ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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2013-10-16 Looking Past Default, Be An Investor, Not a Trader by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Many investors are focused on whether a budget agreement will be reached before the U.S. defaults on its debt and worry that they should sell out some equity holdings beforehand. In our judgment, this seems to be a far riskier approach than ignoring the entire matter and waiting for some sort of settlement to be reached. Day traders move the markets in reaction to every bit of news, no matter how fleeting, while investors actually have the advantage here. Investors can ignore the noise and volatility and invest for the longer term.

2013-10-14 Waiting for the Fed by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Fed is waiting for evidence of stronger economic growth before it tapers monetary policy, which requires new data that won’t be available until the budget and political impasse is settled. Measured GDP, when it becomes available, will be weakened by the shutdown, but workers will be paid and underlying trends remain fairly positive. The negotiations may be protracted and highly distracting while underway, but equities should rally as soon as the budget issue is either resolved or reduced in severity, as hinted by last week’s sharp rally in reaction to progress in the talks.

2013-09-30 More Artificial Turmoil by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Washington is in political turmoil, again. A shutdown over spending may be imminent this week only to be followed by a debt default as Treasury approaches the debt ceiling in mid-October. It would be better to take the shutdown now and hope the fallout forces politicians to work out an omnibus deal that resolves all budget issues (for now) rather than stretch out the battles over the next few weeks, leaves investors in limbo, and threatens a default soon enough.

2013-09-23 A Gross Failure of Communications by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Everyone was totally caught by surprise when the Fed announced it would maintain the $85 billion monthly rate of bond buying after Fed officials had carefully signaled for months that it would soon start tapering purchases. Moreover, the Fed’s justification was not compelling and the decision wrecked havoc with the Fed’s efforts to improve transparency. Investors are right to be confused. Still, bonds remain at risk, while stocks should continue to do well.

2013-09-16 Syria: Foreign Policy Turmoil is a Distraction for Investors by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The equity and bond markets have been buffeted by the turn of events in Syria, although incoming economic data is vastly more important than political developments. Syria remains a mess on many levels. But it is essentially irrelevant in affecting labor scarcity, inflation or possible changes in monetary policy. Many politicians and analysts consider the pace of growth unsatisfactory, but the moderate growth rate has been sufficient to bring down the unemployment rate, while corporate profits have increased.

2013-09-03 Our Views as We Head into Autumn by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Economic growth prospects for the U.S. are slowly improving, implying that the unemployment rate will continue to work its way lower and corporate profits will keep rising. We expect the Fed to start tapering of its bond buying program in September. Interest rates should revert to more normal, higher levels, but stocks should also work their way higher. Nonetheless, investors will be focused on events surrounding Syria, at least over the near term.

2013-08-26 Want A Stroke? Take A Bank Stress Test by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The latest stress tests run by the Fed of our nation’s largest banks produced a mediocre conclusion that passed almost all of the banks, but suggested some additional capital would be appropriate and it had some concerns about Goldman and JP Morgan Chase. Stress tests remain a very good idea, but Fed officials may be playing too much of a political game by keeping the pressure on a few of our largest banking institutions.

2013-08-12 Mixing Politics and Finance Is Bad News for Investors by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors have seen plenty of examples of governments defaulting on their sovereign debt for political reasons. This lesson is now being learned by domestic municipal bond investors. Detroit is bankrupt and its emergency manager is now trying to get concessions from investors in its water and sewer bonds, despite their separate revenue streams and independent status. No matter.

2013-08-05 Weak Job Growth? RX: Buy Stocks by Charles Lieberman (Article)

At dinner with friends on Saturday evening, I was asked if I’m still bullish. Another investment guy is now cautious, bordering on bearish. A discussion ensued. The case for being bearish remains weak and unconvincing, hardly even believable in my judgment. Much of the case seems to be driven by the notion that stocks have rallied a lot, so surely they must decline.

2013-07-29 Lessons from Detroit by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Detroit’s bankruptcy is a stark reminder that full faith and credit bonds of municipal jurisdictions can fail, despite their theoretically unlimited taxing authority. Full faith and credit bonds backed by taxing authority were always considered safer than special purposes bonds, with a specific, but limited source of funding. But full faith bonds also depend on willingness to pay, which sometimes runs short before the taxing ability.

2013-07-08 What Really Matters by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke has made quite clear that the Fed’s decision to reduce its bond buying program is data dependent, so many people now wonder if some recent weaker data, such as the downwardly revised Q1 GDP, may signal that the Fed is likely to continue buying bonds at the $85 billion monthly pace for a while longer. To paraphrase George Orwell, some data is more equal than other data. Monthly employment data top the list, although monthly inflation reports, if they were to show any meaningful rise in inflation, would immediately trump the jobs report.

2013-06-24 Quick Takes by Charles Lieberman (Article)

One of the issues being hyped these days is over the uncertainty surrounding Fed policy, which quite candidly, I don’t get. Short of laying out precise dates and amounts, the Fed has provided exceptionally detailed guidance that it will ease off the accelerator over the coming months, as long as the unemployment continues trending down. Downside risks have receded, the economy is improving, and extraordinary measures for policy are no longer needed. On the economy’s current trajectory, the Fed suggests it will no longer be engaged in QE by next summer.

2013-06-17 Anecdotal Insights into the Housing Market by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The current obsession is over when the Fed will begin to withdraw some of its quantitative easing policy and how this will affect markets. This is adding some volatility back into the markets, even though this change in policy has been expected for a long time. Since Fed policy is likely to change only gradually and will do little to tip the valuation balance between stocks and bonds for quite some time, we see little reason to temper our fundamentally bullish stance towards stocks and bearish view of bonds.

2013-06-10 Worry de Jour by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The current obsession is over when the Fed will begin to withdraw some of its quantitative easing policy and how this will affect markets. This is adding some volatility back into the markets, even though this change in policy has been expected for a long time. Since Fed policy is likely to change only gradually and will do little to tip the valuation balance between stocks and bonds for quite some time, we see little reason to temper our fundamentally bullish stance towards stocks and bearish view of bonds.

2013-06-04 The Beginning of the End (for Bonds) by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Attention has been focused on the stock market, because of its relentless surge to new highs, but the decline in bond prices is also worthy of note. Bond prices declined more in May than in any prior single month in nine years. Moreover, bond prices are likely to continue getting clobbered as interest rates revert to normal, even as individual investors have more exposure to bonds than ever before. The decline experienced so far is just the beginning. Investors who fled to bonds seeking safe investments are bound to be severely disappointed.

2013-05-28 Corrections Remain Modest by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Many investors are waiting for the proverbial market correction, so they have an opportunity to get into the market rally. Many investors are holding back because they don’t want to buy at a market top after such a major run. This approach has been a disaster, since the market has given them no such buying windows so far. A correction must eventually occur of course, but quite possibly only from higher levels. Stocks remain the place to be.

2013-05-20 Could Syria Spiral Out of Control? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Events in Syria keep deteriorating, with potentially serious economic consequences for the Western world. Russia and Iran are intervening ever more actively to defend their national interests by propping up Bashar al-Assad, their ally. New weapons systems are about to be delivered that could alter the local balance of power and set off a wider military struggle that could envelop surrounding nations. So far, none of the direct participants in the fighting are meaningful suppliers of oil to global markets.

2013-05-13 Whither Interest Rates and "Safe" Investments? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

It was an interesting week for comments from notables regarding the future direction for interest rates. Bill Gross suggested yields had bottomed recently. Warren Buffett "pitied" bond investors, (but not so much he was unwilling to supply them with more bonds issued by Berkshire.) High yield bond yields declined below 5% and risk spreads continued to erode. The "Great Rotation" from bonds into stocks has not really even begun yet. Still, it only seems like a matter of time before interest rates begin to rise, severely hurting investors looking for safety.

2013-05-06 The Narrative Changes Yet Again by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The April employment report suggests that the economy continues to expand at a moderate pace, as had been the common view prior to the March employment report. While sequestration and the hike in the payroll tax at the beginning of the year may have taken a bite out of growth, hindsight indicates the economy entered 2013 with enough momentum to overcome these new forms of fiscal drag. Growth should strengthen over the coming months, as lower oil prices and time overcome the negative influences.

2013-04-29 Did You Blink and Miss the Correction? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

A stock market correction has been widely talked about for more than a month and the 2% decline in stock prices during the week of April 15 may have been it. Why so short and shallow? Many investors have not participated in the equity rally since it started in March 2009. They were too fearful of stocks because of the 2008 meltdown and they sought refuge in bonds. Despite the four year long rally, stocks remain cheap and many investors wish for a decline so they have a chance to get back in.

