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Economics

Take a deeper dive into the global repercussions of recent political events and explore the economic forces of inflation, wages, interest rates, taxes, unemployment, and national currencies and their potential effects on investors and policymakers, in the U.S. and around the world. 
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AI: Enhancing or Displacing the Future Workforce?

One of the most important debates today relates to the potential impact that generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) models will have on the U.S. labor market. Some observers see the ongoing process of automation as a harbinger for widespread layoffs, not only for low-skilled workers but also for more highly skilled professionals.
Economics, Policy
View of Russian flag behind barbed wire against cloudy sky.

Russia's Economy Is Better Than Expected, but Not Out of the Woods

This issue of how effective sanctions are in dealing with recalcitrant nations is being discussed once again amid reports that Russia’s economy is faring better than expected two years after the U.S. and European Union imposed sweeping sanctions on it.
Economics, Policy
Aerial view of a large corn maze.

The Yield Curve's Streak of Forecasting Recessions Might Be Over

An inverted yield curve, in which yields on longer-dated bonds are below those for shorter-dated instruments, has correctly predicted the last nine U.S. recessions in the post-World War II era. However, this winning streak could be coming to an end, as the U.S. economy has displayed surprising resilience to the Federal Reserve’s tightening during the past two years.
Fixed Income, Markets, Economics
Cracked brick wall painted with an American flag on the left and a Chinese flag on the right.

Renewed Trade Tensions With China Could Threaten America's 'Goldilocks Economy'

With the U.S. economy performing surprisingly well and the stock market setting record highs, many investors call what is happening the "Goldilocks economy." The main concern now is geopolitical, with the possibility that the Israeli-Hamas conflict could spread throughout the Middle East. However, there is also the risk of a global trade conflict with China that is going unnoticed.
Markets, Economics, Policy
Image with concept of Growth diagram crude oil stock price graph.

Oil, Gas, and Geopolitics in 2024: Saudi Arabia Hanging the Sword of Damocles Over the Oil Market

Expect the oil market to remain balanced in 2024 with oil in the low $70s, a level which could have a minor impact on non-OPEC growth. Midstream equities, under such a scenario, should experience some modest volume growth, while upstream producers could see lower cash flows relative to 2023.
Economics, Markets, Policy
Bull statue on the chess board.

The Blockbuster Jobs Report Should End All Doubts About the Economy

What does the January jobs report mean for the strength of the economy and possible implications for the 2024 elections? And how does this impact the debate about whether the economy is headed for a recession?
Economics, Policy, Markets
Landscape image of White Sands National Park in New Mexico

2024 Outlook: Has the Good News Been Priced Into Markets?

Financial markets often surprise investors, but the past year defied virtually all forecasts. The prevailing view at the start of the year was that aggressive tightening by the Fed would produce a recession. Instead, economic growth far surpassed expectations at 2.6% according to Fed estimates.
Markets, Economics, Wealth Management
Federal Reserve building in Washington DC at sunrise

The Fed Will Lower Interest Rates—But By Less Than What Bondholders Expect

The Fed has signaled it is close to pivoting monetary policy as officials become more confident that inflation is on the path toward its 2% target.
Markets, Economics, Wealth Management
Businessman looks at the horizon through a telescope.

Interest Rate Cuts Are on the Horizon

As investors look ahead to 2024, the central concern on their minds is the extent to which the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy in the new year.
Policy, Markets, Economics
Empty forked road over conceptual dramatic sky.

Optimistic Investors vs. Gloomy Voters: The Economic Outlook

The end of each year is usually a time for reflection about how the economy and markets fared, as well as for assessing future prospects. Normally, the assessments are a blend of both positive and negative considerations. 2023, however, was different.
Economics, Equities, Policy
Predict the economic future concept with crystal ball and stock charts projected.

The 2024 Financial Landscape Is All About the Fed

In anticipation of the upcoming year, investors are eminently focused on a pivotal question: Are the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes concluded, and is a rate reduction on the horizon for the next year? While interest rate expectations always matter, the gyrations of financial markets – stocks, bonds, and the dollar — have been dominated the past two years by expectations about what the Federal Reserve will do.
Policy, Economics, Fixed Income, Markets
Business chart arrow down on EURO flag background.

