Portfolio Review

Portfolio Review 1Q 2024

Something is changing in the markets. Gold has moved up reflecting concerns about the underlying economy and financial system, and foreshadowing potential problems. The economy, interest rates, inflation and equity markets will all turn, some up, some down. There is a seismic shift underway in the economic and investment world as central banks prepare to […]

Portfolio Review 4Q 2023

The tide has turned. The Federal Reserve may not have used the word “pivot”, but they made clear that there was a significant change in policy: the rate-hiking cycle has ended, and rate cuts are expected this coming year. Markets reacted as one might expect: gold and bonds turned upwards, the dollar turned down, while […]

Portfolio Review 3Q 2023

We’re not there yet! Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was relatively hawkish at his last press conference, as Fed members predicted another hike this year, and raised their forecasts for rates next year. More importantly, rates on long bonds moved up as the market faces an onslaught of Treasury issuances and a shortage of buyers. […]

Portfolio Review 2Q 2023

The end is nigh. The end of the Federal Reserve’s rate hiking cycle, that is. But it is not here yet. We can still expect additional rate hikes, at least this year, which will have their impact on the markets. Meanwhile, the “long and variable lags” in monetary policy mean that the full impact on […]

Portfolio Review 1Q 2023

If not a pivot, it was a significant shift in policy. The Federal Reserve’s official communique after its last hike earlier in March as well as the tenor of chairman Jerome Powell’s subsequent press conference was notably different from previous occasions. Two significant developments in March ushered in this shift: the failure of three U.S. […]

Portfolio Review 4Q 2022

After years of mostly strong investment markets, spurred on by excessively easy money and ultra-low interest rates, markets around the world and all asset classes have deflated as central banks reverse course and start tightening. The extent of the excesses was such that far more will need to be done to correct them, but even […]

Portfolio Review 3Q 2022

The Great Reckoning is upon us. After more than a decade of easy money and excessively low interest rates, which boosted asset prices beyond reason and drove debt to excess levels, the time for reality is here. Stocks and other assets, across the board, continued their declines in the 3rd quarter, many aggravated by the […]

Portfolio Review 2Q 2022

The party’s over. Increasingly, for the past decade and before, America and much of the world have been living beyond their means, with the economy, living standards, and markets fueled by excess money creation. Now it’s time to unwind the masquerade. As interest rates move off 4,000-year lows––with negative interest rates consigned to the dustbin […]

Portfolio Review 1Q 2022

A major war in Europe with discussion of the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons…U.S. sanctions that have accelerated the demise of dollar hegemony…commodity prices shooting up to levels not seen for a decade or more…talk of world hunger…a Federal Reserve that has run out of room to manoeuver…and, amid a war and rate […]

Portfolio Review 4Q 2021

It was not an easy year, despite the economy recovering as we moved out of the worst of the covid epidemic, and markets hitting new highs. There are well-known problems in the economy, including inflation that seems less and less to be transitory; supply shortages; and businesses having difficulty finding employees. And in the market, […]