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John Browne, a financial analyst and former member of the British Parliament, is a financial columnist for the Tribune-Review. John Browne can be reached via e-mail

Yellen shuns Fed audit

By John Browne
Three important issues emerged during Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony last week before the Senate Banking Committee: Interest rate policy, currency manipulation and central bank privilege. Yellen finessed the first two issues. But she rebuffed strongly any suggestion of ...

Luxury thrives

By John Browne
Some of the highest profit margins are generated in luxury markets. From the trillions of dollars of synthetic money generated by central banks, large amounts have flowed into financial centers such as Wall Street. This economic stimulus has resulted in ...

Uncertainty signals caution for Federal Reserve

By John Browne
Growing evidence of recession has caused the World Bank to lower its estimate for global growth from 3.4 to 3 percent. CNBC reports that sixteen nations have negative short-term interest rates. A potential Greek departure from the Eurozone threatens more ...

Low oil prices fuel economic problems

By John Browne
The crash in oil prices has effectively brought a windfall tax cut, likely fueling the increase in U.S. fourth quarter personal consumption to 4.3 percent, instead of the forecast 4 percent. Despite a $1.21 increase to $51.69 per barrel on ...

Germany may walk on rescue

By John Browne
A combination of events — the Swiss breaking their Franc-euro currency peg, the European Central Bank announcing its stimulus program and the recent Greek elections — have weakened the euro dramatically. Germany agreed to enter the eurozone to help ...

John Browne: Swiss unleash currency turmoil

By John Browne
Switzerland long has been perceived as having a model economy, where hard work is rewarded by wages paid in a currency backed heavily by gold and honest management. Investors throughout the world sought refuge in the Swiss franc, trusted as ...

John Browne: Women needed on boards

By John Browne
Legendary business investor Warren Buffett hinted once that keeping women out of the corporate game causes an uneven playing field. Now, with three female directors, he explained that one reason for his success was that he was competing with only ...

John Browne: Stronger dollar has downsides

By John Browne
The dollar appreciated by 12.2 percent in 2014 on a trade-weighted basis, according to the Federal Reserve. Falling oil prices appeared, at least initially, to be a beneficial stimulus to the United States and other economies and businesses. By last ...

Oil prices change the game

By John Browne
Falling oil prices in late 2014 initially appeared to be an economic blessing. Lower fuel prices were seen as the equivalent of a large tax cut and a catalyst to revive consumer confidence, spending, employment and economic growth. Low energy ...

Russian struggles require vigilance

By John Browne
United States-led trade sanctions imposed in retaliation for incursions into Crimea and Ukraine, combined with a falling oil price, have hurt Russia badly. Russia’s ruble and stock markets continued to fall precipitously, despite government interventions. The dollar has strengthened and ...

John Browne: Care act isn’t affordable for Americans, economy

By John Browne
President Obama’s health care law promised affordable medical coverage to all Americans at no extra cost. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported that for 2013, health costs accounted for some $9,255 per person, or $37,020 for a family ...

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