Alan GulaAlan Gula

, Chief Income Analyst


How Population Shifts Are Stifling GDP Growth

In 2014, ESPN analyst Skip Bayless tweeted his prediction that Johnny Manziel would, one day, be an even bigger superstar in Cleveland than LeBron James ever was. Well, LeBron just won an NBA championship for Cleveland, while “Johnny Football” finds himself in trouble with the law after being cut by the Cleveland Browns following two...

The Fed Ignores Forewarnings of U.S. Labor Market Malaise

How many millions of people are unemployed in the United States? This is a simple, yet deceptively complex, question. For example, a person without a job who has completely stopped looking for employment is not, technically, in the labor market. Thus, they’re not officially unemployed. Now let’s suppose someone has been laid off and only...

The Coming Commercial Real Estate Bust

I remember when you could walk into a Sharper Image store and fiddle with an assortment of high-tech gadgets. Alas, the company’s bankruptcy relegated the brand to catalog and website form. Likewise, many retailers are currently struggling to maintain their physical presence. Some retailers will adapt. Others will simply fade into oblivion, unable to withstand the...

Triple-Leveraged ETFs Carry Wealth Risks

There was a time when fast-food patrons were satisfied with Burger King’s Double Whopper. But eventually, diners yearned for more than just two flame-broiled meat patties. Well aware of the growing inadequacy of its double-pattied Whopper, Burger King introduced the Triple Whopper, which comes complete with three patties and has 1,230 calories (with cheese). Bristling...

China’s Monstrous Bubble Capital

The casino and gaming industry in Macau—China’s gambling mecca—dwarfs that of Las Vegas, Nevada. Macau, however, isn’t the speculation capital of China, despite its love of betting. That honor belongs to another city… Shenzhen is located just north of Hong Kong and has a population of over 10 million people. The city is a major...

New ETF Offers Investors a High-Yield Haven

In early 1998, Russia was hemorrhaging foreign exchange reserves. A number of factors were feeding into worries about Russia’s debt sustainability – including the Asian financial crisis in 1997, a decline in the price of crude oil, political instability, and widening fiscal deficits. Emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank did little...

The Federal Reserve Wants More U.S. Treasury Bonds

The Federal Reserve holds $4.4 trillion worth of assets on its balance sheet. Of this total, $2.3 trillion is in U.S. Treasury notes and bonds. These Treasuries are parked in the System Open Market Account, which contains assets acquired via open market operations – including quantitative easing (QE). I bring this up in response to...

The Corporate Earnings Mirage

On April 22, 2016, General Electric Co. (GE) announced first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $0.21. The median Wall Street analyst estimate was somewhat lower, however, at around $0.19. Thus, the industrial conglomerate had beaten expectations – an observation corroborated by the myriad “earnings beat” news headlines. Had GE truly exceeded expectations, though? At the...

Japan’s Infamous Widowmaker Trade

The left main artery is absolutely critical to your survival. This coronary artery and its branches provide a significant amount of oxygenated blood to the heart muscles. Cardiologists sometimes refer to the left main artery, or a blockage within it, as the “widowmaker.” This sinister nickname refers to the fact that an obstruction in this...

The Barrage of Energy Sector Bankruptcies Has Begun

In May 2001, Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) went public. At the time, the company’s future looked so bright… In the prior year, the coal that Peabody sold had fueled the generation of over 9% of all electricity in the United States. The company had 9.3 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves. And China’s...