Don’t Bank On It

By | September 12th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Unless you serve on the Fargo Historical Society, you probably don’t know that North Dakota’s largest city is named after a fine fellow named William Fargo. We’re not entirely sure why, maybe because he was a director of the Northern Pacific Railway, or maybe because he was a two-term mayor of Buffalo. Whatever the [...]

Resigned to Resignation?

By | August 29th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

So, as any money junkie will tell you, the latest “Economic Symposium” sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City took place last week. Better known these days as the “Jackson Hole Global Boondoggle and Data Fish Fry,” the little summer retreat for dismal scientists allegedly focused on important economic issues that face U.S. [...]

False Sense of Securities

By | August 14th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Remember Bear Stearns? How about Lehman Brothers? If you don’t, you should. We all should. Both were classic American success stories with roots tracing back to Wall Street’s earliest days. Both firms weathered the Crash of 1929 and survived the Great Depression of the Thirties. Both shops went public on the New York Stock Exchange [...]

So, Who Put the Lie In Libor?

By | August 1st, 2017|Advisor Insights|

It’s been said that finance is a set of social conventions, and much of the financial industry is an arena for battling over those conventions. In that sense, the story of Libor — the London interbank offered rate — is the perfect finance story. The tale begins in 1986 when Libor was created to help [...]

A Quick Buck

By | July 17th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

New take on an old joke: How do you make less than a dollar in the stock market? Answer: Start with 220,000 dollars. Ha ha. Not-so-funny “small fortune” gags aside, this is a story about a 48-year-old man named Ingmar Bueb of High Bridge, N.J. An opera singer by trade, the good Mr. Bueb [...]

Greedman Sachs

By | July 3rd, 2017|Advisor Insights|

“The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good.” We got to thinking about the mythical Gordon Gecko last month when real-life Goldman Sachs bullied a good deal of bonds from Venezuela, perhaps the world’s most easily out-negotiated counter-party. As the trade goes, the Wall [...]

In To The Shadows

By | June 20th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

According to the Orwellian-sounding Financial Stability Board, “shadow banking” is credit intermediation involving entities and activities outside the regular banking system – lending, in other words, done by anything other than a bank. Gee, what could possibly go wrong with that. “There can be no doubt that besides the regular types of the circulating medium, [...]

Hit The Road, Show

By | May 31st, 2017|Advisor Insights|

You might have heard that Spotify, the ubiquitous music-streaming service, is a Swedish company with a worldwide business. It is. And you might have heard that the still unprofitable firm – which is said to be valued somewhere around a thousand million billion dollars – is preparing to go public this year. It is. You [...]

Running Out of Options

By | May 15th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

History tells us that today’s option market can trace its notional roots back to ancient times, when one Thales of Miletus bet the farm on the season’s olive harvest. Story goes that the speculative Greek, having predicted a larger than usual crop yield, acquired the right to use a certain number of olive presses the [...]

The Grass Is Always Greener, Dude

By | April 25th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

If you missed it — and if you’re gainfully employed you probably did — last Thursday was “Weed Day,” or as cannabis aficionados like to call it, uhhh 4/20 man. The term, we’re told, was coined in 1971 by a group of California fast time high school students who would meet at 4:20 p.m. every [...]