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For better or worse, policy influences markets. Learn how U.S. and global markets can be impacted by corporate tax rates, government regulation, the Federal Reserve and interest rates, inflation, tax reform legislation, trade policy, trade imbalances, and foreign policy.
Japanese yen banknote and American dollar.

Is the Strong Dollar – Weak Yen Really a Problem?

Recently, the dollar has surged against key Asian currencies, but does this pose a genuine problem for the U.S. and Japan?
Economics, Policy, Markets
Industrial Engineer working with Ai automation robot arms machine in intelligent factory industrial on real time monitoring system software.

Should U.S. Manufacturing Policy Embrace Job Restoration or Retraining?

Both Presidential candidates have emphasized the need to restore jobs that have been lost in manufacturing. However, does the focus on increasing manufacturing jobs make for good economic policy?
Policy, Economics
Hands of robot and human touching big data of Global network connection.

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
Photography of a glass globe on a circular puzzle.

Navigating Investor Concerns Amidst Western Alliance Challenges

The question of "how concerned should investors be about the Western Alliance" is being raised on both sides of the Atlantic following recent statements by former President Donald Trump regarding NATO, in which he indicated a willingness to support Russia in its actions against NATO members who fall short on defense-spending goals.
Policy, Markets, Equities
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
man calculating

Why the Debate Over SALT Deductions Matters

The debate over SALT deductions raises fundamental questions about the taxation policies of high- and low-tax states. It also involves a judgment about whether the combined federal-state-local tax for the states most affected by the deduction is unduly burdensome.
statue of liberty at sunset

Biden Should Pivot to a Pro-Growth Strategy on Immigration Reform

The case for expanded immigration is straightforward: It provides a means to ensure long-term economic growth while tackling labor market shortages and high inflation.
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
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
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
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
public infrastructure

Will a Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Be Enacted?

The fate of the infrastructure bill will determine whether any part of President Biden’s agenda can be passed with bipartisan support.
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
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
oil pumps at sunset

Saudi Surprises Dominate the Oil Market Early in 2021. Is the Super Cycle the Next Surprise?

Positive news surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has led to a rally in oil prices, which were up 75% from November of 2020 through March of 2021. With questions about demand lingering, Saudi Arabia announced a surprise reduction in oil production. OPEC+ has stated that they support a reduction of global oil inventories, which is expected to provide a tailwind for oil markets going into the first half of 2021. Now, we wonder, is another commodity super cycle next?

Equities, Policy
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
wind turbines

Biden’s Regulatory Policies: Three of the Most Impacted Areas

Our Senior Economic Advisor discusses three ways President Biden will reshape regulatory policy.
podcast image

Podcast: Positioning for 2021

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

Why Markets Seem Immune From Politics

The past four years have been one of the most politically-contentious periods in U.S. history. Yet, the U.S. stock market did not skip a beat. 
Markets, Policy
patriotic neighborhood

Beyond the Elections: Assessing Looming Policy Changes

With the most contentious election behind us, our Senior Economic Advisor provides a recap of the Trump administration and the key policy changes. Looking ahead, Nick assesses Biden's fiscal plan and discusses the intertwined effects of fiscal policy and Fed actions as well as U.S. trade policy and our relations with China.
video replay

Replay of the "Election Reflection" Webinar

Listen to a replay of the November 11th Beyond the Elections: Assessing Looming Policy Changes program with international economist and author Nicholas (Nick) P. Sargen, Ph.D.
Winding road

Navigating the 2020 Stretch Run & Looming Policy Changes

The U.S. economy made huge strides in recovering from business shutdowns but without the slowing of COVID-19 the economy is still not out of the woods. Our Senior Economic Advisor reflects on the third quarter, previews what’s on the horizon for the balance of 2020, and expands on possible changes in fiscal policy if Biden wins the November elections.
Markets, Policy
Voting Poll

Market Impact of Biden’s Fiscal Program

This article analyzes Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal plan and the potential impact on the stock and bond market. 
Markets, Policy
Federal Reserve

The Fed’s Switch to Average Inflation Targeting

A review of the Fed's monetary policy framework resulted in a new way to target inflation and a broader definition of full employment. Senior PM Dan Carter explains the new strategies and challenges they may present. 
stock market ticker

Why Biden’s Plan to Scrap the TCJA Leaves Markets Unfazed

Joe Biden intends to unwind key provisions of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act to finance new initiatives as promised during his campaign. Surprisingly, thus far, the stock market has not reacted even though Republicans have decried the proposal and polls show Biden with a decisive lead. This article explains why.
Markets, Policy
oil is down but not out oil refinery

