Posts Categorized ‘Financial markets’

Major Banks Discontinue “Predatory” Loan Products
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Last April in this leadership blog, we discussed concerns surrounding the development of high interest, high fee loan products by several major banks as they made their entry into the lucrative payday lending market. Payday loans are generally small loans are marketed to consumers as a vehicle to meet short-term cash needs, but the steep 225% Read more »

Posted: February 24, 2014

Forecasts Are No Good, But We Need Them “for Planning Purposes”
By R.Kevin O'Keefe, CIMA®, AIF®

I like this essay by Motley Fool writer Morgan Housel. A few pertinent points: “You would not wish upon your worst enemy the track record of professional economists predicting the financial events that really mattered throughout history.” “In a world where the most important events can’t be predicted, the more we fool ourselves into thinking that Read more »

Posted: February 5, 2014

Recession Predictor Short-Cut
By Mel Miller

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist Fifth in a series of economic updates focused on key economic indicators by our Chief Economist, Mel Miller. Is the Index of Leading Economic Indicators also a good predictor of recessions? Yes. And no. The Conference Board (a private research group based in New York City) publishes the Index of Leading Economic Indicators on Read more »

Posted: January 15, 2014

Oil Prices Predict a Growing Economy
By Mel Miller

Fourth in a series of economic updates focused on key recession indicators. It is often tempting to confuse correlation with causation. For example, just because there is a positive correlation between the length of women’s skirts and the stock market does not mean that one causes the other. But when it comes to predicting recessions Read more »

Posted: December 18, 2013

Virtually No Inflationary Pressure
By Mel Miller

Third in a series of economic updates focused on key economic indicators. The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate: To maximize employment while maintaining stable prices. This dual mandate often creates conflict. Historically, the Fed raises short-term rates to slow an overheated economy following a period of economic expansion. As the economy expands, inflationary pressures Read more »

Posted: December 5, 2013

Recession Predictors Point to Expanding Economy
By Mel Miller

This is the first in a series of economic updates that will focus on key economic indicators. During college I became fascinated studying the economy and the markets. My interest only intensified during my forty-year career. I would like to say that I have finally got all the answers, but, unfortunately, I don’t. When it Read more »

Posted: December 2, 2013

A Bullish Future for ESG Disclosure on Global Stock Exchanges
By Michael Schweibinz

Stock exchanges around the world are beginning to respond to the demands of socially conscious investors and asset managers. ESG (environmental, social, governance) disclosure is still relatively new to stock exchanges, yet the future of ESG reporting looks promising. ESG analysis is integrated into investment strategies around the world and stock exchanges are beginning to Read more »

Posted: September 19, 2013

Popping the Carbon Bubble
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Fossil fuel companies may be sitting on “unburnable” assets. Will agreements be breached, or will investments be redeployed to develop low carbon options.

Posted: June 24, 2013

Are You a Shareowner or a Shareholder?
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

"Shareowner" and "shareholder" are commonly used interchangeably to describe investors who own stock. But often, shareowners and shareholders are very different. At First Affirmative, we are proud to be shareowners.

Posted: April 16, 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