2013-04-22 Housing Prices Are About to Surge by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Housing activity has improved dramatically over the past year, but the recovery is too weak to prevent home prices from surging. We anticipate that home prices will increase at a healthy double digit rate quite soon and this price rise is likely to be sustained until new single family home construction exceeds 1 million at an annual rate for at least a six month period of time, more than 60% above the current rate of new single family construction. Read More

2013-03-18 Little Hope for the Government Budget by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The President spoke to Republicans this week to see if they could find common ground to overrule the budget sequester and form the basis for a new agreement over the budget, taxes and government spending going forward. Instead, the meeting crystallized how far apart the two sides are in their vision for a deal. Since there is no budget or broader economic crisis looming, there is nothing to force the two sides into an agreement.

2013-03-05 Understanding the Risk in Bonds by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Treasury bond prices rallied this past week, as sequestration promised to act as a drag on growth, while a very messy election result in Italy also pushed safe haven investors into Treasuries. Both factors are likely to be short lived insofar as they support bond prices. Interest rates are likely to head higher even with Fed policy likely to remain highly accommodative. Initially, longer maturity bond prices will decline and the yield curve will steepen.

2013-02-27 Impending Decline in Stock Prices by Charles Lieberman (Article)

It is a popular view that stocks have run up excessively, rising more than 125% off the March 9 2009 low, and are now highly vulnerable to a sizable retrenchment. This is a sexy idea, but also quite contentious. Nonetheless, it is worth considering seriously.

2013-02-05 Why Cash Kills by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Many investors remain in cash, earning nothing, out of fear that the rally in the stock market may be unsustainable or that such issues as the fiscal impasse or Europe's fiscal problems may yet start another meltdown. But while they remain focused on potential adverse developments, they suffer from the near zero interest rate they are earning on cash. Even in today's low inflation environment, such investors are experiencing a persistent erosion in the purchasing power of their capital, which will impair their ability to grow their portfolios in the future.

2013-01-28 Conflicted Objectives by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Policymakers in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and elsewhere all seek to weaken their currencies to stimulate exports and domestic growth. It is not possible for all of them to succeed, since some currencies must rise in value, if others decline. Although their individual objectives may be in conflict, their efforts are actually mutually supportive. As each country runs an accommodative monetary policy to weaken its currency, they are also simultaneously promoting stronger domestic growth directly. Indirectly, they are also stimulating demand for their trading partners.

2013-01-23 Dissipating Gloom by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investor confidence seems to be returning, as the economic outlook improves and policy concerns are addressed. The tone of media coverage and strategy commentaries has improved considerably. Nonetheless, investors are not positioned for a more optimistic view. Hedge funds and other professional money managers remain underexposed to equities and retail investors are dreadfully light in equities and badly overweight bonds. Stocks will enjoy a very nice tailwind as these portfolios are rebalanced to reflect the more positive view.

2013-01-14 Investing in Risk, Without Much Return by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The outlook for the bond market is absolutely dreadful. The full scope for the potential damage to bond portfolios as interest rates rise is not fully appreciated. A very small taste of this upcoming event is evident in the performance of the U.S. Treasury market in the first few days of this year. So, we strongly favor reducing interest rate risk by accepting more credit risk, if investors insist on owning bonds. But, a far better choice is to curtail bond exposure by accepting more equity risk.

2013-01-07 Investments That May Keep Me Up at Night in 2013 by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The outlook for 2013 is quite improved compared with 2012. Domestic economic growth prospects are significantly less troublesome. The election is over. Europe has (painfully) slowly made progress in reducing its own budget problems. It is not all clear sailing, however. (It never is.) Europe remains a work in progress. All of the geopolitical risks of 2012, notably North Korea, Iran, and all of the rest of the Middle East, remain on the docket in 2013. And the battle over the U.S. budget will resume in the near future.

2013-01-02 Pyrrhic Victory in the Budget Battle? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

President Obama kicked the Republicans' rear ends all over the ring in the budget battle and scored an overwhelming victory. He got pretty much everything he wanted, while giving up no more than token concessions. The lopsided mismatch between increased tax revenues from upper income households and the almost total absence of spending restraint implies that achieving real deficit reduction eluded negotiators to the long-term detriment of the economy.

2012-12-24 The Mayans Were Only Off by Ten Days by Charles Lieberman (Article)

At midnight on December 31, the world will go over the end of the cliff, destroying global economies and plunging the world into darkness. So, the end of the world really is close at hand and the Mayans were merely off by 10 days. This catastrophe caused by the dark angels named Obama and Boehner, who lead their marauding, blood-sucking hordes of chaos, MBSHC, otherwise known as Congress.

2012-12-17 Growing Dividends by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Dividends are rising rapidly. I'm not referring to the surge in special dividend payments that are intended to get ahead of the expected hike in tax rates on dividends in 2013, although that's also significant. I am referring to the ongoing week after week hike in regular dividends being reported by companies, as firms cope with high level of cash flow that adds to their record cash position. Stocks are cheap and growing dividends will only make them appear even cheaper.

2012-11-26 Negativity Creates Value; What if the Mayans are Wrong? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Being negative is easy and sophisticated, so it is attractive for pundits, analysts and the media to play the part. But, it also creates tremendous opportunity. The market seems to be discounting the possibility that the world will come to an end along with the Mayan calendar in near term. If the market is correct, investment strategy doesn't matter. But if the market is incorrect, there are tremendous investment opportunities.

2012-11-19 Waiting for Godot by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Democratic and republican policymakers are actively negotiating over the fiscal cliff, as investors watch and wait with baited breath. They seem to be making progress, or so they suggest in their public comments. But until the situation is resolved, markets are likely to remain volatile. Other issues do seem to be moving towards resolution.

2012-11-05 Day of Reckoning by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Tomorrow's election is too close to call according to the polls, while Friday's jobs report was decent, blemishes notwithstanding. Super storm Sandy was and remains a severely disruptive force to the Northeast, particularly New Jersey. A few thoughts on these issues follow.

2012-10-01 Understanding the Equity Market's Valuation by Charles Lieberman (Article)

An excellent interview with a highly regarded value investor Bill Nygren in the latest issue of Barron's provides a good review of the math that demonstrates objectively that stocks remain cheap. At current valuations, stocks are sufficiently cheap that companies can use free cash flow to buy back shares at a pace sufficient to grow earnings per share by about 10% annually, consistent with the market's long-term historical record and dramatically above the 4% growth suggested by bond manager Bill Gross.

2012-09-24 Some Parting of the Clouds by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The ongoing rally in the equity market and corresponding rise in Treasury yields mirror the slow improvement in financial market conditions in Europe and moderate gains in domestic economic data. This still leaves more progress to be made on both fronts, but uncertainty remains elevated over the fiscal cliff, the threat of military conflict in the Middle East, the upcoming election, and tax policy.

2012-09-04 Risks in the Search for Yield by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Interest rates are so extraordinarily low that investors have pushed up prices (and pushed down yields) of all the traditional investments used for income, so they have even forced into more esoteric or risky investments. This search for yield has created significant risks that may not be well appreciated. This Commentary discusses these risks.

2012-08-31 Risks in the Search for Yield by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Interest rates are so extraordinarily low that investors have pushed up prices (and pushed down yields) of all the traditional investments used for income, so they have even forced into more esoteric or risky investments. This search for yield has created significant risks that may not be well appreciated. This Commentary discusses these risks.

2012-08-20 The Basis For Fear by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Last week, I wrote about how stocks are cheap historically and also with respect to other asset classes, such as bonds. This week, I want to focus on the reasons for this. Stocks are not cheap by accident. Investor concerns over Europe, renewed recession in the U.S., the fiscal cliff and the huge budget deficits provide ample reason for caution. However, not all of these concerns are well placed and some of the issues can be resolved favorably.

2012-07-23 How Can the Market Possibly Do Well? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors remain rightfully concerned that our leaders have been unable to address major domestic and international issues. Domestic growth is sluggish, job growth is weak, unemployment remains high, the fiscal cliff looms at the end of the year and our politicians can't agree on the time of day. Moreover, none of this is likely to become clarified until after the election, if then.

2012-07-16 Pessimism Required by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Making sense of Friday's sharp stock market rally is not easy, certainly not on the basis of the incoming data. Rather, it seems like the rally was triggered by the absence of horrific news. There is so much pessimism rampant that anything not really awful may be received as good news. If we set the bar sufficiently low, it becomes possible that a slowdown of growth in China and an investment loss at J.P. Morgan of $4.4 billion looks like good news.

2012-07-09 Disappointing, but Not Terrible by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Job growth has slowed to a disappointing pace over the past three months, insufficient to bring down unemployment, but not so weak that recession is much of a threat. This mediocre performance also leaves the Fed in a quandary, neither making an obvious case to leave policy unchanged or a clear case to implement yet another form of policy accommodation.

2012-06-25 The Rating Agencies Are Lost At Sea by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Moodys bank downgrade is such a breathtaking demonstration of incompetence that it undermines the entire rating agency concept. If the banks deserve downgrading now after domestic banks increased their capital base dramatically over the past few years, declines in loan defaults, and recovery in profits, one can only wonder why these very same banks were not rated junk a few years ago before these improvements occurred?