Germany: The 'Sick Man of Europe' and Its Implications for the Euro

While global investors focus on the prospects for the U.S. and China, they should not overlook the euro zone, where the economic outlook has shifted this year. The initial consensus was that Europe would be adversely impacted due to its heavy reliance on Russian natural gas. Instead, the euro zone economy proved resilient, primarily because of unexpected plunges in natural gas prices and crude oil.
Economics, Policy, Markets
Wooden blocks with interest rate percent of bank with US dollars.

An Extended Pause on Fed Interest Rate Hikes Is Prudent for Us All

The Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged at the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting was widely expected, given Chair Jerome Powell and other officials previously signaled the outcome.
Economics, Policy, Markets
yellow wildflower growing in desert

How Long Will the U.S. Economy Stay Resilient?

Investors have come to accept that the Fed will keep rates “higher for longer.” Meanwhile, prospects for a soft landing have improved as core inflation has come down significantly this year. Still, investors must assess whether the U.S. economy can stay resilient now that interest rates are positive in real terms and economies abroad are weakening.
Markets, Economics, Wealth Management
High angle view of Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower.

China's Growth Slowdown: Global Investors Should Take Notice

As China's economy has struggled to gain traction this year, many investors accept that its economic growth rate will be below the government’s official target of 5%, which is reflected in a significant underperformance of China's stock market relative to the U.S. and other global peers in the past four months.
Economics, Markets
laser cutting metal

The Anomaly of High U.S. Profit Margins and a Tight Labor Market

The U.S. economy’s performance this year has been an enigma for many people. Real GDP growth has been stronger than expected, while inflation has fallen more quickly than expected. 
Economics, Markets
hawk flying above a forest of trees

2023 Midyear Update: A Clear Message from the Fed Amid Mixed Economic Signals

The first half of 2023 was full of surprises. Bond yields surged initially and then subsequently fell back in early April when several regional banks encountered problems. By midyear, however, yields had risen again as the economy proved resilient to Fed rate hikes. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index, which had fluctuated in a broad trading range since mid-2022, broke decidedly to the upside in the second quarter, reaching its highest level since April 2022.
Markets, Economics, Wealth Management
federal reserve logo on 20 dollar bill

The ‘Hawkish’ Fed Pause is a Clear Message That Rates Will Stay Higher for Longer

A pause gives policymakers time to assess whether core inflation, which is running at about 5 percent, will also subside.
Economics, Wealth Management
U.S. paper currency

The Dollar’s Demise is Being Greatly Exaggerated

A question often asked is, how long can the dollar retain its status as the world’s principal currency? There have been numerous occasions when commentators declared an end to the dollar’s dominance—only to be proven wrong.
Economics, Wealth Management
U.S. and China flags

Biden Must Reach Out to Xi Before the U.S.-China Impasse Becomes Irreconcilable

World trade has slowed over the past five years due to tariffs imposed, supply chain disruptions, the Russian-Ukraine conflict, and, recently, U.S. export controls, which are intended to hinder Chinese advances in technology. The challenge for policymakers now is to find a way to ease tensions before fissures in the global trading system leave it divided.
Policy, Economics
Fed building at sunset

Should Monetary Policy and Regulatory Policy Be Separate?

The Fed is following its standard procedure of separating the conduct of monetary policy, which is geared to achieve low inflation and full employment, from regulatory policy that is intended to preserve financial stability. The view is that monetary policy should not be altered when a financial institution becomes insolvent unless it is systemically important. While this makes sense in theory, there are many gray areas in implementing policy.
Economics, Markets
fishing boat with fog in the distance

Bank Runs Spell More Uncertainty for the Economy

The bond market experienced one of the most volatile quarters in history in the first quarter of 2023. There also remains uncertainty about how widespread issues are in the banking sector and how these could impact the economy as a whole. We believe that if a recession does transpire, it will be mild, as household and business balance sheets are strong.
Markets, Economics, Wealth Management
russian oil rig

