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June 2, 2023 | Artificial Intelligence is Generating a Stock Market Frenzy

The latest investment hype is based on widespread investor interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Nvidia, a company that makes computer chips for AI, is trading at huge multiples of earnings that have only been seen in extreme bubbles like the dot-com era of 1999. Is AI a genuine investing opportunity? AI is generating a frenzy […]

May 26, 2023 | The Bank of Canada Sounds Worried

The Bank of Canada uses more alarmist language in its latest Financial System Review (FSR), a regular report that discusses the risks to the Canadian financial system. Should we be more worried about Canadian banks? Canadian central bankers write an assessment of the health of the Canadian financial system on a regular basis, highlighting risks […]

May 19, 2023 | A Geopolitical Event Could Rock the Financial Markets

  Geopolitical events can move markets, if only temporarily. Crises on a world scale frighten investors, causing them to make hasty decisions that can be harmful to their financial success. Could a geopolitical event cause investor panic? The history of geopolitical events shows that markets can survive most events without much trouble. For example, a […]

May 12, 2023 | Canadian Banks Must Focus on More Productive Loans

The concentration of economic activity in the residential real estate sector is hurting Canada’s future. Residential real estate investment is not desirable when compared to other activities that generate intellectual property, jobs and increased productivity. Why are Canadians so enthralled with investing in non-productive residential real estate? In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Dr. […]

May 5, 2023 | U.S. Government Risks a Damaging Default on its Debt

The looming fight over a statutory limit on borrowing by the U.S. federal government is getting close to a red alert situation. If the disagreement is not resolved the government will run out of money to spend. Could the government default on its payments? What would the consequences be? Source: Milwaukee Independent At the most […]

April 28, 2023 | Elon Musk Makes Another Gamble

  Elon Musk, founder and CEO of the leading electric vehicle company Tesla, is making a possibly reckless gamble that will affect the automobile industry deeply. After several price cuts the most popular Tesla Model Y is now less expensive than the average new car in the U.S. Will Elon’s latest gamble pay off? Tesla’s […]

April 21, 2023 | U.S. Recession is Coming

A recession in the US is inevitable; probably coming later this year. The increase in interest rates that came from a surge in inflation guarantees that the consumer will reduce spending, probably pushing the economy into recession. Many analysts and economists are now accepting the inevitability of a new recession which may have started already. […]

April 14, 2023 | Real Estate Speculators are Desperate for Interest Rate Cuts

Inflation moderated slightly in March but remains stubbornly high. The consensus is that central banks must cut rates later this year, but the latest CPI for March puts that type of wishful thinking into doubt. Will central banks hold the line on interest rates even as demands to cut rates grow louder? The CPI showed […]

April 7, 2023 | A Gold Market Revival Has Arrived

Gold prices took off higher this week as doubts about the US dollar spread throughout the markets. The gold bugs have been very quiet during this inflationary period, until now. Are gold and gold miners about to catch a bid? Early articles I’ve written in this weekend note series were on gold, in 2015 and […]

March 31, 2023 | Commercial Real Estate is the Next Domino

If there is another shoe to fall for the troubled regional banks, commercial real estate is a likely catalyst. Reports arrive daily that many sectors, especially office towers, continue to struggle to meet their commitments. Regional banks hold most of the debt for commercial real estate. As of mid-week, the banking crisis was shuffled to […]

March 24, 2023 | Central Banks Must Choose Between Fighting Inflation and Saving The Banks

Central banks, especially the Federal Reserve, are caught between a rock and a hard place. It seems that they might have to choose between saving the banking system and fighting inflation. Their recent statements, until this week, indicated that they would make fighting inflation their only priority, even if that means triggering a recession. But […]

March 17, 2023 | Canadian Banks are Different But Not Immune

Several banks made headlines this week. The Silicon Valley Bank of San Francisco was wound up after deposits fled. First Republic Bank, also of San Francisco, got into trouble and was rescued. Credit Suisse received government aid. Are Canadian banks next? These banks are in trouble for a variety of reasons but there’s a common […]

