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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

Consumer doubts   justified

By John Browne
Consumer confidence is regarded generally as a prerequisite to economic revival. Despite a gain of 3 points last week, Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index reported on Tuesday that its latest survey found confidence at minus 15. That figure is flat …

John Browne: Yellen follows in Greenspan’s footsteps

By John Browne
In what many felt was a generally dry speech, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan spoke to the American Enterprise Institute in 1996 about the inverse relationship exhibited by price/earnings ratios and the rate of inflation in the past. “But how …

John Browne: Housing woes hurt growth

By John Browne
Speculation in housing was pivotal in causing the Great Recession. Dismissing history, investors and lenders believed that real estate values would climb continuously. This misconception fueled a historic boom in house prices. This resulted in mounting speculation that was funded …

Judgment in markets political

By John Browne
A strong jobs report just before the Fourth of July sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record close of more than 17,000 for the first time on Thursday at 17,068.26. The market took off from the start. The …

John Browne: Fed can have major impact on ordinary people

By John Browne
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen appeared to discard important benchmarks established by her predecessor as guidelines for reducing easy money policies during a recent news conference. Many financial commentators saw Yellen’s June 18 announcements as “dovish” and having no …

Bond fund exit fees hurt investors

By John Browne
Led by the Federal Reserve Board, powerful central banks have maintained policies to keep interest rates at zero percent. Through forward guidance, the central banks of England, Japan and the European Union have joined the Fed to reassure markets that …

John Browne: Degree payoff not a given

By John Browne
A difficult job market likely will cause many college graduates to question the cost of their four-year college education, often financed by student loans. Evolving industries and explosive growth of the Internet probably will worsen the situation. Last week, President …

John Browne: Markets to climb with risks

By John Browne
Despite negative one percent growth for the economy for the first quarter of this year, equity and bond markets continue to rise in unison. Consumers continue to suck in imports, sending the United States balance of payments deficit to $47.2 …

Rent or buy? That depends

By John Browne 9:00 p.m.
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released last week showed that annual gains in prices during the past two years ending March 2014 had slowed significantly. With one major correction in five years of steep price growth to levels approaching all-time highs, …

Diversify to combat uncertainty

By John Browne
Key equity markets recently hit highs, with corporate earnings reaching historically “rich” levels. At the same time, the situation in Ukraine has propeled a level of superpower confrontation not seen since the end of the Cold War. Large central banks …

Retirement a mirage for spenders

By John Browne
People work to live and to retire one day. Time was when Americans saved for their retirement, but, too often, this is no longer the case. The concept of bank saving has given way to borrowing on credit cards to …

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