The Russia-Ukraine Conflict is a Wildcard for Investors

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused not only a geopolitical earthquake but also a storm of uncertainty for U.S. investors and the global economy at large.
Economics, Markets
zen garden

The Debate Over 60/40 Portfolios: The Fed’s Role in Distorting Capital Market Pricing

Are investors still striking the right balance with the popular 60/40 portfolio?
Economics, Markets, Wealth Management
shipping container going under bridge

The Continuing Mystery of Biden’s Trade Policy

When President Biden assumed office two years ago, proponents of free trade hoped it would signal a break from President Trump’s protectionist stance. To the chagrin of many, Biden’s trade policy remains a mystery.
Economics, Markets
A puzzle of people with missing pieces

How Can Job Growth Be So Strong When the Economy Is Soft?

This question has surfaced in the wake of blockbuster jobs growth in January. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 517,000 and were accompanied by upward revisions in the two previous months, while the household survey posted nearly a 900,000 increase. They resulted in the unemployment rate falling to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969. Is this a statistical fluke?   
Economics, Markets
US coins spilled from a jar

The Battle Over Federal Spending: GOP Tactics May Change but not the Outcome

Shockwaves over the debacle to elect Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) House Speaker have dissipated by now, but the fallout over raising the federal debt ceiling is just beginning. How will this play out and how will it impact the economy? 
Policy, Economics
man climbing ice mountain

The 2023 Outlook: Policymakers Are Constrained as Recession Risks Loom

2022 was one of the worst years for U.S. stocks and bonds, as inflation spiked to a four-decade high. Looking ahead, the key issue for investors is whether Fed tightening will spawn a U.S. recession. Fort Washington’s Senior Economic Advisor Nick Sargen shares a 2023 outlook for the economy and how we are positioning investment portfolios.   
Economics, Markets, Wealth Management
Norway in the winter

Is This Europe’s Winter of Discontent - or Putin’s?

As 2023 gets underway, most forecasts for the global economy are downbeat as central banks combat inflation by raising interest rates. Among developed economies, Europe faces the worst predicament because it is also impacted by a squeeze in natural gas supplies from Russia.
Policy, Economics
gridlock traffic

The 2023 Budget: A Final Attempt at Compromise Before Policy Gridlock Sets In

In the wake of the 2022 midterm elections, many observers believe the most likely outcome for fiscal policy over the next two years will be gridlock. This comes after the Democrats enacted major spending programs in the past two years.
Policy, Economics
Wall Street sign with stock market

Will Investors Care if the Fed Lessens its Commitment to 2 Percent Inflation?

During the past year, investors have fixated on how pro-active the Federal Reserve was in tackling inflation. What will happen if the Fed does not retain its 2% inflation target in 2023?
Policy, Economics
rail line leading to city

China’s Economic Locomotive Derailed as Xi Consolidates Power

Following China’s 20th Party Congress in mid-October, most experts’ assessments have been overwhelmingly negative. As was widely anticipated, Xi Jinping was re-elected as party general secretary for an unprecedented third five-year term. Does this signal a "Great Leap Backward" for China and how will it impact the global economy?    
Policy, Economics
House with For Sale sign that says priced reduced

Why a Housing Bust Will Not Generate a Severe Recession

Nearly two thirds of economists foresee a U.S. recession in 2023, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey. Economists are skeptical that the Federal Reserve can keep raising interest rates to cool inflation without causing businesses to lay off workers.
Markets, Economics, Wealth Management
pneumatic hammer breaking asphalt

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Will the Public Infrastructure Law Be a Game-changer?

