Sunday, January 27, 2008

S&P 500 And Waiting On The Fed

Many feel the Federal Reserve is preparing another interest rate shot for the already interest rate addicted U.S.economy. There has been many references to the Federal Reserve controlling the punch bowl; the punch bowl reference has been way to kind. The Fed is the dealer of something more hazardous than spiked fruit punch, the effects of its miss-steps last longer and do more damage that a bad hangover. The U.S. economy is now addicted and fixated on interest rates and their direction. As our economy moved from being based on producing goods to one providing global services, it has also become very dependent on the price of credit. An accounting class 30 years ago the term "property plant and equipment" required for more study than that term today. The psychology of a service economy is far different from that of one based on producing physical goods. These services have a true value to the world economy, but tracking this value is not easy. There isn't a physical end product that can be counted or valued. Most of our country's end products are valued by an accounting entry, there is not a corresponding physical inventory.

Below is a chart of the 5year Treasury Yield showing rates from 1997 until now. How much of the price action in interest rates has been a result of pure supply and demand in the market vs the influence from the central bank? Low interest rates are great for spurring growth, but at how low do rates need to be for new businesses to flourish and our economy function efficiently? If inflation is 3%, what interest rate do you need to function efficiently in your day to day personal and business life?

5 Year Treasury Yield

The chart below is of the S&P 500 Index, it is marked with price target levels based on the 2008 opening range. With the Fed meeting this week, the market should be waiting for the announcement of how big the shot will be this time. If it is not enough, there could be some withdrawal symptoms. At the very least there should be a test of the recent low.

S&P 500 Index Daily (click to enlarge charts)

The chart below is a longer term monthly view of the S&P 500. In addition there is an indicator that shows the percentage of stocks above their 40 period moving averages. This is a helpful indicator in looking for confirmations and divergences at turning points in the market. It is also helpful to watch where the market is in relation to the 50% line. Being more aggressive above this line is usually rewarded, and not betting the farm when its below this level is important to keep in mind. Only losers add to losers.

S&P 500 Index Monthly (click to enlarge)

Bob Prechter Insights

Everyone wants to know, "Is the worst over for stocks?" If you're familiar with Bob Prechter and his work, you won't be surprised that his short answer is "NO." But ... it's his long answer that is much more compelling, including insights into what you should be doing NOW to prepare for what's still to come.

You just watched Bob’s short answer. For his long answer, you must join his free community, Club EWI. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Great George Soros Interview

1929 Or Now?

This is a copy of a Time Magazine article from December 2, 1929.

Monday, Dec. 02, 1929
Prosperity Pledgers



Philip H. Gadsden, president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, received this telegram, hastily "made it convenient" to go to Washington. For "my statement of last Saturday" was, as all the world knows, President Hoover's announcement of a series of conferences to devise means of preventing the Stockmarket decline from affecting U. S. business.

Before leaving Philadelphia, Mr. Gadsden told reporters: "We will go to the meeting prepared to bring back to businessmen here full details of the President's plan and the steps we can take to make it more effective." These steps turned out to be a State conference and plans by Philadelphia for $65,000,000 municipal work.

Thus did a powerful city, a rich state, cooperate with the President. Other co-operation by the end of the week was evident in an imposing list of pledgers and pledges, including:

Leading employers: No reduction of wages.

Labor representatives: No agitation for higher wages.

U. S. Chamber of Commerce: Formation of a permanent national economic council to deal with emergencies.

Railway and industrial leaders: Expenditure on improvement and expansion.

Federal Reserve: Cheaper credit.

Congress: Bipartisan support of the proposed $160,000,000 reduction in Federal income taxes.

Treasury Department: Enlargement of public building program from limit of $248,000,000 to $423,000,000.

James John Walker: Quick commencement of New York City's $1,000,000,000 construction plan.

Interstate Commerce Commission: Prompt action on the railroad consolidation question.

Interdepartmental Sub-Committee: Awards of 15 ocean mail contracts by Jan. 1. requiring $200,000,000 ship construction.

