Tuesday , June 2 2020
Home / Joseph Y. Calhoun
Joseph Y. Calhoun

Joseph Y. Calhoun

Joe has worked in the financial services industry since 1992 in various capacities, including Operations Manager, Compliance Manager, Registered Representative and Portfolio Manager. From 1997 to 2006, when he founded Alhambra Investment Management, Mr. Calhoun was a Director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co. Mr. Calhoun holds the Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) and 65 (Uniform Investment Advisor Law) securities licenses. He has previously taken and passed the Series 7 (General Securities Representative) and Series 9/10 (General Securities Sales Supervisor) securities exams. His company is a global investment adviser, hence potential Swiss clients should not hesitate to contact AIP

Articles by Joseph Y. Calhoun

Regime Change

March 24, 2020

Stocks took another beating last week as the scope of the coronavirus shutdown started to sink in. The S&P 500 was down 15% last week with most of that coming on Monday after the Fed’s emergency rate cuts. Our accounts performed much better than that, but were still down on the week as corporate and municipal bonds continued to get marked down. Municipals recovered slightly at the end of the week as the Fed announced they would be buying highly-rated bonds with maturities up to a year.
The bill being considered in Congress right now would authorize the Fed to purchase corporate debt as well, but as of now, the bill is still being negotiated and there is considerable uncertainty about what its final makeup will look like. We are at a pivotal moment and dependent

Read More »

Is this the Beginning of a Recession?

March 10, 2020

As I sit here Monday evening with the Dow having closed down 2000 points and the 10-year Treasury yield around 0.5%, the title of this update seems utterly ridiculous. With the new coronavirus still spreading and a collapse in oil prices threatening the entire shale oil industry, recession is now the expected outcome. Most observers seem to question only the potential length and depth of the coming downturn.
The case of recession does seem to be one of those open and shut, slam dunk versions we don’t get very often in markets. The economic data has certainly deteriorated over the last year – although that was true before the arrival of the virus. In some respects, more recent economic data had actually improved somewhat. But with the actions being taken to combat

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

October 29, 2019

Is the recession scare over? Can we all come out from under our desks now?
The market based economic indicators I follow have improved since my last update two months ago. The 10 year Treasury rate has moved 40 basis points off its low. Real interest rates have moved up as well but not quite as much. The difference is reflected in slightly higher inflation expectations.
The yield curve has also steepened as the 10 year Treasury yield rose faster than the 2 year. This is not the type of steepening we normally expect to see just prior to recession by the way. That would be if the 2 year yield was falling faster than the 10 year. On the other hand, the change here is not large even if it is in the right direction.
As you’ll see below, some of our other market

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

August 30, 2019

This is a companion piece to last week’s Monthly Macro report found here.
The Treasury market continues to price in lower nominal and real growth. The stress, the urgency, I see in some of these markets is certainly concerning and consistent with what we have seen in the past at the onset of recession. The move in Treasuries is by some measures, as extreme as the fall of 2008 when we were in a full blown panic. That to me, is evidence that this move is overly emotional since the economic conditions today are nowhere near as severe as that time. As Jeff and I have both pointed out, the next recession is unlikely to look like the last one.
The banking system, at least in the US, is in much better shape than 2008; bank failures are probably not on the next recession

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor: We’re Not There Yet

July 21, 2019

It’s been a slow turnin’
From the inside out
A slow turnin’
But you come about

Slow learnin’
But you learn to sway
A slow turnin’ baby
Not fade away

Now I’m in my car
I got the radio on
I’m yellin’ at the kids in the back
‘Cause they’re bangin’ like Charlie Watts

Slow Turning by John Hiatt

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways”, Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

The Sun Also Rises, By Ernest Hemingway

I first wrote about the current economic slowdown a year ago and Jeff Snider actually started seeing signs of slowdown in the Eurodollar market as early as May 2018. So, the slowdown we’re in now certainly isn’t a surprise here at Alhambra. I think though that we often forget how long these

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor: Economic Reports

June 4, 2019

Is recession coming? Well, yeah, of course, it is but whether it is now, six months from now or 2 years from now or even longer is impossible to say right now. Our Jeff Snider has been dutifully documenting all the negativity reflected in the bond and money markets and he is certainly right that things are not moving in the right direction. But moving in the wrong direction, even deeply, as we discovered in 2015/16, doesn’t necessarily mean recession. This slowdown – and that’s what it is right now – like all slowdowns we go through in a business cycle, puts the economy in greater danger of recession. It is a lot easier for growth to turn negative when you are growing at 1% than it is when you are growing at 3%. So,