2012-06-18 What Happens In Greece Must Stay In Greece by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Greeks has seemingly elected a leadership to work with Europeans to help them balance their budget. Nonetheless, Greece is too dysfunctional a country for another round of credit to accomplish much. It must become a law abiding nation by paying taxes, it must severely reduce government spending by decreasing social programs, including employing far fewer Greeks, and it must restructure its restrictive labor and business laws to enable firms to grow.

2012-06-11 A Huge Step Forward by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Europeans have taken a major step in resolving their credit crisis, although additional policy initiatives are still needed. Like the TARP program in the U.S. in 2008, the 100 billion euro bailout of Spanish banks should recapitalize those institutions sufficiently to cover their real estate loan losses and enable them to regain access to the credit markets. But the rest of Europes banks also need more capital. Greece still needs to choose a new government and that new government must decide how Greece will work towards balancing its budget. Europe still needs economic growth.

2012-06-04 More Muddling Along by Charles Lieberman (Article)

It appears that economic growth has slowed a bit once again, although a relapse into recession seems fairly unlikely. Consumer spending, business investment and a recovery in housing should support growth at a moderate pace. Europe remains a dark cloud hanging over better prospects. Budget deficits at the sovereign level and bank capital needs at the corporate level must be resolved before markets can breathe easily. So volatility in our markets is likely to continue. Since we can exert very little control over Europe, policymakers here must remain focused on maintaining growth domestically.

2012-05-29 Unraveling the Mess in Europe by Charles Lieberman (Article)

There is considerable nonsense written about the European debt crisis. Greece must balance its books, whether they remain inside the Euro or not. There are major benefits and costs to both remaining inside the Euro and to exiting. There is no silver bullet that will solve their problems easily. More broadly, banks need to be recapitalized all across Europe. This has not been done as yet, perhaps for political reasons, which only compounds the economic problems and allows them to fester. It seems like the Europeans are working towards solutions, but painfully slowly.

2012-05-21 A Worthy Scapegoat by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The $2 billion trading loss reported by J.P. Morgan Chase has unleashed a torrent of comments suggesting an even greater need to impose Dodd-Frank, that bank trading operations need to be reined in, that banks managers are badly overpaid and suffer from hubris that gets them into trouble, that our largest banks are too big to fail and too big to manage, and that regulators need to do a better job of keeping banks from taking too much risk with depositor money.

2012-05-14 Time to Face Reality by Charles Lieberman (Article)

European markets remain in turmoil, even as these governments prefer to keep their heads buried in the sand. Sooner or later, reality intrudes. Greece and Spain are in the vanguard of being forced out of their fantasy world and a second default, following closely on the first, now appears likely. Greece is small enough so its problems will impinge little on markets, if Spain can handle its bank issues sensibly. Europe's attention will soon shift towards protecting Spain.

2012-04-30 Housing Recovery Now Underway by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Many focused on the slower than expected pace of growth in first quarter GDP, but the stronger rise in housing activity merited little more than passing mention. However, housing construction is gathering steam, as inventories are now severely depressed and demographic trends require a resumption in new construction. Autos were another significant contributor to growth. We expect both sectors to continue as key sources of demand in the ongoing expansion.

2012-04-16 The Politics of Oil by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Oil prices have given a bit of ground recently, as rising inventories suggest that any possible supply disruptions may be more limited in scope than had been feared. The Saudis have increased supply, even as Libya and Iraq increase production, offsetting reduced supplies of Iranian oil and increased stockpiling by China. It is a bit soon to be confident that oil supplies will be adequate should a conflict erupt with Iran, but the evidence is less one-sided now. So, gasoline prices have retreated, reducing the drain on household income.

2012-04-09 Still, Plenty Good by Charles Lieberman (Article)

March payroll employment was disappointing, although economic gains cannot be expected to move in a smooth ascending growth curve. Economic trends remain solid. There is little reason to expect monetary policy to change, although the latest figures reinforce the Fed's concern that job growth is insufficient to reduce unemployment as much and as quickly as they would prefer. So, there's every reason to expect policy to remain highly accommodative. A few months ago, this employment report would have been taken as good news. That it is now disappointing is a good measure of how far we've come.

2012-04-02 It's All Data (Jobs) Dependent by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The performance of the economy has improved quite substantially over the past several months, with very significant implications for policy and politics. A healthier labor market is sufficient to insure a healthier economy, which supports the rally in the stock market, the decline in bond prices, and the rise of President Obama in the polls. Numerous issues will affect the political polls in the coming months, but the outlook for the economy remains one of continued improvement.

2012-03-26 Did Steve Jobs Despise Shareholders? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Last week, Apple announced it will initiate a $2.65 per share quarterly dividend and a $10 billion share repurchase program. Clearly, since the passing of Mr. Jobs, management has focused more of its attention on shareholders, something uninteresting to Mr. Jobs. He wanted to make "cool things" and everything else was secondary. Mr. Jobs didn't have much patience for people, as revealed in his recent biography; I would imagine the same went for shareholders. For a man who seized on technological opportunities, Steve Jobs' ignorance for shareholders missed some great financial ones.

2012-03-12 To Hell and Back In by Charles Lieberman (Article)

This past week saw the three year anniversary of the market low on March 9, 2009. The most crucial lesson that investors should have learned is that good investments recover, no matter how dramatically the market may decline, no matter how volatile it may be at times, and they should approach investing with a long-term plan in mind. Many investors were shaken out of the market over the past few years now have account values that are well behind where they would be if they had simply held on for the vicious ride.

2012-03-05 Sound Fundamentals, Scary Geopolitics by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Data revisions indicate that household income grew more strongly than reported earlier, so consumers are far better able to sustain growth in spending, particularly as job gains are also increasing. Housing is recovering too, adding a new source of demand to the economy. Thus, the economic underpinnings to growth appear distinctly healthier. At the same time, the threat of conflict in the Middle East has pushed up oil prices, which eats into disposable household income. An actual conflict would chill discretionary spending, at least temporarily.

2012-02-27 Are Individuals Going Back into Stocks? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The strong rally in equities in the early part of 2012 raises the question as to whether households will stop buying bonds and will resume buying stocks. I think the answer is no, which I also believe is unfortunate. While the equity market rally has no doubt captured the attention of households, I doubt those who have exited the stock market will venture back into this perceived risky arena until they get badly hurt owning bonds. Thats coming, but it hasnt happened yet.

2012-02-21 A Greek Default Remains Possible and Grows Less Important by Charles Lieberman (Article)

European governments keep pressing Greece for budget promises and guarantees and another tranche of funds is to be released to Greece, yet the passage of time makes the unthinkable more feasible. At first, the loss exposure of the European banks was sufficiently large that many of the largest would have become insolvent and many others would have become badly undercapitalized if Greece defaulted. With the further risk of contagion to other European sovereigns a Greek default was clearly too damaging to be acceptable. The latest step defers Greece's financing problems, but doesn't solve them.

2012-02-13 Bill Gross vs. Warren Buffett and Larry Fink by Charles Lieberman (Article)

While bonds seem frightfully overvalued, stocks are cheap because investors are so hell bent for safety. Investors continue to shift capital out of stock funds and into bond funds virtually every month. This behavior suggests that they are fixated on the zero risk of default and fail to appreciate how they will be hurt by the loss of buying power.

2012-02-06 The Coulds Are Parting by Charles Lieberman (Article)

It is fast becoming hard to dispute that an increasingly solid economic expansion is underway and that hiring is accelerating. The healthier economy has dispelled fears of recession and the stock market has been advancing at a strong clip, almost 16%, since the interim low at the end of November. With slow progress being made in Europe to contain the debt crisis, there should be fewer depressants holding back stocks and, with valuations still low, despite this sharp recent rally, there is still plenty of upside for long term investors.

2012-01-30 Don't Fight The Fed, Part Three by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Growth is improving slowly, but insufficiently to satisfy the Fed. So Fed officials are reviewing new initiatives to promote growth, including buying mortgages in the market. The Fed's latest press release suggests that policy may remain unchanged for even longer than suggested earlier. But the Fed's willingness to remain so staunchly committed to growth remains "data dependent", as any significant increase in GDP growth could cause the Fed to backtrack. At the end of the day, the Fed is committed to an outcome, not to the calendar. And right now, it is committed to growth.

2012-01-23 The Path of Least Resistance Is Up by Charles Lieberman (Article)

There is so much skepticism with respect to stocks that most everyone who might be scared out of the market has already exited. Investors fear a credit meltdown in Europe following a Greek default. They also fear a weakening domestic economy. As a result, stock prices are depressed, despite solid earnings growth and a healthy corporate sector. If investor's fears are not fulfilled, stocks should move higher.

2012-01-17 Good News or Cheap Stock Prices, but Not Both by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors often fail to appreciate that they can have either good news or cheap stock prices, but not both. It is good news that provides confidence and elevates stock prices to high valuations. Bad news undermines confidence and depresses stock prices. This maxim, first expressed by Joe Rosenberg, Chief Investment Officer for Loews Corp., and repeated in Barron's, applies most appropriately to prevailing stock valuations and implies an exceptional buying opportunity for those who can take a longer term investment perspective.

