Posts Categorized ‘Financial Crisis’

“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future…”
By George Gay

Occasionally, an internal e-mail “conversation” is worth summarizing and sharing widely—as a way to illustrate the deep thinking that goes on behind the scenes at First Affirmative and the value proposition that is central to our purpose as an asset manager and consultant to socially conscious investors. Recently, a network advisor brought Harry Dent’s new Read more »

Posted: June 18, 2014

Only the Shadow Knows…
By Mel Miller

In 2012, I first shared my concerns about the rise in shadow banking. In fact, I listed shadow banking as one of the “gray swans” during my annual presentation at The SRI Conference that year. The broad definition of “shadow banking” includes any bank-like activity undertaken by a firm not regulated as a bank. That would not Read more »

Posted: June 9, 2014

Why I Dislike Quantitative Easing?
By Mel Miller

In a previous blog I explained the Federal Reserve’s traditional tool of reducing the Fed Funds rate to stimulate a weak economy.  The stimulation impact is the result of the relationship between the Fed Funds rate and the Prime borrowing rate charged by banks for business and consumer loans.  The Prime rate offered to a bank’s most credit worthy borrowers Read more »

Posted: April 21, 2014

Monetary Policy During the “Great Recession”
By Mel Miller

The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the most severe economic decline since the Great Depression. The Great Recession, which started in 2007 and “ended” in 2009, was anything but typical as it relates to recessions of the past. Before we discuss one of the primary causes, let’s review the role of the Federal Reserve to reverse a recession. Read more »

Posted: April 7, 2014

Consumer Debt: Must Look Behind the Numbers
By Mel Miller

For a couple of years prior to the Great Recession, I shared my debt concerns during my annual Economic and Market Update presentation at the annual SRI Conference. My concern stemmed from the rising use of consumer debt to fuel a national lifestyle of “living beyond one’s means.” Much of the economic debate of the Read more »

Posted: March 3, 2014

$60 Trillion Melting Away
By Michael Schweibinz

You don’t hear too much about the East Siberian Sea, but as the Arctic’s permanently frozen ground (permafrost) melts, this marginal sea may become a widespread media topic. Over a trillion tons of methane (in the form of methane hydrates) is stored in the Arctic Ocean's icy marine sediments. As the ocean warms, and the Read more »

Posted: August 28, 2013

The Cost of Catastrophe
By Robyn Taylor Knapp

Natural disasters like hurricanes and floods have caused more than $2.4 trillion in economic and insurance losses in the past decade. Which disasters tend to be the most costly, and how successfully have residents and business protected themselves against serious damage?

Posted: August 7, 2013

Natural Disaster-Related Economic Losses ‘Out of Control’
By Tyler Collins

The United Nations says direct losses from floods, earthquakes, and drought have probably been underestimated by at least 50% in recent years.

Posted: June 12, 2013

What Caused the Cyprus Banking Crisis?
By Mel Miller

While there were many contribution factors to the crisis in Cyprus, I want to focus on the most obvious cause—the basic accounting formula. Assets=Liabilities + Capital. Couple the formula with lack of regulation and the groundwork is laid for a banking crisis.

Posted: April 9, 2013

The Fed Surpasses China as Owner of U.S. Sovereign Debt
By Mel Miller

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist, First Affirmative Financial Network Now that the inauguration is over, the political focus shifts to the budget deficit talks. Will taxes need to be increased? What are the acceptable spending cuts? Can the debt ceiling debate be bifurcated from the deficit talks? Will the rating agencies downgrade U.S. sovereign debt, Read more »

Posted: February 4, 2013