Read More »

Monthly Macro Chart Review – April 2019 (VIDEO)

April 13, 2019

Alhambra CEO Joe Calhoun discusses the charts from the past month and what they indicate.
[embedded content]

Related posts: Monthly Macro Chart Review: April 2019
Monthly Macro Chart Review – March (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – March 2019 (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – February (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Chart Review – March
Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018 (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – December 2018 (VIDEO)

Tags: Alhambra Research,Featured,Monthly Macro Monitor,newsletter

Read More »

Monthly Macro Chart Review: April 2019

April 9, 2019

The economic data reported over the last month managed to confirm both that the economy is slowing and that there seems little reason to fear recession at this point. The slowdown is mostly a manufacturing affair – and some of that is actually a fracking slowdown – but consumption has also slowed. On a more positive note, housing seems to have found its footing with lower rates and employment is still fairly robust. The US economic growth rate in this cycle has been disappointing and the forces that have made that so haven’t changed. The short burst of higher growth last year has faded – as we expected – and in the short term I don’t see much reason to expect another burst. There are, however, some positive signs

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor: Well Worried

March 28, 2019

Don’t waste your time worrying about things that are well worried.

Well worried. One of the best turns of phrase I’ve ever heard in this business that has more than its fair share of adages and idioms. It is also one of the first – and best – lessons I learned from my original mentor in this business. The things you see in the headlines, the things everyone is already worried about, aren’t usually worth fretting over. The market may not be perfectly efficient but when it hits the front page of the local newspaper – or saturates the modern day equivalents, Twitter and Facebook – it is already over and doesn’t deserve your attention.
In case you haven’t heard – and I don’t know how you could have possibly avoided it

Read More »

Monthly Macro Chart Review – March

March 8, 2019

We’re changing the format on our Macro updates, breaking the report into two parts. This is part one, a review of the data released the previous month with charts to highlight the ones we deem important. We’ll post another one next week that will be more commentary and the market based indicators we use to monitor recession risk.
We are still playing catch up on the economic data releases due to the government shutdown so a lot of the data released in the last month is from November and December. It isn’t really news anymore but some of it is interesting. Overall, the data supports what we’ve been reporting and expecting for months – the economy is slowing but does not look recessionary. We continue to expect the

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – February (VIDEO)

February 2, 2019

Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun discusses the latest information about markets, specific categories affecting the economy.

[embedded content]

Related posts: Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018 (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – December 2018 (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – August
Monthly Macro Monitor – September 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – September
Monthly Macro Monitor – January 2019
Monthly Macro Monitor – November 2018

Tags: Alhambra Research,Featured,Monthly Macro Monitor,newsletter

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – January 2019

January 27, 2019

A Return To Normalcy
In the first two years after a newly elected President takes office he enacts a major tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy and significantly raises tariffs on imports. His foreign policy is erratic but generally pulls the country back from foreign commitments. He also works to reduce immigration and roll back regulations enacted by his predecessor. This President is widely rumored to have had numerous adulterous affairs and his administration is wracked by repeated scandals. He often seems overwhelmed by the job of President and confides to friends that he wasn’t prepared for the job.
President Trump? No, that describes the Presidency of Warren G. Harding. It only got worse after he died

Read More »

2019 Outlook

January 12, 2019

A discussion of the outlook for 2019 in the markets and the economy by Alhambra CEO Joe Calhoun and the Head of Alhambra Global Investment Research Jeff Snider.

[embedded content]

Related posts: Euro Credit: 2019 Outlook
Gold Outlook 2019: Uncertainty Makes Gold A “Valuable Strategic Asset” – WGC
Core Euro Sovereign Bonds 2019 Outlook
A Couple of Thoughts on 2019
Blackrock Say Gold Will Be A “Valuable Portfolio Hedge” In 2019
Understanding the Global Recession of 2019
VAT now applied to most foreign online shopping from 1 January 2019

Tags: Bonds,commodities,currencies,economy,Featured,Federal

Read More »

Living In The Present

January 8, 2019

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Buddha
Review
It’s that time of year again, time to cast the runes, consult the iChing, shake the Magic Eight Ball and read the tea leaves. What will happen in 2019? Will it be as bad as 2018 when positive returns were hard to come by, as rare as affordable health care or Miami Dolphin playoff games? Will China’s economy succumb to the pressure of US tariffs and make a deal? Will the Fed keep hiking rates? Or will they be forced to cut to stave off a recession? Will the Dow keep jumping in 1000 point increments? Will Europe hold together a while longer or