Oil Is Down... But Not Out in the Tail End of the Age of Abundance (Part 1)

OPEC is being reborn, and despite the tremendous drop in demand for oil and oil products, long-term fundamentals for oil have improved as the price of the commodity has collapsed. Allocating to high quality oil-exposed equities is beginning to look like a compelling opportunity for long-term investors.
Equities, Policy
oil is down but not out oil refinery

Oil Is Down... But Not Out in the Tail End of the Age of Abundance (Part 2)

OPEC is being reborn, and despite the tremendous drop in demand for oil and oil products, long-term fundamentals for oil have improved as the price of the commodity has collapsed. Allocating to high quality oil-exposed equities is beginning to look like a compelling opportunity for long-term investors.
Equities, Policy
closed cafe

How Will Small Businesses Withstand the Pandemic?

Small businesses have been significantly affected by the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government has prioritized these businesses, passing a second bill supplementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, opinions on PPP vary. In the first quarter, many larger cap stocks outperformed small cap stocks, but small caps have shown signs of recovery.
Markets, Policy, Equities
Federal Reserve building

U.S. Monetary Policy & Market Expectations

The U.S. stock market’s surge since October has been linked to the Fed’s balance sheet expansion, but the main driver is expectations that the global economy will improve. The coronavirus scare is posing a test that will likely be temporary.
Policy, Markets
Stock ticker over skyline

Limited Policy Options for Global Weakness

While investors seem confident that policy easing by central banks will be effective in countering global weakness, economists are much less sanguine. 
boxing ring an example of us china trade conflict

Round #3 of the U.S.-China Trade Conflict

The tariff hikes announced this month is the third round of the trade war that began last year. 
Shipping containers with US and China flags

U.S. – China Showdown: A Key Test for U.S. Trade Policy

U.S. trade policy now appears headed for a showdown with China, as the administration is set to announce duties on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.
Assessing the economic impact

Assessing the Economic Impact of Deregulation

One of the most controversial issues in public policy relates to the role of government regulation of the economy.
Flags of our countries - does foreign policy matter

Does Foreign Policy Matter to Markets?

Two developments, the G-7 meeting in Canada and the historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, have dominated the news in recent days. Yet, global markets have not reacted to either development.
Shipping container - US China trade conflict

U.S. – China Trade Conflict: What’s At Stake?

Following unusual calm in 2017, market volatility has increased this year primarily for two reasons. 
treasury department

Assessing Treasury Yields: The Shape of Things to Come

The Treasury bond market has come under scrutiny as the 10-year yield pierced 3% last week, while the yield curve has flattened considerably over the past year.
factory line US trade policy in flux

U.S. Trade Policy in Flux

Trade policy issues have moved front and center in the wake of President Trump’s announcement to impose duties on imports of steel and aluminum.
US trade policy and the dollar

U.S. Trade Policy & the Dollar

The U.S. dollar has come under pressure this year after steadying in late 2017, even though economic data have been supportive and the Fed is expected to raise interest rates several times.
What's down on inflation

What’s Down on Inflation?

Inflation continues to be elusive even as growth in the economy, domestic and global, marches towards normalization.
Anticipating the biggest tax changes in generations

Anticipating the Biggest Tax Changes in a Generation

With the passage of a Senate version of a tax bill that is close to the House bill, the stage is set for the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code since the Reagan era.
manufacturing jobs imbalanced

Trade Imbalances & Manufacturing: A Macro View

One of the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s theme of America First is the need to restore lost jobs in manufacturing owing to unfair foreign competition.
The Federal Reserve building

The Fed Begins to Shrink Its Balance Sheet

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will begin to shrink its balance sheet over the next few years at this month’s FOMC meeting.
podium preparing for corporate tax cuts

Corporate Tax Cuts Versus Tax Reform Revisited

As part of “the largest tax cut in history” the Trump Administration is proposing to lower the corporate tax rate.
US Capitol Building

Healthcare, the Budget & Tax Reform

Controversial Trump Administration policies will be key to investors’ forecast for U.S. markets.
Sunset in Shanghai

China - U.S. Tensions Diminish…For Now

Notwithstanding adverse political news at home, the Trump rally has continued amid favorable economic news and investor optimism about pending corporate and personal income tax cuts.
president trumps controversial trade policy

President Trump's Controversial Trade Policy

Donald Trump ran for office on restoring lost jobs in manufacturing by renegotiating trade deals and imposing tariffs on imports from countries that are deemed to hurt American workers. Now that he is President, market participants are focusing on what he will do.