News and Trends

February 21, 2017

It’s worse than you thought: Americans are drastically under-saved for retirement- Market Watch--2.21.17
The average American couple only has $5000 put away for retirement while only a third of working Americans are saving money in an employer-sponsored or tax-deferred retirement account, according to the Census Bureau.

The Next Financial Crisis Might Be in Your Driveway- Bloomberg--2.21.17
The U.S.'s auto debt hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Vehicle loans hit a peak of $1.16 trillion, meaning that every licensed driver, on average, owes about $6,000 in car payments.

NY Fed: US household debt at highest level since 2008 - CNBC--2.16.17
Household debt in the U.S> has reached $12.58 trillion, a level that has not been seen since 2008. This represents a $226 billion increase in household debt for the fourth quarter.

The US dollar is becoming a problem- Markets Insider--2.16.17
In a recent research note, Goldman Sachs Asset Management said the U.S. dollar in overvalued versus its peers. Additionally, a survey found that in February, more investors that at any point in the past decade believe the dollar is overvalued.

Wall Street’s ‘fear index’ is on track for the biggest two-day jump since Trump’s election- Market Watch--2.16.17
Wall Street's "fear index" was on track to mark its largest two-day climb. The move comes as all three major stock-market benchmarks finished at record levels for a fifth straight session.

Inflation surges in January by most in four years, CPI shows- Market Watch--2.15.17
The prices Americans pay for goods and services has soared in January by the largest amount in four years. A big increase in the cost of gasoline accounted for almost half of the increase.

US Economic Freedom Has Hit a Historic Low. What Happened?- Daily Signal--2.15.17
According to The Heritage Foundation's 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, U.S. ranks 17th out of 180 rated economies, lagging behind other comparable advanced economies.

Big Brother is watching you: Jim Rogers prophesizes death of cash & total govt control of spending - RT--2.14.17
Investment guru Jim Rogers is warning that governments will increasingly seek to hunt down cash spending. According to Rogers, "many countries are already doing this. Some states in the US you cannot make cash transactions above a certain amount."

US wholesale inflation sees biggest monthly gain in 4 years- Yahoo! News--2.14.17
U.S. wholesale inflation continued upward in January, recording its largest monthly gain in more than four years. The Producer Price Index rose 0.6 percent, which was the largest gain since September 2012.

America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump - Bloomberg--2.12.17
America's biggest foreign creditors are having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government. Across the world, foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before.

Trump-Trudeau meeting underlines delicate task of remaking Nafta - Market Watch--2.13.17
President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were scheduled to meet and likely provide a glimpse of how President Trump will seek to overhaul Nafta.

Cash No Longer King: Europe Accelerates Move To Begin Elimination Of Paper Money - Zero Hedge--2.10.17
The European commission has begin to quietly launch a war on cash and intend to crack down on paper transactions across the EU. Brexit has pushed governments throughout Europe to seize further control over their banking systems.

Americans under 40 are going to have to learn what inflation means for the first time in their lives - Quartz--2.10.17
About half of the U.S. population can't remember a time when people worried about inflation. Since the 80s, inflation has been pretty low and predictable. Now inflation is coming back, and the Congressional Budget Office expects inflation to increase over the next two years.

A strong US dollar may actually be hurting you - Business Insider--2.9.17
A strong U.S. currency can hurt American businesses. If the dollar gets too strong, then the products exported by these companies can become too expensive and unaffordable for other countries, which could lead to fewer jobs at home.

Trump promises a major tax announcement in a few weeks - CNBC--2.9.17

BlackRock’s Larry Fink sees ‘dark shadows’ in markets- Market Watch--2.9.17
BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink sees some scary things on the horizon including rising consumer confidence in a time of record stock prices and deflationary pressures. According to Fink, “I believe we’re in the midst of a slowdown as we speak, because of all the uncertainty."

Out of pocket, Italians fall out of love with the euro - Reuters--2.8.17
Italy is the only country where per capita output has actually fallen since it joined the euro. The Bank of Italy no longer commands respect among Italians that it used to and now politicians are tapping into growing hostility towards the euro.

EU faces crisis as IMF warns Greek debts are on ‘explosive’ path - The Telegraph-- 2.7.17
Despite years of attempted austerity and economic reforms, the IMF has warned that Greece's debts are on an "explosive" path. This looming crisis could threaten the sustainability of the eurozone.

Is Frexit next? Why France is starting to really freak out investors- Market Watch--2.7.17
Investors are starting to brace for "Frexit," the risk of France leaving the eurozone, after far-right candidate Marine Le Pen recently launched her presidential campaign.

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