Such guarantees that the wheels of business would not slow down under the sudden loads of Loss & Fright could be created only by a powerful force. To obtain that force President Hoover (while Statistician Babson shouted that Congress should adjourn, go home, allow the President to act alone) summoned the strangest gathering to come to Washington since the "dollar-a-year" men of the War. Merchants, Bankers, Manufacturers, knocked into the Cabinet Room, heard the President's plea, discussed the situation informally, pledged their support.

Although to the conference of industrialists and merchants* there came more great executives than to any of the other meetings, the most prominent was of course Henry Ford. Long has Ford been the name symbolic of U. S. mass production, U. S. prosperity.

Of what Henry Ford said at the meeting there is no record. It was only revealed that the automobile makers, represented by Ford and General Motors' Alfred P. Sloan Jr., were satisfied that 1930 would be a normal year.

While the conferees, except for Julius Rosenwald, who came late and stayed late, were preparing to go, Motor Maker Ford rushed to the lobby where newspapermen were gathered, handed them copies of a prepared statement. In it he explained the market break as the result of a business decline caused by two reasons: 1) "There was a serious withdrawal [because of speculative activities] of brains from business by men who would otherwise have been working out better designs for commodities and better methods of manufacture and planning to put more value into their products." 2) "American production has come to equal and even surpass, not our people's power to consume, but their power to purchase. . . ."

For a solution Mr. Ford proposed: 1) "Putting additional value into goods or reducing the prices to the level of actual value." 2) "Starting a movement to increase the general wage level."

Unusual was this Ford statement because he alone of the conferees spoke before an official White House statement was issued, because he openly differed from the President whose position is that there has been no business recession, only a threat of one. But more unusual and surprising did it become when Motor Maker Ford suddenly went back to the President, announced he would increase the wages of all his men.

Because this decision was made some time after the conference, one view was that it was impromptu, for publicity purposes. But in any case, the fact was that by advancing wages when other employers met to see if the present level could be kept where it is, Henry Ford again took a solitary stand, maintained his position as Most Original U. S. businessman.

Yet despite his difference with the President's opinion about the condition of business, the general note of the Ford economic analysis was similar to the Hoover position that: Past market breaks created caution; caution hurt buying power; lack of buying power caused business recessions. Therefore: let the U. S. spend freely regardless of security levels.

At each conference the President sat in his regular chair, slouched over in one side, smoking a cigar, with his head cocked at an attentive angle. In calling the meetings he showed realization that U. S. Big Business, no longer feared, has reached a position where it is looked to as the big benefactor in times of trouble. Only agreement of big business to maintain schedules can keep U. S. money flowing freely, send miners into the earth, steel workers to the tops of high buildings, loaded freight cars along new steel rails.

In this agreement was not so much a promise of an orgy of unusual spending as a pledge not to curtail ordinary expenditure. In order to keep production up, each line of business must be sure other lines are running at full schedule. In this way did the conference give each leader assurance that he would be left holding no bag. Rumors of curtailment were denied. Merchant Jesse Isidor Straus of R. H. Macy & Co. said it was not true he had laid off 1,200 employes but that he had discharged 28, taken on 200. Other executives spoke along the same lines. Alexander Legge. Chairman of the Federal Farm Board, drawled, "It looks as if industry would have to begin scraping around to get employes instead of laying off anybody."

Occupation which will keep employes busy became evident when many a corporation backed its indefinite pledge to "keep going" with definite statements of plans. Odds and ends of the week's many announcements included the following:

¶ The Pennsylvania Railroad revealed that as part of its $100,000,000 electrification program it will soon order 150 giant electric locomotives to cost $16,000,000. At the Railway Association meeting in Chicago other lines gave estimates of their budgets, indicated 1930 railway expenditure of from $800,000,000 to $1,000,000,000.

¶ Bloomingdale's, Manhattan department store, planned to complete its $5,500,000 building program in three instead of five years.

¶ Camden, N. J., will employ 60,000 men in its $15,000,000 city, county and federal building plan.

¶ Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., said its president James A. Campbell, increased its deposits in local banks so they would have funds to lend for constructive business.

