Weekly Update: Good morning! We began this volatile week with a quote by Thomas Edison. It is fitting as today, at its December meeting, the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is releasing their decision to raise interest rates or to leave them unchanged. In a lot of ways, the FOMC will let us know if the light bulb is on or not. As I look at the US Treasury

Weekly Update: Good morning! Some things we find are certain, and other things are uncertain. For example, the Brexit battle is the headline news this morning, which is uncertainty. On the certainty side, we know that Oil prices caused the 1979 recession, and interest rates caused the 1983 recession. Financial institution failure lead to the 1990 recession whereas equity prices caused the 2000 recession. The mortgage and housing bubble was

Weekly Update: Good morning! The U.S. stock market sell-off of nearly 800 points on the Dow Jones Average and 283 points on the NASDAQ yesterday, reflect the heightened uncertainty about the details of the previously announced US-China tariff squabble 90-day reprieve. Last weekend’s announcement of a deal between Presidents Trump and Xi, was called into question when U.S. Government officials had inconsistent stories of what was agreed. The downward movement

Weekly Update: Good morning! The U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted yesterday, Monday. The 5-year yield declined to 2.833%, and the 3-year yield was 2.836%. Yes, this is a small inversion. However, it is important. The last time we had an inverted yield curve was in February of 2007. It has been over 11 years and 11 months for the inversion to return. What does an inverted yield curve mean? Investors

Weekly Update: Good morning! As I recover from skiing over the weekend, I am sitting at my desk pondering a few things: One – “When did black Friday and cyber Monday start”? Black Friday dates back to the 1950s, and the first time it made print was in 1966. Over 50% of Christmas spending has historically been spent on black Friday. Cyber Monday was created by a marketing team at

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