October 10, 2018 | Econtrarian

The Flattening Yield Curve – Is It Different This Time?

Back in mid-December 2016, the Fed started raising the federal funds rate by 0.25 of a percentage point per quarter. So, the federal funds rate has risen a cumulative 1.50 percentage points since then. When the Fed began these quarterly federal funds hikes back in mid-December 2016, the difference, or spread, between the yield on […]

August 15, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

Don’t Fear Inflation

There’s a lot to like about the U.S. economy’s performance. It just completed the strongest quarterly growth rate in nearly four years, the job market is rocking, corporations are enjoying record profits, stock prices are up and consumer confidence remains elevated. Indeed, the party is going so well that the Federal Reserve is taking away […]

July 30, 2018 | Econtrarian

One Simple Policy to Simultaneously Strengthen Your Currency and Weaken Your Exports

If a policymaker wanted to simultaneously strengthen the foreign exchange value of a country’s currency and weaken the country’s exports, that policymaker would be advised to impose tariffs on the country’s imports. This is the policy prescription I gleaned from reading Dartmouth College Professor Douglas A. Irwin’s 30-page monograph, “Three Simple Principles of Trade Policy”. […]

July 23, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

As Good As It Gets

As expected, the U.S. central bank hiked short-term interest rates by another quarter-point at its June meeting, lifting the bellwether federal funds rate up to a range of 1.75-2.00 percent. It was the second increase so far this year, and the seventh since the Fed moved away from its lengthy zero-rate policy of December 2015. […]

July 23, 2018 | eFocus @ Legacy

When Seconds Count: Why it’s important to name a contingent beneficiary

By: Kathy A. Brost, Trust and Financial Advisor, Legacy Private Trust Company I always recommend that you name at least two beneficiaries for your accounts, and it’s particularly important for IRAs and retirement plans. Generally, IRA owners assume they can name their children or another contingent beneficiary at a later date if something happens to […]