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – December 2018 (VIDEO)

December 10, 2018

[embedded content]
Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

Related posts: Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018 (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – September 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – August
Monthly Macro Monitor – November 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – August 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – September

Tags: Featured,Monthly Macro Monitor,newsletter

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – November 2018

November 30, 2018

Is the Fed’s monetary tightening about over? Maybe, maybe not but there does seem to be some disagreement between Jerome Powell and his Vice Chair, Richard Clarida. Powell said just a little over a month ago that the Fed Funds rate was still “a long way from neutral” and that the Fed may ultimately need to go past neutral. Clarida last week said the FF rate was close to neutral and that future hikes should be “data dependent” which makes this observer wonder what exactly past hikes were predicated on if not data. Maybe Powell’s thinking has changed since he made those remarks and he sent Clarida – and a few others – out to deliver the message that monetary policy is no longer on auto-pilot. Or maybe the bulls just

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018 (VIDEO)

October 27, 2018

[embedded content]
Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

Related posts: Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018
Special Edition: Markets Under Pressure (VIDEO)
Monthly Macro Monitor – September 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – September
Monthly Macro Monitor – August
Monthly Macro Monitor – August 2018
Global Asset Allocation Update – (VIDEO)

Tags: Alhambra Research,Featured,Monthly Macro Monitor,newsletter

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018

October 24, 2018

Stocks have stumbled into October with the S&P 500 down about 6% as I write this. The source of equity investors’ angst is always hard to pinpoint and this is no exception but this correction doesn’t seem to be due to concerns about economic growth. At least not directly.
The most common explanation for the pullback in stocks – 6% doesn’t even qualify as a correction – is rising interest rates but I think it is a bit more complicated than that. Asset prices are obviously impacted by the discount rate applied but they are also driven by expectations regarding the stream of cash flow they generate. Changes in either – or both – can cause a change in investors’ perception of the value of the asset. The discount rate

Read More »

Special Edition: Markets Under Pressure (VIDEO)

October 15, 2018

[embedded content]

What does Alhambra Investments think about the 1300 point drop in the Dow Jones Average this week? Alhambra CEO Joe Calhoun has some thoughts.

Related posts: Cool Video: Bloomberg Clip from Discussion on Emerging Markets
Cool Video: Emerging Markets Continue to Sell-Off
FX Daily, August 13: Turkey Drives Risk-Off, but Pressure Abating
Global Asset Allocation Update – (VIDEO)
Bi-Weekly Economic Review – (VIDEO)
Bi-Weekly Economic Review (VIDEO)
Repo and Repo Markets

Tags: economy,Featured,Investing,Markets,newsletter

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – September 2018

September 25, 2018

Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun shares his opinions of the economy and market based on the most recent economic reports.


Related posts: Monetary Policy Assessment of 20 September 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – September
FX Daily, September 12: Dollar Chops in Narrow Ranges
Global Asset Allocation Update – September 2018
Monthly Macro Monitor – August
Monthly Macro Monitor – August 2018
Cookie policy

Tags: Featured,Monthly Macro Monitor,newsletter

Read More »

Global Asset Allocation Update – September 2018

September 11, 2018

The risk budget is unchanged again this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between bonds and risk assets is 50/50.
Decoupling anyone? That’s what the market is whispering right now, that the recent troubles in foreign economies is contained and won’t affect the US. The most obvious example of that trend is the performance of US stocks versus the rest of the world. I am painfully aware of the divergence in performance as I have had the temerity to try and diversify my portfolio away from very expensive large-cap US stocks. That has been a mistake for going on a decade now and one has to wonder if diversification is still the free lunch Harry Markowitz thought. The bill for continuing to believe it

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – August

August 23, 2018

[embedded content]
Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

Related posts: In Next Crisis, Gold Won’t Drop Like 2008, Report 19 August 2018
FX Daily, August 17: Dollar Limps into the Weekend
Monthly Macro Monitor – August 2018
FX Daily, August 14: Brief Respite but Little Relief
Global Asset Allocation Update – (VIDEO)
FX Weekly Review, August 21 – August 26: Dollar Loses its Gains Against CHF
FX Weekly Review, August 14 – August 19: CHF Recovers after Dovish Draghi Comments

