Pensions: Do You Know Where Your Retirement Is?

As you know, dear reader, I have been following the pension issue for the last year. Here are just some recent headlines: from Texas, “Without a Fix, Teacher Healthcare Fund is Empty Next Year”, from Modesto, California “City Considers Freeze on Hiring and Promotions as Pension Costs Loom”, and “Emotions Run High as Kentucky Retirement Systems Pension Hole Grows.” These stories go on and on and on.

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Broker Research and Other Bad Jokes

If you don’t want to know something, don’t ask the question.

The traditional Investment Banking equity research model is about to undergo a radical transformation. New regulations set to go into effect in 2018 in Europe require Investment Banks to break out the pricing of equity research charged to their buy side clients so that clients can be billed for research directly rather than paying indirectly through inflated commissions.

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Is a Major Stock Market Correction Now at Hand?

The S&P500 Index (SPX) is once again flirting with its 20 day moving average which has defined underlying support for the SPX since the current rally began with the Trump election victory. The SPX has not had consecutive daily closes below its 20 dma (the blue line in the following chart) since early November; it has touched its 20 dma numerous times but closed below it only once. The pattern continued last week when the SPX rebounded after trading just below its 20 dma on Thursday.

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U.S. Treasury Headed for Disaster?

On Wednesday of this week, the U.S. has a debt ceiling again. Since the deal between Speaker John Boehner and President Obama in October of 2015, the debt ceiling has been suspended, allowing the President to borrow as much as he wanted. Not anymore. Now the Treasury will be limited to borrowing no more than what is outstanding on March 15th, approximately $20 trillion, unless Congress ups the limit.

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