One of the long-standing public policy disagreements between Republicans and Democrats is over when is it appropriate for government to intervene in the economy. Republicans are prone to criticize government programs as being wasteful and inefficient, while Democrats maintain they can help fill gaps that the private sector cannot or will not address. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), enacted one year ago, is an area of bipartisan agreement.
Policy, Economics
U.S. flag buttons

The 2022 Midterm Message: Voters Want Normal, Not Crazy

Following the midterm elections, pundits are scrambling to explain how Republicans failed to capitalize on the results, when several issues favored them. Heading the list were voter worries about high inflation, the weakening economy and rising crime. How then were Democrats able to overcome such formidable obstacles?
Policy, Economics
leaves falling in front of the Capitol

Here’s What Could Hasten a Pivot by the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve’s decision to boost the federal funds rate by 75 basis points at its November meeting was widely anticipated by market participants, following a disappointing September inflation report. Instead, investors have focused on the possibility that the Fed may slow the pace of policy tightening at subsequent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings, which fueled the best monthly return for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1976.
Policy, Economics
cargo ship at port at night

Supply Bottlenecks Have Eased but Inflation Has Not: What This Says About Price Dynamics

The Federal Reserve and policy makers abroad were correct in pinpointing supply chain disruptions as the principal cause of the surge in goods prices last year. As pressures have eased, so have U.S. goods prices. So, why has inflation remained high?
Economics, Policy
inflation screen

How Responsible is Biden for High Inflation?

With the midterm elections upon us, polls show that inflation looms as the top issue on voters’ minds. Indeed, it is the biggest obstacle Democrats face to retaining control of both houses of Congress.
Policy, Economics
oil refinery at night

What Divergent Crude Oil & Natural Gas Prices Portend for the EU & U.S. 

Although the long-term correlation between prices for crude oil and natural gas is low, the magnitude of the price divergence today is unusually high. Consequently, why is it happening and what does it spell for the respective economies and financial markets?
Policy, Economics
sunset with storm

As Storm Clouds Brew, Is a Global Recession Looming?

A myriad of issues—Fed policy, inflation, recession in Europe, and a weakening of China’s economy—will likely cause global markets to stay volatile amid unusually high uncertainty.
Markets, Economics
european central bank in frankfurt

Is the Global Economy Entering an Era of "Great Volatility"?

The past few years suggest we may be entering a period of “Great Volatility” as the global economy has been buffeted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the effects of climate change. While these forces will likely lead to weakness ahead, decisions that central banks take to address high inflation can mitigate and limit the ultimate impact of these shocks.
Policy, Economics
shanghai cityscape

China’s Property Market is on the Brink. What Does That Mean for Investors?

A weakening of China’s property market would have spill-over effects to China’s main trading partners in Asia, Europe, and North America and would likely reverberate throughout global markets.
Economics, Markets
euro and dollar being exchanged

Why Policymakers Don’t Fret Euro - Dollar Parity

Euro-dollar parity is not an anomaly. Rather, the likelihood is the dollar will push through parity as interest differentials continue to widen.
Economics, Policy
Russian oil refinery

What’s the Plan to Counter Russia’s Energy Squeeze?

Some experts think that today’s energy crisis may become worse than the 1970s oil shock. Will Russia cut back on the contracted supplies of natural gas to Europe? If so, governments will need to secure supplies from global sources across the EU and to prepare gas rationing programs.

Economics
dual lightening strikes

Global Recession Watch: The World Economy Confronts Dual Shocks

For the first time in the post-war era, the global economy has been buffeted by two shocks—the worst public health disaster in one hundred years combined with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. What should investors do amid the heightened uncertainty?

Markets, Economics
Stock Market Ticker

Will the Stock Market Be a Good Predictor of a U.S. Recession?

COVID-19, international war, and inflationary concerns have all created a ripple effect through the stock market and the economy. It’s still uncertain whether the United States will fall into a recession; however, looking at certain trends from our history allows us to gain insight on what we may expect in the near future.

Markets, Economics
boat in the everglades

Fed Tightening Spawns Fears of Recession: 2022 Midyear Update

Markets are likely to stay volatile, and we are maintaining a moderate overweight in risk assets on the view that markets have priced in higher interest rates and a soft economy.
Economics, Markets
windy path down mountain

With Monetary Policy in Flux, What Should Investors Do Now?