2012-01-09 One More Step Forward by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Markets remain priced for economic weakness, with some possibility of a financial market meltdown, despite improving conditions. Stock prices remain very low compared to bond prices, while government bond prices remain very high compared to corporate bond prices. Both comparisons speak to a high degree of caution on the part of investors. The economy is not playing along, however. Barring an unexpected adverse shock out of Europe, which remains the market's primary concern, the economy and the equity market would likely gather momentum over 2012.

2012-01-03 Thoughts About 2012 by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Major issues cloud the outlook for 2012. Fiscal policy remains in limbo, while the country revs up the presidential campaign. Finances in Europe remain a work in progress, yet the risk of a globally troublesome misstep remains. There is also no shortage of geopolitical risks around the world, including Iran, the entire Middle East, and a new regime in North Korea. Domestically, the economy is gathering some upward momentum. But will the economy be permitted to build on these trends, or will some external factors undermine the recovery? The answer is unclear, which is why market is so cheap.

2011-12-19 AA Is the New AAA by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The U.S. was downgraded to AA some months ago. France, as expected, was downgraded to AA this weekend. China is AA. Europe's six remaining AAA countries are under review and will likely also be downgraded to AA shortly. It hardly matters. AA is the new AAA. The markets understood well before the rating agencies that European sovereigns were mismanaging their finances and rendered their judgment that these budget deficits need to be reduced. Europe must do so before its credit problems spread. Progress is being made, albeit painfully slowly.

2011-12-12 One Step at a Time by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Rising profits and cheap valuations make stocks very attractive, but concerns over Europe will offset these solid domestic fundamentals, particularly when developments increase the risk of widespread credit defaults. So, volatility should remain high, as investors respond these events. Stock prices will move higher, but it will remain a roller coaster ride. As Europe resolves its finances, risks of a meltdown should fade and volatility should decline, clearing the way for stocks prices to move meaningfully higher.

2011-12-05 Solid Improvement by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The latest employment report showed significant improvement. Job growth is still not strong enough, but the gains are sufficient for the expansion to continue without faltering, as long as the financial crisis in Europe is addressed. And finally, it appears that the Europeans are closer to resolving their debt issues.

2011-11-28 Multiple Focal Points by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Europe remains the markets focus, but the domestic economy also merits attention, particularly with another payroll report due on Friday. The data have come in consistently better than expected, including Black Friday sales, despite the distractions of Europe and the inability of the Super-Committee to reach a budget deal. Left to its own devices, it seems entirely possible that the economic expansion would slowly gather momentum. Unfortunately, it seems like a sure bet that the market will remain highly sensitive to developments in these other arenas.

2011-11-14 Improving Recovery Prospects by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Europe is moving slowly towards resolving its financial issues, but the performance of the domestic economy is looking significantly better. A domestically originated recession is looking ever more unlikely. Europe may take a while to resolve its financial and budget issues, but the adverse effect of a recession in Europe, even a severe one, on our domestic economy should be negligible. So while tremors from Europes financial turmoil may disrupt our market temporarily, they are unlikely to derail our expansion. This suggests that the equity market should continue its recent recovery.

2011-11-07 Better in the U.S.; Worse in Europe by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Economic data show that the domestic economy has regained its footing after a weak performance early this year, even as political considerations in Europe delay resolution of its credit crisis. This is particularly frustrating because the basis for addressing the crisis is widely shared and agreed upon. Growth prospects have improved sharply over the span of just a few weeks. Economic growth forecasts were being downgraded at a rapid pace a month ago and forecasts of recession had become common. Instead, Q3 growth exceeded Q1 and Q2 combined and another solid advance in Q4 now seems likely.

2011-10-31 Not Quite Out of the Woods, Yet by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Progress was made as Europe outlined how it would defuse its credit problems and domestic growth was resoundingly non-recessionary. Critics pointed out the flaws and they are correct that more progress is needed. Europe's banks must now raise capital and the market must become more comfortable that financial support will be provided to sovereign borrowers while they make progress towards reducing their deficits. Domestically, more job growth is needed to provide the income gains needed to finance spending gains. All of the weaknesses in the economy would be addressed if job growth improved.

2011-10-24 Looking A Bit Healthier by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Important uncertainties remain, but our domestic economys performance appears to be improving. Third quarter GDP, which will be reported this week, is expected to be the strongest of the year, suggesting that growth held up despite battles over the budget that scared investors and induced a downgrade by S&P. Nonetheless, job growth remains anemic and Europe is still working to contain its sovereign debt crisis and the damage it could inflict on its banks. So, more progress is necessary to restore confidence and enable growth to pick up to more desirable levels.

2011-10-10 Recession Certainty - Oh, Never Mind by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Fears of a recession have been rampant, but the conditions that precede recession have been absent and recent data provides strong evidence that the expansion is continuing. While turmoil in Europe was expected to weaken consumer and investment spending, neither has retrenched. Rather, the economy remains on a slow growth path, with the pace of growth in the second half likely to exceed the pace of the first half of the year.

2011-10-03 Prospects for Employment and Recession by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Concern is high that the U.S. economy may be close to or entering recession, yet the fundamentals lend little support to such a projection. There has been no decline in jobs, while corporate health is very strong. So the recession concerns appear to be driven more by the decline in stock prices than by economic developments. There can be no recession without job losses, although the data still report job gains. Fridays employment report will shed light if anything has changed.

2011-09-26 Full Twist, With 2.0 Degree of Difficulty by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Feds new twist strategy applies a new (or very old) tool to lower long-term interest rates to promote easier financial market conditions and economic growth. The equity market sold off nonetheless. Investors seemed to be reacting to the Feds economic bearish assessment, which suggested that the risks of recession had increased. However, the Fed was merely acknowledging what most analysts had been saying over the past few months. The key message is that the Fed remains committed to doing whatever it can to promote a healthier pace of growth and that its actions speak louder than words.

2011-09-19 Too Focused on Symptoms, Still by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Europe took a series of steps this week to ameliorate its credit crisis, although policy remains focused on symptoms and insufficiently willing to address underlying problems. Sovereign borrowers are paying higher interest rates, as credit availability has declined. These are the symptoms. Instead, Europe needs to lock in strong deficit reductions strategies to restore confidence that the sovereigns can manage their finances responsibly and to recapitalize its banks, so they can withstand defaults. Such actions must come eventually, although they are getting there painfully slowly.

2011-09-12 Policy Issues, II by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Presidents job proposals were a savvy mix of ideas, some of which were borrowed from Republicans, to avoid a wholesale dismissal of his initiative. Still, he left the problem of how to finance the ideas to the super-committee Nevertheless, the President will probably get some of his proposals approved, notably the reduction in payroll taxes for employees and employers. The Fed is likely to approve an operation twist initiative that may reduce lower interest rates slightly. But any near-term focus ought to remain on Europe and its efforts to avoid a Greek default.

2011-08-29 Warren Buffett Gets It by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Warren Buffetts decision to call the CEO of Bank of America to invest $5 billion in newly issued preferred shares reveals how a canny investor can take advantage of market psychology. The decline in bank stocks reflects latent fears. It was driven by the experience of 2008, when the credit markets froze up and banks suffered large, unknowable losses on their mortgage portfolios. The fear of today is that the same thing could happen. The credit problems in Europe are a major source of concern. Unlike US banks, European banks did not raise a lot of capital following the market meltdown in 2008.

2011-08-19 A Need For Leadership by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Markets struggle when there is a need for strong policy action and leaders respond reluctantly, slowly and behind the curve. Europe needs to help calm markets with regard to both its sovereign borrowers and its banks. Domestically, we need stronger economic growth. Market declines in Europe and at home are likely to push policymakers to make the policy decisions that are needed, but it doesn't inspire confidence that such market declines are necessary as a precondition.

2011-08-15 Value vs. Volatility by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Stocks are cheap. Investors dont care, because they are mesmerized and fearful over the markets volatility. I am fearful that the markets volatility doesnt reflect legitimate economic issues, but reflect the influence of computer traded algorithms that seek to eke out small price gains from high frequency trading, regardless of economic values. This induced volatility scares investors right out of the market and could also turn them more cautious about spending. But it is the flight of investors from the markets that creates the depressed valuations which will attract bargain hunters.

2011-08-08 Budgets and Ratings by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Governments are increasingly being forced by markets to become more responsible. Thus, S&P's downgrading of U.S. debt from AAA to AA+ is more a reflection of market reality than a key event. The efforts by the U.S. and European governments to reduce budget deficits, an inherently political decision that reflects conflicting values on how much to cut spending and how much to raise taxes, not to mention which spending categories and which taxes, is a highly contentious battle, of course. Each side is fighting for what it believes.

2011-07-25 Down to the Wire, Of Course by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors are focused on three concerns: the financial situation in Greece and the risk of contagion, the pace of growth of the U.S. economy, and the risk of a default by the U.S. Treasury. It appears that Europe is getting control over its sovereign debt problem. The economic data is looking a bit better. Unfortunately, we have every reason to expect politicians to continue to squabble over budget issues until the very last minute, no matter how uncomfortable we might be over these negotiating tactics. Keep your helmets on and remain prepared.

