Costliest Hurricanes – Historical Note

As flood waters recede in Texas, Hurricane Harvey is on track to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. Not since Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged Louisiana in 2005, and Gustav & Ike in 2008, have insurance companies been levied with billions of dollars in settlement claims. Fortunately, nearly nine years absent of a significant natural disaster has …

What To Do After A Major Credit Data Breach – Consumer Awareness

Be Proactive: Request A Copy Of Your Credit Report Now! Consider Freezing Your Credit: Only If You’re Not Applying For Credit Soon Subscribe To A Credit Monitoring Service: Most Are Monthly Subscriptions There are three major credit reporting companies in the United States: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Even though the three are distinct entities, they all perform very similar functions.This …

Recent Fed Rate Hikes In Question – Monetary Policy

Over the past 27 years, the Federal Reserve has raised it key rate, the Federal Funds Rate, 35 times, each to slow down inflationary pressures and to curtail elevating price levels. The Fed increased rates aggressively and consistently in 1994 to hold off a rapidly expanding economy, lifting rates six times for the year. A decade later, the Fed raised …

Macro Overview – July 2017

International markets reacted in June as central banks throughout Europe and Asia signaled that monetary stimulus efforts were slowly being dispatched. The news propped up European currencies including the euro, pound, and Swiss franc as anticipated higher rates tend to bode well for currencies. Central banks from around the world are slowly curtailing stimulus efforts and starting the process of …

Chinese Stocks Get Inducted – International Update

The European Central Bank (ECB) hinted that it might start curtailing its stimulus program as accelerating growth takes hold throughout Europe. The news drove European bond prices lower and yields higher, simultaneously lifting the euro. China was inducted into the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, a long awaited move by Chinese companies and international investors. MSCI, a U.S. company providing key …

Equity Overview – Global Equity Overview

The equity markets started to experience what stock analysts call a sector rotation, when one or several sectors fall out of favor leading to funds flowing to other sectors. This past month technology stocks fell as markets perceived that the sector may have become overvalued. As this occurred, banking and financial sector stocks rose, as favorable regulatory related news lifted …

Americans Are Working More & Sleeping Less – Demographics

The Department of Labor in June released a survey, called the American Time Use Survey, on how much time Americans spend working, sleeping, and a host of other activities. Nearly 10,500 people were surveyed by the Labor Department nationwide for this latest report. The survey found that Americans spent just over 4.5 hours each weekday working in 2016, an increase …

The Evolution of Bitcoin – Market Fact

An emerging form of digital currency has received tremendous media coverage this past month, Bitcoin, which is essentially virtual money that is traded digitally by exchanges. Bitcoins can only be purchased and sold with legitimate currency, such as dollars or euros, making it available worldwide. The total estimated value of Bitcoins worldwide as of May 30, 2017, is over 36 …

Fixed Income Update – Global Bond Markets

Analysts believe that demographical factors are increasingly influencing the direction of fixed income markets. Even after the fed raised rates this past quarter, along with a series of rate increase expectations, bond yields have reversed and headed lower. The 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond yield fell in April to 2.29%, levels last reached in November 2016. Volume of investment grade bonds …

A Brief History of Tax Cuts – Historical Note

For nearly a hundred years, tax cuts have been a centerpiece of political strife among politicians, with both parties at times lobbying for lower tax rates. An accepted belief has been that lower taxes widen the Federal deficit and provide no economic expansion. Contrary to this belief, prior tax cuts enacted by various presidential administrations actually yielded economic growth and …