¶ American Telephone & Telegraph estimated its 1930 expenditures for expansion at over $600,000,000. United Gas Improvement Co. placed its expansion at $41,000,000, $6,500,000 more than this year. Total utility construction during 1930 was estimated at about $850,000,000. Thus will utility companies, blamed as the most inflated of all before the break, be almost as big benefactors as the railways.

¶ E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., with current construction work involving some $16,000,000, announced that an additional $9,000,000 will be spent in 1930.

¶ "Advertising should go ahead with all of its characteristic force," said Dr. Julius Klein, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, in a radio speech. "Advertising ... is one of the most potent of business accelerations. . . . Any appreciable let-up in advertising programs would be unquestionably injurious."

¶ Honor of the first stock offering since the break went to Charles V. Bob & Co. who headed the marketing of $10,000,000 units of Federal Neon System, Inc.. a company which will acquire Rainbow Luminous Products, Inc., the National Neon Agency and the Neon tube business of Federal Electric Co., Inc.

¶ Robert Paine Scripps, chief stockholder of the Scripps-Howard chainpapers, said his system would soon spend several million dollars in building and plant extension.

¶ "There will be no curtailment of Wanamaker advertising" read part of a full page advertisement for the John Wanamaker Stores of Manhattan and Philadelphia. "We start distributing the third billion dollars of Wanamaker merchandise with the faith and action called for by the President of the United States."

*At the conference of industrialists and merchandisers were:

Secretary of the Treasury Andrew William Mellon

Secretary of Commerce Robert Patterson Lamont

Henry Ford

Julius Rosenwald, Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Clarence Mott Woolley, American Radiator Co.

Walter Clark Teagle, Standard Oil of New Jersey

Owen D. Young, General Electric Co.

Matthew Scott Sloan, New York Edison Co.

Eugene Gifford Grace, Bethlehem Steel Corp.

Myron Charles Taylor, U. S. Steel Corp.

Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., General Motors Corp.

Pierre Samuel du Pont, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

Walter Sherman Gifford, American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

Samuel Wallace Reyburn, Lord & Taylor

Jesse Isidor Straus, R. H. Macy & Co.

William Butterworth, U. S. Chamber of Commerce

E. J. Kulas, Otis Steel Co.

George McCully Laughlin, Jones & Laughhn Steel Corp.

A. W. Robertson, Westinghouse Electric Co.

Redfield Proctor, New England Council

Philip S. Gadsden, Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Ernest T. Trigg, Industrial Relations Committee of Philadelphia

Henry Mauris Robinson, California Development Board

Julius Rowland Barnes, U. S. Chamber of Commerce

Railroad executives who met with the President were:

Richard Henry Ashtcn, American Railway Association

William Wallace Atterbury, Pennsylvania

John Joseph Bernet, Chesapeake & Ohio

Patrick Edward Crowley, New York Central

Agnew Thompson Dice, Philadelphia & Reading

Fairfax Harrison, Southern Railway

Leonor Fresnel Loree, Delaware & Hudson

Jeremiah Milbank, Southern Railway

John Jeremiah Pelley, New York, New Haven & Hartford

Fred Wesley Sargent, Chicago & Northwestern

Hale Holden, Southern Pacific

Unable to "make it convenient," Baltimore & Ohio's Daniel Willard stayed at home suffering from bronchitis.

Link To Article.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Rogue Trader

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- French banking group Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a massive 4.9 billion-euro ($7.1 billion) fraud linked to a single rogue futures trader.

Rest of the story of the $7.1 Billion dollar loss.


Does it bother anyone that the Federal Reserve was so easy to hit the easy button and cut rates by 75 basis points? The 0.75% rate cut the week before the scheduled Federal Reserve meeting shows how out of control the thinking of the Fed truly is. It would be helpful if they would at least give the illusion of being in control and having a plan. It is widely expected that the Fed will follow up this event, with another interest rate cut next week. They have shown they do not have the foresight to predict the economic conditions over the next few quarters; it would be helpful if they would keep a couple bullets in the gun for a rainy day, and not act on the fluctuations of the stock market. Let us do that.