March 10, 2023 | Warren Buffett Speaks and Smart People Listen

The world’s most successful long-term investor, Warren Buffett, writes an annual letter to shareholders about investing and the recent performance of his investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway. This year’s letter came out last weekend, and like always, the short piece contains interesting ideas, comments and tips on investing. Why not take advantage of his wisdom, at […]

March 3, 2023 | Tesla Live Investor Event Disappoints

Tesla presented a live event for investors this week and got a mixed reaction. Was this March 1 event a flop? In a four-hour marathon event, various Tesla employees presented on almost every aspect of their company. First, Musk outlined a vision for how the planet can eliminate fossil fuels entirely. He calls this The […]

February 24, 2023 | The Russia Ukraine Conflict Drags on into a Second Year

The Russia Ukraine “special military operation” is now one year old and showing no signs of ending. A surprise visit of US President Joe Biden to Ukraine promising “unwavering support” ensures that the US will not cut back on assistance and that Ukraine forces will not be defeated on the battlefield in the near future. […]

February 17, 2023 | Hot Inflation Reports Mean That Rate Hikes are Not Done Yet

The fight against inflation is far from over. The US Federal Reserve is committed to taking rates higher, even if the result is a recession or a severe market correction. Can this cycle end? This week there were economic reports showing that CPI inflation is not fading away. The markets were convinced that inflation reports […]

February 10, 2023 | See Who is Swimming Naked Now

Famed investor Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway, has a saying about market bubbles. He says, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.” Is the tide going out? Who is swimming naked? As discussed last week the bear market is about one year old, and the markets are down slightly […]

February 3, 2023 | The Bear Market in U.S. Stocks is Not Done Yet

One year ago investment expert Jeremy Grantham used his experience and knowledge from a 55-year career in investment management to predict that a new bear market in stocks had begun. He was right as the stock market in the U.S. declined about 20 percent over the following year. One year on, Grantham has an update […]

January 27, 2023 | The Bank of Canada Hikes Rates Again But Promises An End To The Pain

The Bank of Canada (BOC) met expectations Wednesday with a 25-basis point increase in rates, and hinted that it might go on hold. This was the eighth consecutive interest rate increase from the BOC. Markets expect inflation to fall quickly allowing the BOC to cut rates, perhaps as soon as the middle of 2023. Until […]

January 20, 2023 | Canadian Housing is in a Slump But Not a Crash

The Canadian housing market is in a correction, but not yet in a crash. The CREA, a real estate industry association, put out a report that showed a 13.2 percent decline in house prices from the peak that occurred early in 2022. Will this housing correction turn into a crash? The CREA, a perennially bullish […]

January 13, 2023 | Inflation is Not Going Away Any Time Soon

Inflation as measured by the CPI is moderating but it is not likely to hit the Federal Reserve target of 2 percent soon, despite a widespread and growing belief to the contrary. A popular narrative about inflation: The surge was caused by the war in Ukraine, COVID relief government spending and supply chain disruptions and, […]

January 6, 2023 | Speculation on Interest Rates and Inflation in 2023

Speculation on the direction for interest rates will dominate stock market chatter in the first half of 2023. In November 2022 market participants had started to anticipate a decline in inflation which would allow the Federal Reserve to drop interest rates, leading to a new bull market in stocks, bonds and housing. Will interest rates […]

December 16, 2022 | A Breakthrough in Fusion Energy Could Change The World

Commercial fusion energy would change the world. This week U.S. researchers showed that more energy could be produced by fusion than was used in the process. This is called a “net gain”. Is this the energy breakthrough the world was waiting for? Fusion promises to provide a source of energy that is plentiful and cheap, […]

December 9, 2022 | The Central Bankers Resort To Wishful Thinking

The Bank of Canada resorted to wishful thinking this week while raising interest rates again and hinting that this increase might be the last one. The Bank of Canada (BOC) raised rates this week by 50 basis points. The prime rate at Canada’s banks almost immediately jumped by the same amount to 6.45 percent. In […]

December 2, 2022 | Central Banks Apologize as Borrowers Suffer

  Philip Lowe, governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), made a public apology for the statements that were made about interest rates. He told people that rates would stay low and now that rates have risen substantially many people are in trouble with very large mortgages. Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said that […]

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