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Strebler's Perspective

February, 2016 Archives

There's No Place Like Home

By Jon S. Strebler

 

But then, you can never go home – they say. What to make of these two conflicting statements that we so often hear? 

 

Well first of all, many people can’t wait to leave home, whether we define that as the household they grew up in or the town they’re originally from. But focusing on the geographic idea of home, most people like the area they grew up in because they “fit in” there. And many who couldn’t wait to leave it find, in later years, that it wasn’t so bad after all. Which leads us to the second thesis that “you can never go home.”

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As the World Turns

By Jon S. Strebler


As the World Turns was a very successful daytime soap opera. It ran from the 1950s all the way until 2010, and was a staple for millions of bored housewives and others. I even got into its sordid story lines for awhile in the early-1970s when, working as a temporary employee – a “temp” – my job was to test TVs as they passed by on an assembly line. Hey – it beat flipping burgers! But we’re not going to talk about that here, but rather “as the worm turns.” This expression goes back at least to the days of William Shakespeare, who understood that “worm” actually meant a dragon. What a relief when the dragon, spewing fire and destruction across the countryside, finally turned away and left. Thus, the turning of the worm indicates a change of fortune – better times ahead!

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Changing Dynamics

By Jon S. Strebler

 

I suppose that’s kind of redundant, as dynamic means changing.  But in any case, it does seem as if we’re seeing a significant change or two in the markets and how investors perceive things.   People were basically resigned to a regimen of gradually increasing interest rates, after years of accommodative central bank policy.  By early-November, it was clear that the Fed would raise rates in December, and virtually certain that future increases would come in 2016.  That, in turn, would make higher rates in the rest of the world likely, even if not a certainty. 

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Saucers Ready to Fly?

By Jon S. Strebler

 

2016 has blessed (?) us with a most interesting start.  January was volatile, set some records, and always kept our attention.  Stars of the show included plunging crude oil prices, European bourses dragged south by recession and falling commodity prices, a collapsing Chinese stock market (now down to about half of its 2014 high), interest rate drama, and a potential Dow Theory non-confirmation.  Let us not forget the nagging fear that this November may feature a contest between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, a truly comedic thought if it didn’t represent equal parts danger and embarrassment for America.

 

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