Friday, January 26, 2018

Consumer Confidence Is Lifting the Economy. But for How Much Longer?

Amid the constant turmoil in domestic and global politics these days, the economy’s steady expansion has been a source of comfort. But look more closely and you will find that economic growth rests on a surprisingly amorphous base: consumer confidence.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The World’s Priciest Stock Market

It is impossible to pin down the full cause of the high price of the US stock market. That alone should remind all investors of the importance of diversification, and that the overall US stock market should not be given too much weight in a portfolio.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Continuous Workout Mortgages: Efficient Pricing and Systemic Implications

By Robert J. Shiller, Rafal M. Wojakowski, M. Shahid Ebrahim, and Mark B. Shackleton

This paper studies the Continuous Workout Mortgage (CWM), a two in one product: a fixed rate home loan coupled with negative equity insurance, to advocate its viability in mitigating financial fragility.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

What Is Bitcoin Really Worth? Don’t Even Ask.

Dabbling in Bitcoin lies somewhere between gambling and investing.

After all, true investing requires a rational appraisal of an asset’s value and that is simply not possible at present with Bitcoin. Real understanding of the economic issues underlying the cryptocurrency is almost nonexistent.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Stock Market Panic Like 1987 Could Happen Again

Oct. 19, 1987, was one of the worst days in stock market history. Thirty years later, it would be comforting to believe it couldn’t happen again.

Yet that’s true only in the narrowest sense: Regulatory and technological change has made an exact repeat of that terrible day impossible. We are still at risk, however, because fundamentally, that market crash was a mass stampede set off through viral contagion.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Another Nobel Surprise for Economics

The winner of this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, is a controversial choice. Thaler is known for his lifelong pursuit of behavioral economics (and its subfield, behavioral finance), which is the study of economics (and finance) from a psychological perspective. For some in the profession, the idea that psychological research should even be part of economics has generated hostility for years.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Coming Bear Market?

The US stock market today is characterized by a seemingly unusual combination of very high valuations, following a period of strong earnings growth, and very low volatility. What do these ostensibly conflicting messages imply about the likelihood that the United States is headed toward a bear market?

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