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A member of the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars enthusiasts, plays beach volleyball at Polson Pier in Toronto on Aug. 21, 2013. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
A member of the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars enthusiasts, plays beach volleyball at Polson Pier in Toronto on Aug. 21, 2013. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

The Week’s Highlights

The Death Star eclipses Fed tapering Add to ...

Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Insight the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on developing market news.

Here are our editors’ picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.

Taper your Fed fears

Investors have been getting the jitters ever since the Fed started shutting off the spigot of its massive liquidity injection. But fears of a market collapse were overblown, evidenced by the fact that the Fed – through its “Death Star” – has been sucking out far more cash from markets than QE is injecting. The term, used to describe the central bank’s reverse repo agreement, may sound a bit over the top, but it’s an apt way to describe its awesome power as a tool to deal with inflation pressures, writes Scott Barlow in ROB Insight. (And it sounds a lot more impressive than the Fixed Rate Full Allotment Over Night Reverse Repo Facility.)

From long boom to long gloom

When Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates weighs in with an opinion on something, people sit up and take notice. The huge and well respected hedge fund is known particularly for its macro research into countries’ medium- and longer-term prospects, and its take on Canada isn’t very cheery. After a decade of good times, Bridgewater is calling for a much tougher 10 years, typified by an unbalanced economy carrying significant risks. In Streetwise, Boyd Erman examines what the hedge fund expects to see and the reasons behind the shifts.

Got a question? Ask Gordon Pape

Gordon Pape, editor and publisher of the Internet Wealth Builder newsletter and author of several books on investing, joins Inside the Market to take reader questions on financial matters. Among the topics Mr. Pape discusses this week are whether an investor who missed the TSX rally of 2013 should consider getting in now, what the prospects of preferred shares are in the event of a market pullback, and the tax liabilities involved with RRSP withdrawals.

Someone tell consumers there’s a recovery going on

The sun seems to be shining again upon many segments of the U.S. economy, although perhaps not as brightly as one would hope in the wake of a big recession. But it’s still pretty gloomy in that traditional driver of economic activity – consumer spending. Household debt is rising, but little of that cash appears to be making its way into the tills of America’s shopping malls. In ROB Insight, Brian Milner looks at the parade of merchants reporting dismal results, and the alibis they’re offering up to shareholders.

Strong market, weak volumes: what gives?

With the TSX hovering around its post-crisis peak, you’d naturally expect trading volumes to be way up, too. But not so – and no one on the Street is quite sure why. Institutional traders have been reporting lacklustre flows for some time, and now even retail activity is in a funk. In Streetwise, Tim Kiladze digs around to try and find the culprit(s), and even manages to discover a few silver linings to the trading rut.

Own the investing podium

While the gold-medal performance of the Canadian women’s hockey team was indisputably the most thrilling spectacle at Sochi, the men’s win offers the most useful lessons for investors. In Inside the Market, Scott Barlow explains how the factors that powered the team to triumph – its composition, quality, and strategy – are the same traits needed to ensure victory with an investment portfolio.

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