April 30, 2018 | Econtrarian

As of this Past Fourth Quarter, the S&P 500 Remained Relatively Cheap

Now that the first quarter of 2018 has ended, what could be more fitting than to look back at the relative valuation of the S&P 500 stock index as of last year’s fourth quarter? After all, isn’t that what we economists do best, look back? This commentary is an update to my November 29, 2017 […]

April 30, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

Consumer Retrenchment Not Alarming

As advertised, the economy is turning in an underwhelming performance in the first quarter, dragged down by soft consumer spending. Since households are the economy’s main growth driver, many are fretting that the nation’s third-longest expansion, about to enter its tenth year, is nearing the end of the road. There are troubling signs that typically […]

April 25, 2018 | eFocus @ Legacy

Navigating Rough Waters

By: Gregory S. Hansen, Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager, Legacy Private Trust Company A few months ago, I was on vacation with my family on the north shore of Oahu—an area known for its big wave surfing. I had tuned out from the headlines (the markets were closed that day) when I had an […]

April 04, 2018 | Econtrarian

March 2018 Econtrarian Commentary

With the recent U.S. congressional passing and presidential signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the federal budget deficit is projected to increase in the next few years. According to projections by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the U.S. federal budget will […]

March 25, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

March 2018 Economic and Financial Digest

Once again, the economy is behaving like Lucy from the old Peanuts cartoon, removing the football just as Charlie Brown is about to kick it through the goal posts. Recall that the growth engine revved up last year, building momentum that appeared firmly set to carry over into 2018. But alas, the expected growth trajectory, […]