The Pottery Barn Economy

Back in 2002, then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had a very blunt and direct way of framing the dilemma over invading Iraq. He called it the Pottery Barn rule: “You break it, you bought it,” he said. Powell’s phraseology ultimately proved prophetic - presaging a painful chapter in American…

Charlie’s month-end reading list

Here are some of the latest topics of interest at Fort Pitt Capital: The first piece, “We Wanted Safer Banks. We Got More Inequality” in Bloomberg, discusses how stricter regulations and the Fed have hurt the middle class. The article highlights scholar Karen Petrou and her theory that after the…

Charlie’s month-end reading list

Here are some of the latest topics of interest at Fort Pitt Capital: The first piece, “Inside Facebook’s Election ‘War Room’” in The New York Times, discusses Facebook’s attempt to protect elections from hackers and “fake news”. A newly-built dashboard is set to spot and track unusual activity on the…

The asteroid and the portfolio manager

Fidelity Investments has finally done it. The large Boston-based fund manager recently cut the management fees on two of their index-oriented stock mutual funds to zero—nada—NOTHING. Their arch rival Vanguard Group pioneered cheap, index-based investing in 1974. Forty-four years later, after decades of competitive innovation, fee-cutting and marketing hocus between…

Charlie’s month-end reading list

Here are some of the latest topics of interest at Fort Pitt Capital: The first piece, “Turkey’s Crisis exposes the Perils of Strongman Rule” in The New York Times, discusses why an inflationary crisis is especially dangerous in a populist regime run by a “strongman”. According to a 2008 study,…

Charlie’s month-end reading list

Here are some of the latest topics of interest at Fort Pitt Capital: The first article, “Whirlpool Wanted Washer Tariffs. It Wasn’t Ready for a Trade Showdown” in the Wall Street Journal, discusses the implications of the tariffs on the washing machine industry. Washer and dryer prices have climbed 20…

Charlie’s month-end reading list

Here are some of the latest topics of interest at Fort Pitt Capital: The first article, “Who dominates global steel production & trade?” is from Wolf Street. It discusses the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel, and how the rest of the world fares. Steel production in China has boomed this…

Charlie’s month-end reading list

Here are some of the latest topics of interest at Fort Pitt Capital: The first piece, “The world’s fifth largest economy is about to require solar panels for all new homes,” is from Forbes magazine. California is going to be the first state to require new homes to have solar power installed.…