2011-07-18 Politicians Are Playing With Fire by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Politicians have the ability to screw up the economy. Investors remain focused on three major concerns: the debt ceiling imbroglio, default risk in Europe and the pace of economic recovery in the U.S. All three may be disruptive and damaging to markets and the economy, although the first two are matters of policy and should be overcome with sensible policy judgments. Instead, the markets remain hostage to the political game of chicken. This will not happen if common sense prevails. Unfortunately, investors lack confidence that politicians will make good decisions.

2011-07-11 The Logic of Stocks by Charles Lieberman (Article)

How can we reconcile weak economic growth with a stock market that managed to reverse much of its earlier loss on Friday? Investors understand that there is a soft patch and, despite June's disappointingly small number of new jobs, this period of slower growth is likely to prove temporary. Moreover should the economy weaken more than expected, there is little doubt that the Fed would implement a QE3 and fiscal initiatives would be implemented, such as an extension of the payroll tax. So it is hard to be too negative on stocks when the alternatives are bonds and cash with yields close to zero.

2011-07-05 Sentiment Whiplash by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The equity market rallied about 5% in a mere five days, reversing most of the losses over the prior eight weeks. What drove this turnaround? A whole slew of events suggest a less fearful future. The economic outlook improved, markets in Europe calmed down, as Greece got its capital infusion. Budget negotiations do seem to be making some progress. Incremental capital requirements on systemically important financial institutions were less than feared and the approved interchange fee was greater than expected. And commodity prices have weakened, notably including grain prices.

2011-06-27 A Tough Game of Chicken? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The debt ceiling limit must be raised to finance the business of government, although republicans are refusing to go along with an increase unless a serious plan to reduce the deficit is put into place. They are also pressing for the plan to focus on spending reductions and refuse to accept any tax increases. But this game of chicken is being played with the risk of a default by the US, one that also disrupts paying social security and other beneficiaries, government employees, interest on its debt, etc. The objective may be desirable, but the means to the objective risks severe disruption.

2011-06-20 Will the End of QE2 Cause Interest Rates to Rise? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The key to the interest rate outlook is the pace of economic activity, not QE2. If Greece obtains its financing and economic activity rebounds from the supply chain disruption, capital flight into dollar assets will cease and investors will turn their concern to the prospect of losses on Treasuries due to a healthier economy. No one believes 3% yields on 10-year Treasuries are compatible with an improving economy. QE2 is a distraction.

2011-06-13 Does Slowdown Justify Sell Off? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Bernanke described the pace of the economic expansion as unsatisfactory and suggested that stronger job growth for a sustained period is necessary. We expect policy to remain accommodative until the expansion picks up some steam. Stocks have reacted quite strongly to the ebbs and flows of the data. If they maintain this behavior, they may rebound strongly if the economic weakness proves temporary, as we think likely. It is clear the Fed is not willing at this point to consider a third quantitative easing program. Still, Fed officials understand that policy must remain highly accommodative.

2011-06-06 The Unexpected Expected Slowdown by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Job growth slowed sharply in May, as should have been expected. Disruption of global supply chains from the earthquake in Japan, a surge in oil prices, and severe weather combined to depress economic activity with adverse consequences for the pace of new hiring. It will take a couple of months for businesses to overcome the shocks and to resume normal activity, so a rebound should be visible soon enough. But investors remain very nervous, so they will wait until evidence of improvement becomes visible. Markets are likely to remain choppy before turning decisively higher in the third quarter.

2011-05-31 Just A Soft Patch by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors reacted to the production disruptions and rise in oil prices by taking less risk and reducing their exposure to equities. The stock market weakened, but only ever so slightly, falling by less than 3% off its prior highs. Bonds actually rose in value. Thats not much of a retrenchment, although it felt a bit worse than that. Fears of something worse, reflecting the trauma of 2008, are surely one major factor behind this behavior. However, these market movements may be just as temporary as the factors that slowed growth in the first half of 2011.

2011-05-23 Fear of Uncertainty: Does QE2 = Y2K? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

QE2 was implemented because the slow pace of economic growth was generating new job growth too slowly to bring down unemployment at a satisfactory pace. Implicitly, QE3 was highly unlikely unless QE2 proved unsuccessful. And if QE2 proved a rousing success, there was a possibility of early termination. But by far, the likeliest outcome was that QE2 would contribute modestly to the recovery and it would end at the end of June. Market participants had every opportunity to monitor its progress and prepare for the end of Fed buying of market securities. There are no surprises here.

2011-05-09 Strong Job Growth, Finally by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Strong employment growth, the key missing link in this economy recovery, has finally arrived. This is absolutely crucial for a recovery in housing, which now ought to follow suit. The surge in oil prices may moderate the pace of growth over the next few months, but the economys momentum should now become more powerful and self-reinforcing. The economic recovery has been a bit tepid until recently, as the moderate gains in GDP simply did not translate into the kind of sizable increases in employment that are needed for growth to become well established and self-reinforcing.

2011-04-29 More Pot Shots at the Fed by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The sheer cacophony surrounding Fed Chairmans press conference and the Feds policy decision seems more focused on finding reasons to criticize the Feds stance than to understand why the Fed must position itself as it has. The pace of the recovery is too moderate to reduce the unemployment rate at a desired rate. And with unemployment still high, it makes little sense for the Fed to allow itself to be distracted by rising commodity prices. Thus, the Fed is properly focused on insuring a stronger expansion and it will turn its attention to inflation when economic growth is somewhat healthier.

2011-04-25 Is the Stock Market Rally Justifiable? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

We begin with the U.S. Treasury budget, which is a mess, running a deficit of about $1.5 trillion this fiscal year, with huge deficits projected into the future. Politicians seem more anxious to shift blame rather than act to reduce these projected deficits. So, entities as blind as S&P are able to foresee a possible need to downgrade the credit rating. The U.S. is emulating the spending of Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. None of these countries has its budget in order. Now, they must pay interest rates that are bringing the Greeks ever closer to default and a formal restructuring.

2011-04-18 Could the U.S. Government Default? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The U.S. ceiling is at risk of being breeched within the next several weeks, which would force a default if democrats and republicans cant agree on a new budget for 2012. Since the political battle threatens to be intense, it is hardly surprising that many observers fear a default. In fact, default is unthinkable and the players involved in the debate understand that, despite their public posturing. Moreover, the entire game is a toxic mix of showmanship and substance. With Congress involved, the risk is that showmanship may trump substance, even if only briefly.

2011-04-11 Merger Mania, with Many More Coming by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Several merger deals have been announced this morning, continuing the pattern of "Merger Mondays". Conditions remain highly favorable for acquisitions. Interest rates are low, financing is available, firms are sitting on plenty of cash, business conditions are improving, balance sheets are healthy and firms have strong cash flow to give them a running start on paying down newly assumed debt. Stock prices are cheap enough that deals can be accretive to earnings even after the acquirers pay hefty premiums. Since these conditions are likely to persist for some time, M&A should continue.

2011-04-04 Getting Stronger by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The expansion is getting stronger. Employment gains keep building, key to a sustainable lasting expansion. Adverse shocks could still hurt the expansion, but risks of the expansion faltering on its own are fading fast. This will enable the Fed to begin the lengthy process of unwinding the aggressive addition of excess liquidity into the financial system. The trend in job growth maintained its trajectory in March, strengthening consumers and businesses. Household income gains add to the ability of consumers to finance spending, which adds to corporate profitability and leads to more hiring.

2011-03-28 Living with Turmoil by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Global political conditions remain a mess. The adverse effects on domestic economic growth and our prospects for recovery should remain limited. So, we remain positioned for ongoing economic expansion. Revolution is still spreading across the MiddleEast and is now enveloping even the most repressive regimes, including Syria. Japan is regaining control over its nuclear energy plants, while the disruptive economic effects, although concentrated in Japan, will have some global impact. Europe is still trying to address major fiscal in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain and governments are falling

2011-03-21 Buy on the Cannons and Sell on the Trumpets by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors remain nervous over Libya and Japan, which has reduced equity valuations and driven some cash into the safety of sovereign debt. While risks remain, the worst possibilities now seem increasingly unlikely, presenting an opportunity to buy depressed equities. Even so, domestic economic growth should suffer some setback from the turmoil. A decline in GDP remains highly unlikely, but a few months of slower growth seems assured. If the market falters in the face of somewhat weaker data, another buying opportunity would be available.

