Feb 282017
 
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

Financial markets just about everywhere are doing well as global growth accelerates. But, while investors are enjoying rising prices, many are worrying about where the U.S. is headed politically under a divisive Trump Administration and about the potential for political crisis in Europe given the rise of populist and nationalist movements and the spate of national elections on tap for this year. In this month’s letter Bill Longbrake summarizes serious issues that are bubbling beneath the surface. He also examines the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump and muses whether Trump’s personality and illiberal tendencies might derail needed reforms to reverse the economic and social decline in America which has been gaining momentum in recent years.  Read the full letter.

Jan 172017
 
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

In this month’s letter, Bill Longbrake discusses the recent surge in business, consumer and investor optimism following the election of Donald Trump as the U.S.’s 45th president and assesses the 2017 outlook. He raises the question of whether the policies of the incoming Trump Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, combined with political and economic developments elsewhere in the world, will lead to continued slow and steady growth in the U.S., or whether growth will accelerate, or perhaps recession might occur. All are possible outcomes in coming months. Based on past experience there is a good chance that bullish expectations will not be fully realized. In addition, some of Trump’s potential trade and tax reform policies could have significant and unpredictable adverse global consequences. Given the considerable uncertainty, prudence argues for being prepared to manage through any and all possible outcomes.

Read the letter.

Dec 212016
 
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

This month’s Longbrake letter consists of two parts. Part I is a final assessment of observations Bill made a year ago about how the U.S. and global economies might fare in 2016. As one might expect, Bill’s track record is mixed. The U.S. and global economies are dynamic and ever changing. Some trends are foreseeable. But, governmental policy intervention, whether it be political or economic, can alter outcomes and set in motion feedbacks that significantly affect economic developments. In this respect, 2016 was no different from any previous year. Part I also includes commentary about key U.S. and global economic and political developments that seem possible, perhaps likely, in 2017, along with a list of possible risks that could derail expected developments. Part II of December’s Longbrake letter explores a 10-year economic outlook for a variety of measures of economic activity and compares four of Bill’s scenarios with  projections of other professionals including the Congressional Budget Office.

Read both letters here.

Dec 192016
 
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

In this month’s letter, I include a final assessment of observations I made a year ago about how the U.S. and global economies might fare in 2016. You will find that I got some things right and many things wrong. The U.S. and global economies are dynamic and ever changing. Some trends are foreseeable. But, governmental policy intervention, whether it be political or economic, can alter outcomes and set in motion feedbacks that significantly affect economic developments. In this respect, 2016 was no different from any previous year.

Such will also be the case in 2017. Nonetheless, I once again attempt to summarize key U.S. and global economic developments that seem possible, perhaps likely, in 2017. I also list risks to the 2017 outlook.

I wish all a very joyous holiday season!

Read the full letter here.

Dec 072016
 
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

In a stunning surprise, Donald Trump was elected to be the next president of the U.S. Bill Longbrake explains in this month’s letter that Trump’s success should not have come as a surprise. A majority of Americans have become increasingly dissatisfied with changes in America’s social, political and economic fabric, which many view as demeaning the value and dignity of their work and undermining the opportunity to live the American dream. In this context, “Make America Great Again,” resonated. Longbrake notes the markets’ euphoric response to the anticipated economic benefits of aggressive fiscal stimulus, but cautions that uncertainty has increased and with it the odds for recession. Bill summarizes the probable domestic and international impacts of Trump’s election and examines the economic impacts of several fiscal stimulus options.  Read the full letter here.