Tags: Alhambra Research,Featured,Monthly Macro Monitor,newsletter

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor – August 2018

August 17, 2018

The Q2 GDP report (+4.1% from the previous quarter, annualized) was heralded by the administration as a great achievement and certainly putting a 4 handle on quarter to quarter growth has been rare this cycle, if not unheard of (Q4 ’09, Q4 ’11, Q2 & Q3 ’14). But looking at the GDP change year over year shows a little different picture (2.8%).
The US economy is definitely accelerating out of the 2016 slowdown. The growth rate has risen in a near straight line from 1.3% in Q2 2016 to 2.8% in the most recent quarter. But the rate of ascent so far leaves a lot to be desired. This business cycle –  like all the others – has seen multiple slowdowns and accelerations (4 up-cycles and 3 down-cycles since 2009). The last

Read More »

Global Asset Allocation Update – (VIDEO)

August 8, 2018

[embedded content]
Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

Related posts: Global Asset Allocation Update
Global Asset Allocation Update
Global Asset Allocation Update
Global Asset Allocation Update
Global Asset Allocation Update: Tariffs Don’t Warrant A Change…Yet
Global Asset Allocation Update: The Certainty of Uncertainty
Mid-Year Global Update

Tags: Alhambra Research,Featured,Global Asset Allocation Update,newslettersent

Read More »

Global Asset Allocation Update

August 2, 2018

The risk budget is unchanged again this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between bonds and risk assets is evenly split. The only change to the portfolio is the one I wrote about last week, an exchange of TIP for SHY.
Interest rates are on the rise again, the 10 year Treasury yield punching through 3% again this morning. That is an indication that growth and/or inflation expectations have risen somewhat recently, but really not a lot has changed. Yes, Q2 GDP did indeed grow by 4.1% according to the BEA but the market is saying pretty clearly that it doesn’t mean much. If the market thought that level of growth was sustainable the 10 year note would not be struggling to get over 3%. The fact is

Read More »

Global Asset Allocation Update

July 27, 2018

Note: This will be a short update. We are shifting the timing of some of our reports. The monthly Global Asset Allocation update will now be published in the first week of the month, aiming for the first of each month. I’ll put out a full report next week. The Bi-Weekly Economic Review is shifting to a monthly update, published on the 15th of each month. We are doing this to make room for some new reports, podcasts and videos.
The risk budget is unchanged this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation to bonds and risk assets is evenly split. There are changes this month within the asset classes.

50-50 Risk budget – Click to enlarge
The only change to the portfolio this month is a shift in the bond

Read More »

Mid-Year Global Update

July 25, 2018

[embedded content]
Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

Related posts: Mid-Year Global Markets Update
Bi-Weekly Economic Review – (VIDEO)
What will the rest of the year bring?
Bi-Weekly Economic Review (VIDEO)
Great Graphic: Two-year Rate Differentials
Bi-Weekly Economic Review
Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Tags: Bi-Weekly Economic Review,Featured,newsletter

Read More »

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

July 20, 2018

This will be a fairly quick update as I just posted a Mid-Year Review yesterday that covers a lot of the same ground. 
There were, as you’ll see below, some fairly positive reports since the last update but the markets are not responding to the better data. Markets seem to be more focused on the trade wars and the potential fallout. I would also note that at least some of the recent strength in the data is related to the tariffs. Tariffs are taxes and if they know a tax is scheduled to rise, people will find a way to accelerate the activity or product involved. So, yes, we’ll see a good print on Q2 GDP, but some of that – and I don’t know of any way to quantify it – is due to stockpiling of things like steel and

Read More »

Mid-Year Global Markets Update

July 19, 2018

Volatility returned to markets with a vengeance in the first half of this year. 2018 started off as an extension of last year when volatility was almost wholly absent. Stocks roared out of the starting gate, up almost every day until January 26th. And then – whoosh. What took nearly a month to gain took just 6 trading days to give back and then some. Since that correction, the S&P 500 has traded in a range with a slight upward bias.
The correction that hit stocks in February was driven by a number of factors but was mostly a reaction to a market that had run too far, too fast. The narrative at the time was that inflation fears were driving interest rates higher and causing a revaluation of stocks. That never made

Read More »

Bi-Weekly Economic Review – (VIDEO)

July 14, 2018

[embedded content]
Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

Related posts: Bi-Weekly Economic Review (VIDEO)
Bi-Weekly Economic Review
Bi-Weekly Economic Review
Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Oil, Interest Rates & Economic Growth
Bi-Weekly Economic Review
Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets?
Bi-Weekly Economic Review: One Down, Three To Go

Tags: Bi-Weekly Economic Review,Featured,newsletter

Read More »