- February 2012: Vol. 24 No. 2

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Fasten Your Seatbelts: Investors Likely Will Encounter More Bumps, Potholes and Blind Curves

by Ethan Penner

2011 was a year that began with pervasive market optimism as most people hoped that the financial crisis that began in 2007 had finally largely passed and that we were readying for a real recovery. It turned out that optimism was not very well founded as Europe revealed itself to be a basket case, with a severely undercapitalized banking system, a housing crisis (in certain countries, with Spain being the most prominent), over-indebted sovereigns with out-of-control deficit spending to fund promised entitlements, too much and too inefficient regulation, and crony capitalism. If that hits close to home for Americans, well, that’s probably because it is quite similar to what we’re facing here as well.

As we begin 2012, the world continues to look like it is on very shaky ground. There are so many danger signs flashing at once it is numbing and can actually cause one to become complacent, if not resigned. Here in the United States, our political situation is obsc

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