bod.hunter2“Special relationship” is used so often to describe Anglo-American ties that it has long since become a cliché. But it still has force, reflecting not just tangible interests but the intangibles of culture, history, and shared roots of law and politics.

Read More

Spellman 1The leader of the United Kingdom affirmed in a much-heralded speech that her country will leave the European Union to regain control over immigration and other national laws, but equally stressed the critical need for a strong Europe and a trade arrangement that would minimize any economic fallout from Brexit as Europe’s recovery remains unsteady.

Read More

bod.hunter2Washington, DC, our nation’s capital and the center of governmental angst in fair times and foul, is going through its most profound trauma in years, a collective PTSD. For most of Washington’s political class, even on the Republican side of the aisle that divides the city, “this wasn’t supposed to happen.” Hillary Clinton was to be president and Donald Trump an also-ran, a showman who provided entertainment, though all-too-often holding up a mirror to the foibles and hypocrisies of those who do politics for a living.

Read More

Spellman 1When prospects dimmed for private funds to advert a collapse of the bank Monte dei Paschi (MPS), the Italian government stepped in before Christmas with a bailout to protect depositors’ savings and inject new capital so that the world’s oldest bank, and the country’s third largest, could survive.

Read More

Spellman 1Central in forecasting 2017 and beyond is whether a new economic order is taking shape.  Before the U.S. elections, economists were inclined to advise investors “to expect more of the same in the months to come,” as Lazard Asset Management did in October.[1]   After Donald Trump’s win, the paradigms that shaped the U.S. and European economies and policies over the past decade suddenly seem to have abruptly shifted or collapsed.  Cheap oil.  A stock market crash, the worst since the Depression.[2]   Investment banks on life support.  Negative interest rates.  Bull market for bonds.  Deflation.  Weak dollar.  All were the decade’s recurring headlines, but these are less frequent now.  These days, it is:  Record stock indices.  Reflation.  Strong dollar.  Higher gas prices.  Bear market for fixed income.

Read More