News and Trends

May 26, 2017

Handout Nation: Combined Enrollment In America's 4 Largest Safety Net Programs Hits A Record High - 5.25.17
The combined enrollment in America's four largest safety net programs has reached 236 million. Most experts estimate that the number of Americans dependent on the federal government month over month is well over 100 million.

Dollar weakens after Fed signals desire to shrink balance sheet- Market Watch--5.24.17
The U.S. dollar weakened after minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting showed officials agreed on a tentative plan to shrink the bank's massive balance sheet.

White House Releases Details Of Trump's 2018 Budget Proposal - Zero Hedge--5.23.17
The Trump administration has officially unveiled its budget seeking $1.5 trillion in non-defense discretionary cuts and $1.4 million in Medicaid cuts over the course of a decade.

Greek Authorities To Launch Mass Confiscation Of Safe Deposit Boxes, Securities, Homes In Tax-Evasion Crackdown - Zero Hedge--5.22.17
Greek Finance Ministry inspectors are about to start seeking out the owners of all local undeclared properties, and the law will be amended to allow for financial products and the content of safe deposit boxes to be confiscated electronically.

Opinion: The coming debt crisis- Market Watch--5.22.17
If current laws are not changed, the CBO projects federal deficits will rise dramatically over the next decade. According to the CBO, by 2027, entitlements and interest payments will consume virtually all federal tax revenue.

Nearly half don’t have the cash to pay for a $400 emergency, Fed survey finds- Market Watch--5.19.17
According to a new survey released by the Fed, nearly half of Americans don't have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency. Of the group that can't pay cash, 45% would use a credit card to pay the expense over time.

Fast-spreading new cyber-threat is poised to outstrip WannaCry, experts fear - Market Watch--5.18.17
A new fast-spreading computer attack and a hacking group's threat to release cyberweapons are fueling fears among businesses and security experts of another global technology assault.

US Household Debt Surpasses 2008 High, Hits Record $12.7 Trillion - Zero Hedge--5.17.17
Total debt held by U.S. households reached $12.73 trillion in the first quarter of 2017, surpassing its $12.68 trillion peak reached during the recession in 2008.

Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ threatens largest daily pop in nearly a year- Market Watch--5.17.17
A popular gauge of fear on Wall Street has posted its biggest daily jump since Brexit last June. This one-day climb comes amid mounting worries about President Trump's ability to make good on pledges to enact market-friendly policies.

Massive ransomware infection hits computers in 99 countries - BBC News--5.12.17
A massive cyber-attack using tools believed to have been deployed by the U.S. National Security Agency has struck organizations all over the world.

US Producer Price Index rose 0.5% in April, vs 0.2% increase expected- CNBC--5.11.17
Inflation at the wholesale level jumped in April by the largest amount in three months. The Labor Department says its producer price index rose 0.5 percent in April which followed a 0.1 percent decline in March.

Feds Shut Down Guaranty Bank, Closing Branches In Walmart, Kroger Stores - Consumerist--5.9.17
Last week, the Feds shut down Guaranty Bank. The shut down and transfer process is supposed to be relatively simple for customers, but they are currently facing long lines at the remaining banks left.

Comey firing poses new risk to Trump rally - CNN Money--5.10.17
The historic Trump rally may be at risk after the White House fired FBI director James Comey. The Comey firing threatens to provide a new distraction and another obstacle to getting the tax reform that investors want done.

Economic Confidence Slumps To Lowest Since Trump's Election - Zero Hedge--5.9.17
Americans' views of the economy now sits at a normal low for the year after trending downward from its early March peak. According to Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index, fewer Americans are saying the economy is "getting better" than said it was "getting worse."

Here We Go Again: NY Fed Cuts Q2 GDP To 1.8% From 2.3% (Atlanta Fed Still At 4.2%)- Zero Hedge--5.5.17
The NY Fed has released a report expecting Q2 GDP to grow by only 1.8%, down from 2.3% due to "negative surprises from the ISM manufacturing survey."

Why ultra-low unemployment is not delivering bigger paychecks for workers- Market Watch--5.5.17
The U.S. economy is creating jobs, but wage growth is actually declining in 2017. Some experts believe that mix of new jobs has shifted to lower-paying ones and companies are holding the line on pay since productivity is so weak.

Why the Retail Crisis Could Be Coming to American Groceries - Bloomberg--5.4.17
The American grocery store may no longer be immune to the ravages of online shopping. More competition is now coming for grocery stores and grocers are beginning to engage in a price war that has been weighing on corporate earnings.

Red flag: U.S. productivity slumps in first quarter- Market Watch--5.4.17
Productivity of American firms and their employees fell in the first quarter at the fastest rate in a year, reflecting a cutback in the amount of goods and services made available to customers.

Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady and Says Slow Growth Was Likely to Be ‘Transitory’- NY Times--5.3.17
The Fed did not change its benchmark interest rate at its May meeting, as widely expected. Officials did not seem concerned about the slow pace of growth during the fist quarter of the year saying the slowdown is "likely to be transitory."

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