Ativo Capital

Rigorous Thinking


Financial and economic commentary reflecting Ativo’s world view:

Quarterly Economic Letter

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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The more rapid increase in U.S. GDP than the GDPs in most other industrial economies is one of the most intriguing aspects of the global economic developments, especially after the damage to U.S. financial system during and after the 2008 crisis. Unemployment is high in most countries, except Switzerland. Many countries including the United States have large trade deficits, and most of them also have large fiscal deficits. Typically countries with high unemployment and large trade deficits want lower values for their currencies as a way to increase exports and provide more jobs. The member countries of the European…

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Time to limit the free riding in Asia

Friday, October 14, 2011

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Time to limit the free riding in Asia By Robert Z. Aliber, Professor emeritus, University of Chicago September 25, 2011 The single most important explanation for the U.S. unemployment rate of 9 to 11 percent is that Americans spend $600 billion more a year for imported goods than foreigners spend on U.S. products. Most U.S. imports are of manufactured goods — autos, electronics, apparel, many of which are or were made in America. If foreigners were to spend $1 million more a year on U.S. goods, American employers would hire more workers. Each employee in U.S. manufacturing on average produces…

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Fascinating Times

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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A fascinating last several months. The parallel between the problems in Athens and those in Washington centers on the arithmetic of government debt and the ratio of government debt to GDP. Greece surrendered its ability to manage the competitiveness of its economy when it decided to join the European Monetary System, while the United States long ago surrendered its ability to maintain its competitiveness when it implicitly did not contest the policies of currency undervaluation of Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and China. Greece won’t be able to get out of its fiscal bind as long as it adheres to the…

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Manias, Panics, and Crashes

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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To be published in paperback 5th August 2011 Aliber has succeeded again, producing the eagerly anticipated next edition of this definitive guide to the financial crisis; highly respected by economists and academics across the globe. The sixth edition of this bestselling classic on the history of financial crises over the last two centuries, explores the most recent events leading up to the financial crisis including the four waves of credit bubbles over the last thirty years. With polish and style, it analyzes the reasons behind each of these credit bubbles and why ultimately all of them have led to…

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U.S. Economic Developments and General Update

Monday, June 6, 2011

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On Saturday, June 4, Bob Aliber presented the following remarks at the University of Chicago. His talk summarized his recent publishing and research activities, as well as providing an overview of U.S. Economic Developments, The Dollar, and Dysfunctional International Monetary Arrangements. In addition to being Professional Emeritus of International Economics at Chicago Booth School of Business, Bob is also a member of Ativo’s Advisory Board.  Dear Members of the XP Class of 1986 Many thanks—you honor me with this invitation to speak to you at this reunion. I hope that you will invite me to your second twenty fifth….

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Energy, Housing, China, Competitiveness – Bob Aliber’s Latest Economic Update

Saturday, March 26, 2011

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Two major energy related shocks in the last month, first the political turmoil in Tunisia, then Egypt and their neighbors, and then the earthquake, the tsunami, and the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. “Going nuclear” had seemed one way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It is almost as if the chance pairing of these events had been staged by the proponents of renewable energy sources, although the surges in the prices of corn, grains, and foods suggests the limits on the reliance on corn-based ethanol. The oil price has surged by twenty five percent, even though…

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Sunny Economic Forecast

Monday, January 31, 2011

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Click here for a summary of Bob Aliber’s current forecast.

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The Country In a Funk

Monday, November 1, 2010

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Mid-September marked the second anniversary of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, probably the most costly U.S. financial policy error ever. The sharp decline in housing starts that began early in 2007 led to a slowdown of growth. The recession started in January 2008; employment declined by 300,000 in the first nine months of that year—on average 30,000 a month. The Lehman bankruptcy triggered a panic and the most severe economic slowdown in 80 years; employment declined by six million in the last two quarters of 2008 and the first two quarters of 2009—an average of 500,000 a month. Virtually…

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Strengthening International Monetary Arrangements

Thursday, October 14, 2010

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Oct. 14, 2010Statement by Robert Z. Aliber Professor of International Economics and Finance EmeritusChicago Booth School of BusinessUniversity of Chicago(Professor Aliber is also a member of the Board of Advisors, Ativo Capital Management LLC) Before the Ways and Means Committee United States House of Representatives March 24, 2010 I am honored by the invitation to testify before this Committee and regret that I have a long standing commitment to be in Beijing on the date of these very important hearings. First, my background. I have studied international financial issues for more than fifty years, including currency questions and the…

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American Angst

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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By Robert Z. Aliber, Professor Emeritus of International Economics and Finance at the University of Chicago There is a lot of angst in America. The persistent high level of unemployment, and especially the six million individuals who have been unemployed for more than twenty six weeks are a matter of great concern. The foreclosure rate on homes is approaching one million in 2010—a frightening number; Before this episode is over, five percent of seventy-five million homes will have been foreclosed on—and millions more will have left their homes because of short-sales and jingle mail. There is fear that the…

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