Well with interest rates going down, the returns on savings accounts and money market accounts will now have zero chance to keep ahead of the rate of inflation. This has forced some people to look into stocks that pay significant dividends. One was mentioned in a previous post, and below is a another that is the result of a recent screen. 8.6% Dividend.

FPO - First Potomac Realty Trust(click to enlarge)

First Potomac Realty Trust operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It owns, develops, and operates industrial and flex properties in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, as well as in Virginia and Maryland. As of December 31, 2006, the company owned 65 properties comprising approximately 10.4 million square feet. The company has elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a REIT, it would not be subject to the federal income tax, provided it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. First Potomac Realty Trust was founded in 1997 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Some other stocks on the radar are some Warren Buffet past favorites.

KMT - Kennametal Inc.(click to enlarge)

Kennametal, Inc. manufactures and supplies tooling, engineered components, and advanced materials consumed in production processes. The company provides consumable metalcutting tools and tooling systems to manufacturing companies of various industries. Its metalcutting operations include turning, boring, threading, grooving, milling, and drilling. The company's tooling systems consist of a steel toolholder and cutting tool, such as an indexable insert or drill made from cemented tungsten carbides, high-speed steel, or other hard materials. It also provides engineering services, including field sales engineers identifying products and engineering product designs. In addition, the company engages in the production and sale of cemented tungsten carbide products used in mining, highway construction, and engineered applications requiring wear and corrosion resistance, including compacts and other similar applications. Further, it manufactures and markets engineered components with a proprietary metal cladding technology; and sells metallurgical powders to manufacturers of cemented tungsten carbide products. Additionally, Kennametal provides application-specific component design services and on-site application support services, as well as offers engineered component process technology and materials, which focus on component deburring, polishing, and producing controlled radii. The company offers its products and services to mine operators and suppliers, highway construction companies, municipal governments, and manufacturers of mining equipment. It sells its products through direct sales force, integrated supply, independent distributors, and sales agents, as well as through Internet primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

BNI - Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.(click to enlarge)

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides freight rail transportation services in North America. The company transports various products and commodities, including consumer, industrial, coal, and agricultural products. The consumer products include automotives, such as motor vehicles and vehicle parts, as well as perishables and dry boxcar products, including beverages, canned goods, and perishable food items. It also transports other consumer goods, such as cotton, salt, rubber, and tires. The company offers transport services for industrial products, including construction products, such as clays, sands, cements, aggregates, sodium compounds, and other industrial minerals; and building products, including lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, particleboard, paper products, pulpmill feedstocks, wood pulp, and sawlogs. Burlington Northern Santa Fe also transports chemical and plastic products, such as caustic soda, chlorine, industrial gases, acids, polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride used by automotive, housing, and packaging industries, as well as feed stocks to produce other chemical and plastic products; and petroleum products, including liquefied petroleum gas, diesel fuels, asphalt, alcohol, solvents, petroleum coke, lubes, oils, waxes, and carbon black. In addition, the company provides transport services for agricultural products, including wheat, corn, bulk foods, soybeans, oil seeds and meals, feeds, barley, oats and rye, milo, specialty grains, ethanol, fertilizers, oils, malt, and flour and mill products. As of February 15, 2007, it operated a railroad system consisting of approximately 32,000 route miles in 28 states and 2 Canadian provinces. Burlington Northern Santa Fe was founded in 1849 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Possible Support Levels

Below are charts of the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 Index. The opening ranges are marked on both charts. The size of this range is used to estimate the size of the market moves for the 2008 calendar year. Since both markets are below the opening range, only the downside targets are listed. Just because the market reaches one of these levels does not mean it is time to step up to the plate and buy. The market should hit one of these levels and then test it, breaking below, and then trade above it showing that it is a support level. This often happens over multiple trading days. Do not try to pick a bottom based on these levels. The use of options can be a safe way to enter the market, but remember; its not the first mouse that gets the cheese.