2011-03-16 Economic & Investment Implications of Japans Tragedy by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Markets in Japan and elsewhere have sold off fairly sharply, as the full scope of the tragedy in Japan has unfolded day by day. We will focus on the economic and investments implications of the tragedy, strictly from the perspective of our largely U.S.-based investors. Domestic markets have overreacted somewhat, since domestic business prospects are more likely to be helped than weakened, at least in the short-term. Longer-term policies focused on energy policy will likely remain unclear until we can see how policymakers modify U.S. energy policies in response to the reactor problems in Japan

2011-03-14 The End of QE2 by Charles Lieberman (Article)

This week's meeting of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is sure to focus on whether to terminate its quantitative easing program early and when it will be time for overnight interests to be returned to more normal levels. While economic growth appears to be much healthier, higher oil prices and credit risks in Europe pose significant risks to the growth outlook. Therefore, we expect no change to policy, although it is our judgment that the Fed should begin to alter its language subtly to remind investors that changes in policy will be coming.

2011-03-07 Employment Growth on A Solid Trajectory by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Economic prospects continue to improve, although investors are distracted by turmoil in the Middle East and the risk premium being built into crude oil prices. The globe is highly likely to remain a dangerous place, but oil supplies are not likely to be disrupted sufficiently to undermine the U.S. expansion.

2011-02-28 Bear Noise by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Markets reacted unfavorably to the turmoil in Libya, as the bears emerged from hibernation to suggest that global economies were at risk. In fact, this is a high frequency event, not the revolution in Libya, but the bears always seem to remind us every day that the global economies are at risk. Their conclusions don't change. However, their reasons evolve to reflect the latest news, so their arguments seem realistic, at least superficially.

2011-02-23 Coping with Volatility by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The decline in equity prices in reaction to the fighting in Libya is a typical example of how equity markets are vulnerable to stocks at almost any time. We handle such volatility by balancing stocks with less volatile securities, like bonds and preferred stocks, to varying degrees in different types of portfolios. If investors are matched up correctly with the portfolio that provides the correct blend of potential return, stability, and income, they need not flee the market at exactly the wrong time and they can stick with their longer term investment strategy to achieve their objectives.

2011-02-22 Revolution and Oil Do Not Mix by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Middle East uncertainty is already roiling markets, driving up the price of crude and gold. Longer-term, whatever new regimes ultimately emerge in power, they will need to remain large oil producers. How else will they be able to obtain the revenue they need to feed their people and to help their economies? Even Iran remains a large exporter of oil to pay for the global expansionist policies of the mullahs. It is the disruptive intermediate term that is so uncertain. We can only watch and hope that it passes quickly with little bloodshed.

2011-02-14 Bernanke on the Hot Seat by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Why is the Fed taking so much flak? Is this a subtle way to criticize the Administration indirectly? If so, the critics will get their due, since the Fed's policies appear to be helping the economy gather some momentum. The inflation outlook remains benign, while growth is picking up. The critics will be the ones with some explaining to do, while Bernanke is working to earn a reputation for the history books for dealing with the credit crisis and promoting recovery.

2011-02-07 Inflation Noise by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors are being distracted by the rise in commodity prices, which is being taken as an indication that inflation pressures are building. Unfortunately, that's just not the case. Some rise in inflation would be welcomed by the Fed, but it remains somewhere off beyond the visible horizon, even as economic growth prospects continue to brighten.

2011-01-24 A Malicious Mix of Economics and Politics by Charles Lieberman (Article)

I suspect 2011 will continue to produce its ups and downs (much like the past few years). The European debt crisis is still a big issue. The US Municipal debt (particularly in Illinois) issue is lingering. Congress is still Congress. When and if these issues present themselves and the markets react, we could view those situations as continued buying opportunities since the underlying fundamentals of stocks improve. However, long term investors should not wait for dips to begin investing, but rather start a systematic plan of redistributing cash back into the market.

2011-01-10 Time To Come Out From Under The Covers by Charles Lieberman (Article)

I suspect 2011 will continue to produce its ups and downs (much like the past few years). The European debt crisis is still a big issue. The US Municipal debt (particularly in Illinois) issue is lingering. Congress is still Congress. When and if these issues present themselves and the markets react, we could view those situations as continued buying opportunities since the underlying fundamentals of stocks improve. However, long term investors should not wait for dips to begin investing, but rather start a systematic plan of redistributing cash back into the market.

2011-01-03 2011 Economic & Investment Outlook by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The outlook for economic growth has improved considerably over the past few months, lending support to our judgment that growth will be in the 3.5% to 4% range in 2011. Most importantly, this pace of expansion will require increased hiring by firms, so the unemployment rate should decline this year, falling below 9% by yearend. Interest rates should continue to rise, returning to more normal levels, while stocks should have another solid year.

2010-12-20 The New Normal, Anything But Bonds by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Pacific Investment Management, manager of the world largest bond fund, filed with the SEC to expand its holdings to include equity related investments as soon as the second quarter of 2011. Thus, the "bond king", Bill Gross, is trying to diversify away from bonds into stocks, which implies that Pimco's "new normal" may be more of a marketing slogan than an investment guideline. This is a good move for his investors, although it comes more than a year late for the rally in these assets and the plunge in bond prices, including Pimco's own bond funds.

2010-12-13 Budget Battles by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Was this fiscal deal necessary? I think it is necessary for exactly the reasons given by the President. With the agreement, the expansion, which is building momentum slowly, gets another small booster shot at a crucial time. Along with the Fed's increased purchases of Treasury securities, policy remains highly supportive for growth. Moreover, uncertainty is eliminated over income taxes, estate taxes, and unemployment insurance, allowing businesses and households to plan.

2010-12-06 Behavioral Finance by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Why do investors always do the opposite of what they should do? Individuals tend to chase performance, following recent trends until they go over the edge of the cliff. They always fight the last war. It is a proven prescription for investment disaster. So, of course, they're at it yet again.

2010-11-29 Plenty of Action, but Quiet Improvement by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Ireland gets all the headlines and attention, but the domestic data is coming in on a more positive note, suggesting that economic growth may be picking up. As always, the crosscurrents are strong, with unpredictable political distractions now including Korea. But despite it all, the economic outlook, strongly supported by policy, is improving.

2010-11-15 Safety In Bonds? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors routinely think bonds are safe, so the recent sharp decline in the municipal bond market should serve as an early warning. Interest rates remain exceptionally low and investors who have fled the stock market for the safety of bonds are likely to rue this decision. The risks are considerable, while the rewards are very low, hardly a good combination.

2010-11-08 Increased Clarity Implies Increased Optimism by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Major events of last week clarified the outlook in a way that is consistently very positive for equities. Much of the weakness in the economy since spring was merely temporary fallout from the Greek debt crisis. Policy remains very expansion oriented and the political environment should improve for the corporate sector. The latest developments imply we should be even more circumspect over the outlook for bonds (if possible) and more optimistic with the equity market's prospects.

2010-11-01 Big Happenings by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Interest rates are at historically low levels because households are still pouring cash into bond funds, while stock market valuations are low because retail investors can't handle the volatility and they keep pulling cash out of equities. So despite all the uncertainty, much of which is normal anyway, stocks offer value, while bonds have very limited investment potential. While uncertainty remains, the bet seems highly asymmetric in favor of equities.

2010-10-25 Strategies for Low Interest Rates by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors continue to buy bonds, today's hot product, while companies continue to satisfy this frenzy by selling new issues at every opportunity. One side of this trade must be wrong. Since such borrowing is so extraordinarily attractive for companies, investors must be accepting far more risk than they appreciate. Despite the litany of issues that anyone can provide on the economy's travails, corporate earnings continue to beat estimates and the equity market's valuation remains cheap.

2010-10-18 Thoughts About Bernanke and the Fed by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Conditions for stock market gains remain intact, even if the pace of recovery remains below preferred levels. Growth at a moderate pace will be sufficient for corporate profits to remain on a solid upward trajectory. Interest rates and inflation remain very low and are likely to remain so for an 'extended period of time,' so the pricing of bonds implies a meaningfully higher equilibrium valuation for equities. And if policy proves successful in increasing growth, fears of a double-dip would be vanquished and forecasts of rising profits would become more believable.

2010-10-11 Don't Fight the Fed, II by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The economic expansion remains disappointing, but stocks continue to rally. Why? Corporate profits remain on a strong upward trajectory, while financial conditions remain extraordinarily supportive, courtesy of a Fed committed to insuring a stronger economy. Both factors should contribute to continued gains over the coming months.

2010-10-04 Stocks Get No Respect by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The ink is hardly dry on September and discussions are already turning to the poor historical performance of October. As billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper notes, however, forces are strongly aligned to move stock prices higher. Valuations remain low, policy remains focused on ensuring a solid recovery, corporate balance sheets have been repaired and are now flush with cash that continues to expand at a rapid pace, and key sectors are still operating below replacement rates.

2010-09-27 The Bubble in Bonds by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Bonds can play an important role in diversifying a portfolio. The current bubble in bond values, however, places excessive stress on that benefit. Today's yields don't make sense to investors. While the Fed needs to keep interest rates at low levels to strengthen the pace of recovery, investors who flee stocks for the 'safety' of bonds will get hammered. Those who are not distracted by the equity market's volatility and focus on its exceptional current value relative to its long-term prospects will be handsomely rewarded.

