Trade nuanced, not simple

David MoonBlog

While in Milwaukee last week, everywhere I turned, I saw and heard criticism of President Trump and his position on foreign trade. The city of Milwaukee voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It is also home to the headquarters of Harley-Davidson, a company on whose motorcycles the European Union just implemented a retaliatory 31% import tariff. In the abstract, most people rightly see trade and tariffs as a black-and-white issue, but international trade doesn’t occur in the abstract. It is complicated and nuanced. In the abstract, unimpeded and untaxed international trade creates the most positive overall economic benefit for … Read More

A declaration of economic independence

David MoonBlog

Sixteen years after the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of seccession from Great Britain 24 businessmen, sitting in the shadow of the tallest “structure” in the lower Manhattan skyline (a tree) signed another agreement that what would eventually give birth to the New York Stock Exchange. This imperfect and much maligned system of capital allocation became an integral part of improving the economic conditions around the world. American socialists can take pride in the fact that the term “capitalism” was originally used by those who rejected its virtue. The English word “capital” derives from the Latin word for “head”; … Read More

Fed acts, Investors yawn

David MoonBlog

There was a time that investors were so focused on possible Federal Reserve Board interest rate increases that the media used paparazzi tactics to capture a glimpse of the briefcase of then-Chairman Alan Greenspan, convinced that a thicker attaché telegraphed a likely rate hike. Times have certainly changed. In the late 1990s Alan Greenspan was a rock star. Who can even name today’s Fed Chair? When the Federal Reserve Board increased the federal funds rate two weeks ago, stock investors seemed disinterested. Bond investors seemed outright contrary, as the rate on the 10-year Treasury note actually declined. The Fed does … Read More

So is this the “Art of the Deal”?

Harold Black, PhDBlog

There are many inscriptions over the doors of the congressional buildings. However, the most important one is missing. It is “Abandon hope all ye who enters here.” The reason being that no congress – and no president – is serious about limiting the rate of growth in federal spending. The latest episode was when the president signed the budget bill and then admonished the congress for being so profligate. The president sought to hold back a meager $15 billion – which is not even a rounding error – and the republican controlled senate refused to endorse it. It is as … Read More


David MoonBlog

My twins turned 18 this past week and will be headed to college in a little more than a month. There are so many things I’ve tried to teach them, going so far as to write a book of advice for them. (Shameless promotion: visit As my family celebrated both Father’s Day and their birthday in the same week, I realized that I’ve learned so much more from them than they likely have from me. Most of these lessons have both a business and a broader life application. I’ve learned the importance of believing something. That is, having some … Read More

Economics: a befuddling breakfast

David MoonBlog

After reading a recent article about the strength of the U.S. economy, my inquisitive 17-year-old son contacted the author. “Dad,” he asked over breakfast, “what makes the economy strong?” After explaining Gross Domestic Product to him, he rephrased his question. “Okay, but what makes the economy strong?” His most basic question revealed the inherent weakness of economics: it is an activity in which broad, general guesses are calculated to two decimal places. He continued. “What makes consumers buy more or less stuff? How do we know what consumer confidence is?” Each of his questions had a very straightforward answer, and … Read More

Fed raises rates; markets yawn.

David MoonBlog

The Fed’s quarter-point increase in the Fed Funds rate yesterday was generally ignored by investors, except for the discussion fodder it provided. There are a couple of reasons for that. The market experiences wild swings in reaction to surprises. The Federal Reserve has regularly announced its intent to raise rates.  There was no surprise.  Yesterday’s press release included the announcement that the Fed intends to raise rates two more times this year, bringing the 2018 rate hikes to four. If done as orderly and expectedly as yesterday’s hike, these two additional 2018 rate hikes will almost certainly be met with … Read More


David MoonBlog

The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8%, a level seen only once since 1969, when it briefly bottomed in 2000. The Atlanta Fed increased its second quarter GDP forecast to 4.8%, a figure that, if it proves accurate, will be the second highest quarterly increase in the past ten years. Corporate earnings increased nearly 23% in the first quarter. Hourly wages increased 2.7% over the past year and minutes from May 2 Federal Reserve Board meeting indicate that the governors continue to see the economy as strong. Yet with all of this good news, the stock market is essentially … Read More

Everything looks good in hindsight

David MoonBlog

I have developed a 100% foolproof method for reaching your ideal body weight. No one has ever failed using my system; every person using Moon’s Miracle Body-mass Management Method has succeeded in reaching and, more importantly, maintaining his ideal body weight. Here is the secret: over five years I studied people who exercised vigorously daily, ate healthful foods, consumed only enough calories to support their ideal body weight and got plenty of rest. At the end of the five years, every individual in the study was the perfect weight. One caveat: every three months we dropped from the study anyone … Read More

MCM’s Garrett Arms Forbes interview

Marsha GourleyBlog

MCM’s Garrett Arms recently sat down with Forbes contributor Luke Schiefelbein to discuss Pershing Square, one of the world’s largest publicly-traded hedge funds. Forbes: Why Bill Ackman Will Salvage Pershing Square