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Points of View

Rossoff & Company’s Points of View is a forum for industry experts, leading finance professionals and senior Rossoff & Co. professionals to provide insights and commentary on current news stories, financial market themes and industry dynamics.

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With somewhat predictable frequency, the media, telecom and communications industries go through waves of consolidation every few years. Typically, such seismic events occur when interest rates are low, technology is changing rapidly (or even discontinuously) and valuations reach historic highs. Recently, a new wave has begun; a wave, however, unlike any in the past. The current wave involves the very biggest companies in the communications industries; and the logic behind the transactions range...
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Financialization and Its Discontents

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What do we talk about when we talk about financialization?  Wikipedia defines financialization as a “term sometimes used in discussions of financial capitalism in which financial leverage tended to override capital (equity) and financial markets tended to dominate over the traditional industrial economy and agricultural economics.”   For a further gloss, Wikipedia adds that financialization is a “term that describes an economic system or process that attempts to reduce all value t...
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The sudden collapse of Northern Iraq has come as a shock to Americans – and that seems to go for just about everyone, from the common person right up to the President.  The question of what, if anything, we should do about it has produced mostly handwringing among the same group, especially including the President.  Perhaps the only clarity has come from General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  When asked by a Senator what our interests were, he said, “It is in our...
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INCOME INEQUALITY – DOES IT MATTER?

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Income inequality is much in the news. Democratic politicians are decrying it and economists have discovered it. Both groups have been given ammunition by the recent work of economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics. Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, recently translated into English, sits near the top of the best-seller list. Saez and Piketty claim to prove, through an examination of IRS records, that income ...
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WHITHER THE WEALTH EFFECT?

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Five years into an economic expansion, the Federal Reserve continues to maintain interest rates at historically low levels. The ten-year Treasury Note, our current bellwether, has remained stuck at a yield of 2.6% for almost a year and prior to that was marooned at a yield of 1.6%. The jump from 1.6% to 2.6% occurred suddenly and dramatically last summer after Bernanke hinted that the Fed might be ready to begin tapering its bond buying program. The move down to 1.6% was itself a product of dras...
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