In Punxsutawney, PA, a groundhog named Phil either will or will not see his shadow and we’ll either be doomed to repeat the first six weeks of winter again (which haven’t been that bad in Boston at least) or have an early spring. Groundhog Day enthusiasts claim that the climate predictions made by Phil the Groundhog (and his “cousins” across the country) are accurate 75 – 90% of the time. The United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the keeper of all weather statistics for the federal government, stated, “The groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years.” In recent weeks, there have been plenty of “groundhogs” in the financial markets and in the financial media. For some investors, the fear is that the market’s performance in January 2016 will be repeated over and over again, as in the classic 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Other investors fear that 1998 will play out all over again, triggered by central bankers’ policy mistakes, volatile currency markets, wave after wave of currency devaluations, and eventually a sovereign default. Another group of Groundhog Day aficionados think that the drop in oil, the rising U.S. dollar, a lack of corporate earnings growth, a manufacturing recession, a hard landing in China, and global central banks “running out of bullets” have returned the global economy to the precipice of another 2008.

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