Economic and Investment News Bits
  • “The primary driver of performance for almost any asset class in 2017 will be whether the U.S. dollar rises or falls. If the dollar falls back, U.S. equities underperform, and emerging market bonds outperforms big time. If the dollar gains because of protectionism, investors should start worrying about a global depression.  If the dollar gains because of tax cuts and deregulation, then interest rates will rise, and the whole world will grow faster, and investors should buy cyclical and financials everywhere.” (Source: John Mauldin)
  • Credit card minimum payment is often an anchor that consumers use to decide how much to pay on their account regardless of their ability to pay, which only deepens their debt and costs the nation billions of dollars a year”, (Source: Benjamin Keys, Wharton School).
  • “The real GDP impact of Trump’s policies – reduced regulations, infrastructure spending, and tax reform (assuming they occur) – will not come until calendar year 2018. The House will pass a tax reform bill by late spring, the Senate should pass it before the August break, and a House-Senate conference committee should iron out a final measure this fall. The effective date probably will be Jan. 1, 2018.  This is remarkably fast, by Washington standards.” (Source: Greg Valliere)
  • “While much of Europe is rebelling against austerity, Russia is imposing harsh fiscal and monetary austerity on itself, even though inflation is falling and growth is still negative. For a regime devoted to making Russia a world economic power, it is not exactly ambitious.” (Source: Morgan Stanley)
  • “Since 2014, the consumer has taken out 44 cents of new debt per dollar of new disposable income, a third of the average from 1980 through 2007. This suggests it will take significant tightening to derail the consumer cycle, likely prolonging the recovery,” (Source: Federated Investors).
  • SchoolDigger rankings for small-town Ohio schools, based on 2015-16 school-year test scores, indicate Maria Stein, Russia, Kalida, Miller City, New Bremen, New Knoxville, and Ottoville among the top non-urban districts. 
Thought for the week

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”

Frederick Douglas, American author and orator (1817-1895)


Chart For Chart for January


Have you ever wondered which currencies receive the most trading action?  The data for the above chart comes from a survey done every three years by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).  Note that total combined trading volume adds up to 200%, because each currency trade has a paired offset trade.  Takeaways: the Chinese Yuan is the 8th most traded currency in the world.  Bitcoin does not appear, since it is not something owned by the world’s central banks.


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