Weekly Update: Good morning! The U.S. economic data calendar includes an October monthly budget statement at 2:00 PM today; ahead this week are CPI, Empire manufacturing, retail sales, and industrial production. There is a big line up of Fed speakers this week.  The calendar includes Kashkari (10:00 AM), Brainard (10:00 AM) and Harker (2:20 PM); also this week are Quarles, Bostic, Evans and Williams, along with Powell speaking on Wednesday. With the

Weekly Update: Good morning! Democracy is done until 2020 – Yay – No more calls from an unknown number to my cell phone. Yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met in Washington DC.  They reviewed a lot of economic data and determined that they did not need to increase the Federal Funds (Fed Funds) rate. While we agreed with the FOMC, we did see the Producer Price Index (PPI)

Weekly Update: Good morning! Democracy is the word of the week. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to vote on a range of contests, from congressional seats all the way down to small-town mayoral races and county sheriffs. Mid-term elections historically have a low turnout, as it is not a presidential election.  This year, we are breaking the trend, and according to Time magazine, the early voting has eclipsed 30 million

Weekly Update: Good Morning! Volatility is the word of the week. The S&P 500 Index started last week at 2,769.58 and hit a low of 2,634.81.  This was a 5.11% decline in just a few days. The index ended at 2,658.39, which is a 4.18% decline for the week. Volatility appears to be back, and there are a few significant influxes bothering the market.  We see the problems as: Anxiety

The Impact of a Flatter Yield Curve on Liquidity and Spread By: Jim Craven Loan growth is improving. Deposit costs are higher. Liquidity is tight. These are common phrases we hear daily. Large and small financial institutions across the country are simultaneously dealing with all three. This is a recent phenomenon, which has accelerated over the past several quarters. It all started slowly as the Federal Reserve began raising short-term interest

Weekly Update: Good Morning! Today is a good day.  The Detroit Lions won another game, and are over .500 after six games. Another reason that today is a good day is the average FICO score in the United States of America reached 704.  There are now a record high number of Americans with a FICO score (58.2%). Let’s look at delinquency, another view of the financial health of consumers.  The

Weekly Update: Good Morning! The ground continues to rise. US Treasury yields propelled upwards last week, and the stock market’s response was to stumble a bit.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 1,300 points in two days.  This appeared to be the pullback that many people have been predicting. On Thursday, we received the economic data that showed a cooling in inflation in the form of a lower than

Weekly Update: Good Morning! Chicken Little is famous from her quote “The sky is falling.” Today, I would like to start a famous quote “The ground is rising.” The US Treasury yields propelled upwards last week as the economy continues to be very strong. The US Jobless rate declined to a 48-year low. The unemployment rate is at 3.70%. Wow, low. The 10-year US Treasury increased to 3.23%, and the

Weekly Update: Good Morning! The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the Federal Funds rate 0.25% to 2.25%. The FOMC telegraphed that they are looking at one more rate increase this year and potentially up to three more in 2019. This will result in a 3.00% to 3.25% Fed Funds rate by the end of 2019. The FOMC believes that the economy is doing well. When I watch televised news,

Weekly Update: Good Morning! As I ponder the industry and the forces in our incredible world of banking, I notice a few topics worth pointing out. One – The stock market is roaring. The Dow is now over 26,700. The S&P is over 2,900, and the NAS is nearly 7,000. Wow, the markets look good. 401(k) looks good. The financial world is happy. The result of this is that people