Government shutdown ahead? Not again!
The House has two weeks to pass 12 spending bills. This could be a problem. So far, markets are sanguine as are interest rates. Despite the slightly higher inflation numbers for August rates have been stable at high levels. Gasoline prices seem to be the problem. Recession fears have abated, and economists do not expect the Fed to lower rates until the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2024. Economists expect GDP growth for the rest of the year to be close to 2% which is lower than earlier this year but continuing slow economic growth. With the Fed still not real close to their inflation target of 2% lower rates are not necessarily on the horizon.
The Schwab transition seems to be proceeding without too many hiccups. Most of you who had checking accounts at TD should have received your new Schwab checks. We all have to get used to some new tools with some better than TD and some worse from our perspective. SAS did our best to create room in our schedule to make adjustments and help clients get comfortable logging into their accounts.
Another upcoming potential economic hiccup is a possible United Auto Workers strike that would be costly to the economy. It is hard to tell how big an economic impact this would have but it will reduce economic growth depending on how long it lasts.
Two major disasters this week in Africa remind us of the fragility of our environment. They are also opportunities for us to be generous for those people and countries in dire need. A link through CNN for recommended and vetted charities: How to help victims of Morocco’s deadly earthquake | CNN
Are you paying attention to Artificial Intelligence software? I have not been paying too much attention until this week. Technology leaders testified to Congress and expressed concern that we get it right. AI presents huge opportunities but also huge risks. I suggest we all pay attention to the latest thinking in this area. A high percentage of stock market gains could be attributed to the excitement about AI. Pay attention.
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