Janet Yellen’s Debut and the Cause of Low Interest Rates

From Janet Yellen's first Congressional testimony as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve: "The fundamental reason we have low interest rates is because there is a glut of savings relative to the demand for those savings." Really? Would you like to test that theory? Pull off the easy monetary policy - the bond buying - the zero interest rate Fed Funds policy - and let's see where the "natural" rate goes ... The idea that the Fed should manipulate the basic interest rate to generate … [Read more...]

Jerry Brown and the Other Side to the Story

So while the left continues to drool over the work Gov. Jerry Brown is doing in California, gushing over a one-time $4bn surplus, might I point out a few inconvenient truths courtesy of The Economist: (1) The top 1% of earners alone pay 33% of the state's expenses. Holy fair share batman! (2) $355 billion of unfunded liabilities (with a B) - promised pension and health care benefits we haven't paid for. Those liabilities are growing $22 million per day (3) Highest poverty rate in America … [Read more...]

Business Ethics as the New Thing?

I write a blog every Monday for my company's internal Advisor website, basically read only by advisors within my own firm. I thought the following entry had a broader ethical message worth sharing to a wider audience. ********** When I was a financial advisor trainee many moons ago I heard from a manager (who has since been barred from the industry) that our success as a financial advisor would be "in having the brain of a capitalist and the heart of a socialist". I was a little too … [Read more...]

The Wolf of Wall Street Reviewed

I read Jordan Belfort's book the first week that it came out five or so years ago. I knew immediately that the talk of it turning into a movie would happen, for the book itself read like it was written to be put on the screen. Here was a guy convicted in one of the largest white collar crime cases in history, and a 300-page book barely made mention of what he did for a living (legally or illegally). The book read from cover to cover about the crazy shenanigans they did when they WEREN'T … [Read more...]

USC’s New Coach, Pat Haden, the Process, and the Spirit of Troy

It has been a pretty wild ride in Troy over the last 48 hours, and I would be remiss as a lover of all things Cardinal and Gold if I did not chime in on the new coach at USC. The general atmosphere in the USC chat board world can best be described as apocalyptic, though most folks who delve into the apocalypse carry more maturity and gravitas than the children who occupy real estate on today's chat boards. If one delves outside that cyber world they will see that where USC is and has gone over … [Read more...]