S&P 500 Index (click to enlarge)

Level 1 Down = 1350.61
Level 2 Down = 1290.63
Level 3 Down = 1229.45
Level 4 Down = 1168.57

NDX Nasdaq 100 Index(click to enlarge)

Level 1 Down = 1831.82
Level 2 Down = 1700.62
Level 3 Down = 1569.42
Level 4 Down = 1438.22

There is a review of this concept under an earlier post that can be read HERE.

Dividends In A Weak Market

One place to look in a weak market is for stocks or funds that pay strong dividends. The chart below shows PIMCO's Corporate Opportunity Fund. This fund holds various corporate bonds, but does also hold some mortgage related instruments. It also holds various amounts of foreign currencies. Its market price yield is currently around 10.2 percent.

PTY - PIMCO's Corporate Opportunity Fund

PIMCO Corporate Opportunity Fund (the Fund) is a diversified closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to seek maximum total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation in a diversified portfolio of United States dollar-denominated corporate debt obligations of varying maturities and other income producing securities. The Fund will normally focus on corporate debt obligations rated in the lowest investment-grade category (Baa or BBB) and in the highest non-investment-grade category (Ba or BB). Its portfolio includes corporate bonds and notes, the United States Government agency securities, sovereign debt obligations, municipal bonds, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and short-term investments. It also invests in residual interest municipal bonds and residual interest tax exempt bonds (inverse floaters). The Fund's investment manager is Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC.

This is a link to the corporate page, which also covers the other types of funds they offer. This is not a place to over allocate assets, but it is an area that can provide some income and safety in a declining and volatile market.

Measuring Trends

The use of linear regression lines along with watching various standard deviations from this mean can show if a sell off is a change in trend or if it just part of the ebb and flow of the overall trend. The chart below shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The chart is a 3day chart;meaning each bar represents 3 days worth of data. This acts to smooth the data and helps eliminate noise. The Blue line in bisecting the data is the 377 period linear regression line. The lines above and below this regression line show the various standard deviations from this mean. The White line is +/-1 standard deviation. The Yellow line is +/-1.5 standard deviations, followed by the Red line which is +/-2 standard deviations.

The various deviations can serve as support and resistance as the trend unfolds. It is important to know where the market is trading in relation to its trend.

Dow Jones Industrial Average 3 Day Chart
(Click to Enlarge)

This chart shows the Dow30 has had some wild moves of late, but it is still within only one standard deviation below its long term linear regression line. The market could attempt to find support at this level, but it more likely that any pause will be met with more selling.

The chart below is of the S&P 500 Index. This chart shows this index has broken below 2 standard deviations from its long term linear regression line. This signals a change in trend. Any rallies will most likely be met with selling.

S&P 500 Index

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2008 S&P 500 Opening Range

Below is a chart of the S&P 500 showing the opening range for this year. The high of the first 3 days was 1471.77 and the corresponding low was 1411.19. This gives an opening range of 60.58. The opening range for 2007 was 23.67. The range being over twice that for this year should point to larger swings in the market.

S&P 500 Index(click to enlarge)

As this chart shows, the first target down(1411.19-60.58) is 1350.61. With the volatility of the market as of late, it should not take long to get there. The uncertainty about the size of the impending rate cut by the federal reserve should make the next few weeks very exciting to trade.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Suddenly, It's a Bleak Midwinter for Housing and Lending

By Susan C. Walker, Elliott Wave International
January 7, 2008

In the bleak midwinter,
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone…
(From "A Christmas Carol" by Christina Rossetti)

Shawn Colvin sings a beautiful song based on this poem by Christina Rossetti, reminding us of the bleakness of midwinter. That is exactly where the housing market seems to be now – facing its very own bleak midwinter of falling prices, rising mortgage rates and growing inventories.

