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What do Larry Summers, market monetarists, gold bugs and other hard-money types have in common?

No, it’s not a trick question, but it yields a surprising answer. Three different economic philosophies are aligned in challenging the wisdom of the Federal Reserve’s stated intention to raise interest rates next week.

What brought this meeting of unlikely minds to my attention was an article on on Monday by Louis Woodhill, a Forbes contributor. Woodhill believes the Fed should target “the real value of the dollar,” but given the bank’s preferred policy tool of a short-term interest rate, “raising it right now is obviously the wrong thing to do,” he Continue reading

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Think the rent is too damn high? You haven’t seen anything yet, according to housing experts.

Demand for rental housing, already elevated in the aftermath of the financial crisis, is only going to grow. That’s going to pressure prices even higher.

More than 1.25 million new households will be formed in 2016, as the economy and job market Continue reading

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. on Wednesday said it would suspend its dividend and further reduce its capital spending by $1 billion over the next two years as it continues to grapple with tumbling commodity prices.

The company, which is the U.S.’s biggest miner and a major copper producer, said ending its annual dividend of 20 cents a share would save $240 million a year. The company also plans to cut capital spending to $1.8 billion in 2016 and $1.2 billion in 2017, from already reduced estimates of $2 billion a year.

The moves come as the company has been in turmoil as falling energy prices have exposed a disastrous investment in oil and gas drilling. A number of other miners have Continue reading

Another U.S. newspaper is trying to vividly slam Donald Trump over his recent suggestion to keep all Muslims out of the U.S. as a means of blocking terror attempts.

Here’s the front page of Wednesday’s issue of the New York Daily News, which is taken over by a political cartoon showing the GOP presidential hopeful grasping the head of the Statue of Liberty, with the rest of the statue lying prone.

The image echoes images of jihadist fighters and their headless victims, while the headline is inspired by the famous poem written by German Pastor Martin Niemöller, an outspoken foe of the Nazis, about how intellectuals in his country allowed the party led by Adolf Hitler to purge Continue reading

The Economist

This type of gloomy magazine cover can indicate that investors are becoming too bearish about an asset class, region or market sector.

As a contrarian thinker, you have to be on the lookout for signs that the unruly herd has turned too bearish on an asset class — signaling that it’s time to buy.

An all-time favorite is the magazine-cover Continue reading

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was found guilty last week of a criminal conspiracy “to willfully violate mandatory mine safety and health standards.” With a paper trail that connected Blankenship directly to the knowledge of hundreds of mine-safety violations, the jury nevertheless absolved him of his alleged campaign to mislead federal mining investigators before an underground explosion killed 29 miners, in April 2010, and of fraud for the press release he approved, after the fact, stating, “we strive to be in compliance with all regulations at all times.”

The underlying laws were written in a way that means the conspiracy count—accusing Blankenship of fostering a Continue reading

Vera Bradley Inc.

VRA, +21.47%

said its earnings rose 48% in the latest quarter, as the handbag retailer posted better-than-expected sales and stronger margins, partly thanks to fewer markdowns.

Shares, down 29% this year, rose 17% to $13.73 in recent premarket trading as per-share earnings, excluding certain one-time items, also beat expectations Continue reading