Bear Mountain Capital Inc.

What’s (not) in a Word: Trade Deficit

| November 15, 2017

  Last month, we wrote about the sometimes misleading terminology used to describe relative currency values: the “strong” and “weak” dollar. Another example of labels that can mislead us about economic issues is one that has been in the news of late: the so-called “trade deficit.” The United States runs a trade deficit with another country when it imports more from that country than it exports to it. The opposite…

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What’s (not) in a Word: Strong Dollar

| October 27, 2017

  Economics is a numerical discipline. Economists count things, measure their value, calculate ratios between those values, and project how the counts and values will change over time. But to communicate economic ideas, we rely largely on language. And for the most part, language is very useful for this purpose, because language is a powerful tool. Sometimes, however, language’s very power can overwhelm the concepts it is supposed to communicate,…

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The Debt Ceiling

| September 19, 2017

  The United States of America always pays its debts. Since the Revolutionary War, the U.S. government has been borrowing money to fund its operations, and it has never failed to make good on its obligations. According to the award-winning financial history, This Time Is Different, no other major power can make that claim. The founding father of this legacy is Alexander Hamilton, who as Secretary of the Treasury argued…

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Dodd Frank: Repeal and Replace?

| April 10, 2017

  The 2016 U.S. election was among the most colorful and dramatic in our history. While it remains to be seen how consequential it will be, one potential impact of particular interest to us at Bear Mountain Capital is the fate of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Dodd-Frank was a complex legislative package enacted with the broad goal of preventing a repeat of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Shortly after taking office,…

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The Brexit and What It Means

| June 24, 2016

    Yesterday, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. While a close vote was highly anticipated, the markets had discounted the possibility of a “Brexit” the last several days by pushing the markets upward. After the final results came out last night, the markets had to reverse course. The “Leave” group had voted 51.9% in favor of leaving the union. Unsurprisingly, the result was a big sell-off today across…

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Commodities?!? Really!?

| November 5, 2015

How do you solve a problem like commodities? Sound of Music, anyone? Well, if you are not a fan of musicals, that is okay. Chances are at this point in the market cycle, you are probably not a fan of commodities, either. Commodity prices are clearly a hot-topic right now and not in a good way.  As anyone who owns commodities knows, returns for the asset class have been more than frustrating the…

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The Fed, Rising Rates and Senior Bank Loans?

| September 18, 2013

In the media there is a lot of talk about the Federal Reserve Board (“the Fed”) and its chairman, Ben Bernanke. The Fed is often charged with managing the country’s monetary policy. Monetary policy helps manage the amount of actual money in the financial system and helps establish interest rates for US borrowers. Currently, the Fed is taking extraordinary steps to keep interest rates low in order to help facilitate…

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Do Not Make Me Say It Again…

| December 7, 2012

Nearly, every parent or child has uttered or heard the words “Don’t make me say it again…” at some point in their life. That is exactly the thought that comes to mind when I think about the dominating headline of the day: Fiscal Cliff. There I said it, but don’t make me say it again. It is exhausting to discuss the legislative gridlock we’ve experienced going on 3 years now….

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The Volcker Rule

| March 27, 2012

A very important topic that unfortunately is not getting enough attention by the public… below some insightful commentary from the CFA Institute into the Volcker Rule and its importance to the long-term health of our financial system: “It is not hard to see the delicate balance this rule-making situation requires. Too strict a rule and important players in the provision of market stability and liquidity are impaired, to the detriment…

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A Recovery?

| March 20, 2012

Are we looking at a U.S. economic recovery?  Quite possibly.  How long could this recovery last?  It depends.  What does it depend on?  It depends on the following: * Housing * Unemployment * Europe * China * Iran Lets start with Housing: its been a long-slog for the housing and residential construction market.  However, it looks like we are turning a corner.  In the first few months of this year…

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