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Thursday, January 8, 2015

STIGLITZ: 'The Issue Is Not Greece. It Is Europe.'

FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.  Nobel Prize Winning Economist: "The Issue Is Not Greece. It Is Europe" (Project Syndicate)  Many are once again worried about Greece. However, the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz doesn't think that Greece should be the EU's number one concern right now. "This issue is not Greece. It is Europe," writes Stiglitz. "If Europe does not change its ways — if it does not reform the eurozone and repeal austerity — a popular backlash will become inevitable. Greece may stay the course this time. But this economic madness cannot continue forever." "What Europe needs more than structural reform within member countries is reform of the Eurozone itself, and a reversal of austere policies, which have failed time and again to reignite economic growth," writes Stiglitz. Morgan Stanley Snagged A $6.5 Billion Team From Merrill Lynch (The Wall Street Journal)  Morgan Stanley signed a $6.5 billion, three-partner team, the Stephans Van Liew and Oiler Group, which is based in Chicago, reports Michael Wursthorn. They were previously at Merrill Lynch's Private Banking & Investment Group, which services ultra-wealthy clients university endowments, corporate pension plans and family offices, among other institutions. Investors Should Be Prepared For The Top 5 Possible Surprises In 2015 (Charles Schwab)  "Currently, there is a high degree of confidence among market participants — ourselves included — in several outcomes for 2015. That could lead some investors to take it for granted that they are sure to happen," writes Jeffrey Kleintop. Kleintop also notes potential outcomes that could surprise investors including: 1) China's growth accelerates, 2) the Federal Reserve doesn't raise interest rates, 3) Europe implements aggressive stimulus, 4) the dollar falls, and 5) stock market volatility surges. An Ex-Broker Has To Pay Over $750,000 After A Scheme To Profit From Terminally Ill Patients (Reuters)  "A New York broker who participated in a scheme to profit from the death of terminally ill patients through variable annuity sales must return $768,000 in commissions, a US Securities and Exchange Commission judge ruled on Wednesday," reports Suzanne Barlyn. Moshe Marc Cohen, the broker, may ultimately be disqualified from holding a license because he was found to have engaged in securities fraud. When Reuters attempted to reach out to Cohen, the person who answered the phone at the number registered under his name hung up twice. The Stronger Consumer Spending Outlook Doesn't Necessarily Bring A Fed Rate Hike Closer (Advisor Perspectives)  "The UM Consumer Sentiment Index has risen sharply in the last few months, reflecting an improved job market outlook and the impact of lower gasoline prices," writes Scott Brown. "Consumers don't spend confidence; income, wealth, and the ability to borrow are what drive spending. However, consumer attitude measures often provide a convenient assessment of the fundamentals." Brown also notes that the stronger consumer spending outlook does not necessarily bring a Fed rate hike closer. "Labor market slack will be taken up at a somewhat faster pace, but there's still plenty of slack remaining. Consumer price inflation was mild in 2015" and "some of the drop in gasoline prices is likely to flow through to core inflation, even if the Fed sees the impact as 'transitory,'" he writes.Join the conversation about this story »