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Oil Prices Collapse: Is the Energy Industry Going Back to the Future?

Energy, in particular the oil and gas industry, has always been one of the foundations of both the economy and the financial markets. The world has run on oil and gas for decades, to the extent that oil prices have been among the key determinants of recessions and market crashes. In recent years, that impact has been just as strong. The rise in oil prices in the 2000s—and the recent collapse—shook economies and governments around the world.

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Where Does the Fed Go from Here?

Today, the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting on monetary policy will come to an end. With a news conference already scheduled, markets will be turning toward Washington to see what the Fed is doing today—and where it is likely to go from here.

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What Are Investors Worried About?

Yesterday, I spent the day in New York talking with a number of people, including many in the media. I always find this incredibly interesting. Media folks are invariably intelligent and very well informed about what a wide variety of players, including investors, are worried about—and what they are actually doing about it.

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Monday Update: Hurricane Harvey Leads to Disappointing Data

Last week presented a wide range of data—from the consumer, to manufacturing, to the economy as a whole. Although the results were generally disappointing, much of that weakness appears to come from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Historically, major storms have resulted in weak data for a month or two. So, while it is worth watching, we will likely see a bounce back in the coming months.

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Is the Bitcoin Ride Over?

Recently, I announced that bitcoin was the winner of the “Bubby,” an award I made up for the bubble of the year. I kind of like the idea—and will do it again—but it was certainly done at least a bit tongue in cheek to highlight the appreciation over the recent past. Sometimes, however, you get it right almost by accident. Events since then have made that post seem somewhat prescient.

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What’s Behind Recent Stock Market Records?

This morning, you may have heard that the U.S. stock market eked out another new record yesterday. Indeed, this is great news and certainly a big deal—as it comes just days after two major hurricanes hit the U.S. and under the mushroom cloud of a simmering North Korea confrontation (remember that?).

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Economic Risk Factor Update: September 2017

August’s data was mixed, as improvements in business and consumer confidence were offset by a flattening yield curve and jobs numbers that were weaker than expected. These results were mildly disappointing. But the overall positive trends and, in particular, the high levels of confidence point toward faster growth toward the end of the year. 

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Is the Employment Boom Still On?

Early last year, I made a rather bold statement: the employment boom was on. I had been hinting at it well before that, but in April, I finally felt that I could make a good case. Now, more than a year later, concerns about the economy are …

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