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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

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 ...

Putin threatens ‘new’ cold war for Americans

By John Browne
Plunging oil prices, combined with NATO’s sanctions for military incursions into Ukraine and spreading international recession have contributed to Russia’s escalating financial hardship. President Vladimir Putin, aiming to protect his huge popularity, used his version of the State of the ...

No abundance of retailer gratitude this Thanksgiving

By John Browne
Despite earlier openings on the holiday, Thanksgiving retail sales were disappointing for the second straight year. Preliminary figures for what is normally America’s big holiday retail sales weekend point to a significant decline in this year’s sales and suggest some ...

John Browne: Faltering economies put tactics in doubt

By John Browne
Japan has fallen into recession, Europe continues to stagnate economically and even China has been forced to lower interest rates to stem the tide of faltering economic growth. These developments follow almost universal economic stimulus and zero-interest policies by the ...

Economy offers mixed outlook for gold

By John Browne
Gold investors might be encouraged by a small rally that sent the metal to its highest level in three weeks Friday, but caution is a word they should not forget. The metal climbed as high as $1,207.60 an ounce before ...

Alibaba highlights challenge

By John Browne
China’s huge online retailer, Alibaba, claimed sales of $9.3 billion from its recent annual Valentine-style “Singles Day” event. Although offering big discounts, Alibaba’s historic online sales event was comparable to those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday that occur on ...

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