As we reach the midpoint of the year, investors find themselves confronting a highly challenging environment, with the Federal Reserve now emphasizing the urgency of bringing inflation under control over maintaining “maximum” employment.
Policy, Economics
u.s.  dollar with buildings overtop

Will the Mighty Dollar Become a Problem?

At a time when both U.S. stocks and bonds have sold off significantly, the U.S. dollar has exhibited considerable strength against most currencies. Thus far, U.S. policymakers have not expressed concern about the dollar’s strength, as it helps to temper high inflation. But, it could become an issue if a deteriorating trade imbalance weakens the U.S. economy at some point.
Markets, Economics
insights podcast episode 4

Episode 04, What’s Happening to Markets and How to Position Portfolios

Periods of market volatility are often reminders for investors to ensure investment strategies and risk tolerance are properly aligned. In this episode, we discuss recent market volatility, its implications for investors, and considerations for portfolio positioning going forward.
Markets, Economics
rio de janeiro skyline

Worried About a U.S. Recession? Look to Emerging Economies for Clues

Investors should monitor the state of emerging economies, who often feel the fallout from Fed tightening when the U.S. economy is weakening and in several instances have caused the Fed to back off raising rates.
Economics, Policy
stock ticker on top of cityscape

Considering Emerging Markets? Bonds May Be Preferable to Equities

Returns for emerging markets equities have trailed those in the U.S. considerably for more than a decade now, while emerging markets bonds have fared relatively well versus U.S. bonds until this year.
Markets, Economics
China US flags

Biden Must Restore U.S. Economic Leadership in Asia

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the need for a clear international strategy has heightened. The U.S.’s response to the Russian invasion has been formidable, but it has yet to formulate a clear approach for China and allies in Asia.
Economics
flowers blooming in desert

How Resilient Is the U.S. Economy to Higher Rates and Oil Prices?

Several factors—including elevated inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—have the potential to impact the strength of the U.S. economy in the coming year.
Economics, Markets
house for sale

Why Housing May Not Be a Good Inflation Hedge This Time

Investors need to weigh how good of an investment vehicle housing may be going forward. The main concern today is that housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many Americans, a result of record home price appreciation in the past two years coupled with surging mortgage rates this year.
Economics
biker on path

Two Pathways Forward for Biden

With federal debt at record levels, inflation at four-decade highs, and the Federal Reserve about to tighten monetary policy, federal spending must be brought under control. How can President Biden move ahead with increased defense spending while also focusing on domestic priorities?
Economics, Policy
naval ship at sea

What the End of the "Peace Dividend" Will Mean for Americans

While investors currently are focused on the near-term impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global economy and markets, the history of the Cold War suggests it may also have significant long-term repercussions.
Economics
kyiv

How the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Could Affect the Economy and Markets

History suggests that whenever there is geopolitical conflict, financial markets have reacted the most when energy prices spike and the Fed tightens monetary policy.
Economics, Markets
homes for sale

How Vulnerable Is U.S. Housing to Fed Tightening?

The average 30-year fixed-rate home loan has increased to 3.6% from 3.1% at the end of last year, which is the highest level since the coronavirus pandemic struck two years ago. This raises the question about how the U.S. housing market would respond to ongoing Fed tightening.
Economics, Markets
small town

Is the Urban-Rural Divide a Myth?

After the past two presidential elections, there has been a growing narrative about “two Americas.” One consists of thriving urban areas that voted overwhelming for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and the other of “hurting” rural communities that went heavily for Donald Trump. 
Economics
waves crashing at sunset

The FOMC Minutes are a Wakeup Call for Investors

While skeptics believe the Fed is behind the curve, investors have not lost confidence in it. But if bond yields and the dollar were to drift higher, the stock market could encounter turbulence in the coming year after smooth sailing over the past seven quarters.
Economics
horses running

The 2022 Outlook: The Pandemic May Ebb, but Will Inflation be Tamed?

Looking at the year ahead, several questions remain. Will the coronavirus pandemic finally be reined in? How will bond yields fare as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy? And, will risk assets continue to outperform?
Economics, Markets
insights podcast episode 3

Episode 03, Is Higher Inflation Here to Stay?

