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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

Fed says slow and low for interest hike

By John Browne
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen recently announced that the Fed’s low interest rate policy would continue for the time being. Emphasizing that Fed policy would remain “data dependent,” Yellen did not discount a possible rate hike this year. But she ...

Ponzi as popular as ever

By John Browne
Ponzi schemes abound in America, despite publicity given to prosecutions following Bernie Madoff’s conviction and 150-year sentence. A Pittsburgh woman, Patricia Miller, was sentenced in March by a federal judge in Boston to six years in prison and additional penalties ...

Hopes up for inside traders

By John Browne
Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, is seeking to reduce his 11-year prison sentence for insider trading that prosecutors say earned him $60 million in illicit profits. Rajaratnam, who was convicted in 2011 of securities ...

Big banks outed on the spot

By John Browne
Five of the world’s leading banks have pled guilty to felony conspiracy charges for manipulating the spot foreign exchange market for the euro-U.S. dollar. At an FBI and Department of Justice news conference last month, it was announced that Citicorp, ...

China debt reform good for investors

By John Browne
China’s implicit bailouts of failing companies have halted. When state-owned Baoding Tianwei Group could not make an interest payment in April, China allowed the firm to fall into default. Like the United States, China apparently can no longer afford to ...

Big bank rules crush little banks

By John Browne
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on “Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions” in February. Coincidentally, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government that month published a working paper, “The State and Fate of ...

John Browne: Factory orders heat up but receive cool reception from investors

By John Browne
Factory orders, an indicator of economic performance, increased significantly in March over the previous month. In fact, the Department of Commerce report May 4 noted it was the highest gain in the past eight months. Despite hopes for escalating manufacturing ...

John Browne: Consumer feelings of security hinge on income

By John Browne
Disappointing figures announced by the Commerce Department late last month triggered further economic concerns. The reported gross domestic product growth rate of only 0.2 percent for the first quarter of 2015 and the -0.1 percent annual inflation rate were far ...

Easing will wear on bonds

By John Browne
The Federal Reserve Board’s attempt to stimulate the economy through quantitative easing and zero interest rates boosted financial assets, including bonds, to all-time highs. Concurrently, it put downward pressure on the dollar and, while inflation threatened, slight upward pressure on ...

SEC urges universal disclosure requirement to protect investors

By John Browne
The Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing for fuller and more easily searched conduct disclosures from investment advisers, notably for senior investors. In an effort to better insulate investors from financial adviser fraud and exploitation, under Section 911 of the ...

John Browne: Economy destination unknown

By John Browne
The stock market selloff Friday belies the recent optimism from investors and the stellar performance of equities. Despite the pullback, some investors are viewing the market’s flirtations with new highs as an indication the economy is back on track. But they ...

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