2010-09-13 It's Time for Tax Cuts, Not Tax Hikes by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Obama Administration is considering extending the Bush tax cuts except for families with income above $250,000, as well as offering some tax cuts for business to spur investment spending. The Administration's proposed extensions of the Bush tax cuts, especially if augmented by more favorable depreciation allowances to encourage capital spending, are pro-growth. It is therefore surprising that the Administration would undermine the benefits of such proposals by failing to extend the Bush tax cuts for all households.

2010-09-07 It's the Economy, Stupid by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Stocks are so totally out of favor, any excuse will suffice to justify investing elsewhere. Such rationalizations can overcome depressed equity valuations and record low bond yields, at least until the market rallies and investors suddenly confront that new reality. But the key is the economy. If growth is sustained, stocks have enormous upside.

2010-08-30 In Need of Reassurance by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Fed Chairman Bernanke's statement at the FRB Kansas City Jackson Hole conference didn't reveal anything new, or suggest any change in monetary policy, but it was nonetheless reassuring to a market fearful of a double-dip recession. Most importantly, Bernanke stated quite clearly that he remains committed to insuring an economic recovery, which should hardly be a surprise. And yet, this was taken as good news. Investors anticipate economic problems, despite the fundamentally stronger state of business and financial market conditions.

2010-08-16 The Fear and the Flight of the Individual Investor by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Individual investors have abandoned the equity market to the greatest extent in decades, pushed out by poor returns, unfathomable volatility, and disillusion with the political and economic environment. Instead, investors have turned to bonds as they prioritize safety and return-on-capital over investment returns. This search for safety will prove counterproductive, however, and investors will get hurt down the road once the economy recovers. Their flight from stocks has made the equity market the place to be for the foreseeable future, but only those with staying power will reap the benefits.

2010-08-02 The Bubble In Bonds vs. Cheap Stocks by Charles Lieberman (Article)

It is disputed in a few corners, but more analysts and strategists view bonds as severely overvalued and stocks as symmetrically cheap. Advisors Capital Management shares this judgment and points to assorted different ways to reach this conclusion. Investors should be trying to inoculate their bonds holdings from losing value at some point and taking advantage of the upside potential in equities. The 'lost decade' in stocks could easily be followed by a lost decade in bonds, while stocks recover.

2010-07-26 Back to Even and Still Bullish by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The equity market has recovered to being even for the year to date, overcoming a possible credit crisis in Greece and Europe, as well as fears of a double-dip recession at home. While the economic outlook is 'unusually uncertain,' it is the pace of the recovery that is most subject to question, more than its sustainability. Notwithstanding these concerns, corporate profits continue to increase at a solid pace, cash is accumulating, and stocks have become cheap. This offers an excellent entry point for investors, who are able to hang in despite the market's volatility.

2010-07-19 Sovereign Risks by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Fitch upgraded Argentina's bonds to B (stable) from Default last week, a rather questionable decision. Argentina and a few others belong in a special class, recidivist sovereign borrowers who default on a regular basis after they've lured new lenders to provide them with fresh money. It makes little sense to upgrade Argentina and downgrade Greece because the latter country's budget cutbacks are not politically popular. It is doubtful Argentina will act responsibly any time soon.

2010-07-12 It's a Slow Grind by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Economic growth in the U.S. is only moderate, which is inadequate to bring down unemployment at a satisfactory pace, even as a double-dip recession remains highly unlikely. It's easy to recognize the problems with the economy, while overlooking the positives. But there's a critical distinction often lost between the unsatisfactory current state of economic affairs and the improving direction. Given time, economic growth should accelerate and lift the economy to a solid state of health.

2010-07-07 Lebron James and Earnings Season by Charles Lieberman (Article)

It appears that everyone is reducing their expectations for the economy. The stock market, a discounting mechanism, is responding accordingly and suggesting that analyst's 2011 earnings expectations are too high. However, the market is now trading at a price-to-earnings multiple near that of March 2009 market lows, when the structure of the global economy was in question, the credit markets were still frozen, and corporate balance sheets had not yet begun being repaired, a far cry from where we are today. This does not seem appropriate.

2010-07-02 Employment Report: Just Fair by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Job growth continued in June, but not enough to support the idea that the economy is still gathering speed, but also not weak enough to indicate a double dip recession. One months data is insufficient to suggest the trend of accelerating growth is truly broken, but the economy ought to be getting stronger and this payroll employment doesn't show that.

2010-06-28 Are We Greece or Are We Japan? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Does the US economy have more in common with Japan, whose longstanding economic troubles have had disastrous results, or with Greece, whose lack of fiscal responsibility is causing the country to face an economic Judgment Day? Dr. Charles Lieberman argues that our situation is not as dire as either of these nations, as long as we continue to rein in the budget and see increasing job growth.

2010-06-14 The Wisdom of Peter Lynch by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Peter Lynch once recounted how he was forced to stop reading the papers over the weekend because the doom and gloom depressed him so much that he was unable to make any investments on Monday. Charles Lieberman of Advisors Capital Management knows how he felt. If we believe the news, Greece will default and the euro is at risk of falling apart, while the housing market is about to weaken once again. Fortunately, none of these popular views holds up to scrutiny. Our recovery may be weak relative to prior recoveries following deep recessions, but it is still gathering momentum.

2010-06-01 Back to Armageddon by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors appear to be fearful of a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Indeed, the purveyors of gloom and doom have been repeating their dire forecasts. This can not be dismissed as a possibility. Market conditions, however, are vastly improved today. Corporate debt refinancing, surging corporate profits and bank loss write-offs have brought stock prices close to discounting Armageddon once again, even though a total meltdown is now much less likely. This makes stocks very, very cheap. Once fear dissipates, expect another wild surge in stock prices.

2010-05-24 Driven By Psychology by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Memories of 2008 are still fresh enough to make fears of another meltdown high, even though economic conditions are considerably improved. Growth should slow as a result of deficit reduction efforts, but mostly in Europe. Domestic demand is still gathering momentum, reinforced by job growth, which is boosting disposable income and discretionary spending. Against this backdrop, domestic equities have become quite cheap once again. As conditions stabilize, stocks could experience another sharp upward surge.

2010-05-17 Why Be Bullish? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors are nervous that Greece and Europe's need to restrain fiscal policy could spill over and cause a double dip recession in the United States. While that isn't impossible, it is highly unlikely. The U.S. economy is building momentum and derailing the expansion is quickly becoming difficult. Fundamentals also strongly suggest an improving economy. Thus, rather than weakness in Europe undermining domestic growth, it is far more likely that a healthier economy in the U.S. and in Asia will spill over to help the Europeans.

2010-05-10 Europe Fires the Bazooka by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Greece's risk of default has the potential to disrupt markets globally, depressing stock and most commodity markets, while pushing the safest bonds, Treasuries, to artificially high values. With Greece as a possible disruptive force to global capital markets, the Fed will be hesitant to raise rates. Moreover, restrictive fiscal policies in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the U.K. will weaken U.S. exports to Europe. While a less expansion oriented monetary policy will still be needed in the U.S., it will come later given the disruptive forces from Europe that will restrain global growth.

2010-05-07 Greece and Possible Contagion by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The equity market melted down yesterday, partly due to a trading error, but also out of fear of contagion from Greece to Spain and Portugal. Europeans will need to draw a line in the sand to prevent the possibility of contagion, or risk a broad loss of liquidity across Europe. A strong policy response, possibly including a European Union guarantee on the sovereign debt of all its members, as well as support for the European credit markets from the European Central Bank, should calm the markets. Markets will remain quite volatile until these key players take strong policy action.

2010-05-03 Is the Economic Recovery for Real? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Friday's employment report will help shed light on whether the economic recovery is sustainable. The pickup in consumer spending and business investment so far is very good news, but unless that spending translates into job growth, the gains in GDP will not last. Without job growth, households will lack the income to increase spending and business will soon find that sales are weakening again. The early signs are excellent. But until we see a number of months of job gains, it is inappropriate to think the expansion is well-established.

2010-04-26 Stocks Still Have Limited Downside by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Stock valuations are still reasonable and they are getting cheaper, despite the market rally. Profits are rebounding strongly and economic growth is still in the early stages of an expansion. With unemployment still at 9.7 percent, the economy and corporate profits have considerable upside and it will take some years for the economy to revert to a normal level. Any slide in stock prices would provide an opportunity for investors who have missed the rally a chance to get in, which implies only limited downside for stocks at this time.

2010-04-19 Goldman, as Scapegoat by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Goldman's crime, which appears to be more of a technicality than the kind of truly nasty crimes that were being committed by some financial market players, seems to be targeting the name, not the crime. This suggests it is more of a show event, perhaps in anticipation of the elections, than a real effort to punish miscreants, such as lenders at Countrywide or New Century. This show may fill the media over the coming months and quarters, but fortunately, it will not derail the economic recovery.

