Rising Rates

Over the past few weeks US interest rates have risen dramatically. ( click here from FB) For example 10 year US treasuries have gone from a low of about 2.30% t0 3.32 %. That is a 30% rise!!! This is a problem for a country that is addicted to very low cost money. This has occurred despite hundreds of billions of purchases from the FED ( I cannot imagine how much money they lost). The FED’s famous QE program met with much scrutiny, especially from free market players who see this as massively disruptive. The big question is what next? Further what are the reasons for the rise? Is it the economy is improving or that investors are demanding higher rates from the US because of concerns about lack of fiscal discipline? I have more questions then answers but when I step back what remains somewhat shocking to me is despite the rise, how low interest rates are. Despite this, despite it, we are not experiencing any real growth. Yes savings rates have gone up dramatically but we are still a country that is way to indebted. ( household and government) The corporate sector fairs better but investment on their part does not make sense unless the demand is there. How can there be demand when the consumer remains over-spent? I continue to think it will be a slow road to recovery for the US with the potential for some major bumps along the way.

More Women on Boards

Happy Sunday! I have so much to write about TED, so much. But for now a quick hit on an important topic, getting more women on corporate boards. Read this in the New York Times from yesterday. Within a few weeks I hope to have a dedicated section on my web-site ( jackizehner.com ) that will feature a brief about why the time is now to move for the “Critical Mass Principle” – a voluntary goal for public companies to have a minimum of 30% women on their boards. That brief will feature the many research reports and arguements for why greater diversity on their boards is good business!

TED – Women are Heros a film by JR

Last night at the TED opening I had the opportunity ( click here from FB) to see the documentary film “Women are Heros”- a film by JR, and the 2011 TED Prize Winner, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. It was an extraordinary film of a street art project come to life in the communities in which it was born. Click here from YOUTUBE trailer. I am off to a Women Moving Millions breakfast, a tour of the museum and by first TED conference. What a day!