The optimism about the Canadian economy that appeared in late spring and continued into the summer was created in part by generous government income support and payment deferrals. Now that complacency will be tested as the mortgage deferral cliff, the biggest of payment deferrals, will arrive in October. And income support programs are also expiring […]

September 18, 2020 | Zombies Must Go Now

The number of zombie companies is increasing exponentially. As Japan learned in the 1990s, a predominance of companies that cannot pay their debts is bad for the economy. Central bankers kept interest rates unusually low, helping firms stay alive that would have failed even before this recession. Zombies are a negative force for future growth […]

September 11, 2020 | Bank of Canada Runs Out of Ideas

Monetary policy, as practiced by central bankers around the world, has been ineffective for most of the last decade and longer. In the current crisis, their traditional toolkit, which focuses on manipulating interest rates, has failed. Is there more that the Bank of Canada can do during this economic emergency? Here is an excerpt of […]

September 4, 2020 | Lucky Australia Strikes Out

Australia outpaced Canada in economic terms during the housing and resource boom of the last twenty years. And, unlike Canada, Australia managed to avoid a recession for almost thirty years. A combination of real estate growth and resource-based exports kept the country Down Under growing, until now. Has Australia’s lucky streak come to an end? […]

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