Are inflation pressures likely to moderate, or is higher inflation here to stay? And, should the Fed be doing more? This episode discusses how investors may consider positioning their portfolios in light of these risks.
Economics, Policy
hiker overlooking cliff

Biden Should Signal to the Fed It’s Okay to Raise Rates Next Year

Why should President Biden do what no other U.S. president has done and indicate he is on board for the Fed to raise rates in an election year? The argument is based on both economic and political considerations.
Economics
fossil fuels burning

How to Transition Away from Fossil Fuels without Creating an Energy Shortage

As political leaders work to shift reliance on fossil fuels to alternative forms of energy, a major question is how to execute this without creating an energy shortage and higher inflation.
Policy, Economics
u.s. dollar

With Investors Unfazed by Inflation, What Could Drive Bond Yields Higher?

Investors do not appear rattled by inflation news, and 10-year Treasury yields are little changed at just over 1.5%, implying investors are willing to accept a negative real yield of more than 2 percent to hold government debt.
Markets, Economics
energy refinery

Policymakers Confront a Global Energy Crunch

Global energy prices have surged to their highest levels in several years. What are the sources of these price pressures? And what can policymakers do to alleviate them?
Policy, Economics
container ships at port

Global Supply Chain Disruptions Are Spreading, and Nobody Knows What To Do About It

The term “global supply chain disruption” has been cited frequently as one of the main consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what exactly does the term mean, and why does it matter?
Economics
sailboat approaching storm

The Stretch Run for Markets in 2021: Outsized Stock Returns Give Way to Caution

Even though we see the economic outlook as generally favorable after a strong stock market run and re-opening activity, we recognize that market volatility may increase, and some investors may be turning cautious—due to a variety of risk factors.
Economics, Markets
reviewing mortgage document

Why Well-Qualified Buyers are Having Trouble Securing Mortgages

Even with solid credit, borrowers may face an arduous process when getting a mortgage loan, often facing extensive delays in the approval process.
Economics
city skyline at night

China’s Property Market Not a Lehman Moment but an Economic Threat

Evergrande, China's largest property developer, faces a possible default. A selloff of China's property market would have major repercussions for China's economy—and perhaps the global economy.
Economics, Markets
now hiring

Why Unemployment Data is Challenging the Fed

With economic activity back near pre-pandemic levels and relief programs about to expire, the Fed now faces the challenge of interpreting full employment to determine monetary policy.

Markets, Economics
reflection of sunset

U.S. Stock Market Capitalization at 2X GDP: How Ominous Is It?

The logic is that the over long periods the valuation of the stock market should mirror the performance of the economy. However, there can be significant deviations in the interim owing to cyclical forces.

Markets, Economics
Fed eagle

The Fed Needs to Articulate Its Framework on Inflation

Economists are questioning how to interpret incoming data and the macro framework for assessing the inflation outlook.
Economics, Policy
100 dollar bills

Lessons from the Collapse of Bretton Woods

When the international monetary system shifted from a fixed to a floating exchange-rate regime 50 years ago, it was a milestone event that marked the end of a prolonged period of low inflation, strong economic growth, and financial stability.
Economics, Policy
Chinese flag and markets

China's Clampdown on Tech Firms and The Risk It Poses for Investors

Since Xi Jinping became China’s leader in 2012, he has taken steps to reverse the trend of allowing China’s communist system to evolve into a more market-oriented model in which private businesses coexist alongside state-owned enterprises. 
Markets, Economics
puzzle pieces

Solving the Puzzle of Falling Bond Yields: Why It Matters

Investors have faced a nearly 40 basis point drop in Treasury bond yields over the past month. Two competing explanations have been put forth, and it is important to understand both because they have different implications for financial markets.
Markets, Economics
house under construction

Is U.S. Housing Headed for Another Bust?

This question is being asked in the wake of record home price appreciation in the United States.
Markets, Economics
Federal Reserve building

2021 Midyear Outlook: Recovery's on Track but Is Inflation?

Forecasts of a powerful U.S. recovery this year appear on target. Looking ahead, the key call for investors will be whether the pickup in inflation will be temporary or sustained.
Economics, Markets
bubble

Will Higher Inflation End U.S. Asset Bubbles?

