Perspectives Blog

Fed outlook over the short and longer run

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | October 23, 2013

…uncertain, these same two factors should lead to a pullback in QE in the not-too-distant future. First, Fed officials are unlikely to ignore the drop in the unemployment rate entirely. Although they have emphasized that other labor market indicators are important as well, the unemployment rate still plays a prominent role in debates about U.S. monetary policy. As Yellen herself noted in a speech earlier this year: “Federal Reserve research conclu…

Signs point to an improving U.S. economy

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | December 9, 2013

Data shows economy is improving Job growth is continuing GDP is not as good as the report would make you think The first week in December was a data goldmine for anyone hoping for news that the economy maintained momentum through the early autumn government distortions. The payroll report continued to post moderate and steady payroll gains consistent with a sustained improvement in labor markets. The interruption from the government shutdown i…

FOMC December meeting scouting report

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 16, 2013

…of core inflation. At the September FOMC meeting press conference, Chairman Bernanke said that the decision to slow the pace of QE depended on “the receipt of evidence supporting the Committee’s expectation that gains in the labor market will be sustained and that inflation is moving back towards its 2 percent objective over time” (our emphasis). Since that time the incoming inflation data have offered a mixed picture. On the one hand, the six-m…

Digital dining: How restaurants are applying technology to drive sales

Daniel Spelman, Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

…antly, the tablets let customers check out and pay their bills quickly, so tables turn faster. Since credit cards never leave their owner’s hands, the risk of fraud drops significantly. Brinker will likely be able to leverage labor expense over time, and servers do not mind the tablets because tips tend to be higher. Lastly, the Ziosks help capture important customer data such as email addresses, so patrons can be targeted for future marketing me…

Does Japan’s sell-off present buying opportunities?

Daisuke Nomoto, Senior Portfolio Manager | February 10, 2014

…ts, we think the government will likely unveil a specific agenda for the third arrow particularly: i) corporate tax cuts; ii) granting a Special Economic Zone license to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido and/or Okinawa; and iii) labor reform to ease working visa issuance to foreign workers for the construction and medical industries, raise female labor participation rate, etc. Since the market expectation of Abe’s growth strategy is somewhat low at…

QE – When and how will the curtain come down?

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | November 25, 2013

…Decision Tree, Columbia Management Blog, October 8, 2013). The document said the following: “[Participants] generally expected that the data would prove consistent with the Committee’s outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months. However, participants also considered scenarios under which it might, at some stage, be appropriate to begin to wind down the pr…

Municipal market ghosts of past, present and yet to come

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | December 9, 2013

…tmas past, present and future playing out right before us. Ghost of Christmas Past: These were the good old days when state and local governments offered generous pension benefits in return for wage and benefit concessions in labor contracts. The cost of these future benefits was not immediately felt and labor peace was maintained. It was also the day of the pension funding holiday where, when budget stress hit, state and local governments readil…