Commentary

In the First 100 Days, Janet Yellen Puts Her Own Imprint on the Fed

Janet Yellen's initial tenure as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve has been fairly smooth, but long-term challenges loom as the Fed considers its ongoing response to a still-stagnant economy.
Commentary

?Hot? Money?s Fast Exit Cools Emerging Markets

Capital flight from emerging markets has been accelerating in recent weeks ($6 billion alone in the week ending February 5). Turkey is the poster child, but the exodus is also happening in India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa and others ? mostly from equity markets. This ?hot money? is moving out over concerns that asset bubbles have built up, and that emerging market economic growth is now slowing. The slowdown is partly a result of tighter money in the wake of the Fed?s tapering plans and a decelerating economy in China, many believe. To better understand the risks to the global financial
Commentary

The Future of the Indian Rupee Is Tied to Oil Imports

The weakness or strength of the Indian rupee will continue to be largely determined by the level and costs of the countrys crude oil imports, according to Ignatius Chithelen, managing partner of Banyan Tree Capital Management.
Commentary

The U.S. Deficit Shrank, but Will It Come Back Bigger Than Ever?

The U.S. deficit has fallen to its lowest level since 2008. Experts weigh in on how this will affect upcoming budget negotiations.
Commentary

Is It Time for the Fed to Wind Down the Economic Stimulus?

Is it time for the Federal Reserve to start tapering down the "quantitative easing" bond-buying program that has helped stimulate the U.S. economy since the financial crisis of 2008? Views are mixed. Several experts, say yes, its time. Others worry it could be too soon.
Commentary

Why Tinkering Too Much with Your Portfolio Won't Pay Off

When it comes to your investment portfolio, how much attention is too much -- and what constitutes too little? In a recent paper, Wharton finance professor Andrew B. Abel and two colleagues found that even when transaction costs are small, it makes more sense to act according to a schedule with surprisingly long intervals. Too much fussing, in other words, is counterproductive -- even if its cheap.
Commentary

Investing in Gold: Does It Stack Up?

Gold has a timeless allure -- especially if you worry about stock market volatility, inflation, a decay of ordinary currency or the collapse of civilization. Yet not everyone agrees that gold offers the safe haven its promoters describe. How reliable can demand be for a commodity that very few people actually need? What is the proper role for gold in an investment portfolio? Why has its price been falling?
Commentary

Tightening the Noose: Can the SEC and Its New Chairman Be Tougher on Wall Street?

Although the SEC has always been the federal governments chief guardian of integrity in the financial markets, critics have a long list of grievances, including claims that the agency is too unsophisticated and too soft on wrongdoers. Assuming she is confirmed as the new SEC chairman, Mary Jo White will need almost superhuman skills to make the SEC more effective. Can she -- or anyone, for that matter -- accomplish this?
Commentary

Global Currency Battles: A Waiting Disaster or a Win for All?

To many, Japans recent moves to devalue the yen looked like the spark that could ignite a global currency war -- a series of competitive devaluations that, last century, helped plunge the world into the Great Depression. Until now, central bankers have been resisting the urge to politicize exchange rates. However, while currency skirmishes can be dangerous and require monitoring, they are also necessary for establishing equilibrium in markets and will help in the global economic recovery, some experts say.
Commentary

Jeremy Siegel on Why Stocks Are -- and Will Remain -- the Best Bet

Though stock market volatility continues to rattle investors' nerves, the future looks bright for equities in the U.S. and many emerging markets, according to Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel. That's not so for bonds, which could become money-losing investments as rising interest rates drive bond prices down. In an interview with [email protected], Siegel says that investors should think about reducing their bond holdings, buying more stocks and keeping just enough cash for a rainy day and other liquidity needs, since interest rates on cash are near zero.
Commentary

A Bold New Direction for Japan's Economy

Newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to take Japan's economy in a daring new direction to end 20 years of stagnation and deflation. His policies resemble past efforts -- but with far more firepower behind them. That means even looser monetary policies and a sharp rise in government spending to boost demand. Some analysts say it's just the medicine Japan needs and, on the spending side at least, the opposite of what Europe and the U.S. are doing.
Commentary

Pressure Points: Where Tax Reform Can Be Most Effective

The deficit deal that averted the fiscal cliff crisis at the start of the year raised taxes on the wealthiest and postponed -- for two months -- government spending cuts that threatened to derail the economic recovery. But the problem remains: Spending far exceeds revenue. So what's to be done? Five Wharton faculty members offer their views.
Commentary

In or Out? The Case for - and Against - the Stock Market

Given ongoing volatility in the stock market, it's no surprise that investors are increasingly bearish on the market's prospects, beset by a lack of confidence in its institutional underpinnings and a general pessimism about the direction of the economy. But is that distrust misplaced? Wharton experts are mixed about the future fortunes of the stock market, with some saying that investors are withdrawing at the worst possible time and others noting that many people had entrusted too much of their retirement savings to the fate of equity markets.
Commentary

Back to the Future: What's at Stake for the Economy in the Obama-Romney Contest

To hear the two candidates tell it, the U.S. presidential election offers a dramatic choice on the economy: Vote for me, each says, if you want a robust recovery; pick my opponent, and we'll plunge back into recession. But given the huge problems the country currently faces, the future -- no matter who wins in November -- will look much like the present, according to several Wharton faculty.
Commentary

The LIBOR Mess: How Did It Happen - and What Lies Ahead?

When regulators in the United Kingdom and United States announced a settlement with Barclays bank over its manipulation of LIBOR, the benchmark interest rate used around the world, there were plenty of reasons for jaws to drop. First and foremost was the whopping fine of $450 million, reflecting the seriousness of the case, along with analysts' predictions that LIBOR rates could influence interest rates on between $350 trillion and $800 trillion in loans and investments.