The latest report of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index shows that the price of houses fell 6.7% in October, year over year. That is the largest year-to-year decline drop since April 1991. Think of it – if you had bought a home for $300,000 in October 2006, it is now worth about $280,000. And suppose you just got a new job and need to move? You are going to have trouble selling it at that price, too, thanks to so many foreclosed homes on the market. One realtor in Phoenix explained to a Wall Street Journal reporter that local residents are now competing with foreclosed homes selling for $50,000 to $100,000 less than other houses on the market. "The sellers now are having to reduce their prices by 20% to 30% to compete," she says. (Wall Street Journal, "Pace of Decline in Home Prices Sets a Record," 12/27/07)

At a meeting of the New York Society of Security Analysts on January 7, U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said this about the U.S. economy: "We will likely have further indications of slower growth in the weeks and months ahead.''

Paulson and central bankers at the U.S. Federal Reserve recognize that they, too, face their own bleak financial midwinter. It's not just the mayhem brought on by the subprime mortgage debacle, the implosion of the housing market and the ensuing credit crunch; nor is it that the U.S. economy lurches toward a recession and hard times.

No, it is something bigger than that. Public opinion or social mood, as we call it here at Elliott Wave International, has shifted from positive to negative. When that happens, financial heroes find themselves falling from their pedestals onto frozen earth hard as iron.

Exhibit A - The headline of a recent article on Bloomberg: "Paulson Gets Diminishing Return with Bush, Like Powell, O'Neill" and the lead: "Henry Paulson escaped the Nixon White House with his reputation enhanced. He won't be so lucky this time around."

Exhibit B - The lead from a recent column by David Ignatius in the Washington Post:

"When airport rescue crews are worried that a damaged plane may have a crash landing, they sometimes spread the runway with foam to reduce the probability of fire on impact. That's what the Federal Reserve and other central banks are doing in pumping liquidity into severely damaged financial markets. Make no mistake: The central bankers' announcement Wednesday of a new coordinated effort to pump cash into the global financial system is a sign of their nervousness…."

Nervousness is in the air now. Investors are anxious about the markets; everyone is worried about the housing market. Our Elliott Wave Financial Forecast December issue explains how housing starts (and stops) are intimately tied to recessions: "One key indicator of success in pre-dating economic downturns is housing starts, which are approaching the 1-million-a-month level that has preceded all recessions of the last 40 years."

And the Fed is nervous, too. So much so that it announced a credit giveaway with four other major central banks (the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank) in mid-December to try to bolster the financial system and the banks that keep it humming. The Fed reports that banks have been stepping up to its auction window each week to purchase $20 billion. Unfortunately for the banks, most of this "liquidity" isn't that liquid. It has to be paid back within 30 days, with interest of about 4.65%.

Editor's note: Elliott Wave International has agreed to make available to our readers a 2-1/2-page excerpt from Bob Prechter's Elliott Wave Theorist in which he describes exactly how the Fed's latest effort to shore up banks' balance sheets has become "High Noon for the Fed's Credibility." Click here to read the Theorist excerpt.

Just how bleak is the future for central bankers if this recently implemented plan doesn't work? Bob Prechter explains in his just-published Theorist:

"Nevertheless, this is probably the single most important central-bank pronouncement yet. But it is not significant for the reasons people think. By far most people take such pronouncements at face value, presume that what the authorities promise will happen and reason from there. But the tremendous significance of this seismic engagement of the monetary jawbone is that if this announcement fails to restore confidence, central bankers' credibility will evaporate."

"At least that's the way historians will play it. But of course, the true causality, as elucidated by socionomics, is that an evaporation of confidence will make the central bankers' plans fail. The outcome is predicated on psychology."

The "socionomics" Prechter refers to is a new social science he has introduced that studies how humans behave in groups within contexts of uncertainty – where fluctuations in social mood motivate social actions. It explains that rather than an event happening that affects social mood (for example, falling home prices make people feel bad), what really happens is that social mood changes first from positive to negative and then lousy things happen (for example, unhappy people make home prices fall). If you can adopt this point of view, then you can see that, in poetic terms, we are fast approaching a bleak midwinter for the economy and the financial markets.

Susan C. Walker writes for Elliott Wave International, a market forecasting and technical analysis company. She has been an associate editor with Inc. magazine, a newspaper writer and editor, an investor relations executive and a speechwriter for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Her columns also appear regularly on