2010-04-12 Gluttons... For Bad News by Charles Lieberman (Article)

While all the economy's travails are not behind us, Advisors Capital Management thinks the stock market's recovery is very solidly based, and expects more gains over the rest of the year. There may be a bubble out there, but it has afflicted the bond market, not the stock market. S&P 500 companies beat analyst estimates by 72 percent in the first quarter. Bears dismiss this as one-time cost cutting that cannot be sustained. However, more than 70 percent of S&P companies also reported revenues that beat estimates.

2010-04-05 Houston, We Have Ignition by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The final and most important missing link in the economic recovery is now falling into place. Job growth has resumed. While we should not jump to strong conclusions based on a single economic report, the underlying trends and supporting data all reinforce the same inference that the economy is back on a growth track. The economic recovery trajectory is likely to further improve in the coming months as job growth feeds into household income and confidence in order to support more spending. This month we have ignition. Next month, we may have liftoff.

2010-03-29 I'm Entitled by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Greece's budget problems reflect the willingness of the government to pay workers wages and benefits that exceed the willingness of citizens to pay taxes. The simple lesson is that governments cannot promise benefits without considering their cost. It is therefore disappointing that the U.S. government chose to create a new healthcare entitlement program at a time when it is already running high budget deficits. Markets are not ready to stop financing U.S. budget deficits right now, but this may become a problem down the road.

2010-03-22 Sex Sells... And So Does Fear by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Household confidence remains low, despite evidence that the economy has been growing for three quarters. Negative interpretations of data are given too much credibility and attention, and investors continue to pour money into bonds while avoiding stocks. Markets, however, tend to move ahead of perceptions. Just as the stock market began to recover in March 2009 before the economic recovery was evident, the market will now continue to recover in anticipation of the resumption of job growth and a self-sustaining expansion. Confidence surveys will follow suit.

2010-03-15 Getting Healthy by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Investors expect a slow recovery, partly because they believe that households and firms must rebuild finances and improve their financial health before they can spend once again. Main Street is getting healthier, as household wealth recovers and people pay down debt. Corporate America is far ahead and has already greatly improved its condition. And soon, companies will start hiring, which will enable households to reinforce the economic recovery.

2010-03-08 What a Difference a Year Makes by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Many investors are dismayed they missed out on the dramatic market rebound off the lows of March 9, 2009. Many investors are now looking to sell their stocks, if they hadn't already bailed out a year ago. Equity valuations seem quite reasonable, however, despite the sharp rise in stock prices over the past 12 months. Lieberman predicts GDP growth of 3.5 to 4 percent in 2010, implying profits of more than $80 for the S&P, and possibly as high as $85, compared to the consensus estimates of 2.5 percent growth and $75 in earnings.

2010-03-01 M&A is Back by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Mergers and acquisitions are back, but unlike the wave of deals in 2005 and 2006, these new M&As are strategic rather than financial. They are initiated by companies within the same industry that seek complementary businesses or overlapping activity where cost-cutting can significantly increase competitiveness. Implicit in these new deals is that stocks are cheap and firms have enough confidence in their outlooks to proceed with acquisitions.

2010-02-22 Getting Back to Normal by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Federal Reserve's hike of the discount rate was a message that economic and financial conditions are returning to normal, and that interest rates must follow suit. Real rate hikes will not occur for another few quarters, and policy should remain accommodative for a long time. Economic growth should continue to build, and the outlook for stocks remains very positive. Bond yields should also rise gradually over time.

2010-02-16 It's the Budget, Not the European Union at Risk by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The Greek government will likely use continued membership in the European monetary union as an excuse to raise taxes or cut spending, while the rest of Europe will help Greece stay in the common currency. Restrictive fiscal policies in Greece, as well as Ireland, Portugal and Spain will lead Europe to lag behind the global economic recovery.

2010-02-08 Another (Half) Step Forward by Charles Lieberman (Article)

The economy continues to gain momentum as GDP grows and inflation stays low, says Charles Lieberman of Advisors Capital. Households will resume spending as real incomes rise and businesses will hire to meet rising demand, but turmoil in Greek markets could signal trouble ahead in Europe.

2010-01-25 Keep Focus on the Recovery by Charles Lieberman (Article)

... we must keep close tabs on the machinations in Washington to see if the political turmoil undermines the economic recovery or investor confidence in the market. It is distressing that we must do

2010-01-22 Policy Incompetence by Charles Lieberman (Article)

While the objective [of President Obama's proposed bank regulatory policy] is laudable and the financial system is in need of new regulations to protect it more effectively, the proposed approach i

2010-01-11 Low Expectations Are Made to be Exceeded by Charles Lieberman (Article)

Is the equity market overpriced and vulnerable after its sharp rally off the March 2009 lows, as suggested by the bears? While the economy has many problems to overcome, equity valuations are actually

2010-01-04 2010: The Year of Economic Recovery by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-12-21 Looking Backwards to Move Forward by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-12-14 Gathering Momentum by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-12-07 Recovery on Track: Buy Equities, Sell Bonds by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-11-30 It's a Weak Recovery, Or Is It? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-11-23 Too Big to Fail vs. Too Political to Regulate by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-11-16 Debunking Policy and Economic Myths by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-11-09 Buffett's Message by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-10-27 Policy Needs and Timing Concerns by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-10-19 Yet another Quarter of Better-Than-Expected Earnings Growth by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-10-12 Is There A by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-10-05 The Recovery Process by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-09-28 Unappreciated Risk by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-09-14 One Year After Lehman by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-09-08 Slow Turn by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-08-31 Cash is a Clunker by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-08-24 There's A Strong Recovery Ahead in Housing by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-08-17 Will Commercial Real Estate Defer Recovery? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-08-11 It Is Looking More Like A V-Shaped Recovery by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-08-03 Still Missing the Last Piece: Jobs by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-07-27 Revenues Down, Profits Up, Is This a Problem? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-07-20 From Green Shoots to Flowering Buds by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-07-13 The Shin Bone Is Connected to the Knee Bone... by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-07-06 Disappointment, Not Tragedy by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-06-29 The Message of the Bond Market by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-06-22 (The Economy) and Housing are Bottoming by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-06-15 What if the Chinese Sell Treasuries? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-06-08 Why are Interest Rates Rising on Treasuries? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-06-01 Where Are the Land Mines Hidden? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-05-26 Is the Stock Market Rally for Real? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-05-18 Seeds of Recovery by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-05-11 Inflation Fears are Overblown by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-05-04 The Upside Case for the Stock Market by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-04-27 The Ship is Turning by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-04-20 Step by Step by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-04-13 A Little Healthier, Psychologically by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-04-06 Not Out of the Woods Quite Yet by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-30 International Economic Games at the G20 by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-23 Policy Engaged by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-18 Unraveling the Housing Market by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-18 Don't Fight the Fed by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-16 Early Green Shots by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-09 Accounting Gone Wild by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-03-02 A Good Strategic Move by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-02-27 The Value of Trust Preferred Shares by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-02-23 Nationalization Fears by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-02-17 Stop Talking, Just Do It by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-02-09 Even Bonds Offer Good Value Now by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-02-02 Dismal News Is Not Quite So Dismal by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-01-26 Two Steps Forward, One Step Back by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-01-12 Dismal Economy by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2009-01-05 The Outlook for 2009 by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-12-22 Winter Thaw? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-12-15 It's All about the Credit Markets by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-12-01 Still Working to Restore Confidence by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-11-24 Restoring Confidence by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-11-17 The Power of Lower Oil Prices by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-11-17 The Power of Lower Oil Prices by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-11-11 Expectations for a Long Recession by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-11-03 Looking for Value; It's Everywhere by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-10-27 A Letter to Treasury Secretary Paulson by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-10-20 Coordinated Rescue Strategies by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-10-13 Seriously, Frankly by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-10-08 Exceptional Action for Extraordinary Times by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-10-06 A Stitch in Time Would Have Saved Nine by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-29 Behind the Scenes at the Credit Crisis by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-29 The Melodrama Continues by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-22 Sifting Through the Carnage by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-15 Where's the Safety Net? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-15 Thoughts at the End of the Day by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-08 Help for the GSEs and Housing by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-09-02 Hopeful Signs of Improvement by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-08-26 Academic Debate by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-08-18 Problematic Credit Risks by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-08-11 Black Gold by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-08-04 Is Inflation a Problem? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-07-29 The Complicated World of Fannie and Freddie by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-07-21 GMO versus GMI by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-07-14 Hysteria, Stoked by Hedge Funds and Media by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-07-07 What is Needed for the Economy to Improve? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-07-01 Worries Over Incompetent Policies by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-06-23 When Will It End? by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-06-16 Talk Softly and Carry a Big Stick by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-06-09 Moral Confusion by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-06-02 And Miles to go Before I Sleep by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-05-19 Turning the Long, Slow, Painful Corner by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-05-12 The Conspiracy Raising Oil Prices by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-05-05 Looking Ahead to a Gradual Recovery by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-04-28 More Policy Action is Still Needed by Charles Lieberman (Article)

2008-04-22 The Turn is Underway by Charles Lieberman (Article)


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