Most observers expect at least a temporary surge in inflation as the economy reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is greater uncertainty about the outlook beyond this year.
Economics, Markets
bitcoin graphic

Cryptocurrency Buyers Should Beware of China’s Authorities & the Fed

The bottom line is that in addition to their inherent risks, cryptocurrencies now face added regulatory burdens. For these reasons, we believe privately issued digital currencies should be considered speculative instruments.
Economics, Markets
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies Are a Bubble, but Could They Serve a Purpose?

We consider cryptocurrencies to be highly speculative instruments, and investors should be cognizant of their inherent risks. 
Economics, Markets
mom multitasking

How Will We Know if Biden’s Agenda Succeeds or Fails?

As President Biden will find out, the easy part of governing is identifying worthy public needs; the hard part is paying for public programs and making sure they deliver on their objectives.
Policy, Economics
balloon inflating

Inflation Creep: What to Monitor so There’s No Surprise

The case for the Federal Reserve to taper bond purchases and to raise interest rates will become compelling well before its expected timetable of 2024. 
Economics, Markets
Wall Street

Are Equity Investors More Keynesian or Supply Side Oriented?

The policy shift that is occurring is an opportunity to test the precepts of Keynesian economics that embrace the government’s role in the economy versus supply side policies that favor tax cuts and deregulation.
Equities, Economics
episode 2

Episode 02, Economic Liftoff & Potential Risks

Fort Washington veterans weigh in on the U.S. economy and highlight some of the important issues investors are facing today. 
Economics, Policy
economic liftoff

Preparing for Economic Liftoff and What Ensues

The U.S. economy is poised for a powerful expansion but markets are likely to be choppy as the economy accelerates and inflation approaches the Fed's threshold.
Economics, Markets
US Capitol rotunda

Will Outsized Budget Deficits Spawn Inflation?

The $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus plan has been greeted enthusiastically by investors as the U.S. stock market has set record highs. However, with the U.S. budget deficit reaching extreme levels, some economist are concerned the U.S. economy could overheat and lead to inflation.
Economics, Markets
income inequality

Tackling Income Inequality: Which Policies Will Make a Difference?

The Biden administration is tackling the issue of widening income inequality. Here’s his plan to alter the trend.
Policy, Economics
U.S. dollar

The Consensus on the U.S. Dollar Is Too Bearish

Views about U.S. financial markets are relatively upbeat but forecasts for the dollar are calling for continued weakness.
Economics
podcast image

Podcast: Positioning for 2021

With a new administration and new congressional leadership, how should investors consider positioning portfolios in 2021? 
Economics, Policy
busy street

2021 Outlook: Anticipating a Return To Normalcy

Fort Washington's Senior Economic Advisor Nick Sargen shares a 2021 outlook for the economy and markets and how we're positioning investment portfolios.
Markets, Economics
white house

How the Biden Administration Plans To Tackle Income Inequality

One of the main objectives of the incoming administration is to counter growing income inequality in America. However, investors are likely to judge the Biden administration’s policies primarily by how they impact the U.S. economy overall.
Economics, Policy
small business reopening

The COVID Relief Bill: Why Compromise Is Back in Washington, D.C.

Congress crafts a plan providing much-needed relief for COVID-19. Several factors coalesced encouraging Congressional leaders to reach an agreement but it may be difficult to sustain the spirit of compromise.
Economics, Policy
small business reopening

Prioritizing COVID Relief: How to Break the Stalemate

The recent surge in COVID has resulted in partial shutdowns of businesses in several states that threaten to dampen the pace of U.S. economic recovery. What is a reasonable way to break the stalemate? 
Economics
Capitol Building

Why Don’t Outsized Budget Deficits Matter?

