Author: Seth Levine

2023 Reads

Image by 12019 from Pixabay I read a fair amount these days. I do it strictly for pleasure which frees me to take my time and explore a wide range of topics. While not everything I read is about investing, I find many to have relatable themes. Below is a catalog of books and papers..

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Today’s Yield Curve Steepening Is Not Different This Time, It’s Not The Same

Image by Thomas Malyska from Pixabay Investment volatility remained elevated this year. One can point to any number of culprits. My preferred cause has been interest rate volatility. I’ve been cautious as the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised its benchmark rate. However, a popular risk indicator has recently been sending a mixed message. The yield curve..

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Treat Alternatives Like Cuisines, Not Distinct Assets

Image by stokpic from Pixabay Investments in alternative assets (alternatives) have grown tremendously over the past decade. Drawn to their professed portfolio benefits, investors have reallocated capital from more traditional assets, like public equities and bonds, into various alternative investments. Some can hardly get enough. Yet, for all the affection, there’s nothing truly alternative about..

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Logically Defining Money Makes Cents

Image by F1 Digitals from Pixabay Money might be the most misunderstood topic in finance. Everyone knows exactly what it is, yet definitions greatly vary. Most reduce money’s meaning to some combination of the four functions famously stated by William Stanley Jevons in his 1875 essay Money and the Mechanism of Exchange: a medium of..

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The Similarities & Differences Between Today & The GFC

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay I’ve said it before, 2023 has been a heck of a year. In just five months, four large regional banks and one major global financial institution shuttered, marking the second-worst year for bank failures. Only the Great Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2009 (GFC) was worse. Understandably, many have..

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Hunting For Unknown Liabilities, Not Asset Risks

Image by Vitor Dutra Kaosnoff from Pixabay The recent wave of bank failures returned asset liability management (ALM) to the spotlight. Many correctly identified ALM breakdowns as causing their ultimate demises. Yet, ALM remains an underappreciated investment topic. It determines the fate of every company, not just the financially-oriented. Yet, few seem to fully appreciate..

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Silicon Valley Bank’s Failure Highlights Systemically Combustible Conditions

Image by Berenice Calderón from Pixabay The failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has brought questions of systemic risk to the forefront. SVB was the third regional bank to fail this month (along with Signature Bank and Silvergate Bank, collectively referred to as the “S Banks”). These coincided with the Swiss government-brokered acquisition of Credit..

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The Fed’s Got Inflation Backwards

Image by Carlos Lincoln from Pixabay Central banks endlessly fascinate me. The more I research them the more contradictions I find, particularly since their missions and impacts changed over time. Take the Federal Reserve (Fed), for example. It was originally created to countercyclically balance volatile market forces in times of stress. However, the evolution of..

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Inflation No Longer Has Monetary Applications

Image by Dinh Khoi Nguyen from Pixabay Inflation is one of the most important, debated, and controversial investment themes today. It’s impacting every asset class from fixed income to commodities to equities. Yet, inflation’s widely misunderstood. While well-known among layman and expert alike, inflation’s definition changed over time. However, not everyone has noticed. As inflation’s..

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