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MD Blog

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    U.S. Federal Reserve Holds Rates Steady

    On January 31, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced its unanimous vote to leave the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged at 1.25% – 1.50%. The decision was so widely expected, it represented a non-event for markets. The economy and labour market are strong The FOMC announcement noted that “the labour market has continued to strengthen and economic activity has been rising at a solid rate.” But with the recent rate ...

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    The Perfect Calm: Three Reasons to Feel Good About the New Year

    Economic reports make frequent use of the word “but,” as in, “some developments look positive, but there are storm clouds on the horizon,” or, “times are difficult now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.” Heading into the early months of 2018, however, we may be able to dispense with the caveats and give that word a rest. That’s because three trends have come together to create not the perfect storm, but the perfect calm. How long ...

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    Why We Don’t Set Clocks By Market Cycles

    It’s closing in on 10 years since North American markets tumbled into the financial crisis of 2007–2008. Today, as U.S. benchmarks flirted with record highs, it’s reasonable for investors to ask if we might be nearing the end of another cycle—can a bull market continue to run over this length of time? The easy answer is that market cycles don’t follow timelines—especially viewed from a global perspective, not just a North American one. Global ...

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    NAFTA in the Netflix Age

    The year the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect, there was no such thing as Google and you had to walk to Blockbuster to watch a movie at home. As NAFTA negotiations intensify in the coming weeks, there are many questions about the future of this long-standing agreement, from its impact on Canada’s economy to whether Canadians will ever be able to access U.S. Netflix. (My fingers are crossed on the latter). I strongly believe ...

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    What Higher Interest Rates Mean For You

    The financial pages were abuzz on July 12 with the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) first rate increase in seven years. What does the move from 0.50% to 0.75% mean to your loans, investments or your travel plans? Read on. Canada’s economy is healthier, so rates no longer need to be at rock bottom Back in 2015, in the face of plummeting oil prices and flagging growth, the BoC lowered rates from 1.00% to 0.5%. Now, with an improved economic outlook for the ...

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    A Primer on France’s Presidential Election and What It Could Mean for Your Investments

    On May 7 (yes, a Sunday!), French voters will go to the polls to choose their new president. If you haven’t been following this election, here’s everything you need to know to get up to speed. France’s current president: François Hollande François Hollande has been president of France since 2012 but he didn’t run for re-election, making him the first incumbent president not to do so since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958. His approval ...

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    Rolling the dice or political savvy? What an early election could mean for Brexit

    By Patrick Ercolano, CFA, MBA Portfolio Manager Earlier this year, I visited London, U.K. to meet with some of MD’s research providers (and enjoy some traditional English fish and chips). I was looking for local views on the political and economic climate after last year’s Brexit vote. While my meetings were helpful, I got equally valuable insights from my conversation with a taxi driver on the way back to the airport. A local’s viewpoint My ...

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    Populism, Protectionism and the New Normal

    By Patrick Ercolano, CFA, MBA Portfolio Manager I remember watching a television news story where John F. Kennedy declared:  “I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women." What an inspiring speech! For as long as I’ve been ...

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    Basta un Sì (Just A Yes), Another Political Gamble to Finish the Year

    Italians are going to vote in a referendum on December 4 and so far, the polls are showing the “no” camp winning. If you’re not sure what the referendum is actually about, you’re not alone. My family, who’s Italian, doesn’t really get it either. They just know that the world-renowned Italian chef, Massimo Bottura (whose restaurant Osteria Francescana was named the best in the world), has threatened to leave the country if the “no” side ...