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November 1, 2023

The Appetizer

“It’s about having more people in the core of downtown doing something other than just working. It’s about having fun.”

  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on the need to reinvent downtowns in America.

Now, on to the numbers. Drum roll, please …

  • 300,000+: The number of student loan borrowers who recently received inaccurate bills, with many being charged more than they should be.
  • $1.06 million: The mean net worth of an American household in 2022, up from $868,000 in 2019.
  • $601: The total cost that U.S. households are expected to pay for natural gas heating this winter, down 21% from last winter.
  • 10x: The growth in the number of electric cars that the IEA expects to see on the road worldwide by 2030 compared with today.
  • 22: The number of minutes of moderate to vigorous activity that is needed to offset the ills of prolonged sitting, according to a recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Dig In
Fiscal Transition

Fiscal Transition: It’s a term you might want to keep in mind because it is something we are not going to shut up about, seriously. Not just because it makes you sound smart in a room, but because it is quite important, especially right now.

We’ve already talked about the implications of the new higher rate regime and how it impacts the consumer and businesses, so now let’s shine a spotlight on the U.S. government.

The government’s finances are growing increasingly complex. Higher rates have translated into higher interest expense to service the national debt. In fact, interest expense is the fastest-growing line item in the federal budget, totaling approximately $659 billion in fiscal 2023 – the fourth largest government expenditure behind Social Security, Medicare, and defense. In the coming years, higher rates will mean even more going to interest costs.

Considering the backdrop of strained geopolitics, an aging population, and burden of higher interest expense, it appears that clear-cut solutions are hard to come by. Hence the “Fiscal Transition” and the imperative for fiscal discipline in the future.

Weekly Specials

A big summer economic boost in the U.S.! Gross domestic product surged at a 4.9% rate in the third quarter, driven by a 4% increase in consumer spending. This acceleration was fueled by leftover savings from Covid-19 and a tight labor market.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says he is going to reach out to his friends at the Grevin Museum in Paris so they can work on updating his wax figure “with some important details and improvements – starting with ‘his’ skin color.”

It may have been a painful few weeks for your stock portfolio with the S&P 500 on the brink of a recession – down 10% from this year’s high. But don’t panic, declines happen at some point each year. Cash yields at 5% might be appealing, but if you’re a long-term investor, it’s time to develop a plan to redeploy some of your cash reserves.

Stick to renting?! In theory, buying and renting costs should be roughly aligned, but the average monthly new mortgage payment is 52% higher than the average apartment rent. To put in perspective, mortgages have surged by 60% in the last three years, while rent has increased by 22% in the same period.

Corporate Lunch

Hess Corporation assured worried consumers that its beloved toy truck will continue to be manufactured even after the Chevron takeover.

Tinder has introduced a feature that allows your friends and parents to provide input on your matches because as they say, “mother knows best.”

Amazon is exploring the possibility of offering veterinary telehealth to compete with Walmart. Will the vets will be able to diagnose with just one bark?

Bud Light knocked Modelo out of the ring as it was just declared the official beer of UFC.

Nvidia has been quietly designing central processing units (CPUs) compatible with Microsoft operating systems, targeting Intel’s long-standing dominance in the PC business.

McDonalds sales rose 14%, so it’s no surprise the company is offering free fries every Friday through the end of the year. Ba da ba ba ba! I’m lovin’ it!

Two years later, Netflix is still in “beta mode” with its video game launch, now offering 77 games on TVs, PCs, and Macs.

Eddie Bauer’s bold move: ditching its distinctive cursive logo for a goose. Blame it on the next generation not appreciating the art of penmanship.

drawing of a table setting with a fork on the left, plate in the middle, and a knife and spoon on the right

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