The costs of outsized deficits may not be apparent now, but they will become more visible in the future if federal spending is not brought under control.
Economics, Markets
us dollar

The End of the Dollar’s Remarkable Surge

The U.S. dollar experienced a remarkable run over the past decade. March became the turning point coinciding with unprecedented U.S. policy actions to combat COVID-19. The dollar is likely to remain under pressure for the balance of the year and into 2021.
Economics
surfer in ocean

2020 Midyear Outlook: Navigating Cross Currents

There is a high degree of uncertainty about how the economy will fare in the balance of 2020 and into 2021. Many investors are upbeat that it is headed for a quick recovery, but most economists believe recovery will be gradual and uneven following an initial bounce. What weighs on Fed officials is the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus cases that could hinder the re-opening of businesses.
Markets, Economics
two paths

May Jobs: Recovery Is Underway, but the Path Is Uncertain

The May jobs report surprised many investors who were prepared for a large increase in the jobless rate. While the news was a relief to the Federal Reserve, the numbers underestimate the full impact of COVID-19 on labor. Even though the U.S. stock market is back to levels before the pandemic, the path to recovery is still unclear. 
Markets, Economics
international currency

Fighting Coronavirus: Who Will Pay?

While the U.S. government’s efforts to combat COVID-19 will likely lead to a post-war record budget deficit, bond yields have fallen to record lows amid a global recession. The long-term prognosis is problematic, however, because deficits are likely to remain abnormally high this decade.
Economics
upside down world

The Coronavirus Shock Versus Others

The coronavirus shock is different from previous ones. However, the four-step framework we use to analyze the shocks on markets is still relevant today. 
Markets, Economics
tipping point

Tipping Point for the Global Economy

The conflict over oil and growing worries about COVID-19 marks the first time the global economy experienced simultaneous supply shocks. Markets are now signaling a tipping point has been reached with the global economy on the cusp of recession.
Economics, Markets
clouds lifting over mountain

Are the Trade Clouds Finally Lifting?

For the past 18 months, the greatest risk to the global economy and markets has been the ongoing escalation in the trade conflict between the U.S. and China. 
Economics
Edge of cliff as an example of being on the brink

Quarterly Commentary: Back From the Brink

Senior Economic Advisor Nick Sargen shares his insight on monetary policy easing, trade tensions and the impact on the U.S. economy, and possible investment implications. 
Markets, Economics
Shipping containers will trade war spawn currency war

Will the Trade War Spawn a Currency War?

Investors should be prepared for market turbulence as the trade war with China could escalate further.
Economics
treasury building an example of us bonds

U.S. Bond Yields Plummet

Ten-year yields currently are around 2.1%, their lowest level since mid-2017, and about 115 basis points below the high of 3.25% reached last November.
Fixed Income, Economics
Austin Texas suburban countryside

What Will End History's Longest Economic Expansion?

The current economic expansion is about to surpass the ten-year mark, which would make it the longest in U.S. history.  
Economics
Complete puzzle - the enigma of the tame wage increases

The Enigma of Tame Wage Increases

An ongoing puzzle for investors and policymakers alike is the tame pace of wage increases even as unemployment (U-3) has fallen below 4%.
Economics
micro shot of american currency

What’s Ailing the U.S. Dollar?

The U.S. dollar has weakened against most currencies this year and especially against the euro. This flies in the face of forecasts that called for it to strengthen.
Economics
France - time to consider Europe

Time to Consider Europe

Emmanuel Macron’s election as President of France has buoyed European markets, as it is the third election this year in which populist candidates have been defeated.
Economics
person voting during election

2016 Election Surprise: Focus on Trump’s Economic Policies

The immediate effect of Donald Trump's victory is likely to be heightened market volatility while market participants will assess the economic policies of the Trump Administration.
Economics
bear and bull market

Trump Economics: Reaganomics With a Dose of Mercantilism

Donald Trump unveiled his plans for the U.S. economy. Specifically, he pledged to restore growth of 3.5% per annum and to create 25 million jobs over the next decade.
Economics
chinese town in the mountains

Origins of China's Miracle & Relevance Today

Deng’s approach combined strategic planning by the central government with decentralized decision making at the regional and local levels.
Economics
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