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Europe: Mourning and Markets

December 6, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

“Unsustainable things continue until they stop.” That is how Herb Stein answered Richard Nixon when Nixon asked about economic timing. The financial and economic construction of the EU and the eurozone has now reached the realm of the unsustainable. Something has to give as the boundaries of policy are stretched toward their outer limits while […]

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Debt, GDP, Interest Rate Shock

October 24, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

Business Insider has compiled a colorful depiction of the largest debtor countries in the world. Here is the link: http://www.businessinsider.com/wef-countries-with-highest-level-of-government-debt-vs-gdp-2015-10. Does debt to GDP mean anything? The answer is maybe. And perhaps the second part of that answer is that it means a huge economic burden if there is intent to pay the debt back. […]

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Zika, Cuba, American Politics

October 4, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

Why is Zika so important that you write about it often?” I have gotten that question many times. An update on the Zika situation follows. But first let me offer an explanation as to why I write about it. I believe that health issues and disease threats offer us the chance to assess the functioning of a political system. SARS, Ebola, bird flu, and now Zika show whether or not the political system can be proactive. The quality of governance of a country is revealed, and its functionality [...]

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US, Germany, Japan: Post Brexit

June 24, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

Before the Brexit vote and market turmoil I was privileged to share interview time on the “The Larry Kudlow Show,” hosted by Larry Kudlow, with a longtime friend, Jeff Kleintop of Schwab. Larry, Jeff, and I have had many discussions about markets and economics over the years. In addition to discussing the pros and cons […]

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In South America: Mendacity versus Perspicacity

June 1, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

I write as a follow-up to our South America trip. For a terrific summary of the Argentina-Uruguay experience, we offer the “Weekly Economic Update” from Michael Drury, GIC chairman and chief economist at MacVean. The report is available here: http://www.cumber.com/pdf/EU05-13-2016.pdf. We thank Michael for permission to link to his commentary. Meanwhile, the former president of Argentina […]

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Report from Montevideo

May 13, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

When Moody’s recalibrated Uruguay’s national rating scale and repositioned the national scale ratings of seven Uruguayan banks and other financial institutions, it was careful in how it worded the text of the release. Moody’s subscribers may access the details; others may wish to refer to this article: https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-recalibrates-Uruguays-national-rating-scale-and-repositions-national-scale–PR_348355. The May 9 information release caught some […]

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Report from Buenos Aires

May 10, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

Last month the inflation rate in Argentina was 7%. That's right, 7% in a single month. Why?

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Return to Argentina

May 9, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

Over the past 20 years, my 16 trips to Argentina have allowed me to personally experience that country’s roller coaster of governance, finance, policy application and rejection. We are back again with a GIC special delegation (www.interdependence.org). This time we are examining the spring buds of an attempt at national reconstruction. Our delegates include central […]

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Divergences

January 21, 2016
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

The issue is easily defined: Convergences reduce volatility. Divergences increase volatility. That defines the yin and yang of markets. Or others might call it the Sturm und Drang of markets. We call it a merger of metaphors. “Yin and yang” (Chinese philosophy, origin estimated 4th century BC) describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually […]

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Low Short-Term Rates for a Long Time?

November 4, 2015
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

We are likely to have worldwide near-zero short-term interest rates for at least another two years, maybe three or four. The implications for stocks, bonds, and currency exchange rates are huge.

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The Economic Outlook at Home

August 27, 2015
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

Our best outlook through this murky fish tank is that we are growing slowly in the US and gradually improving. We see 2.5 to 3 million new, nonfarm payroll jobs a year at an annual rate. We do not see robust and rising wage pressure or strong inflationary forces. We do have extremely low interest […]

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Puerto Rico Defaults – Our New Muni Book

August 4, 2015
David R. Kotok
David R. Kotok

GIC Board Member David Kotok talks about Puerto Rico's default and his new book, Adventures in Muniland, in advance of his book signing with GIC on August 20 in Philadelphia.

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